I want to search my directory for "foo" in the files, but i have these gigantic sql files. How do I exclude these file types or file sizes larger than 3MB using ack-grep? Also how would this be done with grep?

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    ack foo --nosql will ignore anything with a .sql extension. To see more about the filetypes ack supports, see ack --help-types. ack has no way of filtering on file size. – Andy Lester Mar 1 '16 at 22:49

I don't know about ack-grep but you can use find to exclude files larger than 3MB.

find . -size -3M -exec grep "foo" {} \;
  • what does {} and the slash \ stand for in that grep command? – Patoshi パトシ Feb 29 '16 at 6:39
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    {} is the placeholder for the file names "found" by find. \; escapes the semicolon and makes it a terminal semicolon of the -exec command of find instead the shell. See man find or just google some simple tutorial on find. It's a very powerful and useful command line tool. – Munir Feb 29 '16 at 14:31
  • Use -exec grep "foo" {} + to make grep output the names of the matched files. – Nemo Feb 29 '16 at 22:38

According to the ack doc and man page you can ignore files with a particular extension by using --ignore-file=filter where filter is filtertype:filterargs. One of the filtertypes is ext for file extension. So try


or since sql is one of the built-in types, you can just use

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    To see all the file types recognizes, see ack --help-types. – Andy Lester Mar 1 '16 at 22:49

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