Linux – How to exclude directories from grep -R


I want to traverse all subdirectories, except the "node_modules" directory.

Best Solution

Recent versions of GNU Grep (>= 2.5.2) provide:


which excludes directories matching the pattern dir from recursive directory searches.

So you can do:

grep -R --exclude-dir=node_modules 'some pattern' /path/to/search

For a bit more information regarding syntax and usage see

For older GNU Greps and POSIX Grep, use find as suggested in other answers.

Or just use ack (Edit: or The Silver Searcher) and be done with it!