Collecting my attempts to improve at tech, art, and life

Pretty Recursive Grep

Tags: shell tools


Set GREP_OPTIONS='-RI --color=auto'. Or install ack.

I’m looking for TODO entries in source code on a machine that does not have Ack installed. It does have GNU grep, though.

Obviously I want to search subdirectories. I can choose between --recursive, -R, or using rgrep on this particular machine.

I am usually searching through source code. I hardly ever want binary files to match. That means --binary-file=without-match or -I.

Finally, I like pretty colors. The --color=auto option makes me happy.

That leaves me with this invocation.

$ grep --recursive --binary-file=without-match --color=auto 'TODO' .

Or maybe the short form would be easier.

$ rgrep -I --color=auto 'TODO' .

Probably smartest to look at what environment variables I could set up in order to skip remembering this stuff at all.

export GREP_OPTIONS='-RI --color=auto'

Pop that in my .bashrc and I’m set.

$ grep 'TODO' .

All right. Back to work.

Added to vault 2024-01-15. Updated on 2024-01-26