It's fast. really fast.

Some grep alternatives try to be fast by not searching everywhere. sift was developed with performance in mind and just is fast.

Take a look at the benchmarks for details.

No installation. just download a single file.

sift comes as a single executable with no dependencies and is available for all major platforms (Linux, Windows, OS X, BSD)

Need to use sift on a remote server? Just copy it over and it will work - no problems due to missing packages.

Flexiblity. all the features you expect from a modern grep alternative.

perl compatible regular expression format (no more escape hell)
usable defaults
basic options known from grep but with usable defaults
target selection
select or exclude search targets based on file name, directory name, path and type
gitignore support
sift understands .gitignore files and can be configured to only show results in relevant files
multiline support
find matches spanning over multiple lines
replace output to reformat it to your needs without relying on awk/sed
gzip files
search through normal and gzip'ed files in one program call
handling big data
sift handles big files without problems: files >50GB, >5,000,000,000 lines and >5,000,000,000 matches successfully tested
multiple patterns
search for multiple patterns in one run
optional global and local configuration file to specify your own preferences:
  • search case insensitive
  • respect .gitignore files
  • limit maximum output line length
  • skip binary files
  • ... and many more

Use Conditions. grep on the next level.

Doing code audits? Need to extract data from complex formats? sift will make this much easier.

You may specify various conditions and only get matches...

  • preceded by A
  • followed by B within X lines
  • if the file also contains a line with C
  • if the file contains D in the first Y lines
  • any combination of the available conditions
  • ...

Take a look at the samples and documentation to find out more about these features.