Topics ▾ Version 1.6.4 ▾ git-grep last updated in 2.16.2


git-grep - Print lines matching a pattern


git grep [--cached]
	   [-a | --text] [-I] [-i | --ignore-case] [-w | --word-regexp]
	   [-v | --invert-match] [-h|-H] [--full-name]
	   [-E | --extended-regexp] [-G | --basic-regexp]
	   [-F | --fixed-strings] [-n]
	   [-l | --files-with-matches] [-L | --files-without-match]
	   [-z | --null]
	   [-c | --count] [--all-match]
	   [--color | --no-color]
	   [-A <post-context>] [-B <pre-context>] [-C <context>]
	   [-f <file>] [-e] <pattern>
	   [--and|--or|--not|(|)|-e <pattern>…​] [<tree>…​]
	   [--] [<path>…​]


Look for specified patterns in the working tree files, blobs registered in the index file, or given tree objects.



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


Process binary files as if they were text.


Ignore case differences between the patterns and the files.


Don’t match the pattern in binary files.


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).


Select non-matching lines.


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.


Use POSIX extended/basic regexp for patterns. Default is to use basic regexp.


Use fixed strings for patterns (don’t interpret pattern as a regex).


Prefix the line number to matching lines.


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 --files-with-matches.


Output \0 instead of the character that normally follows a file name.


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


Show colored matches.


Turn off match highlighting, even when the configuration file gives the default to color output.

-[ABC] <context>

Show context trailing (A — after), or leading (B — before), or both (C — context) lines, and place a line containing -- between contiguous groups of matches.


A shortcut for specifying -C<num>.


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]).

-f <file>

Read patterns from <file>, one per line.


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 or.

( …​ )

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.


Search blobs in the trees for specified patterns.


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


git grep -e '#define\' --and \( -e MAX_PATH -e PATH_MAX \)

Looks for a line that has #define and either MAX_PATH or PATH_MAX.

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.


Originally written by Linus Torvalds <>, later revamped by Junio C Hamano.


Documentation by Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.


Part of the git[1] suite