searching for a string though file system

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# 1  
Old 12-04-2001
Tools searching for a string though file system

Is there a way to search an entire file system for the occurance of a string..... other than grep.

I have a large directory structure and I'm not certain that grep <string> */*/*/*... is all that effective - especially as I can't be sure of the number of levels to go down without heaps of effort.....
# 2  
Old 12-05-2001
Well, grep is certainly the best way to search through a file... combined with options that allow you to only display the name of the files that contain the search string, it'd be hard to duplicate.

You should be able to search an entire filesystem using a string like this:
find . -type f -print | xargs grep -l "search string" 2>/dev/null

The "file" command will skip directories, the "-l" option to grep will only tell you which files the string is in, and the "2>/dev/null" will send any errors (as a result of something like trying to grep a file that you don't own, or don't have permissions to look at) to the null device - a suitable place for them!
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# 3  
Old 12-05-2001

Excellent.....I did still get a few permission denied errors - but only a handful whereas normally with the find I get hundreds....

i.e. "find: cannot read dir /usr/aset: Permission denied"

does exactly what I needed it to - any ideas why I still got some permission denieds (out of interest) even with the std out and std error going to null?Smilie
# 4  
Old 12-06-2001
Hmm, that's very interesting... I really don't know why that's happening.

I know I'm probably missing something obvious, but maybe someone else here can see a reason?
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