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Grep: A Powerful Search Tool

Grep command on a toilet
Grep is a powerful Linux tool that can make finding things much easier. If you have SSH access to your server and need to find something lost in your big mess of files, grep can help. A simple way to use grep is:

grep "modern" /home/user/public_html/podcasts.opml

This command will search for the word “modern” in the podcasts.opml file and print any lines that contain it.

Grep can also be appended to other commands to narrow down lists. For example, you can list every file in your /usr/bin directory but single out commands that contain the word “make”:

ls -al /usr/bin | grep make

You can even use it with the ps command to read information about a particular process:

ps aux | grep httpd

This post only scratches the surface of grep’s power. To learn more about grep, type “man grep” from the command line.

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