In Windows I used Notepad++ and its search function to look for a specific text in multiple files from a chosen folder.

In Ubuntu I use gEdit, but it has only basic search. Is there any gEdit plugin or standalone text editor that can search a text in the content of multiple files (plain text files)?

It should run on Linux and be freeware.


4 Answers 4


Here ya go: Advanced find / replace plugin for gedit (Gnome Text Editor)


  • Find / Replace in active document
  • Find / Replace in all opened documents
  • Find in all files in selected directory
  • Find / Replace in current selected text
  • Support regular expressions
  • Support multi-lines pattern
  • Highlight search results
  • Show results in bottom panel
  • Select and find next/previous
  • Multi-language support
  • Support both gedit2.x and 3.x (Support for gedit2.x is terminated from 2013/03/31.)

There's also another plugin: Gedit File Search Plugin (source code here)

File Search Plugin for Gedit
This is a search plugin for Gedit to search for a text inside a directory.

The plugin was tested with Gedit 3.4.1 under Ubuntu 12.04, and with Gedit 3.8.3 under
Fedora 19. It should also work under other versions of Gedit 3.

Note that Gedit 2 and older are not supported by this plugin any more
(there is an old version of this plugin available, though, which supports Gedit 2).
  • How can I install it? In the original link of the plugin, the installation part is empty. May 27, 2021 at 4:43

Geany (Free/Open Source Software) is a lightweight text editor with some basic IDE features. I use it as my default text editor because I like that it’s so fast (especially the startup and opening big files).

It’s available cross-platform and typically included in distribution’s packages (for example, in Debian).

With Shift + Ctrl + f you can open a search window (sorry, my screenshots are in German):

Geany: screenshot of search window

You can enter a search string ("foo" in the screenshot) and define the path for which folder should be searched ("/home/unor" in the screenshot).

You can enable searching in sub-folders. You can also filter for which file types should be searched. It supports regular expressions and you can enable case sensitivity.

It uses grep for searching. In the last text field you can enter additional arguments for grep.

The search results are shown in a log window at the bottom:

Geany: screenshot of search results

It shows the file name (and relative path), the line number where the string was found and it displays this line. Right-clicking a result allows to copy all these infos into the clipboard. Double-clicking a result opens the document in a tab in Geany.

As you can see in the screenshot, it lists the same document for each line the string was found.


I like Sublime Text for that - I have only used the Windows version but it has a Linux version. Sublime Text is not free; it does have an unlimited trial though so you can try it out for as long as you need to decide.

It's search/replace functionality is almost the same as Notepad++ although the interface is moderately different. To acces it just press ctrlshiftF for find in files or you can go through the find menu. It has regex or normal search/replace as well as case sensitive option.

For example: enter image description here


In Emacs, I do M-x grep for this task.

Then I can browse the list of found occurences through an Emacs interface (and with M-g n, M-g p for next and previous).

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