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Old 02-01-2014, 07:45 PM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2013
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Find a string on linux system

I need to find a random string. But I do not know its location on system or path or directory.
I used grep , find command but was unable to find any directory/file which had this string. Kindly help me with this.

Thanks for time and consideration.
Old 02-01-2014, 09:42 PM   #2
Isaac Velando
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Registered: Feb 2014
Location: Texas
Distribution: Arch, Ubuntu Server, CentOS
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Could you clarify whether you're searching for a file name matching a pattern or a string contained in a file? You mentioned both find and grep and usually find is best suited for locating files whereas grep is best suited for locating strings within files.

If you're just looking for a file, my preferred way is through the mlocate program; the usage is to run sudo updatedb to update the mlocate database and run locate pattern to find files matching pattern; you can also use regular expressions here -- consult the manual with man locate for details. Alternatively, you can use the find command with syntax like:

find /path/to/top/directory/ -type f -name '*pattern*'
which matches files with pattern in their name recursively starting at /path/to/top/directory/. Alternatively you can use
find /path/to/top/directory/ -type f -regex 'regularExpressionGoesHere'
if regex is more suitable. You can also use -type d to only find directories.

If you're looking for a string within a file you definitely want to be using grep. Sample syntax might be:
grep -ir 'regularExpressionGoesHere' /path/to/top/directory/
where the options -i make the pattern case insensitive and r makes the search recursive.

If you need clarification let me know.


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