I have a grep alias on my .bash_profile that display line numbers and color the matches. This is an example of my grep results:

$ grep test filename
1:This is a test (to be removed)
1:This is a second test (to be removed)

This is my alias:

alias grep="grep --color"

Is there any way of prevent the use of that alias when the grep command is executed on a script?

If I tried the following commands inside my script:

grep test filename | sed -E 's/^(.*) \(.*$/\1/g'
\grep test filename | sed -E 's/^(.*) \(.*$/\1/g'
command grep test filename | sed -E 's/^(.*) \(.*$/\1/g'
/usr/bin/grep test filename | sed -E 's/^(.*) \(.*$/\1/g'

All with the following results:

1:This is a test
1:This is a second test

Will be great to get the following result:

This is a test
This is a second test

I'm using grep (GNU grep) 2.21 and GNU bash, version 4.3.33.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Gilles, cuonglm, Braiam, Stephen Kitt, Anthon Jun 17 '15 at 4:59

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  • 1
    Try command grep ... instead of grep ... – Mark Plotnick Jun 16 '15 at 19:01
  • @MarkPlotnick I tried, and didn't work. – jherran Jun 16 '15 at 19:02
  • Aliases don't affect scripts unless you explicitly enable them. Did you use an alias or, or did you set GREP_OPTIONS? – muru Jun 16 '15 at 19:07
  • 2
    Then your script has shopt expand_aliases, which you should consider removing, if the script is under your control. From the manpage: Aliases are not expanded when the shell is not interactive, unless the expand_aliases shell option is set using shopt. – muru Jun 16 '15 at 19:12
  • 3
    Well: 1. Your alias as given doesn't enable line numbers. 2. The line number is repeated. I'm starting to think your file has hard-coded line numbers, or your output isn't representative. In either case, the alias is not at fault. – muru Jun 16 '15 at 19:19

Use \grep.

The (Bourne/POSIX) shell specification says that alias substitution in an interactive shell is suppressed when any character of the command word is quoted.


  • No way, didn't work for me. – jherran Jun 16 '15 at 19:11

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