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2.1.7 Other Options


Delimit the option list. Later arguments, if any, are treated as operands even if they begin with ‘-’. For example, ‘grep PAT -- -file1 file2’ searches for the pattern PAT in the files named -file1 and file2.


Use line buffering on output. This can cause a performance penalty.


On platforms that distinguish between text and binary I/O, use the latter when reading and writing files other than the user’s terminal, so that all input bytes are read and written as-is. This overrides the default behavior where grep follows the operating system’s advice whether to use text or binary I/O. On MS-Windows when grep uses text I/O it reads a carriage return–newline pair as a newline and a Control-Z as end-of-file, and it writes a newline as a carriage return–newline pair.

When using text I/O --byte-offset (-b) counts and --binary-files heuristics apply to input data after text-I/O processing. Also, the --binary-files heuristics need not agree with the --binary option; that is, they may treat the data as text even if --binary is given, or vice versa. See File and Directory Selection.

This option has no effect on GNU and other POSIX-compatible platforms, which do not distinguish text from binary I/O.


Treat input and output data as sequences of lines, each terminated by a zero byte (the ASCII NUL character) instead of a newline. Like the -Z or --null option, this option can be used with commands like ‘sort -z’ to process arbitrary file names.

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