Linux: Recursive file searching with grep -r (like grep + find)

Linux grep FAQ: How can I perform a recursive search with the grep command in Linux?

Solution: find + grep

For years I always used variations of the following Linux find and grep commands to recursively search subdirectories for files that match a grep pattern:

find . -type f -exec grep -l 'alvin' {} \;

This command can be read as, “Search all files in all subdirectories of the current directory for the string ‘alvin’, and print the filenames that contain this pattern.” It’s an extremely powerful approach for recursively searching files in all subdirectories that match the pattern I specify.

A Linux shell script to find large files alvin July 14, 2017 - 11:14am

I made a mistake in configuring logrotate on a new Linux system, and almost ran into a problem because of that. Fortunately I saw the problem before it became a BIG problem, but as a result, I decided to add a script to my Linux system to check for large files, typically log files that have grown out of control for one reason or another.

Here then is a simple Linux shell script I named, which searches the filesystem for files that are larger than 1GB in size:

A Linux shell script to rename files with a counter and copy them

As a quick note, I used this shell script to copy many files with the same name into a directory named tmpdir, giving them all new names during the copy process:

for i in `cat myfiles`
    fname=`basename $i`
    cp $i tmpdir/${count}-${fname}
    count=`expr $count + 1`

SBT errors summary plugin

The sbt-errors-summary plugin looks cool. Here’s a summary from its author:

“A simple plugin that makes the error reporter a bit more concise. I find it useful when doing refactoring: I get a lot of compilation errors, and I waste a lot of time switching between files and looking for line numbers in the error message, when I can immediately see what's wrong when looking at the faulty line.”

How to search multiple jar files for a string or pattern (shell script)

Here’s a Unix shell script that I use to search Java JAR files for any type of pattern. You can use it to search for the name of a class, the name of a package, or any other string/pattern that will show up if you manually ran jar tvf on each jar file. The advantage of this script — if you’re a Unix, Linux, or Cygwin user — is that it will search through all jar files in the current directory:

Unix: How to find files with multiple filename extensions

As I mentioned in my How to find multiple filenames with Linux find tutorial, you can use find command syntax like this to find files with multiple filename extensions:

find iTunes \( -name "*.mp3" -o -name "*.m4a" \)

As that command shows, I ran this find command to find all of my music files under my iTunes directory, including .mp3 and .m4a filename extensions.

While I’m in the neighborhood, this is the full find command I use to backup all of my iTunes files that have changed or been added in the last 180 days:

find iTunes \( -name "*.mp3" -o -name "*.m4a" \) -type f -mtime -180 -print0 | xargs -0 tar rvf NewMusic.tar

There’s probably an easier way to do this, but that backup command works for me.

A Unix find and move command (find in subdirectories)

This is a dangerous Unix command, but if you want to move a bunch of files from their subdirectories into your current directory, this find and mv command works:

find . -type f -exec mv {} . \;

That command finds all files beneath the current directory, and moves them into the current directory. I just moved a bunch of files from their (iTunes) subdirectories into my current working directory, and that find and move command did the trick. (But again, it’s a dangerous command, be careful out there.)

How to show the largest files under a directory on Mac OS X (Unix) alvin November 9, 2015 - 4:22pm

I haven’t solved my overall problem yet — which is how to fit 64 GB of music onto a tablet with 24GB free space — but I did solve another problem today: How to show the largest files under a directory on Mac OS X (and Unix systems). In this short tutorial I’ll demonstrate what I learned.

A command to show the largest files under a directory on Mac OS X

The Unix command that worked for me on my Mac OS X system is this:

How to list files in a directory in Scala (and filter the list)

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook (partially modified for the internet). This is Recipe 12.9, “How to list files in a directory in Scala (and filtering them).”


You want to get a list of files that are in a directory, potentially limiting the list of files with a filtering algorithm.


Scala doesn’t offer any different methods for working with directories, so use the listFiles method of the Java File class. For instance, this method creates a list of all files in a directory: