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Linux Magazine: What's GNU in Old Utilities, Part Two

Nov 17, 2005, 11:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jerry Peek)

"Years ago, there was a saying that Unix beginners use grep because it's all they know about, intermediate users use fgrep because it's supposed to be faster, and advanced users use egrep because they've tested it. Each of those three variations used to be its own separate program that did different searches. But no more. The single GNU grep binary has a –F switch to do fixed-string searches like fgrep and a –E switch to do extended regular expression-powered egrep searches. GNU egrep is simply a shell script now, like this:

#!/bin/sh
exec grep –E ${1+"$@"} ..."

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