How to use grep on all files non-recursively in a directory?

In Bash, a glob will not expand into hidden files, so if you want to search all the files in a directory, you need to specify hidden files .* and non-hidden *.

To avoid the "Is a directory" errors, you could use -d skip, but on my system I also get an error grep: .gvfs: Permission denied, so I suggest using -s, which hides all error messages.

So the command you are looking for is:

grep -s "string" * .*

If you are searching files in another dir:

grep -s "string" /path/to/dir/{*,.*}

Another option is to use the dotglob shell option, which will make a glob include hidden files.

shopt -s dotglob
grep -s "string" *

For files in another dir:

grep -s "string" /path/to/dir/*

† Someone mentioned that I shouldn't get this error. They may be right - I did some reading but couldn't make heads or tails of it myself.

You need the -d skip option added on.

  1. Grep is searching inside of files. You can search recursively, as you said, if you want to search files inside of a directory.

  2. By default, grep will read all files, and it detects the directories. Because by default you have not defined what to do with the directories with the -d option, it give error output.

  3. Searching just within the parent directory would be grep -d skip "string" ./*

Old timers would probably do this:

find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 grep "string"