Multi-line grep

perl -ne 'BEGIN{undef $/}; print "$ARGV\t$.\t$1\n" if m/(first line.*\n.*second line)/mg'
Using perl you can search for patterns spanning several lines, a thing that grep can't do. Append the list of files to above command or pipe a file through it, just as with regular grep. If you add the 's' modifier to the regex, the dot '.' also matches line endings, useful if you don't known how many lines you need are between parts of your pattern. Change '*' to '*?' to make it greedy, that is match only as few characters as possible. See also http://www.commandlinefu.com/commands/view/1764/display-a-block-of-text-with-awk to do a similar thing with awk. Edit: The undef has to be put in a begin-block, or a match in the first line would not be found.

7
By: hfs
2010-03-18 15:46:10

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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?

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