How to get the count of a specific keyword or term from the contents of a file in the Linux terminal?

Published August 15, 2021

To get the count of a specific keyword or a term from the contents of a file, we can use the cat command followed by the path to the file, then the | operator (aka pipe operator), then the grep command, then the keyword you want to search for and finally the -c flag (count flag) in the Linux terminal.

TL;DR

# Get the count of a specific
# word from the contents of a file
cat <PATH_TO_FILE> | grep <YOUR_SEARCH_TERM> -c

For example, let's say we have a file called myFile.txt which has some content like below,

Example Content

Wikipedia is a free content, multilingual online encyclopedia 
written and maintained by a community of volunteer contributors 
through a model of open collaboration, using a wiki-based editing system.

Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales 
and Larry Sanger; Sanger coined its name as a blending of "wiki" and "encyclopedia". 
Initially available only in English, versions in other languages were quickly developed. 

Its combined editions comprise more than 57 million articles, 
attracting around 2 billion unique device visits per month, 
and more than 17 million edits per month (1.9 edits per second).

Now, we want to find the number of times a specific word occurred or count of the word Wikipedia from the contents of the myFile.txt file. We can do that using the cat and grep commands like this,

# Get the count of a specific
# word from the contents of a file
cat myFile.txt | grep Wikipedia -c

The output of running the above command may look like this,

As you can see that the word Wikipedia has a count of 2 in the above output.

See the execution of the above command live in repl.it.

That's all 😃!

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