How to search a log file in Linux and escape special characters like square brackets (i.e. [ and ])

Can someone point me in the right direction on this?

I less the log file as per below:

less system001A.LOG

Once I am in the log, I then press < (i.e. the smaller-than sign), and then I press forward-slash (i.e./) and type what I would like to search for:

/ERROR [section_NAME]

The problem is how to escape these brackets while I search? Because when I run this, it says no pattern/match is found, yet this in fact exists on the log.

  • 4
    you need to escape the special characters by a backslash character. Like: /ERROR \[section_NAME\] – MelBurslan Apr 6 '16 at 13:36
  • Have you tried to use /ERROR \[section_NAME\] – Valentin Bajrami Apr 6 '16 at 13:36
  • No, that did not work. I tried that now. – NinjaLoop Apr 6 '16 at 13:59
  • If the logfile has coloured text in it, you will have issues matching any of that. – Kusalananda Apr 17 '18 at 17:21

I just spent the last 10 minutes trying to figure this out, and I can't find any reference to an escape character. However, the help page does mention you can switch off regexes for the whole search string by pressing ^R (CTRL + r) after you press /

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