vgrep - a user-friendly pager for grep

Overview

vgrep logo

Build Status

vgrep is a pager for grep, git-grep, ripgrep and similar grep implementations, and allows for opening the indexed file locations in a user-specified editor such as vim or emacs. vgrep is inspired by the ancient cgvg scripts but extended to perform further operations such as listing statistics of files and directory trees or showing the context lines before and after the matches. vgrep runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OS.

Please, feel free to copy, improve, distribute and share. Feedback and patches are always welcome!

Install Instructions

Searching Patterns

The basic functionality of vgrep is to perform textual searches. On a technical level, vgrep serves as a front-end to grep or git-grep when invoking vgrep inside a git tree and uses less for displaying the results. All non-vgrep flags and arguments will be passed down to grep. Results of the last search are cached, so running vgrep without a new query will load previous results and operate on them.

An example call may look as follows:

By default, the output will be written to less to make browsing large amounts of data more comfortable. vgrep --no-less will write to stdout.

Opening Matches

vgrep can open the indexed file locations in an editor specified by the EDITOR environment variable. Opening one of the file locations from the previous example may look as follows:

# export EDITOR=gedit
# vgrep --show 4

The default editor of vgrep is vim with the default flag to open a file at a specific line being + followed by the line number. If your editor of choice hits the rare case of a different syntax, use the EDITORLINEFLAG environment variable to adjust. For example, a kate user may set the environment to EDITOR="kate" and EDITORLINEFLAG="-l".

Note that vgrep does not allow for searching and opening files at the same time. For instance, vgrep --show=files text should be split in two commands: vgrep text and vgrep --show=files.

IDE Support

Note that if you run vgrep inside a terminal of VSCode or Goland, the format of listed files changes to "$PATH:$LINE" to allow for opening the matches in the editor via a simple mouse click.

More Commands and the Interactive Shell

Once vgreped, you can perform certain operations on the results such as limiting the range of indexed matches, listing matching files and directories and more.

Enter a vgrep command: ?
vgrep command help: command[context lines] [selectors]
         selectors: '3' (single), '1,2,6' (multi), '1-8' (range), 'all'
          commands: print, show, context, tree, delete, keep, refine, files, grep, quit, ?

vgrep commands can be passed directly to the --show/-s flag, for instance as --show c5 1-10 to show the five context lines of the first ten matched lines. Furthermore, the commands can be executed in an interactive shell via the --interactive/-i flag. Running vgrep --interactive will enter the shell directly, vgrep --show 1 --interactive will first open the first matched line in the editor and enter the interactive shell after.

vgrep supports the following commands:

  • print to limit the range of matched lines to be printed. p 1-12,20 prints the first 12 lines and the 20th line.
  • show to open the selectors in an user-specified editor (requires selectors).
  • context to print the context lines before and after the matched lines. c10 3-9 prints 10 context lines of the matching lines 3 to 9. Unless specified, vgrep will print 5 context lines.
  • tree to print the number of matches for each directory in the tree.
  • delete to remove lines at selected indices from the results, for the duration of the interactive shell (requires selectors).
  • keep to keep only lines at selected indices from the results, for the duration of the interactive shell (requires selectors).
  • refine to keep only lines matching the provided regexp pattern from the results, for the duration of the interactive shell (requires a regexp string).
  • files will print the number of matches for each file in the tree.
  • grep start a new search without leaving the interactive shell (requires arguments for a vgrep search). For example, g -i "foo bar" dir/ will trigger a case-insensitive search for foo bar in the files under dir. The cache will be updated with the results from the new search.
  • quit to exit the interactive shell.
  • ? to show the help for vgrep commands.

vgrep command examples

Context lines

Tree

Files

fzf

If you desire a more interactive experience than running vgrep twice to first search and then to open an editor, you may have a look at fzf. The below function uses fzf to interactively search with vgrep and open your editor with one enter at the correct line. To use it add the following function to your .bashrc and install fzf alongside vgrep and ripgrep.

vgrep() {
  INITIAL_QUERY="$1"
  VGREP_PREFIX="vgrep --no-header "
  FZF_DEFAULT_COMMAND="$VGREP_PREFIX '$INITIAL_QUERY'" \
  fzf --bind "change:reload:$VGREP_PREFIX {q} || true" --ansi --phony --tac --query "$INITIAL_QUERY" \
  | awk '{print $1}' | xargs -I{} -o vgrep --show {}
}
Comments
  • Seems like -A, -B and -C is broken in the latest release

    Seems like -A, -B and -C is broken in the latest release

    Seems like https://github.com/vrothberg/vgrep/issues/84 stopped working on the latest release. I'm getting stack traces errors or "failed to parse results" whenever I try to use one of those options.

    opened by marcosnils 15
  • Add option to install with `brew`

    Add option to install with `brew`

    Hi, For easier installation on Mac, brew install elazarl/homebrew-vgrep/vgrep, I added the repository http://github.com/elazarl/homebrew-vgrep

    Can you please fork this repository here, and mention it as a viable way to install vgrep on Mac?

    opened by elazarl 12
  • Script fails with IndexError: list index out of range

    Script fails with IndexError: list index out of range

    $ vgrep main
    Traceback (most recent call last):
      File "/home/geertjohan/bin/vgrep", line 246, in <module>
        main()
      File "/home/geertjohan/bin/vgrep", line 104, in main
        slocs.append(SLOC(hit))
      File "/home/geertjohan/bin/vgrep", line 31, in __init__
        self.file = SLOC.parse_file(string)
      File "/home/geertjohan/bin/vgrep", line 38, in parse_file
        return RE_FILE.findall(string)[0]
    IndexError: list index out of range
    
    opened by GeertJohan 10
  • interactive: switch from bufio Scanner to (readline-like) liner

    interactive: switch from bufio Scanner to (readline-like) liner

    Use the liner Go library to process commands in interactive mode. It provides better support for input (such as directional arrows) and a number of classic readline shortcuts. It also does command history, which can be handy for editing the range of a previous command for example. Autocompletion also exists but is not implemented in this commit (the one-letter commands hardly need any completion).

    Drawback: This obviously adds a dependency. Although I believe it really makes interactive mode more user-friendly, I would understand if this change is undesirable.


    Edit: Based on the discussion, I switched from readline library to liner

    opened by Qeole 7
  • Why the dependency on build dir????

    Why the dependency on build dir????

    How to get rid of this annoying thing??

    [email protected]_04:39:21_Mon Jun 29:~> vgrep --interactive
    error loading cache: please cd into /home/bhaskar/git-linux/vgrep to use old cache
    [email protected]_04:39:50_Mon Jun 29:~> vgrep -d
    DEBU[0000] log level set to debug
    DEBU[0000] passed args: []
    DEBU[0000] loadCache(): start
    DEBU[0000] loadCache(): end
    error loading cache: please cd into /home/bhaskar/git-linux/vgrep to use old cache
    [email protected]_04:40:50_Mon Jun 29:~> cd -
    /home/bhaskar/git-linux/vgrep
    ✔ ~/git-linux/vgrep [master|✚ 1]
    04:41 $ make clean
    rm -rf ./build
    ✔ ~/git-linux/vgrep [master|✚ 1]
    04:41 $ cd ~
    [email protected]_04:41:07_Mon Jun 29:~> vgrep --interactive
    error loading cache: please cd into /home/bhaskar/git-linux/vgrep to use old cache
    
    opened by unixbhaskar 7
  • vgrep failed randomly on fedora 35

    vgrep failed randomly on fedora 35

    vgrep work normally before today,but failed with no output now.

    ~ which vgrep 1 х │ [email protected] │ 16:12:40 vgrep='vgrep --interactive' /usr/bin/vgrep ~ vgrep --interactive
    ~ vgrep -d
    DEBU[0000] log level set to debug DEBU[0000] passed args: [] DEBU[0000] loadCache(): start DEBU[0000] loadCache(): end

    opened by mylabzhen 6
  • add man pages

    add man pages

    I think it's time to add man pages to vgrep. As many other go projects, we can use go-md2man and use markdown. The content can be borrowed from the README.

    hacktoberfest hacktoberfest-accepted 
    opened by vrothberg 6
  • Need to eliminate things related to old `-w` options

    Need to eliminate things related to old `-w` options

    Hi @vrothberg 😄 vgrep looks great tool !!

    But I saw the description and example regrading -w option, I thought it is because of the-w option from 46db0da, however, it is removed at 6385bab , right ?

    So I suggest modifying some parts of README.md on https://github.com/vrothberg/vgrep/blob/master/README.md#searching-patterns

    opened by Taeung 6
  • Build Instructions and Dependencies

    Build Instructions and Dependencies

    Hi,

    Thanks for writing this tool. It greatly boosts my productivity with working on any codebase that I know inside out.

    However, I am unable to build the latest version. I don't have much knowledge of Go (I jumped on the Rust bandwagon), and so don't know much about the toolchain. A simple list with the dependencies required to build vgrep and some build instructions would be a great addition!

    One of the issues I had was that running make invokes the check target. Could you please remove that so that make only compiles and that make check can run the tests. This is important for packaging it, since we can clearly define the runtime and build time dependencies of the package.

    opened by darnir 6
  • vgrep looking for path to executable in $EDITOR and failing

    vgrep looking for path to executable in $EDITOR and failing

    It seems vgrep expects EDITOR to point to an executable (a path) rather than a command. I run Emacs in daemon mode, and always use it from the terminal, so for me it is set to: emacsclient -nw -a="", and vgrep fails with:

    exec: "emacsclient -nw -a=\"\"": executable file not found in $PATH
    

    I would expect a behaviour equivalent to: $EDITOR <options>, not "$EDITOR" <options>.

    opened by suvayu 5
  • "All" selector not working?

    IIUC from this example (https://github.com/vrothberg/vgrep#more-commands-and-the-interactive-shell) I could use an "all" selector to edit all the matched expressions, is that correct? I'm getting a "unsupported command 'all'" when trying to use that.

    $ vgrep -s all
    unsupported command "all"
    

    Am I missing something here?

    opened by marcosnils 5
  • Return to vgrep from Editor

    Return to vgrep from Editor

    Not a real issue, more a question. :-)

    Is there a way to return to vgrep/fzf after opening a match in the editor? I'm using the bvgrep alias from the README for interactive searching and it would dramatically speedup things if I could go to a match by selecting it in the fzf list, then quit the editor and return to the (interactive) search that had before.

    Any chance that this could work?

    opened by mjklemm 3
Releases(v2.6.1)
Owner
Valentin Rothberg
Principal Engineer @RedHatOfficial. Working on all things containers. Bavarian in France.
Valentin Rothberg
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