In Linux we have used to many commands on day to day operation, but some commands are quit common that every type of Users. Grep is same type of command which almost used through every users. Grep command is used to filter or find text from a file or command output which has many lines of text and we only like to see few lines which contain few specific text or some reg-ex, we earlier also wrote one post on how to work grep with regex SO in this post we will see How To Use grep Command In Linux/UNIX with its various options

So let’s start with some grep command examples

Search lines contain text

To search string in lines of files.

grep ssirohi /etc/passwd

Search for complete word

Sometime we have to search for complete world not like string middle of another word.

grep  -w sh /etc/passwd
arpwatch:x:130:144:ARP Watcher,,,:/var/lib/arpwatch:/bin/sh

Invert search

How to search those lines that don’t contain mentioned string.

# ps aux | grep -v root
rpc       1235  0.0  0.0  18980   892 ?        Ss   20:57   0:00 rpcbind
rpcuser   1257  0.0  0.0  23352  1380 ?        Ss   20:57   0:00 rpc.statd
dbus      1646  0.0  0.0  21572   996 ?        Ss   20:58   0:00 dbus-daemon --system
68        1684  0.0  0.2  38128  4636 ?        Ssl  20:58   0:00 hald
68        1726  0.0  0.0  18000  1140 ?        S    20:58   0:00 hald-addon-acpi: listening on acpi kernel interface /proc/acpi/event
498       2346  0.0  0.6  93188 11912 ?        Ss   20:58   0:00 /usr/libexec/pacemaker/cib
498       2349  0.0  0.1  87744  3844 ?        Ss   20:58   0:00 /usr/libexec/pacemaker/attrd
498       2350  0.0  0.9 102928 19492 ?        Ss   20:58   0:00 /usr/libexec/pacemaker/pengine

Multiple Search

We can also do multiple search through egrep or with -e options in grep like below

grep -e ssirohi -e ishu /etc/passwd

▶ egrep "ssirohi|ishu" /etc/passwd

Search for case insensitive

In grep we can search for like for any case (Upper or Lower) that will make easy to search when in text file or command output has some text that has some pattern with different case like below

[root@srv1 ~]# grep -i samba /usr/share/doc/samba-common-3.6.23/README
This is the release version of Samba, the free SMB and CIFS client and
server for UNIX and other operating systems. Samba is maintained by
the Samba Team, who support the original author, Andrew Tridgell.
>>>> about the configuration and use of Samba.
is called. For details watch

So in above output, we have samba word , which comes in samba, Samba and SAMBA (In upper and lower case). This is quit easy way to search for case insensitive.

Count of search

Through grep command we can find how many type particular word used in file or command output.

[root@srv1 ~]# grep -c -i samba /usr/share/doc/samba-common-3.6.23/README
[root@srv1 ~]# grep -c  samba /usr/share/doc/samba-common-3.6.23/README

Recursive search in directory

Grep has features to search pattern recursively in directory and its sub-directories like below.

[root@srv1 etc]# grep -r .
./hosts:	srv1

I mostly used list options with recursive, which used to display file names not line contain pattern, which make easy to investigate it later.

[root@srv1 etc]# grep -rl .

Grep in OutPut

We can use all grep options with any of command output through pipe like below, this make easy to search in command output and find relevant data out of command output, see an example below

[root@srv1 etc]# netstat -ntlp| grep mysql
tcp        0      0      *                   LISTEN      2165/mysqld  
tcp        0      0      *                   LISTEN      2152/mysqld  
tcp        0      0      *                   LISTEN      2176/mysqld  
tcp        0      0      *                   LISTEN      2185/mysqld  

In above i used to try search listening mysql port on my machine through netstat command, although we can search it manually in big output it helps a lot like below

▶ dmidecode -t memory| egrep "Size|^Type:|^\sLocator:|^\sSpeed:"
	Size: 8192 MB
	Locator: DIMM A
	Speed: 1600 MT/s
	Size: 8192 MB
	Locator: DIMM B
	Speed: 1600 MT/s

In Above output i tried to get some valuable data for my lappy through dmidecode command, but i only like to get specific values not all chunk of data which is irrelevant to me, so i used some regex with grep command to get valuable data only.