git-grep - Linux


git-grep is a text search tool designed specifically for code in Git repositories. It’s a powerful tool for locating and analyzing specific terms, patterns, or functions within codebases.


git grep [-abcdfgilnprs] [-e REGEX_PATTERN] [-F] [-i] [-I] [-o] [-v] [-w] [-x] [<path>...]


  • -a: Treat lines starting with a backslash as normal text, not part of a regular expression.
  • -b: Display the matching line and a few lines before and after.
  • -c: Count the number of matching lines in each file.
  • -d: Recursively search all files in subdirectories.
  • -e REGEX_PATTERN: Specify regular expression pattern to match.
  • -F: Treat REGEX_PATTERN as a literal string, not a regular expression.
  • -i: Perform case-insensitive matching.
  • -I: Ignore case differences between the pattern and files’ names.
  • -l: List only the file names that contain matches.
  • -n: Show line numbers of matching lines.
  • -o: Only show the matching portion of each line.
  • -p: Display the matching line and a few lines after it.
  • -r: Search the entire repository, not just the current directory.
  • -s: Suppress error messages.
  • -v: Invert the matching behavior, showing only non-matching lines.
  • -w: Match only whole words.
  • -x: Match only lines that contain the entire pattern as the only non-whitespace content.


  • Find all occurrences of "main" in the current directory:
git grep main
  • Count the number of matches for "error" in all JavaScript files in the project:
git grep -c error *.js
  • Find lines containing the pattern "if (condition)" while ignoring case:
git grep -i "if (condition)"
  • Search for lines that start with the word "function":
git grep "^function"
  • Find files in the repository containing the term "database":
git grep -F database -l

Common Issues

  • Incorrect regular expression: Make sure your regular expression is syntactically correct, and that it matches the pattern you intend to find.
  • Case-sensitive matching: If you need case-insensitive matching, use the -i flag.
  • File permissions: Ensure you have read permissions for the files you want to search.


  • Combining with other Git commands: Use git-grep as part of your Git workflow to check for code changes, review commits, or find bugs before they cause issues.
  • Scripting: Integrate git-grep into scripts to automate code analysis tasks, such as searching for specific patterns or generating reports.

Related Commands

  • git log: Search the commit history.
  • git blame: Determine who last modified a particular line of code.
  • git diff: Show changes between commits.