How do I recursively view a list of files that has one string and specifically doesn't have another string? Also, I mean looking inside the files, rather than the file names.


You can use find:

find . -type f -name "$fileglob" -exec grep -q $word1 {} \; -not -exec grep -q $word2 {} \; -print

Assuming you really do want a string, not a regexp, thus fgrep, then:

fgrep -rl --null desired_string . | xargs -0 fgrep -lv undesired_string --

Recursively (-r) grep for desired_string under the current directory, printing the filenames (-l) and using the filenames from that, repeatedly invoke fgrep (so as to not overfill the space for command-line arguments when invoking it), with -v inverting the sense of the match.

This uses --null to use an ASCII NUL character after each filename, instead of a newline, so that you can handle filenames with spaces in and the like; that plumbs into the -0 given to xargs. Depending upon the Unix variant (Linux, BSD, etc) there might be a short option for --null, but that's less portable. Strictly speaking, --null is not portable, but any modern system's (f)grep should have it.

The -- at the end of the second (f)grep stops (f)grep from looking for options in any following parameters, so even if you have a filename starting with a -, it will still be processed as a filename.

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