Upgrading grep in OS X Revisited

Just the other day I realized I was using the OS X stock grep, which was lacking a few features I wanted, some features in particular are the ability to fully color highlight grep results with the --color option, or to exclude directories from searches using the --exclude-dir option.

I was shocked to find one of the first results in google was my own blog from when I previously wrote about this back in March.

Well, the old method for upgrading grep using homebrew no longer works. Luckily I found a post on superuser which describes a new method for upgrading grep via homebrew.

brew tap homebrew/dupes
brew install homebrew/dupes/grep

Note that the new grep will install to /usr/local/bin which usually appears after /usr/bin/ which contains your stock OS X grep, giving priority to the OS X grep.

You can either finagle the paths in your ~/.profile or ~/.bash_rc or do as I did and create a one-off alias for any OS X duplicate software you’ve installed, which I feel gives more control over switching it on and off if you need to for some reason.

alias grep='/usr/local/bin/grep --color'

Another bonus to using this method is that it will put the duplicated packages you are currently using in plain site in your ~/.profile.

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