The Silver Searcher by Geoff Greer is a tool which aims to take searching to the next level. Installation is simple:

brew install the_silver_searcher

If you aren’t on a Mac, or using homebrew, there are other installation instructions on the README. Using it is very straightforward, especially if you have used ack (or grep) in the past:

ag stringtofind ~/code

I know what you’re thinking, what is ag? Well, Ag is the chemical symbol for silver, and it’s a lot easier to type than the_silver_server, so Geoff went with it! There are a number of features that make The Silver Searcher worth giving a try:

  • Speed: 3-5x faster than ack
  • It honors .gitignore, .hgignore, and .agignore
  • ag is 33% shorter than ack (admittedly this is silly, but you can’t argue the facts!)

Discuss this on HackerNews or view the repo on GitHub.


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