Once I wrote a post about ack-grep, and Franklin Yu left a comment about the silver searcher. He said this tool is much faster than the ack-grep. So this post is about The Silver Searcher. As always, I will introduce what is the Silver Searcher, how to install and use it.

Follow the link, we can see that author claim that this tool started off as a clone of ack, but then diverged slightly. And in most case, this tool is 5-10x faster then ack.


Find the download link at official site.

apt-get install silversearcher-ag


ag [file-type] [options] PATTERN [PATH]

As the man describe, recursively search for PATTERN in PATH.


Most options are like grep, like -i, -v, -B, -A etc

Find text under a path

most use case will be find a keyword from a bunch of files.

ag keyword /path/to/

Count the matches of keywords

ag -c keyword /path/

Custom the depth of searching

Default depth is 25, if you want unlimited, you should use -1

ag --depth NUM keyword .

To find only filenames

If you forget the filename, but only remeber only few letters, you can use -g to print only filenames.

ag -g PATTERN .

results will be only filenames.

For more details, you can check man ag