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problem with grep



Hi  All,
 
My system is RH7.1 on Intel.
 
When I do a grep on a directory that contains 12,000 plus
files, (and no subdirectories)the system gives the following error:
 
bash:/bin/grep: Argument list too long
 
Could any of you please tell me what is the maximum
files that can be  in a directory for grep to work?
 
Is there a way to overcome this limitation ?
 
TIA
 
Thomas Joseph
Spectrum Software Solutions.
Liverpool, NY 13088
 

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