Found a site which describes this quite good (german): Lets do some comparison and search the whole root directory for the string "PAGER": Lazy as i am i first started with the shortest possibility: grep "PAGER" `find / -type f -print` Does not find anything for me, zsh gives me an error "argument list too long" Here some explanation why this is so: getconf ARG_MAX shows us the limit of 131072 characters allowed passing the command-line at once., So lets try something else, this time using xargs, which breaks the command down below 131072 characters: find / -type f -print | xargs grep "PAGER" Little bit better now, but, when i come across files with spaces in the filename i get problems, so lets try it again: find / -type f -print0 | xargs -0 grep "PAGER" ok, this finally works. Somewhere someone shouted out that the parameters -print0 and -0 are not posix compliant, so for you purists out there another working solution: find / -type f -exec grep "PAGER" /dev/null {} \; Technorati Tags: , , ,