How to display line number while doing grep on a file. For example:

grep CONFIG_PM_ADVANCED_DEBUG /boot/config-`uname -r 

5 Answers 5


There is the option -n, and many more in the manual page, worth reading.

  • It is probably worth noting that using -n with -l does not work. -l will take precedence and only the name of the file will be printed. Sep 9, 2021 at 12:07
  • An example in the answer would be helpful!
    – trebor
    Jul 22, 2022 at 1:30

grep -n <pattern> <file> prefixes each line of output with the line number in the input file. Is this what you are looking for?

  • mid-air collision with enzotib, who was faster
    – Petr Uzel
    Aug 26, 2011 at 12:20

alias grep='grep -inE --color=auto'

This will color the match as well for easy reading.


Have you checked cat -n 'filename'. This will print the line numbers.

cat -n /boot/config | grep CONFIG_PM_ADVANCED_DEBUG

cat will -n[umber] the lines and | (filter) through grep looking only for lines with CONFIG_PM.... in them

the resulting output will be line number; the text of the line and the string

cat -n[umber lines] /Path/to/filename | grep -i[gnor case (optional)] STRING_TO_LOOK_FOR
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    – Anthon
    Oct 12, 2015 at 7:33

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