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What concise command can I use to find all files that do NOT contain a text string?

I tried this (using -v to invert grep's parameters) with no luck:

find . -exec grep -v -l shared.php {} \;

Someone said this would work:

find . ! -exec grep -l shared.php {} \;

But it does not seem to work for me.

This page has this example:

find ./logs -size +1c  > t._tmp
while read filename
     grep -q "Process Complete" $filename
     if [ $? -ne 0 ] ; then
             echo $filename
done < t._tmp
rm -f t_tmp

But that's cumbersome and not at all concise.

ps: I know that grep -L * will do this, but how can I use the find command in combination with grep to excluded files is what i really want to know.

pss: Also I'm not sure how to have grep include subdirectories with the grep -L * syntax, but I still want to know how to use it with find :)

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The first command you wrote worked fine on my computer. What version of find are you using? And since we're at it, maybe specify which unix you're running.. –  rahmu Dec 14 '11 at 15:47

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted
find . -type f | xargs grep -H -c 'shared.php' | grep 0$ | cut -d':' -f1    


find . -type f -exec grep -H -c 'shared.php' {} \; | grep 0$ | cut -d':' -f1

Here we are calculating number of matching lines(using -c) in a file if the count is 0 then its the required file, so we cut the first column i.e. filename from the output.

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This is awfully complicated. See Kevin's answer. –  Gilles Dec 16 '11 at 7:49
@Gilles yes I agree with you. I have +1 his answer. –  Sachin Divekar Dec 16 '11 at 8:40

You find not matching result by option -L

grep -iL shared.php .
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I think you are looking for a command like

find . -type f -execdir grep -q -v shared.php {} \; -print

The option -q makes grep quite and after using -execdir you need -print to print found files.

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Your find should work if you change -v -l (files that have any line not matching) to -L (files with no lines matching), but you could also use grep's recursive (-r) option:

grep -rL shared.php .
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which find should work? –  cwd Dec 14 '11 at 15:13
@Kevin - sorry, find . -exec grep -v -l shared.php {} \; (and all the other variants I tried) is not working for me. I'm on OS X but I don't think that should matter. I gave you a +1 because I had forgotten about the -r option. –  cwd Dec 14 '11 at 15:49
@SachinDivekar You're right, I've updated the answer. –  Kevin Dec 14 '11 at 15:54
@SachinDivekar - looks to be fixed. maybe not -1 to Kevin anymore? –  cwd Dec 14 '11 at 16:52
cwd, I have +1 @Kevin answer. –  Sachin Divekar Dec 16 '11 at 8:41

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