Search recursively to find a word or phrase in certain file types, such as C code

find . -name "*.[ch]" -exec grep -i -H "search pharse" {} \;
I have a bash alias for this command line and find it useful for searching C code for error messages. The -H tells grep to print the filename. you can omit the -i to match the case exactly or keep the -i for case-insensitive matching. This find command find all .c and .h files
Sample Output
./src/main.c:    printf("Search phrase");
./include/example.h:    #define MY_PHASE search phrase

33
2009-05-06 15:22:49

4 Alternatives + Submit Alt

What Others Think

Nice
servermanaged · 501 weeks and 1 day ago
Nice one. I sure wish you could just: grep -iHr "search phrase" *.[ch]
joneser005 · 501 weeks and 1 day ago
@joneser005: Don't we all!
sudopeople · 501 weeks and 1 day ago
@joneser005: Under zsh you can for example: grep -iH "search phrase" **/*{c,h}
chopinhauer · 501 weeks ago
see also http://www.commandlinefu.com/commands/view/1144/grep-for-word-in-directory-recursive grep --color=auto is a nice addition
tobiasboon · 501 weeks ago
Anyone who needs to search source code should take a look at Ack: http://betterthangrep.com/ ack --cc -i "search phrase"
fletch · 500 weeks and 6 days ago
grep 'pattern' * -r done.
copremesis · 499 weeks and 2 days ago
what sh do you guys use? some of listed above don't work in bash....
mousecat · 476 weeks and 4 days ago
the easy way, grep -ril ^Error /{tmp,var}/log.201[0-5][0-1][0-9].log
terminux · 167 weeks and 6 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

You must be signed in to comment.

Considering A New Car?

You should consider a Tesla. Get 6 Months Free Supercharging.

Free Supercharging

What's this?

commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

Share Your Commands



Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for: