A collection of Unix/Linux ‘grep’ command examples

Linux grep commands FAQ: Can you share some Linux/Unix grep command examples?

Sure. The name grep means "general regular expression parser", but you can think of the grep command as a "search" command for Unix and Linux systems: it's used to search for text strings and more-complicated "regular expressions" within one or more files.

I think it's easiest to learn how to use the grep command by showing examples, so let's dive right in.

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`

Scala: How to extract parts of a String that match regex patterns

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook (partially modified for the internet). This is Recipe 1.9, “Extracting Parts of a String that Match Patterns.”


You want to extract one or more parts of a Scala String that match the regular-expression patterns you specify.


Define the regular-expression (regex) patterns you want to extract, placing parentheses around them so you can extract them as “regular-expression groups.” First, define the desired pattern:

How to find regex patterns in Scala strings

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook (partially modified for the internet). This is Recipe 1.7, “Finding Patterns in Scala Strings.”


You need to determine whether a Scala String contains a regular expression pattern.

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 search a MongoDB collection with Scala and Casbah

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook (partially modified for the internet). This is Recipe 16.5, “How to search a MongoDB collection with Scala and Casbah.”


You want to find objects in your MongoDB collection using Scala and the Casbah driver.


Use the find* methods of the MongoCollection class to get the elements you want, specifically the find and findOne methods.