grep is always recursive

Hal Burgiss hal at
Sat Jan 24 15:42:21 UTC 2009

Does anyone know of a setting anywhere in Ubuntu (8.04), that would
cause grep to *always* behave as if it were run as 'grep -r'? My home
system always greps recursively, which is highly annoying. I cannot
find an environment setting or system file to explain this, yet
grepping something simple in my home dir, as an example, returns a
huge list of files, including files in various subdirectories. It
makes no difference whatsoever whether grep is invoked as 'grep' or
'grep -r', the behavior is identical. I have other 8.04 systems that
don't do this, so its quite curious to me. What I want is equivalent

  find -maxdepth 1 -exec grep -H $sometoken {} \;

which is what I have to run now, if I am impatient (typically, yes),
so as to avoid grepping through gigs of image and music files that
live within $HOME subdirs.

halb at honey:~$ grep -V
GNU grep 2.5.3

Copyright (C) 1988, 1992-2002, 2004, 2005  Free Software Foundation,
Inc. This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.
There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A

halb at honey:~$ which grep
halb at honey:~$ alias grep
bash: alias: grep: not found
halb at honey:~$ set |grep GREP
halb at honey:~$ set |grep _grep


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