AG(1) - Linux man page online | User commands

The Silver Searcher. Like ack, but faster.

December 2016
AG(1) AG(1)


ag - The Silver Searcher. Like ack, but faster.


ag [options] pattern [path ...]


Recursively search for PATTERN in PATH. Like grep or ack, but faster.


--ackmate Output results in a format parseable by AckMate‐ Mate. --[no]affinity Set thread affinity (if platform supports it). Default is true. -a --all-types Search all files. This doesn´t include hidden files, and doesn´t respect any ignore files. -A --after [LINES] Print lines after match. If not provided, LINES defaults to 2. -B --before [LINES] Print lines before match. If not provided, LINES defaults to 2. --[no]break Print a newline between matches in different files. Enabled by default. -c --count Only print the number of matches in each file. Note: This is the number of matches, not the number of matching lines. Pipe output to wc -l if you want the number of matching lines. --[no]color Print color codes in results. Enabled by default. --color-line-number Color codes for line numbers. Default is 1;33. --color-match Color codes for result match numbers. Default is 30;43. --color-path Color codes for path names. Default is 1;32. --column Print column numbers in results. -C --context [LINES] Print lines before and after matches. Default is 2. -D --debug Output ridiculous amounts of debugging info. Not useful unless you´re actually debugging. --depth NUM Search up to NUM directories deep, -1 for unlimited. Default is 25. --[no]filename Print file names. Enabled by default, except when searching a single file. -f --[no]follow Follow symlinks. Default is false. -F --fixed-strings Alias for --literal for compatibility with grep. --[no]group The default, --group, lumps multiple matches in the same file together, and presents them under a single occurrence of the filename. --nogroup refrains from this, and instead places the filename at the start of each match line. -g PATTERN Print filenames matching PATTERN. -G --file-search-regex PATTERN Only search files whose names match PATTERN. -H --[no]heading Print filenames above matching contents. --hidden Search hidden files. This option obeys ignored files. --ignore PATTERN Ignore files/directories whose names match this pattern. Literal file and directory names are also allowed. --ignore-dir NAME Alias for --ignore for compatibility with ack. -i --ignore-case Match case-insensitively. -l --files-with-matches Only print the names of files containing matches, not the matching lines. An empty query will print all files that would be searched. -L --files-without-matches Only print the names of files that don´t contain matches. --list-file-types See FILE TYPES below. -m --max-count NUM Skip the rest of a file after NUM matches. Default is 0, which never skips. --[no]mmap Toggle use of memory-mapped I/O. Defaults to true on platforms where mmap() is faster than read(). (All but macOS.) --[no]multiline Match regexes across newlines. Enabled by default. -n --norecurse Don´t recurse into directories. --[no]numbers Print line numbers. Default is to omit line numbers when searching streams. -o --only-matching Print only the matching part of the lines. --one-device When recursing directories, don´t scan dirs that reside on other storage devices. This lets you avoid scanning slow network mounts. This feature is not supported on all platforms. -p --path-to-ignore STRING Provide a path to a specific .ignore file. --pager COMMAND Use a pager such as less. Use --nopager to override. This option is also ignored if output is piped to another program. --parallel Parse the input stream as a search term, not data to search. This is meant to be used with tools such as GNU parallel. For example: echo "foo\nbar\nbaz" | parallel "ag {} ." will run 3 instances of ag, searching the current directory for "foo", "bar", and "baz". --print-long-lines Print matches on very long lines (> 2k characters by default). --passthrough --passthru When searching a stream, print all lines even if they don´t match. -Q --literal Do not parse PATTERN as a regular expression. Try to match it literally. -r --recurse Recurse into directories when searching. Default is true. -s --case-sensitive Match case-sensitively. -S --smart-case Match case-sensitively if there are any uppercase letters in PATTERN, case-insensi‐ tively otherwise. Enabled by default. --search-binary Search binary files for matches. --silent Suppress all log messages, including errors. --stats Print stats (files scanned, time taken, etc). --stats-only Print stats (files scanned, time taken, etc) and nothing else. -t --all-text Search all text files. This doesn´t include hidden files. -u --unrestricted Search all files. This ignores .ignore, .gitignore, etc. It searches binary and hidden files as well. -U --skip-vcs-ignores Ignore VCS ignore files (.gitignore, .hgignore), but still use .ignore. -v --invert-match Match every line not containing the specified pattern. -V --version Print version info. --vimgrep Output results in the same form as Vim´s :vimgrep /pattern/g Here is a ~/.vimrc configuration example: set grepprg=ag\ --vimgrep\ $* set grepformat=%f:%l:%c:%m Then use :grep to grep for something. Then use :copen, :cn, :cp, etc. to navigate through the matches. -w --word-regexp Only match whole words. --workers NUM Use NUM worker threads. Default is the number of CPU cores, with a max of 8. -z --search-zip Search contents of compressed files. Currently, gz and xz are supported. This option requires that ag is built with lzma and zlib. -0 --null --print0 Separate the filenames with \0, rather than \n: this allows xargs -0 <command> to correctly process filenames containing spaces or newlines.


It is possible to restrict the types of files searched. For example, passing --html will search only files with the extensions htm, html, shtml or xhtml. For a list of supported types, run ag --list-file-types.


By default, ag will ignore files whose names match patterns in .gitignore, .hgignore, or .ignore. These files can be anywhere in the directories being searched. Binary files are ignored by default as well. Finally, ag looks in $HOME/.agignore for ignore patterns. If you want to ignore .gitignore and .hgignore, but still take .ignore into account, use -U. Use the -t option to search all text files; -a to search all files; and -u to search all, including hidden files.


ag printf: Find matches for "printf" in the current directory. ag foo /bar/: Find matches for "foo" in path /bar/. ag -- --foo: Find matches for "--foo" in the current directory. (As with most UNIX command line utilities, "--" is used to signify that the remaining arguments should not be treated as options.)


ag was originally created by Geoff Greer. More information (and the latest release) can be found at


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