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find . -type f -print -exec cat {} \; | grep some string

Command above doesn't print the file path.

I'm using: Ubuntu, bash 4.

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Maybe it does not meet your expected results because of the grep filter. What about this: find . -type f -fprint /dev/stderr -exec cat {} \; | grep some string –  artistoex Jul 2 '13 at 9:44
What is the goal you want to achieve? On output you are getting grepped strings from files, you want path of those files? –  mirkobrankovic Jul 2 '13 at 9:58
Yes I want to print the path of the files that contain the string 'some string'. @artistoex suggestion prints all file paths. –  hajder Jul 2 '13 at 10:01

3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

That's because you're feeding grep a stream of text which just happens to contain filenames. Since you provided no filenames as arguments to grep, it cannot be expected to deduce what file a matched line came from. Use xargs:

find . -type f -print | xargs grep "some string"

Since you have GNU find/xargs, this is a safer way for xargs to read filenames:

find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 grep "some string"

If you only want the filenames that have a matching line without showing the matching line:

find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 grep -l "some string"
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How would I combine the above commands with search & replace? As in, grep then sed? –  CMCDragonkai May 21 at 14:27
the find|grep pipeline outputs filenames, so: sed '...' $(find ... | xargs grep -l ...) –  glenn jackman May 21 at 15:31

I use

grep "some string" . -R

and it working faster

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And -n if you want line numbers. +1 for simplified answer. –  Chad Skeeters Jul 3 '13 at 16:49
@ChadSkeeters exactly. Using the find does not give such solution. –  ArcherGodson Jul 9 '13 at 12:45
This should be marked as the correct answer, to be honest. The currently selected one details something else entirely. –  Alhadis Dec 31 '14 at 11:21

For this purpouse I enter in the folder where the files and folders I'm looking for are located and I use:

grep -rinHo "my string"

Doing so I obtain the file name, the line number and the string

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