git-grep(1) — Linux manual page


GIT-GREP(1)                    Git Manual                    GIT-GREP(1)

NAME         top

       git-grep - Print lines matching a pattern

SYNOPSIS         top

       git grep [-a | --text] [-I] [--textconv] [-i | --ignore-case] [-w | --word-regexp]
                  [-v | --invert-match] [-h|-H] [--full-name]
                  [-E | --extended-regexp] [-G | --basic-regexp]
                  [-P | --perl-regexp]
                  [-F | --fixed-strings] [-n | --line-number] [--column]
                  [-l | --files-with-matches] [-L | --files-without-match]
                  [(-O | --open-files-in-pager) [<pager>]]
                  [-z | --null]
                  [ -o | --only-matching ] [-c | --count] [--all-match] [-q | --quiet]
                  [--max-depth <depth>] [--[no-]recursive]
                  [--color[=<when>] | --no-color]
                  [--break] [--heading] [-p | --show-function]
                  [-A <post-context>] [-B <pre-context>] [-C <context>]
                  [-W | --function-context]
                  [--threads <num>]
                  [-f <file>] [-e] <pattern>
                  [--and|--or|--not|(|)|-e <pattern>...]
                  [--recurse-submodules] [--parent-basename <basename>]
                  [ [--[no-]exclude-standard] [--cached | --no-index | --untracked] | <tree>...]
                  [--] [<pathspec>...]

DESCRIPTION         top

       Look for specified patterns in the tracked files in the work
       tree, blobs registered in the index file, or blobs in given tree
       objects. Patterns are lists of one or more search expressions
       separated by newline characters. An empty string as search
       expression matches all lines.

OPTIONS         top

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

           Search files in the current directory that is not managed by

           In addition to searching in the tracked files in the working
           tree, search also in untracked files.

           Also search in ignored files by not honoring the .gitignore
           mechanism. Only useful with --untracked.

           Do not pay attention to ignored files specified via the
           .gitignore mechanism. Only useful when searching files in the
           current directory with --no-index.

           Recursively search in each submodule that is active and
           checked out in the repository. When used in combination with
           the <tree> option the prefix of all submodule output will be
           the name of the parent project’s <tree> object. This option
           has no effect if --no-index is given.

       -a, --text
           Process binary files as if they were text.

           Honor textconv filter settings.

           Do not honor textconv filter settings. This is the default.

       -i, --ignore-case
           Ignore case differences between the patterns and the files.

           Don’t match the pattern in binary files.

       --max-depth <depth>
           For each <pathspec> given on command line, descend at most
           <depth> levels of directories. A value of -1 means no limit.
           This option is ignored if <pathspec> contains active
           wildcards. In other words if "a*" matches a directory named
           "a*", "*" is matched literally so --max-depth is still

       -r, --recursive
           Same as --max-depth=-1; this is the default.

           Same as --max-depth=0.

       -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.

       -P, --perl-regexp
           Use Perl-compatible regular expressions for patterns.

           Support for these types of regular expressions is an optional
           compile-time dependency. If Git wasn’t compiled with support
           for them providing this option will cause it to die.

       -F, --fixed-strings
           Use fixed strings for patterns (don’t interpret pattern as a

       -n, --line-number
           Prefix the line number to matching lines.

           Prefix the 1-indexed byte-offset of the first match from the
           start of the matching line.

       -l, --files-with-matches, --name-only, -L, --files-without-match
           Instead of showing every matched line, show only the names of
           files that contain (or do not contain) matches. For better
           compatibility with git diff, --name-only is a synonym for

       -O[<pager>], --open-files-in-pager[=<pager>]
           Open the matching files in the pager (not the output of
           grep). If the pager happens to be "less" or "vi", and the
           user specified only one pattern, the first file is positioned
           at the first match automatically. The pager argument is
           optional; if specified, it must be stuck to the option
           without a space. If pager is unspecified, the default pager
           will be used (see core.pager in git-config(1)).

       -z, --null
           Use \0 as the delimiter for pathnames in the output, and
           print them verbatim. Without this option, pathnames with
           "unusual" characters are quoted as explained for the
           configuration variable core.quotePath (see git-config(1)).

       -o, --only-matching
           Print only the matched (non-empty) parts of a matching line,
           with each such part on a separate output line.

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

           Show colored matches. The value must be always (the default),
           never, or auto.

           Turn off match highlighting, even when the configuration file
           gives the default to color output. Same as --color=never.

           Print an empty line between matches from different files.

           Show the filename above the matches in that file instead of
           at the start of each shown line.

       -p, --show-function
           Show the preceding line that contains the function name of
           the match, unless the matching line is a function name
           itself. The name is determined in the same way as git diff
           works out patch hunk headers (see Defining a custom
           hunk-header in gitattributes(5)).

       -<num>, -C <num>, --context <num>
           Show <num> leading and trailing lines, and place a line
           containing -- between contiguous groups of matches.

       -A <num>, --after-context <num>
           Show <num> trailing lines, and place a line containing --
           between contiguous groups of matches.

       -B <num>, --before-context <num>
           Show <num> leading lines, and place a line containing --
           between contiguous groups of matches.

       -W, --function-context
           Show the surrounding text from the previous line containing a
           function name up to the one before the next function name,
           effectively showing the whole function in which the match was
           found. The function names are determined in the same way as
           git diff works out patch hunk headers (see Defining a custom
           hunk-header in gitattributes(5)).

       --threads <num>
           Number of grep worker threads to use. See grep.threads in
           CONFIGURATION for more information.

       -f <file>
           Read patterns from <file>, one per line.

           Passing the pattern via <file> allows for providing a search
           pattern containing a \0.

           Not all pattern types support patterns containing \0. Git
           will error out if a given pattern type can’t support such a
           pattern. The --perl-regexp pattern type when compiled against
           the PCRE v2 backend has the widest support for these types of

           In versions of Git before 2.23.0 patterns containing \0 would
           be silently considered fixed. This was never documented,
           there were also odd and undocumented interactions between
           e.g. non-ASCII patterns containing \0 and --ignore-case.

           In future versions we may learn to support patterns
           containing \0 for more search backends, until then we’ll die
           when the pattern type in question doesn’t support them.

           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

       --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.

       -q, --quiet
           Do not output matched lines; instead, exit with status 0 when
           there is a match and with non-zero status when there isn’t.

           Instead of searching tracked files in the working tree,
           search blobs in the given trees.

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

           If given, limit the search to paths matching at least one
           pattern. Both leading paths match and glob(7) patterns are

           For more details about the <pathspec> syntax, see the
           pathspec entry in gitglossary(7).

EXAMPLES         top

       git grep 'time_t' -- '*.[ch]'
           Looks for time_t in all tracked .c and .h files in the
           working directory and its subdirectories.

       git grep -e '#define' --and \( -e MAX_PATH -e PATH_MAX \)
           Looks for a line that has #define and either MAX_PATH or

       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.

       git grep solution -- :^Documentation
           Looks for solution, excluding files in Documentation.

NOTES ON THREADS         top

       The --threads option (and the grep.threads configuration) will be
       ignored when --open-files-in-pager is used, forcing a
       single-threaded execution.

       When grepping the object store (with --cached or giving tree
       objects), running with multiple threads might perform slower than
       single threaded if --textconv is given and there’re too many text
       conversions. So if you experience low performance in this case,
       it might be desirable to use --threads=1.


           If set to true, enable -n option by default.

           If set to true, enable the --column option by default.

           Set the default matching behavior. Using a value of basic,
           extended, fixed, or perl will enable the --basic-regexp,
           --extended-regexp, --fixed-strings, or --perl-regexp option
           accordingly, while the value default will return to the
           default matching behavior.

           If set to true, enable --extended-regexp option by default.
           This option is ignored when the grep.patternType option is
           set to a value other than default.

           Number of grep worker threads to use. If unset (or set to 0),
           Git will use as many threads as the number of logical cores

           If set to true, enable --full-name option by default.

           If set to true, fall back to git grep --no-index if git grep
           is executed outside of a git repository. Defaults to false.

GIT         top

       Part of the git(1) suite

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the git (Git distributed version control
       system) project.  Information about the project can be found at
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for this manual
       page, see ⟨⟩.  This page was obtained
       from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2021-08-27.  (At that time,
       the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2021-08-24.)  If you discover any rendering
       problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
       is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

Git         08/27/2021                    GIT-GREP(1)

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