How can I use grep in Python

0 votes

There is a file (query.txt) which has some keywords/phrases which are to be matched with other files using grep. The last three lines of the following code are working perfectly but when the same command is used inside the while loop it goes into an infinite loop or something(ie doesn't respond).

import os

while b:
    cmd='grep %s my2.txt'%b    #my2 is the file in which we are looking for b

a='He is'
cmd='grep %s my2.txt'%a
Dec 13, 2018 in Python by aryya
• 7,450 points

5 answers to this question.

0 votes

First of all, you are not iterating over the file properly. You can simply use for b in f: without the .readline() stuff.

Then your code will blow in your face as soon as the filename contains any characters which have a special meaning in the shell. Use instead of os.system() and pass an argument list.

Here's a fixed version:

import os
import subprocess
with open('query.txt', 'r') as f:
    for line in f:
        line = line.rstrip() # remove trailing whitespace such as '\n'['/bin/grep', line, 'my2.txt'])

However, you can improve your code even more by not calling grep at all. Read my2.txt to a string instead and then use the re module to perform the search. In case you do not need a regex at all, you can even simply use if line in my2_content

Hope it works!!

If you are a beginner and need to know more about Python, It's recommended to go for Python Certification course today.


answered Dec 13, 2018 by charlie_brown
• 7,720 points
0 votes


According to your description, you have to understand what is the use of grep command? How does grep command works? 

The grep command is used to search text or search the given file for lines containing a match to the given strings or words. By default, grep displays the matching lines. Use grep to search for lines of text that match one or many regular expressions, and outputs only the matching lines.

answered Jul 1, 2020 by Gitika
• 65,910 points
0 votes


Here goes a short demonstration on How do I use grep search? Because I found our concerned root are quite similar so, this is a way usage of the grep command which is demonstrated by the following example.

 Use the -r "recursive" option to search a directory and all files included within it. search the "hello" string in all files and # subdirectories of the current directory grep -r "hello"

answered Jul 1, 2020 by Nagaraj

edited Jul 2, 2020
An excellent post, congratulations !!
0 votes

Searching a file using grep will globally search for a regular expression and print the line.

answered Dec 14, 2020 by Roshni
• 10,520 points
0 votes

The first part starts with grep , followed by the pattern that you are searching for. After the string comes the file name that the grep searches through. The command can contain many options, pattern variations, and file names. Combine as many options as necessary to get the results you need.

answered Dec 14, 2020 by Gitika
• 65,910 points

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