Git Bash is a nice bash shell you get in Windows as part of the installation of Git. It comes with other typical unix tools bundled inside, such as grep, sed, awk, perl. It doesn't have the file command.

In this shell, I want to detect files that have DOS-style line endings. I thought this command would work but it doesn't:

grep -l ^M$ *

It doesn't work, even files that don't have CR line endings match. For example if I create 2 sample files hello.unix and hello.dos, I can confirm with wc that hello.unix has 6 characters and hello.dos has 7 characters because of the extra CR, but both files match with grep. That is:

$ cat hello.*

$ wc hello.*
      1       1       7 hello.dos
      1       1       6 hello.unix
      2       2      13 total

$ grep -l ^M hello.*

Is this a bug in the implementation of grep in Git Bash? Is there another way to find all files with DOS-style line endings?

  • I don't know what Git bash is, does it have the 'file' command? Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 11:10
  • 1
    Are you aware of git config core.autocrlf input?
    – cjm
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 17:21
  • May I wonder why xargs and not just use the exec option of find? Doesn't it exist in git bash?
    – Didi Kohen
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 19:22
  • @DavidKohen you're right, -exec would work too. But it's irrelevant for the question, so I removed that now.
    – janos
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 7:59
  • @cjm This is not necessarily for files under version control but any files
    – janos
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 8:00

5 Answers 5


EDIT: Silly me. Of course ^M is CR; and your command should work (works on my system). However, you need to type Ctrl-V Ctrl-M to get the literal '\r'/CR (and not two characters, ^ and M).


Do this:

find dir -type f -print0 | xargs -0 grep -l `printf '\r\n'`

Or this:

find dir -type f -print0 | xargs -0 grep -lP '\r\n'

You can also use the file utility (not sure if it comes with GIT bash):

find dir -type f -print0 | xargs -0 file | grep CRLF
  • Yeah it should normally work, but it does not work in Git Bash. Unfortunately none of your tips work: the printf doesn't work, grep doesn't have -P flag, and there is no file command in Git Bash... Any other ideas?
    – janos
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 10:01
  • How about `echo -e '\r\n'`? Should do the same as printf.
    – January
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 10:13
  • Same as printf, none of the files match that way.
    – janos
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 12:07
  • Um, so most likely a bug. Do you have a C compiler installed? I can write you a little C program that should work.
    – January
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 12:41
  • No gcc or cc comes with Git Bash. I don't want to install cygwin. So, thanks, but nevermind. My workaround is to convert all files which I suspect to have CR line-endings. The files which don't have will not be changed so it should be ok, it's just an ugly solution.
    – janos
    Commented Oct 11, 2012 at 13:00

I don't know about git bash, but maybe

if [ "$(tr -cd '\r' < file | wc -c)" -gt 0 ]; then
  echo there are CR characters in there

would work. The idea being not to use text utilities that may treat the CR and LF characters specially.

If that doesn't work, then maybe

if od -An -tx1 < file | grep -q 0d; then
  echo there are CR characters in there

To hook into find:

find . -type f -exec sh -c 'od -An -tx1 < "$1" | grep -q 0d' sh {} \; -print
  • No od in Git Bash. But the tr trick is pretty clever and it works! There is just one relatively minor issue with it: it detects CR anywhere in the file, but I need to detect CR at line endings. You have lead me to the solution, using sed instead of tr. See my answer for more details, and thanks again!
    – janos
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 8:44
  • When is CR used outside of line endings?
    – Didi Kohen
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 11:46

@sch has lead me to this solution:

sed -bne '/\r$/ {p;q}' < /path/to/file | grep -q .

This exits with TRUE if the file has any lines ending with CR. To hook this into find:

find /path/to/ -type f -exec sh -c 'sed -bne "/\r$/ {p;q}" < "$1" | grep -q .' sh {} \; -print

And I think I know why grep -l ^M hello.* doesn't work in this shell: it seems that in Git Bash ^M characters are removed from all command line arguments, so grep never actually receives the character, and therefore all files match. This behavior is not only on the command line, but in shell scripts too.

So the key is to express the ^M character with other symbols, such as \r, instead of literally.


You can solve it using Python:

import string
import fileinput

for line in fileinput.input():
    if (string.find(line,"\r")!=-1):
        print fileinput.filename()

This small python file would behave just like you would expect the grep (get a filename list and print the names with CR in them).


Use the file command on Linux/Ubuntu. If the file is in DOS format, the output will include the words, "with CRLF line terminators". If the file is in UNIX format, no such words will be in the output. In the example, below, del.txt is in DOS format and del is in UNIX format.

$ file del.txt
del.txt: C source, ASCII text, with CRLF line terminators
$ echo "hello" > del
user@decatur2:~/manpuriav$ file del
del: ASCII text

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .