more powerful grep – ack

2010-05-26 218 words 2 mins read

For last couple of days, I have been using ack instead of grep. Here is description of ack:

Ack is designed as a replacement for grep.

There are couple of reasons I am using ack. First and foremost being it does not require a filename. So, for seaching amit in all files recursively under the current directory I can simply use

ack amit

More reasons to use ack:

It supports pager option and there can be a rc file that can be used to define the default options that needs to be used with ack. Here is the contents of my $HOME/.ackrc file.








SO, basically when I do the search, the output is piped to most command and there are 3 context lines displayed for the search. The filename too is displayed for the search result and the output is colored. <span style="background-color: #ffffff;">There are other options used in the rc file, that you can see in the man page for ack.

Now if I had to do that with grep, I would need a function for grep or an alias but this is much cleaner. Ain&#8217;t it. What do you think, leave a comment to tell me.

You need to install ack with the following command:

sudo yum install ack

Tags: ack grep search


Authored By Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal, Linux and Photography are my hobbies.Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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