The Silver Searcher

A code-searching tool similar to ack, but faster. 

The Silver Searcher is a tool for searching code. It started off as a clone of Ack, but their feature sets have since diverged slightly. In typical usage, Ag is 5-10x faster than Ack. See the GitHub page for more info.

What’s so great about Ag?

  • It is an order of magnitude faster than ack.
  • It ignores file patterns from your .gitignore and .hgignore.
  • If there are files in your source repo you don’t want to search, just add their patterns to a .ignore file. (*cough* *.min.js *cough*)
  • The command name is 33% shorter than ack, and all keys are on the home row!
ack test_blah ~/code/  104.66s user 4.82s system 99% cpu 1:50.03 total

ag test_blah ~/code/  4.67s user 4.58s system 286% cpu 3.227 total


brew install the_silver_searcher

Vim Integration

You can use Ag with ack.vim by adding the following line to your .vimrc:

let g:ackprg = 'ag --nogroup --nocolor --column'


let g:ackprg = 'ag --vimgrep'

Which has the same effect but will report every match on the line.

The Silver Searcher Speed Graphs

See graphs