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I have the following command

find /var -type f -exec grep "param1" {} \; -print

With this command I can find the param1 string in any file under /var but the time that it take for this is very long.

I need another possibility to find string in file but much more faster then my example

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@yael: How long is "very long?" A minute, an hour, a day? Maybe you can help us answer your earlier ambiguous questions before we start on this one, yes? – Mike Fitzpatrick Jun 3 '10 at 11:59
Please stop posting the same question on both StackOverflow and SuperUser. – Dennis Williamson Jun 3 '10 at 15:15

You could try using grep directly as in

grep -R "param1" /var/*
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or even grep -R "param1" /var – Kevin M Jun 3 '10 at 11:55
+1 definitely the way to go, and you can also use the -l option to print only the names of the matching files rather than the actual matching lines within the files. – David Z Jun 3 '10 at 17:36

fast search is mostly achieved by having an "index" of the content, kind of a "lookup table". there are exist some free search engines which build an index of input files and give you very, very fast results:

i doubt that you want to go that way, but just to give you another option :)

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indexed content is normally done only for stuff that isn't expected to change significantly. And by "significantly", I mean adding hundreds of lines every time it boots, such as files under /var. – Kevin M Jun 3 '10 at 11:59
@Kevin M: "i doubt that you want to go that way" was intentionally put there. shall i put the drawback of the indexed approach into the answer? – akira Jun 3 '10 at 12:10

There are a a couple factors at work here:

First, by using -exec, find is spawning a new process for grep for every file it finds.

This can be managed either by using xargs as in Felipe Alvarez's answer (I wrote a blog post about this 5+ years ago) or by using -exec grep param1 {} + (note the + instead of \;). When using +, "the command line is built by appending each selected file name at the end; the total number of invocations of the command will be much less than the number of matched files" (from find man page)

Second, the number and size of files under /var is potentially very large.

Can you add parameters in addition to -type f to limit the files you're searching. find has options to limit by time, owner, name pattern, etc. For example, you could do:

find /var -type f -name "access*log" -mtime -7 -exec grep param1 {} +

That will find files modified in the last seven days with names starting with "access" and ending with "log". Only those matching files will be part of the exec/grep.

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find ...[blah]..... -print0 | xargs -0 grep -e "regex"

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I advise to use:

grep -RInis "param1" /var

For more details see

man grep

If speed is of such importance, you might want to consider fgrep, which might not prove to be faster depending on the implementation.

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