I'm a linux newbie. I need to search for a string "teststring" in all *.java files coming under /home/user1/ (including subfolders). How can I do it in linux via shell command.

  • There have been several questions regarding regex searching files in subdirectories from the command-line – RobotHumans Nov 28 '10 at 15:12
  • a quick search turned up this question: superuser.com/questions/208271/… not exactly what you are looking for, but instead of exec cp you could cat/grep whatever – RobotHumans Nov 28 '10 at 15:16
  • I can list the file having the extension with find /home/user1 -name *.java How to use grep on that? – softwarematter Nov 28 '10 at 15:23

The easiest way is to use GNU grep's features:

grep -r --include '*.java' teststring /home/user1

If you're ever on another unix variant that doesn't have GNU grep, here's a portable way:

find /home/user1 -name '*.java' -exec grep teststring {} +
  • nice didn't know about this grep feature – RobotHumans Nov 28 '10 at 15:52
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    If you're searching the current dir and all files it's grep -r teststring . – Chris Moschini Jun 25 '14 at 17:16

using ack you just type: cd /home/user01 && ack --java teststring

  • 1
    or ack --java teststring /home/user01 – Andy Lester Dec 1 '10 at 3:43

For this ack aka ack-grep its the killer app in my mind ;)

You can ack some_string /in/path_y to find some_string in path_y Or simpler ack some_other_string to find some_other_sting in current dir.


Found it. Posting it as it might help someone.

find /home/user01 -name *.java | xargs grep "teststring"

Please correct if there is any better way.

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    Generally, you should use -print0 and -0 when piping find into xargs to work properly with files that may have spaces or newlines in their names: find /home/user01 -name *.java -print0 | xargs -0 grep "teststring" – Dennis Williamson Nov 28 '10 at 15:38
grep -irl teststring *java

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