I need to find this string:

7z a -p

I've tried:

grep -iR "7z a -p" /

But it seems to hang after a while, with lots of:

grep: /sys/class/vc/vcs5/power/autosuspend_delay_ms: Input/output error
grep: warning: /sys/class/vc/vcsa5/subsystem: recursive directory loop
grep: /sys/class/vc/vcsa5/power/autosuspend_delay_ms: Input/output error
grep: warning: /sys/class/vc/vcs6/subsystem: recursive directory loop

EDIT - However, this seems to just look at static text files. In addition, what about runtime areas, memory and processes? ie the entire system? eg for mysql:

ps aux | grep "mysql -u user -p"

shows :

38164  4292 pts/0    S+   13:16   0:00 mysql -uodbcuser -px xxxxxxxx

Interestingly ps aux does hide the password with xxxxx. I can try with 7zip but it's quite fast, it has to be running at the same time as you run the ps aux command to "catch it.

  • What are you trying to do? – Michael Hampton Jun 10 '13 at 10:22
  • Trying to guarantee that the "7z a -p$password" is not stored on the server. Hence I need to demonstrate some tests that show this. – user127379 Jun 10 '13 at 12:14

You should exclude directories like /sys/, /proc/ and /dev/ from your command:

grep -iR --exclude-dir='/sys' --exclude-dir='/proc' --exclude-dir='/dev' "7z a -p" / 
  • Thanks, what about runtime processes/memory? – user127379 Jun 10 '13 at 12:24

Presumably, that string is in a script file. You might try ack (aka ack-grep).

It will automatically select only script and source files, but you can have it search all files with the -a option (in version 1). In version 2, all non-binary files are searched by default.

You can specify directories to ignore or for the search to focus on or ignore particular file types.

--[no]elisp        .el
--[no]erlang       .erl .hrl
--[no]fortran      .f .f77 .f90 .f95 .f03 .for .ftn .fpp
for a few examples

There are many options that are the same as those of GNU grep so they will be familiar.

The builtin filtering system is very powerful and configurable. Because of the filtering, searches can be significantly faster than those using grep.

Installation couldn't be simpler.


  • Hi Dennis, Please check the update to the question. I hope you can answer it, thanks in advance! – user127379 Jun 12 '13 at 9:42

You could throe away errors with

grep -iR "7z a -p" / 2>/dev/null

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