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ZGREP(1) User Commands ZGREP(1)


zgrep - search compressed files for a regular expression


zgrep [options] <pattern> [files]


Zgrep is a front end to the grep program that allows transparent search on any combination of compressed and uncompressed files. If any given file is compressed, its decompressed content is used. If a given file does not exist, and its name does not end with one of the known extensions, zgrep tries the compressed file names corresponding to the supported formats.

If no files are specified, or if a file is specified as '-', data is read from standard input, decompressed if needed, and fed to grep. Data read from standard input must be of the same type; all uncompressed or all in the same compression format.

The supported formats are bzip2, gzip, lzip and xz.

Exit status is 0 if match, 1 if no match, 2 if trouble.


display this help and exit
-V, --version
output version information and exit
-a, --text
treat all files as text
-A, --after-context=<n>
print <n> lines of trailing context
-b, --byte-offset
print the byte offset of each line
-B, --before-context=<n>
print <n> lines of leading context
-c, --count
only print a count of matching lines per file
-C, --context=<n>
print <n> lines of output context
-e, --regexp=<pattern>
use <pattern> as the pattern to match
-E, --extended-regexp
<pattern> is an extended regular expression
-f, --file=<file>
obtain patterns from <file>
-F, --fixed-strings
<pattern> is a set of newline-separated strings
-h, --no-filename
suppress the prefixing filename on output
-H, --with-filename
print the filename for each match
-i, --ignore-case
ignore case distinctions
ignore binary files
-l, --files-with-matches
only print names of files containing matches
-L, --files-without-match
only print names of files containing no matches
-m, --max-count=<n>
stop after <n> matches
-M, --format=<list>
process only the formats in <list>
-n, --line-number
print the line number of each line
-N, --no-rcfile
don't read runtime configuration file
-o, --only-matching
show only the part of a line matching <pattern>
-O, --force-format=<fmt>
force given format (bz2, gz, lz, xz)
-q, --quiet
suppress all messages
-r, --recursive
operate recursively on directories
-s, --no-messages
suppress error messages
-v, --invert-match
select non-matching lines
verbose mode (show error messages)
-w, --word-regexp
match only whole words
-x, --line-regexp
match only whole lines
set compressor and options for bzip2 format
set compressor and options for gzip format
set compressor and options for lzip format
set compressor and options for xz format

Numbers may be followed by a multiplier: k = kB = 10^3 = 1000, Ki = KiB = 2^10 = 1024, M = 10^6, Mi = 2^20, G = 10^9, Gi = 2^30, etc...


Report bugs to
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Copyright © 2016 Antonio Diaz Diaz. License GPLv2+: GNU GPL version 2 or later <>
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
May 2016 zgrep (zutils) 1.5