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A DWIM wrapper for GNU grep and git grep that can open up matches for editing/reviewing in vim.

usage: g [opts] <pattern> [<paths>]
       g [opts] <pattern> [<paths>] /v[i[mg]]
       vig [opts] <pattern> [<paths>]

Use g like grep, but with PCRE patterns and nicer default formatting for readability.

Use vig the same way, but when you want to edit the matches in vim.

For maximum Getting Out Of The Way, vim is invoked with a variety of options for stepping through results.

  1. All matching files are loaded in the file list. You can use :n to go the next file.

  2. The search pattern is preloaded into the current search as a vim-compatibile regular expression (translated from PCRE). You can use n to skip around in a file between matches. If you enable persistent search highlighting in vim, you'll see matches highlighted.

  3. The quickfix list is populated with the hits so that :cn will jump to the line of the next result, moving to the next file as necessary.

If you find yourself using the :grep command to search files and load up the quickfix list from within vim, you can tell vim to use g by putting the following in your .vimrc:

set grepprg=g

For convenience, you can also invoke vig by appending /vig or /vim (or a shortened prefix) to a g command line. This is handy when combined with Bash's history recall (e.g. Ctrl-P or the up arrow).


g requires only Perl and the modules that ship with core Perl. Installation is as simple as:

make install prefix=/usr/local

You can uninstall just as easily with:

make uninstall prefix=/usr/local

Just adjust prefix if you need a different path.


I like to make the default filename and line number colors used by git grep match GNU grep's:

git config --global color.grep.filename "green bold"
git config --global color.grep.linenumber blue


grep that πŸ’–s vim and DWIM



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