grep-2.5.1: description + notes

grep searches the input files for lines containing a match to a given pattern list. When it finds a match in a line, it copies the line to standard output (by default), or does whatever other sort of output you have requested with options.

Though grep expects to do the matching on text, it has no limits on input line length other than available memory, and it can match arbitrary characters within a line. If the final byte of an input file is not a newline, grep silently supplies one. Since newline is also a separator for the list of patterns, there is no way to match newline characters in a text.

In addition, two variant programs egrep and fgrep are available. Egrep is the same as "grep -E", and uses extended regular expressions. Fgrep is the same as "grep -F", and searches for a fixed string.

The grep home page has more information.

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