SVN hidden directories cache a lot of temporary files. Most of the time when you do a recursive GREP you don’t need to go through them.
You can avoid exploring those sub-directories either manually every time you grep:
grep -r --exclude=\*.svn\*
Or set the GREP_OPTIONS environment variable, either in your .bashrc or by exporting it in your command line like so:
GREP_OPTIONS="--exclude=\*.svn\*" export GREP_OPTIONS
Adding this command to .bashrc will make it permanent, even next time you log in again.
The more recent versions of grep (from 2.5.3) have an exclude-dir option:
Older versions of grep that don’t support the exclude-dir options will return this error:
bash# grep -R "boo" . grep: unrecognized option `--exclude-dir=.svn' Usage: grep [OPTION]... PATTERN [FILE]... Try `grep --help' for more information. bash# bash# grep -V grep (GNU grep) 2.5.1 Copyright 1988, 1992-1999, 2000, 2001 Free Software Foundation, Inc. This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. bash#