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Section: Git Manual (1)
Updated: 09/30/2007
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git-grep - Print lines matching a pattern  


git-grep [--cached]
           [-a | --text] [-I] [-i | --ignore-case] [-w | --word-regexp]
           [-v | --invert-match] [-h|-H] [--full-name]
           [-E | --extended-regexp] [-G | --basic-regexp]
           [-F | --fixed-strings] [-n]
           [-l | --files-with-matches] [-L | --files-without-match]
           [-c | --count] [--all-match]
           [-A <post-context>] [-B <pre-context>] [-C <context>]
           [-f <file>] [-e] <pattern>
           [--and|--or|--not|(|)|-e <pattern>...] [<tree>...]
           [--] [<path>...]


Look for specified patterns in the working tree files, blobs registered in the index file, or given tree objects.  



Instead of searching in the working tree files, check the blobs registered in the index file.

-a | --text

Process binary files as if they were text.

-i | --ignore-case

Ignore case differences between the patterns and the files.


Don't match the pattern in binary files.

-w | --word-regexp

Match the pattern only at word boundary (either begin at the beginning of a line, or preceded by a non-word character; end at the end of a line or followed by a non-word character).

-v | --invert-match

Select non-matching lines.

-h | -H

By default, the command shows the filename for each match. -h option is used to suppress this output. -H is there for completeness and does not do anything except it overrides -h given earlier on the command line.


When run from a subdirectory, the command usually outputs paths relative to the current directory. This option forces paths to be output relative to the project top directory.

-E | --extended-regexp | -G | --basic-regexp

Use POSIX extended/basic regexp for patterns. Default is to use basic regexp.

-F | --fixed-strings

Use fixed strings for patterns (don't interpret pattern as a regex).


Prefix the line number to matching lines.

-l | --files-with-matches | -L | --files-without-match

Instead of showing every matched line, show only the names of files that contain (or do not contain) matches.

-c | --count

Instead of showing every matched line, show the number of lines that match.

-[ABC] <context>

Show context trailing (A --- after), or leading (B --- before), or both (C --- context) lines, and place a line containing -- between contiguous groups of matches.


A shortcut for specifying -C<num>.

-f <file>

Read patterns from <file>, one per line.


The next parameter is the pattern. This option has to be used for patterns starting with - and should be used in scripts passing user input to grep. Multiple patterns are combined by or.

--and | --or | --not | ( | )

Specify how multiple patterns are combined using Boolean expressions. --or is the default operator. --and has higher precedence than --or. -e has to be used for all patterns.


When giving multiple pattern expressions combined with --or, this flag is specified to limit the match to files that have lines to match all of them.


Search blobs in the trees for specified patterns.


Signals the end of options; the rest of the parameters are <path> limiters.


git grep -e '#define' --and \( -e MAX_PATH -e PATH_MAX \)

Looks for a line that has #define and either MAX_PATH or PATH_MAX.

git grep --all-match -e NODE -e Unexpected

Looks for a line that has NODE or Unexpected in files that have lines that match both.


Originally written by Linus Torvalds <>, later revamped by Junio C Hamano.  


Documentation by Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.  


Part of the git(7) suite




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