Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source

build status Language grade: C/C++ license

ugrep v3.3 is now available: more features & even faster than before

Search for anything in everything... ultra fast

New option -Q opens a query UI to search files as you type!

  • Supports all GNU/BSD grep standard options; a compatible replacement for GNU/BSD grep

  • Matches Unicode patterns by default in UTF-8, UTF-16, UTF-32 encoded files

  • Ultra fast with new match algorithms and features beating grep, ripgrep, silver searcher, ack, sift, etc.

  • Written in clean and efficient C++11 for advanced features and speed, thoroughly tested

  • Portable (Linux, Unix, MacOS, Windows, etc), includes x86 and x64 binaries for Windows in the releases

  • User-friendly with sensible defaults and customizable configuration files used by the ug command, a short command for ugrep --config to load a .ugrep configuration file with your preferences

    ug PATTERN ...                         ugrep --config PATTERN ...
    
  • Interactive query UI, press F1 or CTRL-Z for help and TAB/SHIFT-TAB to navigate to dirs and files

    ugrep -Q                               ugrep -Q -e PATTERN    
    
  • Find approximate pattern matches with fuzzy search, within the specified Levenshtein distance

    ugrep -Z PATTERN ...                   ugrep -Z3 PATTTERN ...
    
  • Search with Google-like Boolean search patterns with option --bool patterns with AND (or just space), OR (or a bar |), NOT (or a dash -), using quotes to match exactly, and grouping with ( ); or with options -e (as an "or"), --and, --andnot, and --not regex patterns

    ugrep --bool 'PATT1 PATT2 PATT3' ...   ugrep -e PATT1 --and PATT2 --and PATT3 ...
    ugrep --bool 'PATT1|PATT2 PATT3' ...   ugrep -e PATT1 -e PATT2 --and PATT3 ...
    ugrep --bool 'PATT1 -PATT2 -PATT3' ... ugrep -e PATT1 --andnot PATT2 --andnot PATT3 ...
    ugrep --bool 'PATT1 -(PATT2|PATT3)'... ugrep -e PATT1 --andnot PATT2 --andnot PATT3 ...
    ugrep --bool '"PATT1" "PATT2"' ...     ugrep -e '\QPATT1\E' --and '\QPATT2\E' ...
    
  • Fzf-like search with regex (or fixed strings with -F), fuzzy matching with up to 4 extra characters with -Z+4, and words only with -w, press TAB and ALT-y to view a file, SHIFT-TAB and Alt-l to go back to view the list of matching files ordered by best match

    ugrep -Q1 --bool -l -w -Z+4 --sort=best
    
  • Search the contents of archives (cpio, jar, tar, pax, zip) and compressed files (zip, gz, Z, bz, bz2, lzma, xz, lz4, zstd)

    ugrep -z PATTERN ...
    
  • Search pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlxs, and more using filters

    ugrep --filter='pdf:pdftotext % -' PATTERN ...
    ugrep --filter='odt,doc,docx,rtf,xls,xlsx,ppt,pptx:soffice --headless --cat %' PATTERN ...
    ugrep --filter='pem:openssl x509 -text,cer,crt,der:openssl x509 -text -inform der' PATTERN ...
    
  • Search binary files and display hexdumps with binary pattern matches (Unicode text or raw byte patterns)

    ugrep -W TEXTPATTERN ...               ugrep -X TEXTPATTERN ...
    ugrep -W -U BYTEPATTERN ...            ugrep -X -U BYTEPATTERN ...
    
  • Include files to search by filename extensions or exclude them with ^

    ugrep -O EXT PATTERN ...               ugrep -O ^EXT PATTERN ...
    
  • Include files to search by file types or file "magic bytes" or exclude them with ^

    ugrep -t TYPE PATTERN ...              ugrep -t ^TYPE PATTERN ...
    ugrep -M 'MAGIC' PATTERN ...           ugrep -M '^MAGIC' PATTERN ...
    
  • Include files and directories to search that match gitignore-style globs or exclude them with ^

    ugrep -g 'FILEGLOB' PATTERN ...        ugrep -g '^FILEGLOB' PATTERN ...
    ugrep -g 'DIRGLOB/' PATTERN ...        ugrep -g '^DIRGLOB/' PATTERN ...
    ugrep -g 'PATH/FILEGLOB' PATTERN ...   ugrep -g '^PATH/FILEGLOB' PATTERN ...
    ugrep -g 'PATH/DIRGLOB/' PATTERN ...   ugrep -g '^PATH/DIRGLOB/' PATTERN ...
    
  • Include hidden files (dotfiles) and directories to search (hidden files are omitted by default)

    ugrep -. PATTERN ...                   ugrep -g'.*,.*/' PATTERN ...
    
  • Exclude files specified by .gitignore etc.

    ugrep --ignore-files PATTERN ...       ugrep --ignore-files=.ignore PATTERN ...
    
  • Search patterns excluding negative patterns ("match this if it does not match that")

    ugrep PATTERN -N NOTPATTERN ...        ugrep '[0-9]+' -N 123 ...
    
  • Includes predefined regex patterns to search source code, javascript, XML, JSON, HTML, PHP, markdown, etc.

    ugrep PATTERN -f c++/zap_comments -f c++/zap_strings ...
    ugrep PATTERN -f php/zap_html ...
    ugrep -f js/functions ... | ugrep PATTERN ...
    
  • Sort matching files by name, best match, size, and time

    ugrep --sort PATTERN ...               ugrep --sort=size PATTERN ...
    ugrep --sort=changed PATTERN ...       ugrep --sort=created PATTERN ...
    ugrep -Z --sort=best PATTERN ...
    
  • Output results in CSV, JSON, XML, and user-specified formats

    ugrep --csv PATTERN ...                ugrep --json PATTERN ...
    ugrep --xml PATTERN ...                ugrep --format='file=%f line=%n match=%O%~' PATTERN ...
    
  • Search with PCRE's Perl-compatible regex patterns and display or replace subpattern matches

    ugrep -P PATTERN ...                   ugrep -P --format='%1 and %2%~' 'PATTERN(SUB1)(SUB2)' ...
    
  • Search files with a specific encoding format such as ISO-8859-1 thru 16, CP 437, CP 850, MACROMAN, KOI8, etc.

    ugrep --encoding=LATIN1 PATTERN ...
    
  • Search patterns that match multiple lines (by default), i.e. patterns may contain one or more \n newlines

Table of contents

Download and install

Homebrew for MacOS (and Linux)

Install the latest ugrep with Homebrew:

$ brew install ugrep

This installs the ugrep and ug commands, where ug is the same as ugrep but also loads the configuration file .ugrep when present in the working directory or home directory.

Windows

Download the full-featured ugrep.exe executable as release artifacts from https://github.com/Genivia/ugrep/releases or use Scoop scoop install ugrep.

Download release artifact ugrep.exe. Copy ugrep.exe to ug.exe if you also want the ug command, which loads the .ugrep configuration file when present in the working directory or home directory.

Add ugrep.exe and ug.exe to your execution path: go to Settings and search for "Path" in Find a Setting. Select environment variables -> Path -> New and add the directory where you placed the ugrep.exe and ug.exe executables.

Notes on using ugrep.exe and ug.exe from the Windows command line:

  • file and directory globs should be specified with option -g/GLOB instead of a GLOB command line argument (globbing is disabled, because * and ? in patterns would get replaced).
  • when quoting patterns and arguments on the command line, do not use single ' quotes but use " instead; most Windows command utilities consider the single ' quotes part of the command-line argument!
  • when specifying an empty pattern "" to match all input, this may be ignored by some Windows command interpreters such as Powershell, in that case use option --match instead.

Debian

$ apt-get install ugrep

Check https://packages.debian.org/sid/main/ugrep for version info. To build and try ugrep locally, see "All platforms" build steps further below.

NetBSD

You can use the standard NetBSD package installer (pkgsrc): http://cdn.netbsd.org/pub/pkgsrc/current/pkgsrc/textproc/ugrep/README.html

Haiku

$ pkgman install cmd:ugrep

Check https://github.com/haikuports/haikuports/tree/master/app-text/ugrep for version info. To build and try ugrep locally, see "All platforms" build steps further below.

Alpine Linux

$ apk add ugrep ugrep-doc

Check https://pkgs.alpinelinux.org/packages?name=ugrep for version info.

All platforms: step 1 download

Clone ugrep with

$ git clone https://github.com/Genivia/ugrep

Or visit https://github.com/Genivia/ugrep/releases to download a specific release.

All platforms: step 2 consider optional dependencies

You can always add these later, when you need these features:

  • Option -P (Perl regular expressions) requires either the PCRE2 library (preferred) or the Boost.Regex library. If PCRE2 is not installed, install PCRE2 with e.g. sudo apt-get install -y libpcre2-dev or download PCRE2 and follow the installation instructions. Alternatively, download Boost.Regex and run ./bootstrap.sh and sudo ./b2 --with-regex install. See Boost: getting started.

  • Option -z (compressed files and archives search) requires the zlib library installed. It is installed on most systems. If not, install it, e.g. with sudo apt-get install -y libz-dev. To search .bz and .bz2 files, install the bzip2 library, e.g. with sudo apt-get install -y libbz2-dev. To search .lzma and .xz files, install the lzma library, e.g. with sudo apt-get install -y liblzma-dev. To search .lz4 files, install the lz4 library, e.g. with sudo apt-get install -y liblz4-dev. To search .zst files, install the zstd library, e.g. with sudo apt-get install -y libzstd-dev

After installing one or more of these libraries, re-execute the commands to rebuild ugrep:

$ cd ugrep
$ ./build.sh

Some Linux systems may not be configured to load dynamic libraries from /usr/local/lib, causing a library load error when running ugrep. To correct this, add export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/lib" to your ~/.bashrc file. Or run sudo ldconfig /usr/local/lib.

All platforms: step 3 build

Build ugrep on Unix-like systems with colors enabled by default:

$ cd ugrep
$ ./build.sh

This builds the ugrep executable in the ugrep/src directory with ./configure and make -j, verified with make test. When all tests pass, the ugrep executable is copied to ugrep/bin/ugrep and the symlink ugrep/bin/ug -> ugrep/bin/ugrep is added for the ug command.

Note that ug is the same as ugrep but also loads the configuration file .ugrep when present in the working directory or home directory. This means that you can define your default options for ug in .ugrep.

To build ugrep with specific hard defaults enabled, such as a pager:

$ cd ugrep
$ ./build.sh --enable-pager

Options to select defaults for builds include:

  • --enable-hidden search hidden files and directories
  • --enable-pager use a pager to display output on terminals
  • --enable-pretty colorize output to terminals and add filename headings
  • --disable-auto-color disable automatic colors, requires ugrep option --color=auto to show colors
  • --disable-mmap disable memory mapped files
  • --with-grep-path the default -f path if GREP_PATH is not defined
  • --with-grep-colors the default colors if GREP_COLORS is not defined
  • --help display build options

After the build completes, copy ugrep/bin/ugrep and ugrep/bin/ug to a convenient location, for example in your ~/bin directory.

You may want to install the ugrep and ug commands and man pages with:

$ sudo make install

This also installs the pattern files with predefined patterns for option -f at /usr/local/share/ugrep/patterns/. Option -f first checks the working directory for the presence of pattern files, if not found checks environment variable GREP_PATH to load the pattern files, and if not found reads the installed predefined pattern files.

Troubleshooting

Git and timestamps

Unfortunately, git clones do not preserve timestamps which means that you may run into "WARNING: 'aclocal-1.15' is missing on your system." or that autoheader was not found when running make.

To work around this problem, run:

$ autoreconf -fi
$ ./build.sh

Compiler warnings

GCC 8 and greater may produce warnings of the sort "note: parameter passing for argument ... changed in GCC 7.1". These warnings should be ignored.

Dockerfile for developers

A Dockerfile is included to build ugrep in a Ubuntu container.

Developers may want to use sanitizers to verify the ugrep code when making significant changes, for example to detect data races with the ThreadSanitizer:

$ ./build.sh CXXFLAGS='-fsanitize=thread -O1 -g'

We checked ugrep with the clang AddressSanitizer, MemorySanitizer, ThreadSanitizer, and UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer. These options incur significant runtime overhead and should not be used for the final build.

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Performance comparisons

Performance comparisons should represent what users can expect the performance to be in practice. There should not be any shenanigans to trick the system to perform more optimally or to degrade an important aspect of the search to make one grep tool look better than another.

ugrep is a no-nonsense fast search tool that utilizes a worker pool of threads with clever lock-free job queue stealing for optimized load balancing. A new hashing technique is used to identify possible matches to speed up multi-pattern matches. In addition, regex matching is optimized with AVX/SSE and ARM NEON/AArch64 instructions. Compressed files are decompressed concurrently while searching to further increase performance. Asynchronous IO is implemented for efficient input and output.

ugrep performs very well overall and particularly well when searching compressed files and archives. This means that at its core, the search engine's performance of ugrep excellent if not the best among grep tools available.

Benchmarks

The following benchmark tests span a range of practical use cases:

Test Command Description
T1 GREP -c quartz enwik8 count "quartz" in a 100MB file (word with low frequency letters)
T2 GREP -c sternness enwik8 count "sternness" in a 100MB file (word with high frequency letters)
T3 GREP -c 'Sherlock Holmes' en.txt count "Sherlock Holmes" in a huge 13GB decompressed file
T4 GREP -cw -e char -e int -e long -e size_t -e void big.cpp count 5 short words in a 35MB C++ source code file
T5 GREP -Eon 'serialize_[a-zA-Z0-9_]+Type' big.cpp search and display C++ serialization functions in a 35MB source code file
T6 GREP -Fon -f words1+1000 enwik8 search 1000 words of length 1 or longer in a 100MB Wikipedia file
T7 GREP -Fon -f words2+1000 enwik8 search 1000 words of length 2 or longer in a 100MB Wikipedia file
T8 GREP -Fon -f words4+1000 enwik8 search 1000 words of length 4 or longer in a 100MB Wikipedia file
T9 GREP -Fon -f words8+1000 enwik8 search 1000 words of length 8 or longer in a 100MB Wikipedia file
T10 GREP -ro '#[[:space:]]*include[[:space:]]+"[^"]+"' -Oh,hpp,cpp multi-threaded recursive search of #include "..." in the directory tree from the Qt 5.9.2 root, restricted to .h, .hpp, and .cpp files
T11 GREP -ro '#[[:space:]]*include[[:space:]]+"[^"]+"' -Oh,hpp,cpp same as T10 but single-threaded
T12 GREP -z -Fc word word*.gz count word in 6 compressed files of 1MB to 3MB each

Note: T10 and T11 use ugrep option -Oh,hpp,cpp to restrict the search to files with extensions .h, .hpp, and .cpp, which is formulated with GNU/BSD/PCRGE grep as --include='*.h' --include='*.hpp' --include='*.cpp', with silver searcher as -G '.*\.(h|hpp|cpp)' requiring --search-binary to search compressed files (a bug), and with ripgrep as --glob='*.h' --glob='*.hpp' --glob='*.cpp'.

The corpora used in the tests are available for download.

Performance results

The following performance tests were conducted with a new and common MacBook Pro using clang 9.0.0 -O2 on a 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 Mac OS 10.12.6 machine. The best times of 30 runs is shown under minimal machine load. When comparing tools, the same match counts were produced.

Results are shown in real time (wall clock time) seconds elapsed. Best times are shown in boldface and n/a means that the running time exceeded 1 minute or the selected options are not supported (T12: option -z) or the input file is too large (T3: 13GB file) resulting in an error.

GREP T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T11 T12
ugrep 0.03 0.04 5.06 0.07 0.02 0.98 0.97 0.87 0.26 0.10 0.19 0.02
hyperscan grep 0.09 0.10 4.35 0.11 0.04 7.78 3.39 1.41 1.17 n/a n/a n/a
ripgrep 0.06 0.10 7.50 0.19 0.06 2.20 2.07 2.01 2.14 0.12 0.36 0.03
silver searcher 0.10 0.11 n/a 0.16 0.21 n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.45 0.32 0.09
GNU grep 3.3 0.08 0.15 11.26 0.18 0.16 2.70 2.64 2.42 2.26 n/a 0.26 n/a
PCREGREP 8.42 0.17 0.17 n/a 0.26 0.08 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 2.37 n/a
BSD grep 2.5.1 0.81 1.60 n/a 1.85 0.83 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 3.35 0.60

Note T3: Hyperscan simplegrep was compiled with optimizations enabled. Hyperscan results for T3 are slightly better than ugrep, as expected because hyperscan simplegrep has one advantage here: it does not maintain line numbers and other line-related information. By contrast, line information should be tracked (as in ugrep) to determine if matches are on the same line or not, as required by option -c. Hyperscan simplegrep returns more matches than other greps due to its "all matches reported" pattern matching behavior.

Note T4-T9: Hyperscan simplegrep does not support command line options. Option -w was emulated using the pattern \b(char|int|long|size_t|void)\b. Option -f was emulated as follows:

paste -d'|' -s words1+1000 > pattern.txt
/usr/bin/time ./simplegrep `cat pattern.txt` enwik8 | ./null

Note T10+T11: silver searcher 2.2.0 runs slower with multiple threads (T10 0.45s) than single-threaded (T11 0.32s), which was reported as an issue to the maintainers.

Output is sent to a null utility to eliminate terminal display overhead (> /dev/null cannot be used as some greps detect it to remove all output). The null utility source code:

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/uio.h>
#include <unistd.h>
int main() { char buf[65536]; while (read(0, buf, 65536) > 0) continue; }

Performance results may depend on warm/cold runs, compilers, libraries, the OS, the CPU type, and file system latencies. However, comparable competitive results were obtained on many other types of machines.

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Using ugrep within Vim

First, let's define the :grep command in Vim to search files recursively. To do so, add the following lines to your .vimrc located in the root directory:

if executable('ugrep')
    set grepprg=ugrep\ -RInk\ -j\ -u\ --tabs=1\ --ignore-files
    set grepformat=%f:%l:%c:%m,%f+%l+%c+%m,%-G%f\\\|%l\\\|%c\\\|%m
endif

This specifies case insensitive searches with the Vim :grep command. For case sensitive searches, remove \ -j from grepprg. Multiple matches on the same line are listed in the quickfix window separately. If this is not desired, remove \ -u from grepprg. With this change, only the first match on a line is shown. Option --ignore-files skips files specified in .gitignore files, when present. To limit the depth of recursive searches to the current directory only, append \ -1 to grepprg.

You can now invoke the Vim :grep command in Vim to search files on a specified PATH for PATTERN matches:

:grep PATTERN [PATH]

If you omit PATH, then the working directory is searched. Use % as PATH to search only the currently opened file in Vim:

:grep PATTERN %

The :grep command shows the results in a quickfix window that allows you to quickly jump to the matches found.

To open a quickfix window with the latest list of matches:

:copen

Double-click on a line in this window (or select a line and press ENTER) to jump to the file and location in the file of the match. Enter commands :cn and :cp to jump to the next or previous match, respectively. To update the search results in the quickfix window, just grep them. For example, to recursively search C++ source code marked FIXME in the working directory:

:grep -tc++ FIXME

To close the quickfix window:

:cclose

You can use ugrep options with the :grep command, for example to select single- and multi-line comments in the current file:

:grep -f c++/comments %

Only the first line of a multi-line comment is shown in quickfix, to save space. To show all lines of a multi-line match, remove %-G from grepformat.

A popular Vim tool is ctrlp.vim, which is installed with:

$ cd ~/.vim
$ git clone https://github.com/kien/ctrlp.vim.git bundle/ctrlp.vim

CtrlP uses ugrep by adding the following lines to your .vimrc:

if executable('ugrep')
    set runtimepath^=~/.vim/bundle/ctrlp.vim
    let g:ctrlp_match_window='bottom,order:ttb'
    let g:ctrlp_user_command='ugrep %s -Rl -I --ignore-files -3'
endif

These options are optional and may be omitted: -I skips binary files, option --ignore-files skips files specified in .gitignore files, when present, and option -3 restricts searching directories to three levels (the working directory and up to two levels below).

Start Vim then enter the command:

:helptags ~/.vim/bundle/ctrlp.vim/doc

To view the CtrlP documentation in Vim, enter the command:

:help ctrlp.txt

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Using ugrep to replace GNU/BSD grep

Equivalence to GNU/BSD grep

ugrep is equivalent to GNU/BSD grep when the following options are used:

grep   = ugrep --sort -G -U -Y -. -Dread -dread
egrep  = ugrep --sort -E -U -Y -. -Dread -dread
fgrep  = ugrep --sort -F -U -Y -. -Dread -dread

zgrep  = ugrep --sort -G -U -Y -z -. -Dread -dread
zegrep = ugrep --sort -E -U -Y -z -. -Dread -dread
zfgrep = ugrep --sort -F -U -Y -z -. -Dread -dread

where:

  • --sort specifies output sorted by pathname, showing sorted matching files first followed by sorted recursive matches in subdirectories. Otherwise, matching files are reported in no particular order to improve performance;
  • -U disables Unicode pattern matching, so for example the pattern \xa3 matches byte A3 instead of the Unicode code point U+00A3 represented by the UTF-8 sequence C2 A3. By default in ugrep, \xa3 matches U+00A3. We do not recommend to use -U for text pattern searches, only for binary searches.
  • -Y enables empty matches, so for example the pattern a* matches every line instead of a sequence of a's. By default in ugrep, the pattern a* matches a sequence of a's. Moreover, in ugrep the pattern a*b*c* matches what it is supposed to match by default. See improvements.
  • -. searches hidden files (dotfiles). By default, hidden files are ignored, like most Unix utilities.
  • -Dread and -dread are the GNU/BSD grep defaults but are not recommended, see improvements for an explanation.

When the ugrep (or ugrep.exe) executable is renamed to grep (grep.exe), egrep (egrep.exe), fgrep (fgrep.exe) and so on, then a subset of the options shown above are automatically in effect except for --sort, -Dread, -dread, and -U to permit Unicode matching. For example, when ugrep is renamed to egrep, options -E, -Y, and -. are automatically enabled.

Note that the defaults of some grep options may differ to make ugrep more user friendly, see notable improvements over grep.

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Short and quick command aliases

Commonly-used aliases to add to .bashrc to increase productivity:

alias uq     = 'ug -Q'       # short & quick query UI (interactive, uses .ugrep config)
alias ux     = 'ug -UX'      # short & quick binary pattern search (uses .ugrep config)
alias uz     = 'ug -z'       # short & quick compressed files and archives search (uses .ugrep config)

alias ugit   = 'ug -R --ignore-files' # works like git-grep & define your preferences in .ugrep config

alias grep   = 'ugrep -G'    # search with basic regular expressions (BRE)
alias egrep  = 'ugrep -E'    # search with extended regular expressions (ERE)
alias fgrep  = 'ugrep -F'    # find string(s)
alias pgrep  = 'ugrep -P'    # search with Perl regular expressions
alias xgrep  = 'ugrep -W'    # search (ERE) and output text or hex for binary

alias zgrep  = 'ugrep -zG'   # search compressed files and archives with BRE
alias zegrep = 'ugrep -zE'   # search compressed files and archives with ERE
alias zfgrep = 'ugrep -zF'   # find string(s) in compressed files and/or archives
alias zpgrep = 'ugrep -zP'   # search compressed files and archives with Perl regular expressions
alias zxgrep = 'ugrep -zW'   # search (ERE) compressed files/archives and output text or hex for binary

alias xdump  = 'ugrep -X ""' # hexdump files without searching

To search PDF and office documents automatically, add a filter option to the aliased ugrep command:

--filter="pdf:pdftotext % -,odt,doc,docx,rtf,xls,xlsx,ppt,pptx:soffice --headless --cat %"

This requires the utilities pdftotext and soffice to be installed. See Using filter utilities to search documents with --filter.

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Notable improvements over grep

  • ugrep starts an interactive query UI with option -Q.
  • ugrep matches patterns across multiple lines.
  • ugrep matches Unicode by default (disabled with option -U).
  • ugrep supports fuzzy (approximate) matching with option -Z.
  • ugrep supports gitignore with option --ignore-files.
  • ugrep supports user-defined global and local configuration files.
  • ugrep supports Boolean patterns with AND, OR and NOT (option --bool).
  • ugrep searches compressed files with option -z.
  • ugrep searches cpio, jar, pax, tar and zip archives with option -z.
  • ugrep searches pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, epub, and more with --filter using third-party format conversion utilities as plugins.
  • ugrep searches a directory when the FILE argument is a directory, like most Unix/Linux utilities; option -r searches directories recursively.
  • ugrep does not match hidden files by default like most Unix/Linux utilities (hidden dotfile file matching is enabled with -.).
  • ugrep regular expression patterns are more expressive than GNU grep and BSD grep POSIX ERE and support Unicode pattern matching. Extended regular expression (ERE) syntax is the default (i.e. option -E as egrep, whereas -G enables BRE).
  • ugrep spawns threads to search files concurrently to improve search speed (disabled with option -J1).
  • ugrep produces hexdumps with -W (output binary matches in hex with text matches output as usual) and -X (output all matches in hex).
  • ugrep can output matches in JSON, XML, CSV and user-defined formats (with option --format).
  • ugrep option -f uses GREP_PATH environment variable or the predefined patterns installed in /usr/local/share/ugrep/patterns. If -f is specified and also one or more -e patterns are specified, then options -F, -x, and -w do not apply to -f patterns. This is to avoid confusion when -f is used with predefined patterns that may no longer work properly with these options.
  • ugrep options -O, -M, and -t specify file extensions, file signature magic byte patterns, and predefined file types, respectively. This allows searching for certain types of files in directory trees, for example with recursive search options -R and -r. Options -O, -M, and -t also applies to archived files in cpio, jar, pax, tar, and zip files.
  • ugrep option -k, --column-number to display the column number, taking tab spacing into account by expanding tabs, as specified by option --tabs.
  • ugrep option -P (Perl regular expressions) supports backreferences (with --format) and lookbehinds, which uses the PCRE2 or Boost.Regex library for fast Perl regex matching with a PCRE-like syntax.
  • ugrep option -b with option -o or with option -u, ugrep displays the exact byte offset of the pattern match instead of the byte offset of the start of the matched line reported by GNU/BSD grep.
  • ugrep option -u, --ungroup to not group multiple matches per line. This option displays a matched input line again for each additional pattern match on the line. This option is particularly useful with option -c to report the total number of pattern matches per file instead of the number of lines matched per file.
  • ugrep option -Y enables matching empty patterns. Grepping with empty-matching patterns is weird and gives different results with GNU grep versus BSD grep. Empty matches are not output by ugrep by default, which avoids making mistakes that may produce "random" results. For example, with GNU/BSD grep, pattern a* matches every line in the input, and actually matches xyz three times (the empty transitions before and between the x, y, and z). Allowing empty matches requires ugrep option -Y. Patterns that start with ^ or end with $, such as ^\h*$, match empty. These patterns automatically enable option -Y.
  • ugrep option -D, --devices=ACTION is skip by default, instead of read. This prevents unexpectedly hanging on named pipes in directories that are recursively searched, as may happen with GNU/BSD grep that read devices by default.
  • ugrep option -d, --directories=ACTION is skip by default, instead of read. By default, directories specified on the command line are searched, but not recursively deeper into subdirectories.
  • ugrep offers negative patterns -N PATTERN, which are patterns of the form (?^X) that skip all X input, thus removing X from the search. For example, negative patterns can be used to skip strings and comments when searching for identifiers in source code and find matches that aren't in strings and comments. Predefined zap patterns use negative patterns, for example, use -f cpp/zap_comments to ignore pattern matches in C++ comments.
  • ugrep does not the GREP_OPTIONS environment variable, because the behavior of ugrep must be portable and predictable on every system. Also GNU grep abandoned GREP_OPTIONS for this reason. Please use the ug command that loads the .ugrep configuration file located in the working directory or in the home directory when present, or use shell aliases to create new commands with specific search options.

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Tutorial

Examples

To perform a search using a configuration file .ugrep placed in the working directory or home directory (note that ug is the same as ugrep --config):

ug PATTERN FILE...

To save a .ugrep configuration file to the working directory, then edit this file in your home directory to customize your preferences for ug defaults:

ug --save-config

To search the working directory and recursively deeper for main (note that -R recurse symlinks is enabled by default if no file arguments are specified):

ugrep main

Same, but only search C++ source code files recursively, ignoring all other files:

ugrep -tc++ main

Same, using the interactive query UI, starting with the initial search pattern main (note that -Q with an initial pattern requires option -e because patterns are normally specified interactively and all command line arguments are considered files/directories):

ugrep -Q -tc++ -e main

To search for #define (and # define etc) using a regex pattern in C++ files (note that patterns should be quoted to prevent shell globbing of * and ?):

ugrep -tc++ '#[\t ]*define'

To search for main as a word (-w) recursively without following symlinks (-r) in directory myproject, showing the matching line (-n) and column (-k) numbers next to the lines matched:

ugrep -r -nkw main myproject

Same, but only search myproject without recursing deeper (note that directory arguments are searched at one level by default):

ugrep -nkw main myproject

Same, but search myproject and one subdirectory level deeper (two levels) with -2:

ugrep -2 -nkw main myproject

Same, but only search C++ files in myproject and its subdirectories with -tc++:

ugrep -tc++ -2 -nkw main myproject

Same, but also search inside archives (e.g. zip and tar files) and compressed files with -z:

ugrep -z -tc++ -2 -nkw main myproject

Search recursively the working directory for main while ignoring gitignored files (e.g. assuming .gitignore is in the working directory or below):

ugrep --ignore-files -tc++ -nkw main

To list all files in the working directory and deeper that are not ignored by .gitignore file(s):

ugrep --ignore-files -l ''

To display the list of file name extensions and "magic bytes" (shebangs) that are searched corresponding to -t arguments:

ugrep -tlist

To list all shell files recursively, based on extensions and shebangs with -l (note that '' matches any non-empty file):

ugrep -l -tShell ''

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Advanced examples

To search for main in source code while ignoring strings and comment blocks we can use negative patterns with option -N to skip unwanted matches in C/C++ quoted strings and comment blocks:

ugrep -r -nkw 'main' -N '"(\\.|\\\r?\n|[^\\\n"])*"|//.*|/\*([^*]|\n|(\*+([^*/]|\n)))*\*+\/' myproject

This is a lot of work to type in correctly! If you are like me, I don't want to spend time fiddling with regex patterns when I am working on something more important. There is an easier way by using ugrep's predefined patterns (-f) that are installed with the ugrep tool:

ugrep -r -nkw 'main' -f c/zap_strings -f c/zap_comments myproject

This query also searches through other files than C/C++ source code, like READMEs, Makefiles, and so on. We're also skipping symlinks with -r. So let's refine this query by selecting C/C++ files only using option -tc,c++ and include symlinks to files and directories with -R:

ugrep -R -tc,c++ -nkw 'main' -f c/zap_strings -f c/zap_comments myproject

What if we are only looking for the identifier main but not as a function main(? We can use a negative pattern for this to skip unwanted main\h*( pattern matches:

ugrep -R -tc,c++ -nkw -e 'main' -N 'main\h*\(' -f c/zap_strings -f c/zap_comments myproject

This uses the -e and -N options to explicitly specify a pattern and a negative pattern, respectively, which is essentially forming the pattern main|(?^main\h*\(), where \h matches space and tab. In general, negative patterns are useful to filter out pattern matches we are not interested in.

As another example, we may want to search for the word FIXME in C/C++ comment blocks. To do so we can first select the comment blocks with ugrep's predefined c/comments pattern AND THEN select lines with FIXME using a pipe:

ugrep -R -tc,c++ -nk -f c/comments myproject | ugrep -w 'FIXME'

Filtering results with pipes is generally easier than using AND-OR logic that some search tools use. This approach follows the Unix spirit to keep utilities simple and use them in combination for more complex tasks.

Say we want to produce a sorted list of all identifiers found in Java source code while skipping strings and comments:

ugrep -R -tjava -f java/names -f java/zap_strings -f java/zap_comments myproject | sort -u

This matches Java Unicode identifiers using the regex \p{JavaIdentifierStart}\p{JavaIdentifierPart}* defined in patterns/java/names.

With traditional grep and grep-like tools it takes great effort to recursively search for the C/C++ source file that defines function qsort, requiring something like this:

ugrep -R --include='*.c' --include='*.cpp' '^([ \t]*[[:word:]:*&]+)+[ \t]+qsort[ \t]*\([^;\n]+$' myproject

Fortunately, with ugrep we can simply select all function definitions in files with extension .c or .cpp by using option -Oc,cpp and by using a predefined pattern functions that is installed with the tool to produce all function definitions. Then we select the one we want:

ugrep -R -Oc,cpp -nk -f c/functions | ugrep 'qsort'

Note that we could have used -tc,c++ to select C/C++ files, but this also includes header files when we want to only search .c and .cpp files.

We can also skip files and directories from being searched that are defined in .gitignore. To do so we use --ignore-files to exclude any files and directories from recursive searches that match the globs in .gitignore, when one ore more.gitignore files are found:

ugrep -R -tc++ --ignore-files -f c++/defines

This searches C++ files (-tc++) in the working directory for #define lines (-f c++/defines), while skipping files and directories declared in .gitignore. If you find this too long to type then define an alias to search GitHub directories:

alias ugit='ugrep -R --ignore-files'
ugit -tc++ -f c++/defines

To highlight matches when pushed through a chain of pipes we should use --color=always:

ugit --color=always -tc++ -f c++/defines | ugrep -w 'FOO.*'

This returns a color-highlighted list of all #define FOO... macros in C/C++ source code files, skipping files defined in .gitignore.

Note that the complement of --exclude is not --include, because exclusions always take precedence over inclusions, so we cannot reliably list the files that are ignored with --include-from='.gitignore'. Only files explicitly specified with --include and directories explicitly specified with --include-dir are visited. The --include-from from lists globs that are considered both files and directories to add to --include and --include-dir, respectively. This means that when directory names and directory paths are not explicitly listed in this file then it will not be visited using --include-from.

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Displaying helpful info

The ugrep man page:

man ugrep

To show a help page:

ugrep --help

To show options that mention WHAT:

ugrep --help WHAT

To show a list of -t TYPES option values:

ugrep -tlist

In the interactive query UI, press F1 or CTRL-Z for help and options:

ugrep -Q

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Configuration files

--config[=FILE], ---[FILE]
        Use configuration FILE.  The default FILE is `.ugrep'.  The working
        directory is checked first for FILE, then the home directory.  The
        options specified in the configuration FILE are parsed first,
        followed by the remaining options specified on the command line.
--save-config[=FILE]
        Save configuration FILE.  By default `.ugrep' is saved.  If FILE is
        a `-', write the configuration to standard output.

The ug command versus the ugrep command

The ug command is intended for context-dependent interactive searching and is equivalent to the ugrep --config command to load the configuration file .ugrep, when present in the working directory or, when not found, in the home directory:

ug PATTERN ...
ugrep --config PATTERN ...

A configuration file contains NAME=VALUE pairs per line, where NAME is the name of a long option (without --) and =VALUE is an argument, which is optional and may be omitted depending on the option. Empty lines and lines starting with a # are ignored:

# Color scheme
colors=cx=hb:ms=hiy:mc=hic:fn=hi+y+K:ln=hg:cn=hg:bn=hg:se=
# Disable searching hidden files and directories
no-hidden
# ignore files specified in .ignore and .gitignore in recursive searches
ignore-files=.ignore
ignore-files=.gitignore

Command line options are parsed in the following order: first the (default or named) configuration file is loaded, then the remaining options and arguments on the command line are parsed.

Option --stats displays the configuration file used after searching.

Named configuration files

Named configuration files are intended to streamline custom search tasks, by reducing the number of command line options to just one ---FILE to use the collection of options specified in FILE. The --config=FILE option and its abbreviated form ---FILE load the specified configuration file located in the working directory or, when not found, located in the home directory:

ug ---FILE PATTERN ...
ugrep ---FILE PATTERN ...

An error is produced when FILE is not found or cannot be read.

Named configuration files can be used to define a collection of options that are specific to the requirements of a task in the development workflow of a project. For example to report unresolved issues by checking the source code and documentation for comments with FIXME and TODO items. Such named configuration file can be localized to a project by placing it in the project directory, or it can be made global by placing it in the home directory. For visual feedback, a color scheme specific to this task can be specified with option colors in the configuration FILE to help identify the output produced by a named configuration as opposed to the default configuration.

Saving a configuration file

The --save-config option saves a .ugrep configuration file to the working directory. The file contains a strict subset of options that are deemed reasonably safe with respect to the search results reported.

The --save-config=FILE option saves the configuration to the specified FILE. The configuration is written to standard output when FILE is a -.

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Interactive search with -Q

-Q[DELAY], --query[=DELAY]
        Query mode: user interface to perform interactive searches.  This
        mode requires an ANSI capable terminal.  An optional DELAY argument
        may be specified to reduce or increase the response time to execute
        searches after the last key press, in increments of 100ms, where
        the default is 5 (0.5s delay).  No whitespace may be given between
        -Q and its argument DELAY.  Initial patterns may be specified with
        -e PATTERN, i.e. a PATTERN argument requires option -e.  Press F1
        or CTRL-Z to view the help screen.  Press F2 or CTRL-Y to invoke a
        command to view or edit the file shown at the top of the screen.
        The command can be specified with option --view, or defaults to
        environment variable PAGER if defined, or EDITOR.  Press Tab and
        Shift-Tab to navigate directories and to select a file to search.
        Press Enter to select lines to output.  Press ALT-l for option -l
        to list files, ALT-n for -n, etc.  Non-option commands include
        ALT-] to increase fuzziness and ALT-} to increase context.  Enables
        --heading.  See also options --confirm and --view.
--no-confirm
        Do not confirm actions in -Q query mode.  The default is confirm.
--view[=COMMAND]
        Use COMMAND to view/edit a file in query mode when pressing CTRL-Y.

This option starts a user interface to enter search patterns interactively:

  • Press F1 or CTRL-Z to view a help screen and to enable or disable options.
  • Press Alt with a key corresponding to a ugrep option letter or digit to enable or disable the ugrep option. For example, pressing Alt-c enables option -c to count matches. Pressing Alt-c again disables -c. Options can be toggled with the Alt key while searching or when viewing the help screen. If Alt/Meta keys are not supported (e.g. X11 xterm), then press CTRL-O followed by the key corresponding to the option.
  • Press Alt-g to enter or edit option -g file and directory matching globs, a comma-separated list of gitignore-style glob patterns. Press ESC to return control to the query pattern prompt (the globs are saved). When a glob is preceded by a ! or a ^, skips files whose name matches the glob When a glob contains a /, full pathnames are matched. Otherwise basenames are matched. When a glob ends with a /, directories are matched.
  • The query UI prompt switches between Q> (normal), F> (fixed strings), G> (basic regex), P> (Perl matching), and Z> (fuzzy matching). When the --glob= prompt is shown, a comma-separated list of gitignore-style glob patterns may be entered. Press ESC returns control to the pattern prompt.
  • Press Enter to switch to selection mode to select lines to output when ugrep exits. Normally, ugrep in query mode does not output any results unless results are selected. While in selection mode, select or deselect lines with Enter or Del, or press A to select all results.
  • The file listed or shown at the top of the screen, or beneath the cursor in selection mode, is edited by pressing F2 or CTRL-Y. A file viewer or editor may be specified with --view=COMMAND. Otherwise, the PAGER or EDITOR environment variables are used to invoke the command with CTRL-Y. Filenames must be enabled and visible in the output to use this feature.
  • Press TAB to chdir one level down into the directory of the file listed or viewed at the top of the screen. If no directory exists, the file itself is selected to search. Press Shift-TAB to go back up one level.
  • Press CTRL-T to toggle colors on or off. Normally ugrep in query mode uses colors and other markup to highlight the results. When colors are turned off, selected results are also not colored in the output produced by ugrep when ugrep exits. When colors are turned on (the default), selected results are colored depending on the --color option.
  • The query engine is optimized to limit system load by performing on-demand searches to produce results only for the visible parts shown in the interface. That is, results are shown on demand, when scrolling down and when exiting when all results are selected. When the search pattern is modified, the previous search query is cancelled when incomplete. This effectively limits the load on the system to maintain a high degree of responsiveness of the query engine to user input. Because the search results are produced on demand, occasionally you may notice a flashing "Searching..." message when searching files on slower systems.
  • To display results faster, specify a low DELAY value such as 1. However, lower values may increase system load as a result of repeatedly initiating and cancelling searches by each key pressed.
  • To avoid long pathnames to obscure the view, --heading is enabled by default. Press Alt-+ to switch headings off.

Query UI key mapping:

key(s) function
Alt-key toggle ugrep command-line option corresponding to key
Alt-/xxxx/ insert Unicode hex code point U+xxxx
Esc Ctrl-[ Ctrl-C go back or exit
Ctrl-Q quick exit and output the results selected in selection mode
Tab chdir to the directory of the file shown at the top of the screen or select file
Shift-Tab chdir one level up or deselect file
Enter enter selection mode and toggle selected lines to output on exit
Up Ctrl-P move up
Down Ctrl-N move down
Left Ctrl-B move left
Right Ctrl-F move right
PgUp Ctrl-G move display up by a page
PgDn Ctrl-D move display down by a page
Alt-Up move display up by 1/2 page (MacOS Shift-Up)
Alt-Down move display down by 1/2 page (MacOS Shift-Down)
Alt-Left move display left by 1/2 page (MacOS Shift-Left)
Alt-Right move display right by 1/2 page (MacOS Shift-Right)
Home Ctrl-A move cursor to the begin of line
End Ctrl-E move cursor to the end of line
Ctrl-K delete after cursor
Ctrl-L refresh screen
Ctrl-O+key toggle ugrep command-line option corresponding to key, same as Alt-key
Ctrl-R F4 jump to bookmark
Ctrl-S scroll to the next file
Ctrl-T toggle colors on/off
Ctrl-U delete before cursor
Ctrl-V verbatim character
Ctrl-W scroll back one file
Ctrl-X F3 set bookmark
Ctrl-Y F2 edit file shown at the top of the screen or under the cursor
Ctrl-Z F1 view help and options
Ctrl-^ chdir back to the starting working directory
Ctrl-\ terminate process

To interactively search the files in the working directory and below:

ugrep -Q

Same, but restricted to C++ files only and ignoring .gitignore files:

ugrep -Q -tc++ --ignore-files

To interactively search all makefiles in the working directory and below:

ugrep -Q -g 'Makefile*' -g 'makefile*'

Same, but for up to 2 directory levels (working and one subdirectory level):

ugrep -Q -2 -g 'Makefile*' -g 'makefile*'

To interactively view the contents of main.cpp and search it, where -y shows any nonmatching lines as context:

ugrep -Q -y main.cpp

To interactively search main.cpp, starting with the search pattern TODO and a match context of 5 lines (context can be interactively enabled and disabled, this also overrides the default context size of 2 lines):

ugrep -Q -C5 -e TODO main.cpp

To view and search the contents of an archive (e.g. zip, tarball):

ugrep -Q -z archive.tar.gz

To interactively select files from project.zip to decompress with unzip, using ugrep query selection mode (press Enter to select lines):

unzip project.zip `zipinfo -1 project.zip | ugrep -Q`

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Recursively list matching files with -l, -R, -r, --depth, -g, -O, and -t

-L, --files-without-match
        Only the names of files not containing selected lines are written
        to standard output.  Pathnames are listed once per file searched.
        If the standard input is searched, the string ``(standard input)''
        is written.
-l, --files-with-matches
        Only the names of files containing selected lines are written to
        standard output.  ugrep will only search a file until a match has
        been found, making searches potentially less expensive.  Pathnames
        are listed once per file searched.  If the standard input is
        searched, the string ``(standard input)'' is written.
-R, --dereference-recursive
        Recursively read all files under each directory.  Follow all
        symbolic links, unlike -r.  When -J1 is specified, files are
        searched in the same order as specified.  Note that when no FILE
        arguments are specified and input is read from a terminal,
        recursive searches are performed as if -R is specified.
-r, --recursive
        Recursively read all files under each directory, following symbolic
        links only if they are on the command line.  When -J1 is specified,
        files are searched in the same order as specified.
--depth=[MIN,][MAX], -1, -2 ... -9, --10, --11 ...
        Restrict recursive searches from MIN to MAX directory levels deep,
        where -1 (--depth=1) searches the specified path without recursing
        into subdirectories.  Note that -3 -5, -3-5, or -35 searches 3 to 5
        levels deep.  Enables -R if -R or -r is not specified.
-g GLOBS, --glob=GLOBS
        Search only files whose name matches the specified comma-separated
        list of GLOBS, same as --include='glob' for each `glob' in GLOBS.
        When a `glob' is preceded by a `!' or a `^', skip files whose name
        matches `glob', same as --exclude='glob'.  When `glob' contains a
        `/', full pathnames are matched.  Otherwise basenames are matched.
        When `glob' ends with a `/', directories are matched, same as
        --include-dir='glob' and --exclude-dir='glob'.  A leading `/'
        matches the working directory.  This option may be repeated and may
        be combined with options -M, -O and -t to expand the recursive
        search.
-O EXTENSIONS, --file-extension=EXTENSIONS
        Search only files whose filename extensions match the specified
        comma-separated list of EXTENSIONS, same as --include='*.ext' for
        each `ext' in EXTENSIONS.  When `ext' is preceded by a `!' or a
        `^', skip files whose filename extensions matches `ext', same as
        --exclude='*.ext'.  This option may be repeated and may be combined
        with options -g, -M and -t to expand the recursive search.
-t TYPES, --file-type=TYPES
        Search only files associated with TYPES, a comma-separated list of
        file types.  Each file type corresponds to a set of filename
        extensions passed to option -O.  For capitalized file types, the
        search is expanded to include files with matching file signature
        magic bytes, as if passed to option -M.  When a type is preceded
        by a `!' or a `^', excludes files of the specified type.  This
        option may be repeated.
--stats
        Output statistics on the number of files and directories searched,
        and the inclusion and exclusion constraints applied.

If no FILE arguments are specified and input is read from a terminal, recursive searches are performed as if -R is specified. To force reading from standard input, specify - as the FILE argument.

To recursively list all non-empty files in the working directory, following symbolic links (note that -R is redundant as no FILE arguments are given):

ugrep -R -l ''

To list all non-empty files in the working directory but not deeper (since a FILE argument is given, in this case . for the working directory):

ugrep -l '' .

To list all non-empty files in directory mydir but not deeper (since a FILE argument is given):

ugrep -l '' mydir

To list all non-empty files in directory mydir and deeper:

ugrep -R -l '' mydir

To recursively list all non-empty files on the path specified, while visiting subdirectories only, i.e. directories mydir/ and subdirectories at one level deeper mydir/*/ are visited (note that -2 -l can be abbreviated to -l2):

ugrep -2 -l '' mydir

To recursively list all non-empty files in directory mydir, not following any symbolic links (except when on the command line such as mydir):

ugrep -rl '' mydir

To recursively list all Makefile matching the text CPP:

ugrep -l -gMakefile 'CPP'

To recursively list all Makefile.* matching bin_PROGRAMS:

ugrep -l -g'Makefile.*' 'bin_PROGRAMS'

To recursively list all non-empty files with extension .sh, with -Osh:

ugrep -l -Osh ''

To recursively list all shell scripts based on extensions and shebangs with -tShell:

ugrep -l -tShell ''

To recursively list all shell scripts based on extensions only with -tshell:

ugrep -l -tshell ''

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Boolean search patterns with --bool (-%), --and, --not

--bool, -%
        Specifies Boolean search patterns.  A Boolean search pattern is
        composed of `AND', `OR', `NOT' operators and grouping with `(' `)'.
        Spacing between subpatterns is the same as `AND', `|' is the same
        as `OR', and a `-' is the same as `NOT'.  The `OR' operator binds
        more tightly than `AND'.  For example, --bool 'A|B C|D' matches
        lines with (`A' or `B') and (`C' or `D'), --bool 'A -B' matches
        lines with `A' and not `B'.  Operators `AND', `OR', `NOT' require
        proper spacing.  For example, --bool 'A OR B AND C OR D' matches
        lines with (`A' or `B') and (`C' or `D'), --bool 'A AND NOT B'
        matches lines with `A' without `B'.  Quoted subpatterns are matched
        literally as strings.  For example, --bool 'A "AND"|"OR"' matches
        lines with `A' and also either `AND' or `OR'.  Parenthesis are used
        for grouping.  For example, --bool '(A B)|C' matches lines with `A'
        and `B', or lines with `C'.  Note that all subpatterns in a Boolean
        search pattern are regular expressions, unless option -F is used.
        Options -E, -F, -G, -P, and -Z can be combined with --bool to match
        subpatterns as strings or regular expressions (-E is the default.)
        This option does not apply to -f FILE patterns.  Option --stats
        displays the search patterns applied.  See also options --and,
        --andnot, and --not.
--and [[-e] PATTERN] ... -e PATTERN
        Specify additional patterns to match.  Patterns must be specified
        with -e.  Each -e PATTERN following this option is considered an
        alternative pattern to match, i.e. each -e is interpreted as an OR
        pattern.  For example, -e A -e B --and -e C -e D matches lines with
        (`A' or `B') and (`C' or `D').  Note that multiple -e PATTERN are
        alternations that bind more tightly together than --and.  Option
        --stats displays the search patterns applied.  See also options
        --not, --andnot, and --bool.
--andnot [[-e] PATTERN] ...
        Combines --and --not.  See also options --and, --not, and --bool.
--not [-e] PATTERN
        Specifies that PATTERN should not match.  Note that -e A --not -e B
        matches lines with `A' or lines without a `B'.  To match lines with
        `A' that have no `B', specify -e A --andnot -e B.  Option --stats
        displays the search patterns applied.  See also options --and,
        --andnot, and --bool.
--stats
        Output statistics on the number of files and directories searched,
        and the inclusion and exclusion constraints applied.

Note that the --and, --not, and --andnot options require -e PATTERN.

The --bool option makes all patterns Boolean expressions supporting the following operations:

operator alternative result
x y x AND y matches lines with both x and y
x|y x OR y matches lines with x or y
-x NOT x inverted match, i.e. matches if x does not match
( ) Boolean expression grouping
"x" match x literally and exactly as specified (using the standard regex escapes \Q and \E for quoting)
  • x and y are subpatterns that do not start with the special symbols |, -, and ( (use quotes or a \ escape to match these);

  • | and OR are the same and take precedence over AND, which means that x y|z == x (y|z) for example;

  • - and NOT are the same and take precedence over OR, which means that -x|y == (-x)|y for example.

The --stats option displays the Boolean search query in human-readable form converted to CNF (Conjunctive Normal Form), after the search is completed. To show the CNF without a search, read from standard input terminated by an EOF, like echo | ugrep --bool '...' --stats.

Subpatterns are color-highlighted in the output, except those negated with NOT (a NOT subpattern may still show up in a matching line when using an OR-NOT pattern like x|-y). Note that subpatterns may overlap. In that case only the first matching subpattern is color-highlighted.

Multiple lines may be matched when subpatterns match newlines. There is one exception however: subpatterns ending with (?=X) lookaheads may not match when X spans multiple lines.

Empty patterns match any line (grep standard). Therefore, --bool 'x|""|y' matches everything and x and y are not color-highlighted. Option -y should be used to show every line as context, for example -y 'x|y'.

Fzf-like interactive querying (Boolean search with fixed strings with fuzzy matching to allow e.g. up to 4 extra characters matched with -Z+4 in words with -w), press TAB and ALT-y to view a file with matches. Press SHIFT-TAB and ALT-l to go back to the list of matching files:

ugrep -Q1 --bool -l -w -F -Z+4 --sort=best

To find lines containing both hot and dog in myfile.txt:

ugrep --bool 'hot dog' myfile.txt
ugrep -e hot --and dog myfile.txt

To find lines containing place and then also hotdog or taco (or both) in myfile.txt:

ugrep --bool 'hotdog|taco place' myfile.txt
ugrep -e hotdog -e taco --and place myfile.txt

Same, but exclude lines matching diner:

ugrep --bool 'hotdog|taco place -diner' myfile.txt
ugrep -e hotdog -e taco --and place --andnot diner myfile.txt

To find lines with diner or lines that match both fast and food but not bad in myfile.txt:

ugrep --bool 'diner|(fast food -bad)' myfile.txt

To find lines with fast food (exactly) or lines with diner but not bad or old in myfile.txt:

ugrep --bool '"fast food"|diner -bad -old' myfile.txt

Same, but using a different Boolean expression that has the same meaning:

ugrep --bool '"fast food"|diner -(bad|old)' myfile.txt

To find lines with diner implying good in myfile.txt (that is, show lines with good without diner and show lines with diner but only those with good, which is logically implied!):

ugrep --bool 'good|-diner' myfile.txt
ugrep -e good --not diner myfile.txt

To find lines with foo and -bar and "baz" in myfile.txt (not that - and " should be matched using \ escapes and with --and -e -bar):

ugrep --bool 'foo \-bar \"baz\"' myfile.txt
ugrep -e foo --and -e -bar --and '"baz"' myfile.txt

To search myfile.cpp for lines with TODO or FIXME but not both on the same line, like XOR:

ugrep --bool 'TODO|FIXME -(TODO FIXME)' myfile.cpp
ugrep -e TODO -e FIXME --and --not TODO --not FIXME myfile.cpp

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Search this but not that with -v, -e, -N, -f, -L, -w, -x

-e PATTERN, --regexp=PATTERN
        Specify a PATTERN used during the search of the input: an input
        line is selected if it matches any of the specified patterns.
        Note that longer patterns take precedence over shorter patterns.
        This option is most useful when multiple -e options are used to
        specify multiple patterns, when a pattern begins with a dash (`-'),
        to specify a pattern after option -f or after the FILE arguments.
-f FILE, --file=FILE
        Read newline-separated patterns from FILE.  White space in patterns
        is significant.  Empty lines in FILE are ignored.  If FILE does not
        exist, the GREP_PATH environment variable is used as path to FILE.
        If that fails, looks for FILE in /usr/local/share/ugrep/pattern.
        When FILE is a `-', standard input is read.  This option may be
        repeated.
-L, --files-without-match
        Only the names of files not containing selected lines are written
        to standard output.  Pathnames are listed once per file searched.
        If the standard input is searched, the string ``(standard input)''
        is written.
-N PATTERN, --neg-regexp=PATTERN
        Specify a negative PATTERN used during the search of the input:
        an input line is selected only if it matches any of the specified
        patterns unless a subpattern of PATTERN.  Same as -e (?^PATTERN).
        Negative PATTERN matches are essentially removed before any other
        patterns are matched.  Note that longer patterns take precedence
        over shorter patterns.  This option may be repeated.
-v, --invert-match
        Selected lines are those not matching any of the specified
        patterns.
-w, --word-regexp
        The PATTERN is searched for as a word, such that the matching text
        is preceded by a non-word character and is followed by a non-word
        character.  Word characters are letters, digits, and the
        underscore.  With option -P, word characters are Unicode letters,
        digits, and underscore.  This option has no effect if -x is also
        specified.  If a PATTERN is specified, or -e PATTERN or -N PATTERN,
        then this option has no effect on -f FILE patterns to allow -f FILE
        patterns to narrow or widen the scope of the PATTERN search.
-x, --line-regexp
        Select only those matches that exactly match the whole line, as if
        the patterns are surrounded by ^ and $.  If a PATTERN is specified,
        or -e PATTERN or -N PATTERN, then this option does not apply to
        -f FILE patterns to allow -f FILE patterns to narrow or widen the
        scope of the PATTERN search.

To display lines in file myfile.sh but not lines matching ^[ \t]*#:

ugrep -v '^[ \t]*#' myfile.sh

To search myfile.cpp for lines with FIXME and urgent, but not Scotty:

ugrep FIXME myfile.cpp | ugrep urgent | ugrep -v Scotty

To search for decimals using pattern \d+ that do not start with 0 using negative pattern 0\d+ and excluding 555:

ugrep '\d+' -N '0\d+' -N 555 myfile.cpp

To search for words starting with disp without matching display in file myfile.py by using a "negative pattern" -N '/<display\>' where -N specifies an additional negative pattern to skip matches:

ugrep '\<disp' -N '\<display\>' myfile.py

To search for lines with the word display in file myfile.py skipping this word in strings and comments, where -f specifies patterns in files which are predefined patterns in this case:

ugrep -n -w 'display' -f python/zap_strings -f python/zap_comments myfile.py

To display lines that are not blank lines:

ugrep -x '.*' -N '\h*' myfile.py

Same, but using -v and -x with \h*, i.e. pattern ^\h*$:

ugrep -v -x '\h*' myfile.py

To recursively list all Python files that do not contain the word display, allowing the word to occur in strings and comments:

ugrep -RL -tPython -w 'display' -f python/zap_strings -f python/zap_comments

๐Ÿ” Back to table of contents

Search non-Unicode files with --encoding

--encoding=ENCODING
        The input file encoding.

ASCII, UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32 files do not require this option, assuming that UTF-16 and UTF-32 files start with a UTF BOM (byte order mark) as usual. Other file encodings require option --encoding=ENCODING:

encoding parameter
ASCII n/a
UTF-8 n/a
UTF-16 with BOM n/a
UTF-32 with BOM n/a
UTF-16 BE w/o BOM UTF-16 or UTF-16BE
UTF-16 LE w/o BOM UTF-16LE
UTF-32 w/o BOM UTF-32 or UTF-32BE
UTF-32 w/o BOM UTF-32LE
Latin-1 LATIN1 or ISO-8859-1
ISO-8859-1 ISO-8859-1
ISO-8859-2 ISO-8859-2
ISO-8859-3 ISO-8859-3
ISO-8859-4 ISO-8859-4
ISO-8859-5 ISO-8859-5
ISO-8859-6 ISO-8859-6
ISO-8859-7 ISO-8859-7
ISO-8859-8 ISO-8859-8
ISO-8859-9 ISO-8859-9
ISO-8859-10 ISO-8859-10
ISO-8859-11 ISO-8859-11
ISO-8859-13 ISO-8859-13
ISO-8859-14 ISO-8859-14
ISO-8859-15 ISO-8859-15
ISO-8859-16 ISO-8859-16
MAC (CR=newline) MAC
MacRoman (CR=newline) MACROMAN
EBCDIC EBCDIC
DOS code page 437 CP437
DOS code page 850 CP850
DOS code page 858 CP858
Windows code page 1250 CP1250
Windows code page 1251 CP1251
Windows code page 1252 CP1252
Windows code page 1253 CP1253
Windows code page 1254 CP1254
Windows code page 1255 CP1255
Windows code page 1256 CP1256
Windows code page 1257 CP1257
Windows code page 1258 CP1258
KOI8-R KOI8-R
KOI8-U KOI8-U
KOI8-RU KOI8-RU

Note that regex patterns are always specified in UTF-8 (includes ASCII). To search binary files with binary patterns, see searching and displaying binary files with -U, -W, and -X.

To recursively list all files that are ASCII (i.e. 7-bit):

ugrep -RL '[^[:ascii:]]'

To recursively list all files that are non-ASCII, i.e. UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32 files with non-ASCII Unicode characters (U+0080 and up):

ugrep -Rl '[^[:ascii:]]'

To check if a file contains non-ASCII Unicode (U+0080 and up):

ugrep -q '[^[:ascii:]]' myfile && echo "contains Unicode"

To remove invalid Unicode characters from a file (note that -o does not work because binary data is detected and rejected and newlines are added, but --format="%o% does not check for binary and copies the match "as is"):

ugrep "\p{Unicode}" --format="%o" badfile.txt

To recursively list files with invalid UTF content (i.e. invalid UTF-8 byte sequences or files that contain any UTF-8/16/32 code points that are outside the valid Unicode range) by matching any code point with . and by using a negative pattern -N '\p{Unicode}':

ugrep -Rl '.' -N '\p{Unicode}'

To display lines containing laughing face emojis:

ugrep '[๐Ÿ˜€-๐Ÿ˜]' emojis.txt

The same results are obtained using \x{hhhh} to select a Unicode character range:

ugrep '[\x{1F600}-\x{1F60F}]' emojis.txt

To display lines containing the names Gรถdel (or Goedel), Escher, or Bach:

ugrep 'G(รถ|oe)del|Escher|Bach' GEB.txt wiki.txt

To search for lorem in lower or upper case in a UTF-16 file that is marked with a UTF-16 BOM:

ugrep -iw 'lorem' utf16lorem.txt

To search utf16lorem.txt when this file has no UTF-16 BOM, using --encoding:

ugrep --encoding=UTF-16 -iw 'lorem' utf16lorem.txt

To search file spanish-iso.txt encoded in ISO-8859-1:

ugrep --encoding=ISO-8859-1 -w 'aรฑo' spanish-iso.txt

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Matching multiple lines of text

-o, --only-matching
        Print only the matching part of lines.  When multiple lines match,
        the line numbers with option -n are displayed using `|' as the
        field separator for each additional line matched by the pattern.
        If -u is specified, ungroups multiple matches on the same line.
        This option cannot be combined with options -A, -B, -C, -v, and -y.

Multiple lines may be matched by patterns that match newline \n characters, unless one or more context options -A, -B, -C, -y is used, or -v that apply to lines. Use option -o to output the match only, not the full lines(s) that match.

To match C/C++ /*...*/ multi-line comments:

ugrep '/\*([^*]|\n|(\*+([^*/]|\n)))*\*+\/' myfile.cpp

To match C/C++ comments using the predefined c/comments patterns with -f c/comments, restricted to the matching part only with option -o:

ugrep -of c/comments myfile.cpp

Same as sed -n '/begin/,/end/p': to match all lines between a line containing begin and the first line after that containing end, using lazy repetition:

ugrep -o '.*begin(.|\n)*?end.*' myfile.txt

๐Ÿ” Back to table of contents

Displaying match context with -A, -B, -C, and -y

-A NUM, --after-context=NUM
        Print NUM lines of trailing context after matching lines.  Places
        a --group-separator between contiguous groups of matches.  See also
        options -B, -C, and -y.
-B NUM, --before-context=NUM
        Print NUM lines of leading context before matching lines.  Places
        a --group-separator between contiguous groups of matches.  See also
        options -A, -C, and -y.
-C NUM, --context=NUM
        Print NUM lines of leading and trailing context surrounding each
        match.  Places a --group-separator between contiguous groups of
        matches. See also options -A, -B, and -y.
-y, --any-line
        Any matching or non-matching line is output.  Non-matching lines
        are output with the `-' separator as context of the matching lines.
        See also options -A, -B, and -C.

To display two lines of context before and after a matching line:

ugrep -C2 'FIXME' myfile.cpp

To show three lines of context after a matched line:

ugrep -A3 'FIXME.*' myfile.cpp:

To display one line of context before each matching line with a C function definition (C names are non-Unicode):

ugrep -B1 -f c/functions myfile.c

To display one line of context before each matching line with a C++ function definition (C++ names may be Unicode):

ugrep -B1 -f c++/functions myfile.cpp

To display any non-matching lines as context for matching lines with -y:

ugrep -y -f c++/functions myfile.cpp

To display a hexdump of a matching line with one line of hexdump context:

ugrep -C1 -UX '\xaa\xbb\xcc' a.out

Context within a line is displayed by simply adjusting the pattern and using option -o, for example to show the word (when present) before and after a match of pattern (\w+ matches a word and \h+ matches spacing), where -U matches ASCII words instead of Unicode:

ugrep -o -U '(\w+\h+)?pattern(\h+\w+)?' myfile.cpp

Same, but with line numbers (-n), column numbers (-k), tab spacing (-T) for all matches separately (-u), and showing up to 8 characters of context instead of a single word:

ugrep -onkTg -U '.{0,8}pattern.{0,8}' myfile.cpp | ugrep 'pattern'

๐Ÿ” Back to table of contents

Searching source code using -f, -g, -O, and -t

-f FILE, --file=FILE
        Read newline-separated patterns from FILE.  White space in patterns
        is significant.  Empty lines in FILE are ignored.  If FILE does not
        exist, the GREP_PATH environment variable is used as path to FILE.
        If that fails, looks for FILE in /usr/local/share/ugrep/pattern.
        When FILE is a `-', standard input is read.  This option may be
        repeated.
--ignore-files[=FILE]
        Ignore files and directories matching the globs in each FILE that
        is encountered in recursive searches.  The default FILE is
        `.gitignore'.  Matching files and directories located in the
        directory tree rooted at a FILE's location are ignored by
        temporarily overriding the --exclude and --exclude-dir globs.
        Files and directories that are explicitly specified as command line
        arguments are never ignored.  This option may be repeated.
-g GLOBS, --glob=GLOBS
        Search only files whose name matches the specified comma-separated
        list of GLOBS, same as --include='glob' for each `glob' in GLOBS.
        When a `glob' is preceded by a `!' or a `^', skip files whose name
        matches `glob', same as --exclude='glob'.  When `glob' contains a
        `/', full pathnames are matched.  Otherwise basenames are matched.
        When `glob' ends with a `/', directories are matched, same as
        --include-dir='glob' and --exclude-dir='glob'.  A leading `/'
        matches the working directory.  This option may be repeated and may
        be combined with options -M, -O and -t to expand the recursive
        search.
-O EXTENSIONS, --file-extension=EXTENSIONS
        Search only files whose filename extensions match the specified
        comma-separated list of EXTENSIONS, same as --include='*.ext' for
        each `ext' in EXTENSIONS.  When `ext' is preceded by a `!' or a
        `^', skip files whose filename extensions matches `ext', same as
        --exclude='*.ext'.  This option may be repeated and may be combined
        with options -g, -M and -t to expand the recursive search.
-t TYPES, --file-type=TYPES
        Search only files associated with TYPES, a comma-separated list of
        file types.  Each file type corresponds to a set of filename
        extensions passed to option -O.  For capitalized file types, the
        search is expanded to include files with matching file signature
        magic bytes, as if passed to option -M.  When a type is preceded
        by a `!' or a `^', excludes files of the specified type.  This
        option may be repeated.
--stats
        Output statistics on the number of files and directories searched,
        and the inclusion and exclusion constraints applied.

The file types are listed with ugrep -tlist. The list is based on established filename extensions and "magic bytes". If you have a file type that is not listed, use options -O and/or -M. You may want to define an alias, e.g. alias ugft='ugrep -Oft' as a shorthand to search files with filename suffix .ft.

To recursively display function definitions in C/C++ files (.h, .hpp, .c, .cpp etc.) with line numbers with -tc++, -o, -n, and -f c++/functions:

ugrep -on -tc++ -f c++/functions

To recursively display function definitions in .c and .cpp files with line numbers with -Oc,cpp, -o, -n, and -f c++/functions:

ugrep -on -Oc,cpp -f c++/functions

To recursively list all shell files with -tShell to match filename extensions and files with shell shebangs, except files with suffix .sh:

ugrep -l -tShell -O^sh ''

To recursively list all non-shell files with -t^Shell:

ugrep -l -t^Shell ''

To recursively list all shell files with shell shebangs that have no shell filename extensions:

ugrep -l -tShell -t^shell ''

To search for lines with FIXME in C/C++ comments, excluding FIXME in multi-line strings:

ugrep -n 'FIXME' -f c++/zap_strings myfile.cpp

To read patterns TODO and FIXME from standard input to match lines in the input, while excluding matches in C++ strings:

ugrep -on -f - -f c++/zap_strings myfile.cpp <<END
TODO
FIXME
END

To display XML element and attribute tags in an XML file, restricted to the matching part with -o, excluding tags that are placed in (multi-line) comments:

ugrep -o -f xml/tags -f xml/zap_comments myfile.xml

๐Ÿ” Back to table of contents

Searching compressed files and archives with -z

-z, --decompress
        Decompress files to search, when compressed.  Archives (.cpio,
        .pax, .tar and .zip) and compressed archives (e.g. .taz, .tgz,
        .tpz, .tbz, .tbz2, .tb2, .tz2, .tlz, and .txz) are searched and
        matching pathnames of files in archives are output in braces.  If
        -g, -O, -M, or -t is specified, searches files within archives
        whose name matches globs, matches file name extensions, matches
        file signature magic bytes, or matches file types, respectively.
        Supported compression formats: gzip (.gz), compress (.Z), zip,
        bzip2 (requires suffix .bz, .bz2, .bzip2, .tbz, .tbz2, .tb2, .tz2),
        lzma and xz (requires suffix .lzma, .tlz, .xz, .txz),
        lz4 (requires suffix .lz4),
        zstd (requires suffix .zst, .zstd, .tzst).

Compressed files with gzip (.gz), compress (.Z), bzip2 (.bz, .bz2, .bzip2), lzma (.lzma), xz (.xz), lz4 (.lz4) and zstd (.zst, .zstd) are searched with option -z. This option does not require files to be compressed. Uncompressed files are searched also.

Archives (cpio, jar, pax, tar, and zip) are searched with option -z. Regular files in an archive that match are output with the archive pathnames enclosed in { and } braces. Supported tar formats are v7, ustar, gnu, oldgnu, and pax. Supported cpio formats are odc, newc, and crc. Not supported is the obsolete non-portable old binary cpio format. Archive formats cpio, tar, and pax are automatically recognized with option -z based on their content, independent of their filename suffix.

The gzip, compress, and zip formats are automatically detected, which is useful when reading gzip-compressed data from standard input, e.g. input redirected from a pipe. Other compression formats require a filename suffix: .bz, .bz2, or .bzip2 for bzip2, .lzma for lzma, .xz for xz, .lz4 for lz4 and .zst or .zstd for zstd. Also the compressed tar archive shorthands .taz, .tgz and .tpz for gzip, .tbz, .tbz2, .tb2, and .tz2 for bzip2, .tlz for lzma, .txz for xz, and .tzst for zstd are recognized. To search these formats with ugrep from standard input, use option --label='stdin.bz2' for bzip2, --label='stdin.lzma' for lzma, --label='stdin.xz' for xz, --label='stdin.lz4 for lz4 and --label='stdin.zst for zstd. The name stdin is arbitrary and may be omitted:

format filename suffix tar/pax archive short suffix suffix required? ugrep from stdin lib required
gzip .gz .taz, .tgz, .tpz no automatic libz
compress .Z .taZ, .tZ no automatic built-in
zip .zip, .zipx, .ZIP no automatic libz
bzip2 .bz, .bz2, .bzip2 .tb2, .tbz, .tbz2, .tz2 yes --label=.bz2 libbz2
lzma .lzma .tlz yes --label=.lzma liblzma
xz .xz .txz yes --label=.xz liblzma
lz4 .lz4 yes --label=.lz4 liblz4
zstd .zst, .zstd .tzst yes --label=.zst libzstd

The gzip, bzip2, xz, lz4 and zstd formats support concatenated compressed files. Concatenated compressed files are searched as one file.

Supported zip compression methods are stored (0), deflate (8), bzip2 (12), lzma (14), xz (95) and zstd (93). The bzip2, lzma, xz and zstd methods require ugrep to be compiled with the corresponding compression libraries.

Archives compressed and stored within zip archives are also searched: all cpio, pax, and tar files in zip archives are automatically recognized and searched. However, compressed files stored within archives are not recognized, e.g. zip files stored within zip files or stored within tar files are not searched. Any such compressed files are searched as if they are binary files without decompressing them.

Searching encrypted zip archives is not supported (perhaps in future releases, depending on requests for enhancements).

When option -z is used with options -g, -O, -M, or -t, archives and compressed and uncompressed files that match the filename selection criteria (glob, extension, magic bytes, or file type) are searched only. For example, ugrep -r -z -tc++ searches C++ files such as main.cpp and zip and tar archives that contain C++ files such as main.cpp. Also included in the search are compressed C++ files such as main.cpp.gz and main.cpp.xz when present. Also any cpio, pax, tar, and zip archives when present are searched for C++ files that they contain, such as main.cpp. Use option --stats to see a list of the glob patterns applied to filter file pathnames in the recursive search and when searching archive contents.

When option -z is used with options -g, -O, -M, or -t to search cpio, jar, pax, tar, and zip archives, archived files that match the filename selection criteria are searched only.

Option -z uses thread task parallelism to speed up searching larger files by running the decompressor concurrently with a search of the decompressed stream.

To recursively search C++ files including compressed files for the word my_function, while skipping C and C++ comments:

ugrep -z -r -tc++ -Fw my_function -f cpp/zap_comments

To search bzip2, lzma, xz, lz4 and zstd compressed data on standard input, option --label may be used to specify the extension corresponding to the compression format to force decompression when the bzip2 extension is not available to ugrep, for example:

cat myfile.bz2 | ugrep -z --label='stdin.bz2' 'xyz'

To search file main.cpp in project.zip for TODO and FIXME lines:

ugrep -z -g main.cpp -w -e 'TODO' -e 'FIXME' project.zip

To search tarball project.tar.gz for C++ files with TODO and FIXME lines:

ugrep -z -tc++ -w -e 'TODO' -e 'FIXME' project.tar.gz

To search files matching the glob *.txt in project.zip for the word license in any case (note that the -g glob argument must be quoted):

ugrep -z -g '*.txt' -w -i 'license' project.zip

To display and page through all C++ files in tarball project.tgz:

ugrep --pager -z -tc++ '' project.tgz

To list the files matching the gitignore-style glob /**/projects/project1.* in projects.tgz, by selecting files containing in the archive the text December 12:

ugrep -z -l -g '/**/projects/project1.*' -F 'December 12' projects.tgz

To view the META-INF/MANIFEST.MF data in a jar file with -Ojar and -OMF to select the jar file and the MF file therein (-Ojar is required, otherwise the jar file will be skipped though we could read it from standard input instead):

ugrep -z -h -OMF,jar '' my.jar

To extract C++ files that contain FIXME from project.tgz, we use -m1 with --format="'%z '" to generate a space-separated list of pathnames of file located in the archive that match the word FIXME:

tar xzf project.tgz `ugrep -z -l -tc++ --format='%z ' -w FIXME project.tgz`

To perform a depth-first search with find, then use cpio and ugrep to search the files:

find . -depth -print | cpio -o | ugrep -z 'xyz'

๐Ÿ” Back to table of contents

Find files by file signature and shebang "magic bytes" with -M, -O and -t

--ignore-files[=FILE]
        Ignore files and directories matching the globs in each FILE that
        is encountered in recursive searches.  The default FILE is
        `.gitignore'.  Matching files and directories located in the
        directory tree rooted at a FILE's location are ignored by
        temporarily overriding the --exclude and --exclude-dir globs.
        Files and directories that are explicitly specified as command line
        arguments are never ignored.  This option may be repeated.
-M MAGIC, --file-magic=MAGIC
        Only files matching the signature pattern MAGIC are searched.  The
        signature \"magic bytes\" at the start of a file are compared to
        the MAGIC regex pattern.  When matching, the file will be searched.
        When MAGIC is preceded by a `!' or a `^', skip files with matching
        MAGIC signatures.  This option may be repeated and may be combined
        with options -O and -t to expand the search.  Every file on the
        search path is read, making searches potentially more expensive.
-O EXTENSIONS, --file-extension=EXTENSIONS
        Search only files whose filename extensions match the specified
        comma-separated list of EXTENSIONS, same as --include='*.ext' for
        each `ext' in EXTENSIONS.  When `ext' is preceded by a `!' or a
        `^', skip files whose filename extensions matches `ext', same as
        --exclude='*.ext'.  This option may be repeated and may be combined
        with options -g, -M and -t to expand the recursive search.
-t TYPES, --file-type=TYPES
        Search only files associated with TYPES, a comma-separated list of
        file types.  Each file type corresponds to a set of filename
        extensions passed to option -O.  For capitalized file types, the
        search is expanded to include files with matching file signature
        magic bytes, as if passed to option -M.  When a type is preceded
        by a `!' or a `^', excludes files of the specified type.  This
        option may be repeated.
-g GLOBS, --glob=GLOBS
        Search only files whose name matches the specified comma-separated
        list of GLOBS, same as --include='glob' for each `glob' in GLOBS.
        When a `glob' is preceded by a `!' or a `^', skip files whose name
        matches `glob', same as --exclude='glob'.  When `glob' contains a
        `/', full pathnames are matched.  Otherwise basenames are matched.
        When `glob' ends with a `/', directories are matched, same as
        --include-dir='glob' and --exclude-dir='glob'.  A leading `/'
        matches the working directory.  This option may be repeated and may
        be combined with options -M, -O and -t to expand the recursive
        search.
--stats
        Output statistics on the number of files and directories searched,
        and the inclusion and exclusion constraints applied.

To recursively list all files that start with #! shebangs:

ugrep -l -M'#!' ''

To recursively list all files that start with # but not with #! shebangs:

ugrep -l -M'#' -M'^#!' ''

To recursively list all Python files (extension .py or a shebang) with -tPython:

ugrep -l -tPython ''

To recursively list all non-shell files with -t^Shell:

ugrep -l -t^Shell ''

To recursively list Python files (extension .py or a shebang) that have import statements, including hidden files with -.:

ugrep -l. -tPython -f python/imports

๐Ÿ” Back to table of contents

Fuzzy search with -Z

-Z[MAX], --fuzzy[=MAX]
        Fuzzy mode: report approximate pattern matches within MAX errors.
        By default, MAX is 1: one deletion, insertion or substitution is
        allowed.  When `+' and/or `-' precedes MAX, only insertions and/or
        deletions are allowed.  When `~' precedes MAX, substitution counts
        as one error.  For example, -Z+~3 allows up to three insertions or
        substitutions, but no deletions.  The first character of an
        approximate match always matches the begin of a pattern.  Option
        --sort=best orders matching files by best match.  No whitespace may
        be given between -Z and its argument.

The begin of a pattern always matches the first character of an approximate match as a practical strategy to prevent many false "randomized" matches for short patterns. This also greatly improves search speed. Make the first character optional to optionally match it, e.g. p?attern or use a dot as the start of the pattern to match any wide character (but this is slow).

Newlines (\n) and NUL (\0) characters are never deleted or substituted to ensure that fuzzy matches do not extend the pattern match beyond the number of lines specified by the regex pattern.

Option --sort=best orders files by best match. Files with at least one exact match anywhere in the file are shown first, followed by files with approximate matches in increasing minimal edit distance order. That is, ordered by the minimum error (edit distance) found among all approximate matches per file.

To recursively search for approximate matches of the word foobar with -Z, i.e. approximate matching with one error, e.g. Foobar, foo_bar, foo bar, fobar:

ugrep -Z 'foobar'

Same, but matching words only with -w and ignoring case with -i:

ugrep -Z -wi 'foobar'

Same, but permit up to 2 insertions with -Z+2, no deletions/substitutions (matches up to 2 extra characters, such as foos bar), insertions-only offers the fastest fuzzy matching method:

ugrep -Z+3 -wi 'foobar'

Same, but sort matches from best (at least one exact match or fewest fuzzy match errors) to worst:

ugrep -Z+3 -wi --sort=best 'foobar'

Note that sorting by best match requires two passes over the input files. In addition, the effectiveness of concurrent searching is significantly reduced.

Same, but with customized formatting to show the cost of the approximate matches with format field %Z:

ugrep -Z+3 -wi --format='%F%Z:%O%~' --sort=best 'foobar'

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Search hidden files with -.

--hidden, -.
        Search hidden files and directories.

To recursively search the working directory, including hidden files and directories, for the word login in shell scripts:

ugrep -. -tShell 'login'

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Using filter utilities to search documents with --filter

--filter=COMMANDS
        Filter files through the specified COMMANDS first before searching.
        COMMANDS is a comma-separated list of `exts:command [option ...]',
        where `exts' is a comma-separated list of filename extensions and
        `command' is a filter utility.  The filter utility should read from
        standard input and write to standard output.  Files matching one of
        `exts' are filtered.  When `exts' is `*', files with non-matching
        extensions are filtered.  One or more `option' separated by spacing
        may be specified, which are passed verbatim to the command.  A `%'
        as `option' expands into the pathname to search.  For example,
        --filter='pdf:pdftotext % -' searches PDF files.  The `%' expands
        into a `-' when searching standard input.  Option --label=.ext may
        be used to specify extension `ext' when searching standard input.
--filter-magic-label=LABEL:MAGIC
        Associate LABEL with files whose signature "magic bytes" match the
        MAGIC regex pattern.  Only files that have no filename extension
        are labeled, unless +LABEL is specified.  When LABEL matches an
        extension specified in --filter=COMMANDS, the corresponding command
        is invoked.  This option may be repeated.

The --filter option associates one or more filter utilities with specific filename extensions. A filter utility is selected based on the filename extension and executed by forking a process: the utility's standard input reads the open input file and the utility's standard output is searched. When a % is specified as an option to the utility, the % is expanded to the pathname of the file to open and read by the utility.

When a specified utility is not found on the system, an error message is displayed. When a utility fails to produce output, e.g. when the specified options for the utility are invalid, the search is silently skipped.

Common filter utilities are cat (concat, pass through), head (select first lines or bytes) tr (translate), iconv and uconv (convert), and more advanced document conversion utilities such as:

  • pdftotext to convert PDF to text
  • pandoc to convert .docx, .epub, and other document formats
  • soffice to convert office documents
  • csvkit to convert spreadsheets
  • openssl to convert certificates and key files to text and other formats
  • exiftool to read meta information embedded in image and video media formats.

Also decompressors may be used as filter utilities, such as unzip, gunzip, bunzip2, unlzma, and unxz that decompress files to standard output when option --stdout is specified. However, ugrep option -z is typically faster to search compressed files.

The --filter option may also be used to run a user-defined shell script to filter files. For example, to invoke an action depending on the filename extension of the % argument. Another use case is to pass a file to more than one filter, which can be accomplished with a shell script containing the line tool1 $1; tool2 $1. This filters the file argument $1 with tool1 followed by tool2 to produce combined output to search for pattern matches. Likewise, we can use a script with the line tool1 $1 | tool2 to stack two filters tool1 and tool2.

The --filter option may also be used as a predicate to skip certain files from the search. As the most basic example, consider the false utility that exits with a nonzero exit code without reading input or producing output. Therefore, --filter='swp: false' skips all .swp files from recursive searches. The same can be done more efficiently with -O^swp. However, the --filter option could invoke a script that determines if the filename passed as a % argument meets certain constraints. If the constraint is met the script copies standard input to standard output with cat. If not, the script exits.

Warning: option --filter should not be used with utilities that modify files. Otherwise searches may be unpredicatable. In the worst case files may be lost, for example when the specified utility replaces or deletes the file passed to the command with --filter option %.

To recursively search files including PDF files in the working directory without recursing into subdirectories (with -1), for matches of drink me using the pdftotext filter to convert PDF to text without preserving page breaks:

ugrep -r -1 --filter='pdf:pdftotext -nopgbrk % -' 'drink me'

To recursively search text files for eat me while converting non-printable characters in .txt and .md files using the cat -v filter:

ugrep -r -ttext --filter='txt,md:cat -v' 'eat me'

The same, but specifying the .txt and .md filters separately:

ugrep -r -ttext --filter='txt:cat -v, md:cat -v' 'eat me'

To search the first 8K of a text file:

ugrep --filter='txt:head -c 8192' 'eat me' wonderland.txt

To recursively search and list the files that contain the word Alice, including .docx and .epub documents using the pandoc filter:

ugrep -rl -w --filter='docx,epub:pandoc --wrap=preserve -t markdown % -o -' 'Alice'

Important: the pandoc utility requires an input file and will not read standard input. Option % expands into the full pathname of the file to search. The output format specified is markdown, which is close enough to text to be searched.

To recursively search and list the files that contain the word Alice, including .odt, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx documents using the soffice filter:

ugrep -rl -w --filter='odt,doc,docx,rtf,xls,xlsx,ppt,pptx:soffice --headless --cat %' 'Alice'

Important: the soffice utility will not output any text when one or more LibreOffice GUIs are open. Make sure to quit all LibreOffice apps first. This looks like a bug, but the LibreOffice developers do not appear to fix this any time soon (unless perhaps more people complain.)

To recursively search and display rows of .csv, .xls, and .xlsx spreadsheets that contain 10/6 using the in2csv filter of csvkit:

ugrep -r -Ocsv,xls,xlsx --filter='xls,xlsx:in2csv %' '10/6'

To search .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx files converted to XML for a match with 10/6 using unzip as a filter:

ugrep -lr -Odocx,xlsx,pptx --filter='docx,xlsx,pptx:unzip -p %' '10/6'

Important: unzipping docx, xlxs, pptx files produces extensive XML output containing meta information and binary data such as images. By contrast, ugrep option -z with -Oxml selects the XML components only:

ugrep -z -lr -Odocx,xlsx,pptx,xml '10/6'

Note: docx, xlsx, and pptx are zip files containing multiple components. When selecting the XML components with option -Oxml in docx, xlsx, and pptx documents, we should also specify -Odocx,xlsx,pptx to search these type of files, otherwise these files will be ignored.

To recurssively search X509 certificate files for lines with Not After (e.g. to find expired certificates), using openssl as a filter:

ugrep -r 'Not After' -Ocer,der,pem --filter='pem:openssl x509 -text,cer,crt,der:openssl x509 -text -inform der'

Note that openssl warning messages are displayed on standard error. If a file cannot be converted it is probably in a different format. This can be resolved by writing a shell script that executes openssl with options based on the file content. Then write a script with ugrep --filter.

To search PNG files by filename extension with -tpng using exiftool:

ugrep -r -i 'copyright' -tpng --filter='*:exiftool %'

Same, but also include files matching PNG "magic bytes" with -tPng and --filter-magic-label='+png:\x89png\x0d\x0a\x1a\x0a' to select the png filter:

ugrep -r -i 'copyright' -tPng --filter='png:exiftool %' --filter-magic-label='+png:\x89png\x0d\x0a\x1a\x0a'

Note that +png overrides any filename extension match for --filter. Otherwise, without a +, the filename extension, when present, takes priority over labelled magic patterns to invoke the corresponding filter command. The LABEL used with --filter-magic-label and --filter has no specific meaning; any name or string that does not contain a : or , may be used.

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Searching and displaying binary files with -U, -W, and -X

-U, --binary
        Disables Unicode matching for binary file matching, forcing PATTERN
        to match bytes, not Unicode characters.  For example, -U '\xa3'
        matches byte A3 (hex) instead of the Unicode code point U+00A3
        represented by the UTF-8 sequence C2 A3.  See also --dotall.
-W, --with-hex
        Output binary matches in hexadecimal, leaving text matches alone.
        This option is equivalent to the --binary-files=with-hex option.
-X, --hex
        Output matches in hexadecimal.  This option is equivalent to the
        --binary-files=hex option.
--hexdump=[1-8][b][c][h]
        Output matches in 1 to 8 columns of 8 hexadecimal octets.  The
        default is 2 columns or 16 octets per line.  Option `b' removes all
        space breaks, `c' removes the character column, and `h' removes the
        hex spacing.  Enables -X if -W or -X is not specified.
--dotall
        Dot `.' in regular expressions matches anything, including newline.
        Note that `.*' matches all input and should not be used.

To search a file for ASCII words, displaying text lines as usual while binary content is shown in hex with -U and -W:

ugrep -UW '\w+' myfile

To hexdump an entire file as a match with -X:

ugrep -X '' myfile

To hexdump an entire file with -X, displaying line numbers and byte offsets with -nb (here with -y to display all line numbers):

ugrep -Xynb '' myfile

To hexdump lines containing one or more \0 in a (binary) file using a non-Unicode pattern with -U and -X:

ugrep -UX '\x00+' myfile

Same, but hexdump the entire file as context with -y (note that this line-based option does not permit matching patterns with newlines):

ugrep -UX -y '\x00+' myfile

Same, compacted to 32 bytes per line without the character column:

ugrep -U --hexdump=4bc -y '\x00+' myfile

To match the binary pattern A3..A3. (hex) in a binary file without Unicode pattern matching (which would otherwise match \xaf as a Unicode character U+00A3 with UTF-8 byte sequence C2 A3) and display the results in hex with -X with pager less -R:

ugrep --pager -o -UX '\xa3[\x00-\xff]{2}\xa3[\x00-\xff]' a.out

Same, but using option --dotall to let . match any byte, including newline that is not matched by dot (the default as required by grep):

ugrep --dotall --pager -o -UX '\xa3.{2}\xa3.' a.out

To list all files containing a RPM signature, located in the rpm directory and recursively below (see for example list of file signatures):

ugrep -RlU '\A\xed\xab\xee\xdb' rpm

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Ignore binary files with -I

-I      Ignore matches in binary files.  This option is equivalent to the
        --binary-files=without-match option.

To recursively search without following symlinks and ignoring binary files:

ugrep -rl -I 'xyz'

To ignore specific binary files with extensions such as .exe, .bin, .out, .a, use --exclude or --exclude-from:

ugrep -rl --exclude-from=ignore_binaries 'xyz'

where ignore_binaries is a file containing a glob on each line to ignore matching files, e.g. *.exe, *.bin, *.out, *.a. Because the command is quite long to type, an alias for this is recommended, for example ugs (ugrep source):

alias ugs="ugrep --exclude-from=~/ignore_binaries"
ugs -rl 'xyz'

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Ignoring .gitignore-specified files with --ignore-files

--ignore-files[=FILE]
        Ignore files and directories matching the globs in each FILE that
        is encountered in recursive searches.  The default FILE is
        `.gitignore'.  Matching files and directories located in the
        directory tree rooted at a FILE's location are ignored by
        temporarily overriding the --exclude and --exclude-dir globs.
        Files and directories that are explicitly specified as command line
        arguments are never ignored.  This option may be repeated.

Option --ignore-files looks for .gitignore, or the specified FILE, in recursive searches. When found, the .gitignore file is used to exclude the files and directories matching the globs in .gitignore in the directory tree rooted at the .gitignore location by temporarily overriding the --exclude and --exclude-dir globs, i.e. the .gitignore exclusions are applied precisely and exclusively. Use --stats to show the selection criteria applied to the search results and the locations of each FILE found. To avoid confusion, files and directories specified as command-line arguments to ugrep are never ignored.

Note that exclude glob patterns take priority over include glob patterns when specified with command line options. By contrast, negated glob patterns specified with ! in --ignore-files files take priority. This effectively overrides the exclusions and resolves conflicts in favor of listing matching files that are explicitly specified as exceptions and should be included in the search.

See also Using gitignore-style globs to select directories and files to search.

To recursively search without following symlinks, while ignoring files and directories ignored by .gitignore (when present), use option --ignore-files:

ugrep -rl --ignore-files 'xyz'

Same, but includes hidden files with -. rather than ignoring them:

ugrep -rl. --ignore-files 'xyz'

To recursively list all files that are not ignored by .gitignore (when present) with --ignore-files (note that -R is redundant, since no FILE arguments are given):

ugrep -Rl '' --ignore-files

Same, but list shell scripts that are not ignored by .gitignore, when present:

ugrep -Rl -tShell '' --ignore-files

To recursively list all files that are not ignored by .gitignore and are also not excluded by .git/info/exclude:

ugrep -Rl '' --ignore-files --exclude-from=.git/info/exclude

Same, but by creating a symlink to .git/info/exclude to make the exclusions implicit:

ln -s .git/info/exclude .ignore
ugrep -Rl '' --ignore-files --ignore-files=.ignore

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Using gitignore-style globs to select directories and files to search

-g GLOBS, --glob=GLOBS
        Search only files whose name matches the specified comma-separated
        list of GLOBS, same as --include='glob' for each `glob' in GLOBS.
        When a `glob' is preceded by a `!' or a `^', skip files whose name
        matches `glob', same as --exclude='glob'.  When `glob' contains a
        `/', full pathnames are matched.  Otherwise basenames are matched.
        When `glob' ends with a `/', directories are matched, same as
        --include-dir='glob' and --exclude-dir='glob'.  A leading `/'
        matches the working directory.  This option may be repeated and may
        be combined with options -M, -O and -t to expand the recursive
        search.
--exclude=GLOB
        Skip files whose name matches GLOB using wildcard matching, same as
        -g !GLOB.  GLOB can use **, *, ?, and [...] as wildcards, and \\ to
        quote a wildcard or backslash character literally.  When GLOB
        contains a `/', full pathnames are matched.  Otherwise basenames
        are matched.  When GLOB ends with a `/', directories are excluded
        as if --exclude-dir is specified.  Otherwise files are excluded.
        Note that --exclude patterns take priority over --include patterns.
        GLOB should be quoted to prevent shell globbing.  This option may
        be repeated.
--exclude-dir=GLOB
        Exclude directories whose name matches GLOB from recursive
        searches.  GLOB can use **, *, ?, and [...] as wildcards, and \\ to
        quote a wildcard or backslash character literally.  When GLOB
        contains a `/', full pathnames are matched.  Otherwise basenames
        are matched.  Note that --exclude-dir patterns take priority over
        --include-dir patterns.  GLOB should be quoted to prevent shell
        globbing.  This option may be repeated.
--exclude-from=FILE
        Read the globs from FILE and skip files and directories whose name
        matches one or more globs (as if specified by --exclude and
        --exclude-dir).  Lines starting with a `#' and empty lines in FILE
        are ignored.  When FILE is a `-', standard input is read.  This
        option may be repeated.
--ignore-files[=FILE]
        Ignore files and directories matching the globs in each FILE that
        is encountered in recursive searches.  The default FILE is
        `.gitignore'.  Matching files and directories located in the
        directory tree rooted at a FILE's location are ignored by
        temporarily overriding the --exclude and --exclude-dir globs.
        Files and directories that are explicitly specified as command line
        arguments are never ignored.  This option may be repeated.
--include=GLOB
        Search only files whose name matches GLOB using wildcard matching,
        same as -g GLOB.  GLOB can use **, *, ?, and [...] as wildcards,
        and \\ to quote a wildcard or backslash character literally.  When
        GLOB contains a `/', full pathnames are matched.  Otherwise
        basenames are matched.  When GLOB ends with a `/', directories are
        included as if --include-dir is specified.  Otherwise files are
        included.  Note that --exclude patterns take priority over
        --include patterns.  GLOB should be quoted to prevent shell
        globbing.  This option may be repeated.
--include-dir=GLOB
        Only directories whose name matches GLOB are included in recursive
        searches.  GLOB can use **, *, ?, and [...] as wildcards, and \\ to
        quote a wildcard or backslash character literally.  When GLOB
        contains a `/', full pathnames are matched.  Otherwise basenames
        are matched.  Note that --exclude-dir patterns take priority over
        --include-dir patterns.  GLOB should be quoted to prevent shell
        globbing.  This option may be repeated.
--include-from=FILE
        Read the globs from FILE and search only files and directories
        whose name matches one or more globs (as if specified by --include
        and --include-dir).  Lines starting with a `#' and empty lines in
        FILE are ignored.  When FILE is a `-', standard input is read.
        This option may be repeated.
-O EXTENSIONS, --file-extension=EXTENSIONS
        Search only files whose filename extensions match the specified
        comma-separated list of EXTENSIONS, same as --include='*.ext' for
        each `ext' in EXTENSIONS.  When `ext' is preceded by a `!' or a
        `^', skip files whose filename extensions matches `ext', same as
        --exclude='*.ext'.  This option may be repeated and may be combined
        with options -g, -M and -t to expand the recursive search.
--stats
        Output statistics on the number of files and directories searched,
        and the inclusion and exclusion constraints applied.

See also Including or excluding mounted file systems from searches.

Gitignore-style glob syntax and conventions:

glob matches
* matches anything except a /
? matches any one character except a /
[a-z] matches one character in the selected range of characters
[^a-z] matches one character not in the selected range of characters
[!a-z] matches one character not in the selected range of characters
/ when used at the begin of a glob, matches working directory
**/ matches zero or more directories
/** when at the end of a glob, matches everything after the /
\? matches a ? (or any character specified after the backslash)

When a glob contains a path separator /, the pathname is matched. Otherwise the basename of a file or directory is matched. For example, *.h matches foo.h and bar/foo.h. bar/*.h matches bar/foo.h but not foo.h and not bar/bar/foo.h.

When a glob begins with a /, files and directories are matched at the working directory, i.e. not recursively. For example, use a leading / to force /*.h to match foo.h but not bar/foo.h.

When a glob ends with a /, directories are matched instead of files, same as --include-dir.

When a glob starts with a ! as specified with -g!GLOB, or specified in a FILE with --include-from=FILE or --exclude-from=FILE, it is negated.

To view a list of inclusions and exclusions that were applied to a search, use option --stats.

To list only readable files with names starting with foo in the working directory, that contain xyz, without producing warning messages with -s and -l:

ugrep -sl 'xyz' foo*

The same, but using deep recursion with inclusion constraints (note that -g'/foo* is the same as --include='/foo*' and -g'/foo*/' is the same as --include-dir='/foo*', i.e. immediate subdirectories matching /foo* only):

ugrep -Rl 'xyz' -g'/foo*' -g'/foo*/'

Note that -R is the default, we use it here to make the examples easier to follow.

To exclude directory bak located in the working directory:

ugrep -Rl 'xyz' -g'^/bak/'

To exclude all directoies bak at any directory level deep:

ugrep -Rl 'xyz' -g'^bak/'

To only list files in the working directory and its subdirectory doc, that contain xyz (note that -g'/doc/' is the same as --include-dir='/doc', i.e. immediate subdirectory doc only):

ugrep -Rl 'xyz' -g'/doc/'

To only list files that are on a subdirectory path doc that includes subdirectory html anywhere, that contain xyz:

ugrep -Rl 'xyz' -g'doc/**/html/'

To only list files in the working directory and in the subdirectories doc and doc/latest but not below, that contain xyz:

ugrep -Rl 'xyz' -g'/doc/' -g'/doc/latest/'

To recursively list .cpp files in the working directory and any subdirectory at any depth, that contain xyz:

ugrep -Rl 'xyz' -g'*.cpp'

The same, but using a .gitignore-style glob that matches pathnames (globs with /) instead of matching basenames (globs without /) in the recursive search:

ugrep -Rl 'xyz' -g'**/*.cpp'

Same, but using option -Ocpp to match file name extensions:

ugrep -Rl -Ocpp 'xyz'

To recursively list all files in the working directory and below that are not ignored by a specific .gitignore file:

ugrep -Rl '' --exclude-from=.gitignore

To recursively list all files in the working directory and below that are not ignored by one or more .gitignore files, when any are present:

ugrep -Rl '' --ignore-files

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Including or excluding mounted file systems from searches

--exclude-fs=MOUNTS
        Exclude file systems specified by MOUNTS from recursive searches,
        MOUNTS is a comma-separated list of mount points or pathnames of
        directories on file systems.  Note that --exclude-fs mounts take
        priority over --include-fs mounts.  This option may be repeated.
--include-fs=MOUNTS
        Only file systems specified by MOUNTS are included in recursive
        searches.  MOUNTS is a comma-separated list of mount points or
        pathnames of directories on file systems.  --include-fs=. restricts
        recursive searches to the file system of the working directory
        only.  Note that --exclude-fs mounts take priority over
        --include-fs mounts.  This option may be repeated.

These options control recursive searches across file systems by comparing device numbers. Mounted devices and symbolic links to files and directories located on mounted file systems may be included or excluded from recursive searches by specifying a mount point or a pathname of any directory on the file system to specify the applicable file system.

Note that a list of mounted file systems is typically stored in /etc/mtab.

To restrict recursive searches to the file system of the working directory only, without crossing into other file systems (similar to find option -x):

ugrep -Rl --include-fs=. 'xyz' 

To exclude the file systems mounted at /dev and /proc from recursive searches:

ugrep -Rl --exclude-fs=/dev,/proc 'xyz' 

To only include the file system associated with drive d: in recursive searches:

ugrep -Rl --include-fs=d:/ 'xyz' 

To exclude fuse and tmpfs type file systems from recursive searches:

exfs=`ugrep -w -e fuse -e tmpfs /etc/mtab | ugrep -P '^\S+ (\S+)' --format='%,%1'`
ugrep -Rl --exclude-fs="$exfs" 'xyz'

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Counting the number of matches with -c and -co

-c, --count
        Only a count of selected lines is written to standard output.
        If -o or -u is specified, counts the number of patterns matched.
        If -v is specified, counts the number of non-matching lines.

To count the number of lines in a file:

ugrep -c '' myfile.txt

To count the number of lines with TODO:

ugrep -c -w 'TODO' myfile.cpp

To count the total number of TODO in a file, use -c and -o:

ugrep -co -w 'TODO' myfile.cpp

To count the number of ASCII words in a file:

ugrep -co '[[:word:]]+' myfile.txt

To count the number of ASCII and Unicode words in a file:

ugrep -co '\w+' myfile.txt

To count the number of Unicode characters in a file:

ugrep -co '\p{Unicode}' myfile.txt

To count the number of zero bytes in a file:

ugrep -UX -co '\x00' image.jpg

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Displaying file, line, column, and byte offset info with -H, -n, -k, -b, and -T

-b, --byte-offset
        The offset in bytes of a matched line is displayed in front of the
        respective matched line.  When used with option -u, displays the
        offset in bytes of each pattern matched.  Byte offsets are exact
        for ASCII, UTF-8, and raw binary input.  Otherwise, the byte offset
        in the UTF-8 converted input is displayed.
-H, --with-filename
        Always print the filename with output lines.  This is the default
        when there is more than one file to search.
-k, --column-number
        The column number of a matched pattern is displayed in front of the
        respective matched line, starting at column 1.  Tabs are expanded
        when columns are counted, see option --tabs.
-n, --line-number
        Each output line is preceded by its relative line number in the
        file, starting at line 1.  The line number counter is reset for
        each file processed.
-T, --initial-tab
        Add a tab space to separate the file name, line number, column
        number, and byte offset with the matched line.

To display the file name -H, line -n, and column -k numbers of matches in myfile.cpp, with spaces and tabs to space the columns apart with -T:

ugrep -THnk 'main' myfile.cpp

To display the line with -n of word main in myfile.cpp:

ugrep -nw 'main' myfile.cpp

To display the entire file myfile.cpp with line -n numbers:

ugrep -n '' myfile.cpp

To recursively search for C++ files with main, showing the line and column numbers of matches with -n and -k:

ugrep -r -nk -tc++ 'main'

To display the byte offset of matches with -b:

ugrep -r -b -tc++ 'main'

To display the line and column numbers of matches in XML with --xml:

ugrep -r -nk --xml -tc++ 'main'

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Displaying colors with --color and paging the output with --pager

--color[=WHEN], --colour[=WHEN]
        Mark up the matching text with the expression stored in the
        GREP_COLOR or GREP_COLORS environment variable.  The possible
        values of WHEN can be `never', `always', or `auto', where `auto'
        marks up matches only when output on a terminal.  The default is
        `auto'.
--colors=COLORS, --colours=COLORS
        Use COLORS to mark up text.  COLORS is a colon-separated list of
        one or more parameters `sl=' (selected line), `cx=' (context line),
        `mt=' (matched text), `ms=' (match selected), `mc=' (match
        context), `fn=' (file name), `ln=' (line number), `cn=' (column
        number), `bn=' (byte offset), `se=' (separator).  Parameter values
        are ANSI SGR color codes or `k' (black), `r' (red), `g' (green),
        `y' (yellow), `b' (blue), `m' (magenta), `c' (cyan), `w' (white).
        Upper case specifies background colors.  A `+' qualifies a color as
        bright.  A foreground and a background color may be combined with
        font properties `n' (normal), `f' (faint), `h' (highlight), `i'
        (invert), `u' (underline).  Parameter `hl' enables file name
        hyperlinks.  Parameter `rv' reverses the `sl=' and `cx=' parameters
        with option -v.  Selectively overrides GREP_COLORS.
--tag[=TAG[,END]]
        Disables colors to mark up matches with TAG.  END marks the end of
        a match if specified, otherwise TAG.  The default is `___'.
--pager[=COMMAND]
        When output is sent to the terminal, uses COMMAND to page through
        the output.  The default COMMAND is `less -R'.  Enables --heading
        and --line-buffered.
--pretty
        When output is sent to a terminal, enables --color, --heading, -n,
        --sort and -T when not explicitly disabled or set.

To change the color palette, set the GREP_COLORS environment variable or use --colors=COLORS. The value is a colon-separated list of ANSI SGR parameters that defaults to cx=33:mt=1;31:fn=1;35:ln=1;32:cn=1;32:bn=1;32:se=36:

param result
sl= SGR substring for selected lines
cx= SGR substring for context lines
rv Swaps the sl= and cx= capabilities when -v is specified
mt= SGR substring for matching text in any matching line
ms= SGR substring for matching text in a selected line. The substring mt= by default
mc= SGR substring for matching text in a context line. The substring mt= by default
fn= SGR substring for file names
ln= SGR substring for line numbers
cn= SGR substring for column numbers
bn= SGR substring for byte offsets
se= SGR substring for separators

Multiple SGR codes may be specified for a single parameter when separated by a semicolon, e.g. mt=1;31 specifies bright red. The following SGR codes are available on most color terminals:

code c effect code c effect
0 n normal font and color 2 f faint (not widely supported)
1 h highlighted bold font 21 H highlighted bold off
4 u underline 24 U underline off
7 i invert video 27 I invert off
30 k black text 90 +k bright gray text
31 r red text 91 +r bright red text
32 g green text 92 +g bright green text
33 y yellow text 93 +y bright yellow text
34 b blue text 94 +b bright blue text
35 m magenta text 95 +m bright magenta text
36 c cyan text 96 +c bright cyan text
37 w white text 97 +w bright white text
40 K black background 100 +K bright gray background
41 R dark red background 101 +R bright red background
42 G dark green background 102 +G bright green background
43 Y dark yellow backgrounda 103 +Y bright yellow background
44 B dark blue background 104 +B bright blue background
45 M dark magenta background 105 +M bright magenta background
46 C dark cyan background 106 +C bright cyan background
47 W dark white background 107 +W bright white background

See Wikipedia ANSI escape code - SGR parameters

For quick and easy color specification, the corresponding single-letter color names may be used in place of numeric SGR codes. Semicolons are not required to separate color names. Color names and numeric codes may be mixed.

For example, to display matches in underlined bright green on bright selected lines, aiding in visualizing white space in matches and file names:

export GREP_COLORS='sl=1:cx=33:ms=1;4;32;100:mc=1;4;32:fn=1;32;100:ln=1;32:cn=1;32:bn=1;32:se=36'

The same, but with single-letter color names:

export GREP_COLORS='sl=h:cx=y:ms=hug+K:mc=hug:fn=hg+K:ln=hg:cn=hg:bn=hg:se=c'

Another color scheme that works well:

export GREP_COLORS='cx=hb:ms=hiy:mc=hic:fn=hi+y+K:ln=hg:cn=hg:bn=hg:se='

Modern Windows command interpreters support ANSI escape codes. Named or numeric colors can be set with SET GREP_COLORS, for example:

SET GREP_COLORS=sl=1;37:cx=33:mt=1;31:fn=1;35:ln=1;32:cn=1;32:bn=1;32:se=36

To disable colors on Windows:

SET GREP_COLORS=""

Color intensities may differ per platform and per terminal program used, which affects readability.

Option -y outputs every line of input, including non-matching lines as context. The use of color helps distinguish matches from non-matching context.

To copy silver searcher's color palette:

export GREP_COLORS='mt=30;43:fn=1;32:ln=1;33:cn=1;33:bn=1;33'

To produce color-highlighted results (--color is redundance since it is the default):

ugrep --color -R -n -k -tc++ 'FIXME.*'

To page through the results with pager (less -R by default):

ugrep --pager -R -n -k -tc++ 'FIXME'

To display a hexdump of a zip file itself (i.e. without decompressing), with color-highlighted matches of the zip magic bytes PK\x03\x04 (--color is redundant since it is the default):

ugrep --color -y -UX 'PK\x03\x04' some.zip

To use predefined patterns to list all #include and #define in C++ files:

ugrep --pretty -R -n -tc++ -f c++/includes -f c++/defines

Same, but overriding the color of matches as inverted yellow (reverse video) and headings with yellow on blue using --pretty:

ugrep --pretty --colors="ms=yi:fn=hyB" -R -n -tc++ -f c++/includes -f c++/defines

To list all #define FOO... macros in C++ files, color-highlighted:

ugrep --color=always -R -n -tc++ -f c++/defines | ugrep 'FOO.*'

Same, but restricted to .cpp files only:

ugrep --color=always -R -n -Ocpp -f c++/defines | ugrep 'FOO.*'

To search tarballs for matching names of PDF files (assuming bash is our shell):

for tb in *.tar *.tar.gz *.tgz; do echo "$tb"; tar tfz "$tb" | ugrep '.*\.pdf$'; done

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Output matches in JSON, XML, CSV, C++

--cpp   Output file matches in C++.  See also options --format and -u.
--csv   Output file matches in CSV.  If -H, -n, -k, or -b is specified,
        additional values are output.  See also options --format and -u.
--json  Output file matches in JSON.  If -H, -n, -k, or -b is specified,
        additional values are output.  See also options --format and -u.
--xml   Output file matches in XML.  If -H, -n, -k, or -b is specified,
        additional values are output.  See also options --format and -u.

To recursively search for lines with TODO and display C++ file matches in JSON with line number properties:

ugrep -tc++ -n --json 'TODO'

To recursively search for lines with TODO and display C++ file matches in XML with line and column number attributes:

ugrep -tc++ -nk --xml 'TODO'

To recursively search for lines with TODO and display C++ file matches in CSV format with file pathname, line number, and column number fields:

ugrep -tc++ --csv -Hnk 'TODO'

To extract a table from an HTML file and put it in C/C++ source code using -o:

ugrep -o --cpp '<tr>.*</tr>' index.html > table.cpp

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Customized output with --format

--format=FORMAT
        Output FORMAT-formatted matches.  For example `--format=%f:%n:%O%~'
        outputs matching lines `%O' with filename `%f` and line number `%n'
        followed by a newline `%~'.   Context options -A, -B, -C, and -y are
        ignored.  See `man ugrep' section FORMAT.

The following output formatting options may be used. The FORMAT string %-fields are listed in a table further below:

option result
--format-begin=FORMAT FORMAT when beginning the search
--format-open=FORMAT FORMAT when opening a file and a match was found
--format=FORMAT FORMAT for each match in a file
--format-close=FORMAT FORMAT when closing a file and a match was found
--format-end=FORMAT FORMAT when ending the search

The following tables show the formatting options corresponding to --csv, --json, and --xml.

--csv

option format string (within quotes)
--format '%[,]$%H%N%K%B%V%~%u'

--json

option format string (within quotes)
--format-begin '['
--format-open '%,%~ {%~ %[,%~ ]$%["file": ]H"matches": ['
--format '%,%~ { %[, ]$%["line": ]N%["column": ]K%["offset": ]B"match": %J }%u'
--format-close '%~ ]%~ }'
--format-end '%~]%~'

--xml

option format string (within quotes)
--format-begin '<grep>%~'
--format-open ' <file%[]$%[ name=]H>%~'
--format ' <match%[\"]$%[ line=\"]N%[ column=\"]K%[ offset=\"]B>%X</match>%~%u'
--format-close ' </file>%~'
--format-end '</grep>%~'

The following fields may be used in the FORMAT string:

field output
%F if option -H is used: the file pathname and separator
%[ARG]F if option -H is used: ARG, the file pathname and separator
%f the file pathname
%a the file basename without directory path
%p the directory path to the file
%z the pathname in a (compressed) archive, without { and }
%H if option -H is used: the quoted pathname and separator
%[ARG]H if option -H is used: ARG, the quoted pathname and separator
%h the quoted file pathname
%N if option -n is used: the line number and separator
%[ARG]N if option -n is used: ARG, the line number and separator
%n the line number of the match
%K if option -k is used: the column number and separator
%[ARG]K if option -k is used: ARG, the column number and separator
%k the column number of the match
%B if option -b is used: the byte offset and separator
%[ARG]B if option -b is used: ARG, the byte offset and separator
%b the byte offset of the match
%T if option -T is used: ARG and a tab character
%[ARG]T if option -T is used: ARG and a tab character
%t a tab character
%[SEP]$ set field separator to SEP for the rest of the format fields
%[ARG]< if the first match: ARG
%[ARG]> if not the first match: ARG
%, if not the first match: a comma, same as %[,]>
%: if not the first match: a colon, same as %[:]>
%; if not the first match: a semicolon, same as %[;]>
%โ”‚ if not the first match: a verical bar, same as %[โ”‚]>
%[ARG]S if not the first match: ARG and separator, see also %$
%s the separator, see also %S and %$
%~ a newline character, same as \n
%m the number of matches or matched files
%O the matching line is output as is (a raw string of bytes)
%o the match is output as is (a raw string of bytes)
%Q the matching line as a quoted string, \" and \\ replace " and \
%q the match as a quoted string, \" and \\ replace " and \
%C the matching line formatted as a quoted C/C++ string
%c the match formatted as a quoted C/C++ string
%J the matching line formatted as a quoted JSON string
%j the match formatted as a quoted JSON string
%V the matching line formatted as a quoted CSV string
%v the match formatted as a quoted CSV string
%X the matching line formatted as XML character data
%x the match formatted as XML character data
%w the width of the match, counting (wide) characters
%d the size of the match, counting bytes
%e the ending byte offset of the match
%Z the edit distance cost of an approximate match with option -Z
%u select unique lines only unless option -u is used
%1,%2,...,%9 the first regex group capture of the match, and so on up to group %9, requires option -P
%[NUM]# the regex group capture NUM; requires option -P
%[NUM1|NUM2|...]# the first group capture NUM that matched; requires option -P
%[NAME]# the NAMEd group capture; requires option -P and capturing pattern (?<NAME>PATTERN)
%[NAME1|NAME2|...]# the first NAMEd group capture that matched; requires option -P and capturing pattern (?<NAME>PATTERN)
%G list of group capture indices/names of the match (see note)
%[TEXT1|TEXT2|...]G list of TEXT indexed by group capture indices that matched; requires option -P
%g the group capture index of the match or 1 (see note)
%[TEXT1|TEXT2|...]g the first TEXT indexed by the first group capture index that matched; requires option -P
%% the percentage sign

Note:

  • Formatted output is written without a terminating newline, unless %~ or \n is explicitly specified in the format string.
  • The [ARG] part of a field is optional and may be omitted. When present, the argument must be placed in [] brackets, for example %[,]F to output a comma, the pathname, and a separator, when option -H is used.
  • Fields %[SEP]$ and %u are switches and do not write anything to the output.
  • The separator used by %F, %H, %N, %K, %B, %S, and %G may be changed by preceding the field with a %[SEP]$. When [SEP] is not provided, reverts the separator to the default separator or the separator specified by --separator.
  • Formatted output is written for each matching pattern, which means that a line may be output multiple times when patterns match more than once on the same line. When field %u is found anywhere in the specified format string, matching lines are output only once unless option -u, --ungroup is used or when a newline is matched.
  • The group capture index value output by %g corresponds to the index of the sub-pattern matched among the alternations in the pattern when option -P is not used. For example foo|bar matches foo with index 1 and bar with index 2. With option -P, the index corresponds to the number of the group captured in the specified pattern.
  • The strings specified in the list %[TEXT1|TEXT2|...]G and %[TEXT1|TEXT2|...]g should correspond to the group capture index (see the note above), i.e. TEXT1 is output for index 1, TEXT2 is output for index 2, and so on. If the list is too short, the index value is output or the name of a named group capture is output.

To output matching lines faster by omitting the header output and binary match checks, using --format with field %O (output matching line as is) and field %~ (output newline):

ugrep --format='%O%~' 'href=' index.html

Same, but also displaying the line and column numbers:

ugrep --format='%n%k: %O%~' 'href=' index.html

Same, but display a line at most once when matching multiple patterns, unless option -u is used:

ugrep --format='%u%n%k: %O%~' 'href=' index.html

To string together a list of unique line numbers of matches, separated by commas with field %,:

ugrep --format='%u%,%n' 'href=' index.html

To output the matching part of a line only with field %o (or option -o with field %O):

ugrep --format='%o%~' "href=[\"'][^\"'][\"']" index.html

To string together the pattern matches as CSV-formatted strings with field %v separated by commas with field %,:

ugrep --format='%,%v' "href=[\"'][^\"'][\"']" index.html

To output matches in CSV (comma-separated values), the same as option --csv (works with options -H, -n, -k, -b to add CSV values):

ugrep --format='"%[,]$%H%N%K%B%V%~%u"' 'href=' index.html

To output matches in AckMate format:

ugrep --format=":%f%~%n;%k %w:%O%~" 'href=' index.html

To output the sub-pattern indices 1, 2, and 3 on the left to the match for the three patterns foo, bar, and baz in file foobar.txt:

ugrep --format='%g: %o%~' 'foo|bar|baz' foobar.txt

Same, but using a file foos containing three lines with foo, bar, and baz, where option -F is used to match strings instead of regex:

ugrep -F -f foos --format='%g: %o%~' foobar.txt

To output one, two, and a word for the sub-patterns [fF]oo, [bB]ar, and any other word \w+, respectively, using argument [one|two|a word] with field %g indexed by sub-pattern (or group captures with option -P):

ugrep --format='%[one|two|a word]g%~' '([fF]oo)|([bB]ar)|(\w+)' foobar.txt

To output a list of group capture indices with %G separated by the word and instead of the default colons with %[ and ]$, followed by the matching line:

ugrep -P --format='%[ and ]$%G%$%s%O%~' '(foo)|(ba((r)|(z)))' foobar.txt

Same, but showing names instead of numbers:

ugrep -P --format='%[ and ]$%[foo|ba|r|z]G%$%s%O%~' '(foo)|(ba(?:(r)|(z)))' foobar.txt

Note that option -P is required for general use of group captures for sub-patterns. Named sub-pattern matches may be used with PCRE2 and shown in the output:

ugrep -P --format='%[ and ]$%G%$%s%O%~' '(?P<foo>foo)|(?P<ba>ba(?:(?P<r>r)|(?P<z>z)))' foobar.txt

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Replacing matches with -P --format backreferences to group captures

--format=FORMAT
        Output FORMAT-formatted matches.  For example `--format=%f:%n:%O%~'
        outputs matching lines `%O' with filename `%f` and line number `%n'
        followed by a newline `%~'. See `man ugrep' section FORMAT.
-P, --perl-regexp
        Interpret PATTERN as a Perl regular expression.

To extract table cells from an HTML file using Perl matching (-P) to support group captures with lazy quantifier (.*?), and translate the matches to a comma-separated list with format %,%1 (conditional comma and group capture):

ugrep -P '<td>(.*?)</td>' --format='%,%1' index.html

Same, but displaying the replaced matches line-by-line:

ugrep -P '<td>(.*?)</td>' --format='%1\n' index.html

To collect all href URLs from all HTML and PHP files down the working directory, then sort them:

ugrep -R -thtml,php -P '<[^<>]+href\h*=\h*.([^\x27"]+).' --format='%1%~' | sort -u

Same, but much easier by using the predefined html/href pattern:

ugrep -R -thtml,php -P -f html/href --format='%1%~' | sort -u

Likewise, but in this case select <script> src URLs when referencing http and https sites:

ugrep -R -thtml,php -P '<script.*src\h*=\h*.(https?:[^\x27"]+).' --format='%1%~' | sort -u

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Limiting the number of matches with -1,-2...-9, -K, -m, and --max-files

--depth=[MIN,][MAX], -1, -2 ... -9, --10, --11 ...
        Restrict recursive searches from MIN to MAX directory levels deep,
        where -1 (--depth=1) searches the specified path without recursing
        into subdirectories.  Note that -3 -5, -3-5, or -35 searches 3 to 5
        levels deep.  Enables -R if -R or -r is not specified.
-K FIRST[,LAST], --range=FIRST[,LAST]
        Start searching at line FIRST, stop at line LAST when specified.
-m NUM, --max-count=NUM
        Stop reading the input after NUM matches for each file processed.
--max-files=NUM
        Restrict the number of files matched to NUM.  Note that --sort or
        -J1 may be specified to produce replicable results.  If --sort is
        specified, the number of threads spawned is limited to NUM.
--sort[=KEY]
        Displays matching files in the order specified by KEY in recursive
        searches.  KEY can be `name' to sort by pathname (default), `best'
        to sort by best match with option -Z (sort by best match requires
        two passes over the input files), `size' to sort by file size,
        `used' to sort by last access time, `changed' to sort by last
        modification time, and `created' to sort by creation time.  Sorting
        is reversed with `rname', `rbest', `rsize', `rused', `rchanged', or
        `rcreated'.  Archive contents are not sorted.  Subdirectories are
        sorted and displayed after matching files.  FILE arguments are
        searched in the same order as specified.  Normally ugrep displays
        matches in no particular order to improve performance.

To show only the first 10 matches of FIXME in C++ files in the working directory and all subdirectories below:

ugrep -R -m10 -tc++ FIXME

Same, but recursively search up to two directory levels, meaning that ./ and ./sub/ are visited but not deeper:

ugrep -2 -m10 -tc++ FIXME

To show only the first two files that have one or more matches of FIXME in the list of files sorted by pathname, using --max-files=2:

ugrep --sort -R --max-files=2 -tc++ FIXME

To search file install.sh for the occurrences of the word make after the first line, we use -K with line number 2 to start searching, where -n shows the line numbers in the output:

ugrep -n -K2 -w make install.sh

Same, but restricting the search to lines 2 to 40 (inclusive):

ugrep -n -K2,40 -w make install.sh

Same, but showing all lines 2 to 40 with -y:

ugrep -y -n -K2,40 -w make install.sh

Same, but showing only the first four matching lines after line 2, with one line of context:

ugrep -n -C1 -K2 -m4 -w make install.sh

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Matching empty patterns with -Y

-Y, --empty
        Permits empty matches.  By default, empty matches are disabled,
        unless a pattern begins with `^' or ends with `$'.  Note that -Y
        when specified with an empty-matching pattern, such as x? and x*,
        match all input, not only lines containing the character `x'.

Option -Y permits empty pattern matches, like GNU/BSD grep. This option is introduced by ugrep to prevent accidental matching with empty patterns: empty-matching patterns such as x? and x* match all input, not only lines with x. By default, without -Y, patterns match lines with at least one x as intended.

This option is automatically enabled when a pattern starts with ^ or ends with $ is specified. For example, ^\h*$ matches blank lines, including empty lines.

To recursively list files in the working directory with blank lines, i.e. lines with white space only, including empty lines (note that option -Y is implicitly enabled since the pattern starts with ^ and ends with $):

ugrep -l '^\h*$'

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Case-insentitive matching with -i and -j

-i, --ignore-case
        Perform case insensitive matching.  By default, ugrep is case
        sensitive.  By default, this option applies to ASCII letters only.
        Use options -P and -i for Unicode case insensitive matching.
-j, --smart-case
        Perform case insensitive matching like option -i, unless a pattern
        is specified with a literal ASCII upper case letter.

To match todo in myfile.cpp regardless of case:

 ugrep -i 'todo' myfile.txt

To match todo XXX with todo in any case but XXX as given, with pattern (?i:todo) to match todo ignoring case:

 ugrep '(?i:todo) XXX' myfile.cpp

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Sort files by name, best match, size, and time

--sort[=KEY]
        Displays matching files in the order specified by KEY in recursive
        searches.  KEY can be `name' to sort by pathname (default), `best'
        to sort by best match with option -Z (sort by best match requires
        two passes over the input files), `size' to sort by file size,
        `used' to sort by last access time, `changed' to sort by last
        modification time, and `created' to sort by creation time.  Sorting
        is reversed with `rname', `rbest', `rsize', `rused', `rchanged', or
        `rcreated'.  Archive contents are not sorted.  Subdirectories are
        sorted and displayed after matching files.  FILE arguments are
        searched in the same order as specified.  Normally ugrep displays
        matches in no particular order to improve performance.

The matching files are displayed in the order specified by --sort. By default, the output is not sorted to improve performance, unless option -Q is used which sorts files by name by default. An optimized sorting method and strategy are implemented in the asynchronous output class to keep the overhead of sorting very low. Directories are displayed after files are displayed first, when recursing, which visually aids the user in finding the "closest" matching files first at the top of the displayed results.

To recursively search for C++ files that match main and sort them by name:

ugrep --sort -tc++ 'main'

Same, but sorted by time changed from most recent to oldest:

ugrep --sort=rchanged -tc++ 'main'

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Tips for advanced users

When searching non-binary files only, the binary content check is disabled with option -a to speed up displaying matches. For example, searching for line with int in C++ source code:

ugrep -r -a -Ocpp -w 'int'

If a file has potentially many pattern matches, but each match is only one a single line, then option -u can be used to speed up displaying matches:

ugrep -r -a -u -Opython -w 'def'

Even greater speeds can be achieved with --format when searching files with many matches. For example, --format='%O%~' displays matching lines for each match on that line, while --format='%o%~' displays the matching part only. Note that the --format option does not check for binary matches, so the output is "as is". To match text and binary, you can use --format='%C%~' to display matches formatted as quoted C++ strings with escapes. To display a line at most once (unless option -u is used), add the %u (unique) field to the format string, e.g. --format='%u%O%~'.

For example, to match all words recursively in the working directory with line and column numbers, where %n is the line number, %k is the column number, %o is the match (only matching), and %~ is a newline:

ugrep -r --format='%n,%k:%o%~' '\w+'

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More examples

To search for pattern -o in script.sh using -e to explicitly specify a pattern to prevent pattern -o from being interpreted as an option:

ugrep -n -e '-o' script.sh

Alternatively, using -- to end the list of command arguments:

ugrep -n -- '-o' script.sh

To recursively list all text files (.txt and .md) that do not properly end with a \n (-o is required to match \n or \z):

ugrep -L -o -Otext '\n\z'

To list all markdown sections in text files (.text, .txt, .TXT, and .md):

ugrep -o -ttext -e '^.*(?=\r?\n(===|---))' -e '^#{1,6}\h+.*'

To display multi-line backtick and indented code blocks in markdown files with their line numbers, using a lazy quantifier *? to make the pattern compact:

ugrep -n -ttext -e '^```(.|\n)*?\n```' -e '^(\t|[ ]{4}).*'

To find mismatched code (a backtick without matching backtick on the same line) in markdown:

ugrep -n -ttext -e '`[^`]+' -N '`[^`]*`'

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Man page

UGREP(1)                         User Commands                        UGREP(1)



NAME
       ugrep, ug -- file pattern searcher

SYNOPSIS
       ugrep [OPTIONS] [-A NUM] [-B NUM] [-C NUM] [-y] [-Q|PATTERN] [-f FILE]
             [-e PATTERN] [-N PATTERN] [-t TYPES] [-g GLOBS] [--sort[=KEY]]
             [--color[=WHEN]|--colour[=WHEN]] [--pager[=COMMAND]] [FILE ...]

DESCRIPTION
       The  ugrep utility searches any given input files, selecting lines that
       match one or more patterns.  By default, a  pattern  matches  an  input
       line  if the regular expression (RE) matches the input line.  A pattern
       matches multiple input lines if the RE in the pattern  matches  one  or
       more newlines in the input.  An empty pattern matches every line.  Each
       input line that matches at least one of the patterns is written to  the
       standard output.

       ugrep accepts input of various encoding formats and normalizes the out-
       put to UTF-8.  When a UTF byte order mark is present in the input,  the
       input  is  automatically normalized; otherwise, ugrep assumes the input
       is ASCII, UTF-8, or raw binary.  An input encoding format may be speci-
       fied with option --encoding.

       The ug command is equivalent to ugrep --config to load the default con-
       figuration file, which allows for customization, see CONFIGURATION.

       If no FILE arguments are specified and standard input is  read  from  a
       terminal,  recursive  searches are performed as if -R is specified.  To
       force reading from standard input, specify `-' as a FILE argument.

       Directories specified as FILE arguments are searched without  recursing
       into subdirectories, unless -R, -r, or -2...-9 is specified.

       Hidden files and directories are ignored in recursive searches.  Option
       -. (--hidden)  includes  hidden  files  and  directories  in  recursive
       searches.

       A  query interface is opened with -Q (--query) to interactively specify
       search patterns and view search results.  Note that a PATTERN  argument
       cannot be specified in this case.  To specify one or more patterns with
       -Q, use -e PATTERN.

       For help, --help WHAT displays help on options related to WHAT.

       The following options are available:

       -A NUM, --after-context=NUM
              Print NUM  lines  of  trailing  context  after  matching  lines.
              Places a --group-separator between contiguous groups of matches.
              See also options -B, -C, and -y.

       -a, --text
              Process a binary file as if it were text.  This is equivalent to
              the --binary-files=text option.  This option might output binary
              garbage to the terminal, which can have problematic consequences
              if the terminal driver interprets some of it as commands.

       --and [[-e] PATTERN] ... -e PATTERN
              Specify  additional  patterns to match.  Patterns must be speci-
              fied with -e.  Each -e PATTERN following this option is  consid-
              ered  an  alternative  pattern  to match, i.e. each -e is inter-
              preted as an OR pattern.  For example, -e A -e B --and -e C -e D
              matches  lines  with  (`A'  or `B') and (`C' or `D').  Note that
              multiple -e PATTERN are  alternations  that  bind  more  tightly
              together  than  --and.   Option --stats displays the search pat-
              terns applied.  See also options --not, --andnot, and --bool.

       --andnot [[-e] PATTERN] ...
              Combines --and  --not.   See  also  options  --and,  --not,  and
              --bool.

       -B NUM, --before-context=NUM
              Print  NUM  lines  of  leading  context  before  matching lines.
              Places a --group-separator between contiguous groups of matches.
              See also options -A, -C, and -y.

       -b, --byte-offset
              The  offset  in bytes of a matched line is displayed in front of
              the respective matched line.  If -u is specified,  displays  the
              offset  for each pattern matched on the same line.  Byte offsets
              are exact for ASCII, UTF-8, and raw  binary  input.   Otherwise,
              the byte offset in the UTF-8 normalized input is displayed.

       --binary-files=TYPE
              Controls  searching  and  reporting  pattern  matches  in binary
              files.  TYPE can be `binary',  `without-match`,  `text`,  `hex`,
              and  `with-hex'.  The default is `binary' to search binary files
              and to report a match  without  displaying  the  match.   `with-
              out-match'  ignores  binary  matches.   `text' treats all binary
              files as text, which might output binary garbage to  the  termi-
              nal,  which  can  have  problematic consequences if the terminal
              driver interprets some of it as  commands.   `hex'  reports  all
              matches  in hexadecimal.  `with-hex' only reports binary matches
              in hexadecimal, leaving text matches alone.  A match is  consid-
              ered  binary  when  matching  a zero byte or invalid UTF.  Short
              options are -a, -I, -U, -W, and -X.

       --bool, -%
              Specifies Boolean search patterns.  A Boolean search pattern  is
              composed  of  `AND', `OR', `NOT' operators and grouping with `('
              `)'.  Spacing between subpatterns is the same as `AND',  `|'  is
              the  same  as  `OR',  and  a `-' is the same as `NOT'.  The `OR'
              operator binds more tightly than  `AND'.   For  example,  --bool
              'A|B  C|D'  matches  lines  with  (`A' or `B') and (`C' or `D'),
              --bool 'A -B' matches lines with `A'  and  not  `B'.   Operators
              `AND',  `OR', `NOT' require proper spacing.  For example, --bool
              'A OR B AND C OR D' matches lines with (`A' or `B') and (`C'  or
              `D'),  --bool  'A AND NOT B' matches lines with `A' without `B'.
              Quoted subpatterns are matched literally as strings.  For  exam-
              ple,  --bool  'A  "AND"|"OR"'  matches  lines  with `A' and also
              either `AND' or `OR'.  Parenthesis are used for  grouping.   For
              example,  --bool  '(A  B)|C'  matches lines with `A' and `B', or
              lines with `C'.  Note that all subpatterns in a  Boolean  search
              pattern  are  regular  expressions,  unless  option  -F is used.
              Options -E, -F, -G, -P, and -Z can be combined  with  --bool  to
              match  subpatterns  as strings or regular expressions (-E is the
              default.)  This option does  not  apply  to  -f  FILE  patterns.
              Option  --stats  displays the search patterns applied.  See also
              options --and, --andnot, and --not.

       --break
              Adds a line break between results from different files.

       -C NUM, --context=NUM
              Print NUM lines of leading and trailing context surrounding each
              match.   Places a --group-separator between contiguous groups of
              matches.  See also options -A, -B, and -y.

       -c, --count
              Only a count of selected lines is written  to  standard  output.
              If -o or -u is specified, counts the number of patterns matched.
              If -v is specified, counts the number of non-matching lines.

       --color[=WHEN], --colour[=WHEN]
              Mark up the matching text with  the  expression  stored  in  the
              GREP_COLOR  or  GREP_COLORS  environment  variable.  WHEN can be
              `never', `always', or `auto', where `auto' marks up matches only
              when output on a terminal.  The default is `auto'.

       --colors=COLORS, --colours=COLORS
              Use COLORS to mark up text.  COLORS is a colon-separated list of
              one or more parameters `sl='  (selected  line),  `cx='  (context
              line),  `mt='  (matched  text),  `ms='  (match  selected), `mc='
              (match context), `fn=' (file name), `ln=' (line  number),  `cn='
              (column number), `bn=' (byte offset), `se=' (separator).  Param-
              eter values are ANSI SGR color codes or `k' (black), `r'  (red),
              `g'  (green),  `y'  (yellow),  `b'  (blue),  `m'  (magenta), `c'
              (cyan), `w' (white).  Upper case specifies background colors.  A
              `+'  qualifies a color as bright.  A foreground and a background
              color may be combined with font  properties  `n'  (normal),  `f'
              (faint), `h' (highlight), `i' (invert), `u' (underline).  Param-
              eter `hl' enables file name hyperlinks.  Parameter `rv' reverses
              the  `sl='  and  `cx='  parameters  with option -v.  Selectively
              overrides GREP_COLORS.

       --config[=FILE], ---[FILE]
              Use configuration FILE.  The  default  FILE  is  `.ugrep'.   The
              working  directory  is  checked  first  for  FILE, then the home
              directory.  The options specified in the configuration FILE  are
              parsed first, followed by the remaining options specified on the
              command line.

       --confirm
              Confirm actions in -Q query mode.  The default is confirm.

       --cpp  Output file matches in C++.  See also options --format and -u.

       --csv  Output file matches in CSV.  If -H, -n, -k, or -b is  specified,
              additional values are output.  See also options --format and -u.

       -D ACTION, --devices=ACTION
              If an input file is a device, FIFO  or  socket,  use  ACTION  to
              process  it.   By  default,  ACTION  is `skip', which means that
              devices are silently skipped.  If ACTION is `read', devices read
              just as if they were ordinary files.

       -d ACTION, --directories=ACTION
              If  an  input file is a directory, use ACTION to process it.  By
              default, ACTION  is  `skip',  i.e.,  silently  skip  directories
              unless specified on the command line.  If ACTION is `read', warn
              when directories are read as input.   If  ACTION  is  `recurse',
              read all files under each directory, recursively, following sym-
              bolic links only if they are  on  the  command  line.   This  is
              equivalent   to   the   -r   option.   If  ACTION  is  `derefer-
              ence-recurse', read all files under each directory, recursively,
              following  symbolic links.  This is equivalent to the -R option.

       --depth=[MIN,][MAX], -1, -2 ... -9, --10, --11 ...
              Restrict recursive searches from MIN  to  MAX  directory  levels
              deep,  where  -1 (--depth=1) searches the specified path without
              recursing into subdirectories.  Note that -3 -5,  -3-5,  or  -35
              searches  3  to  5  levels  deep.  Enables -R if -R or -r is not
              specified.

       --dotall
              Dot `.' in regular expressions matches anything, including  new-
              line.   Note that `.*' matches all input and should not be used.

       -E, --extended-regexp
              Interpret patterns as extended regular expressions (EREs).  This
              is the default.

       -e PATTERN, --regexp=PATTERN
              Specify  a PATTERN used during the search of the input: an input
              line is selected if it matches any of  the  specified  patterns.
              Note that longer patterns take precedence over shorter patterns.
              This option is most useful when multiple -e options are used  to
              specify  multiple  patterns,  when  a pattern begins with a dash
              (`-'), to specify a pattern after option -f or  after  the  FILE
              arguments.

       --encoding=ENCODING
              The  encoding  format  of  the  input,  where  ENCODING  can be:
              `binary', `ASCII', `UTF-8',  `UTF-16',  `UTF-16BE',  `UTF-16LE',
              `UTF-32',   `UTF-32BE',   `UTF-32LE',   `LATIN1',  `ISO-8859-1',
              `ISO-8859-2',    `ISO-8859-3',    `ISO-8859-4',    `ISO-8859-5',
              `ISO-8859-6',    `ISO-8859-7',    `ISO-8859-8',    `ISO-8859-9',
              `ISO-8859-10',  `ISO-8859-11',   `ISO-8859-13',   `ISO-8859-14',
              `ISO-8859-15',   `ISO-8859-16',   `MAC',  `MACROMAN',  `EBCDIC',
              `CP437',  `CP850',  `CP858',   `CP1250',   `CP1251',   `CP1252',
              `CP1253',  `CP1254',  `CP1255',  `CP1256',  `CP1257',  `CP1258',
              `KOI8-R', `KOI8-U', `KOI8-RU'.

       --exclude=GLOB
              Skip files whose name matches GLOB using wildcard matching, same
              as -g ^GLOB.  GLOB can use **, *, ?, and [...] as wildcards, and
              \ to quote a wildcard or backslash  character  literally.   When
              GLOB  contains  a  `/',  full  pathnames are matched.  Otherwise
              basenames are matched.  When GLOB ends with a  `/',  directories
              are  excluded as if --exclude-dir is specified.  Otherwise files
              are excluded.  Note that --exclude patterns take  priority  over
              --include  patterns.   GLOB  should  be  quoted to prevent shell
              globbing.  This option may be repeated.

       --exclude-dir=GLOB
              Exclude directories  whose  name  matches  GLOB  from  recursive
              searches.   GLOB can use **, *, ?, and [...] as wildcards, and \
              to quote a wildcard or backslash character literally.  When GLOB
              contains a `/', full pathnames are matched.  Otherwise basenames
              are matched.  Note that  --exclude-dir  patterns  take  priority
              over  --include-dir  patterns.  GLOB should be quoted to prevent
              shell globbing.  This option may be repeated.

       --exclude-from=FILE
              Read the globs from FILE and skip files  and  directories  whose
              name matches one or more globs (as if specified by --exclude and
              --exclude-dir).  Lines starting with a `#' and  empty  lines  in
              FILE  are  ignored.  When FILE is a `-', standard input is read.
              This option may be repeated.

       --exclude-fs=MOUNTS
              Exclude  file  systems  specified  by  MOUNTS   from   recursive
              searches,  MOUNTS  is  a comma-separated list of mount points or
              pathnames  of  directories   on   file   systems.    Note   that
              --exclude-fs  mounts  take  priority  over  --include-fs mounts.
              This option may be repeated.

       -F, --fixed-strings
              Interpret pattern as a set of fixed strings, separated  by  new-
              lines,  any  of which is to be matched.  This makes ugrep behave
              as fgrep.  If a PATTERN is specified, or -e PATTERN or  -N  PAT-
              TERN,  then  this  option  has  no effect on -f FILE patterns to
              allow -f FILE patterns to narrow or widen the scope of the  PAT-
              TERN search.

       -f FILE, --file=FILE
              Read  newline-separated patterns from FILE.  White space in pat-
              terns is significant.  Empty lines in FILE are ignored.  If FILE
              does  not  exist,  the GREP_PATH environment variable is used as
              path  to   FILE.    If   that   fails,   looks   for   FILE   in
              /usr/local/share/ugrep/patterns.   When  FILE is a `-', standard
              input is read.  Empty files contain no patterns; thus nothing is
              matched.  This option may be repeated.

       --filter=COMMANDS
              Filter files through the specified COMMANDS first before search-
              ing.   COMMANDS  is  a  comma-separated  list  of  `exts:command
              [option  ...]',  where `exts' is a comma-separated list of file-
              name extensions and `command' is a filter utility.   The  filter
              utility  should  read  from standard input and write to standard
              output.  Files matching one of `exts' are filtered.  When `exts'
              is `*', files with non-matching extensions are filtered.  One or
              more `option' separated by spacing may be specified,  which  are
              passed  verbatim to the command.  A `%' as `option' expands into
              the pathname to search.  For example, --filter='pdf:pdftotext  %
              -'  searches PDF files.  The `%' expands into a `-' when search-
              ing standard input.  Option --label=.ext may be used to  specify
              extension `ext' when searching standard input.

       --filter-magic-label=[+]LABEL:MAGIC
              Associate  LABEL  with files whose signature "magic bytes" match
              the MAGIC regex pattern.   Only  files  that  have  no  filename
              extension  are  labeled, unless +LABEL is specified.  When LABEL
              matches an extension specified in --filter=COMMANDS, the  corre-
              sponding command is invoked.  This option may be repeated.

       --format=FORMAT
              Output    FORMAT-formatted    matches.    For   example   --for-
              mat='%f:%n:%O%~' outputs matching lines `%O' with filename  `%f`
              and  line  number  `%n'  followed  by  a  newline `%~'.  Context
              options -A, -B, -C, and -y are ignored.  See `man ugrep' section
              FORMAT.

       --free-space
              Spacing (blanks and tabs) in regular expressions are ignored.

       -G, --basic-regexp
              Interpret pattern as a basic regular expression, i.e. make ugrep
              behave as traditional grep.

       -g GLOBS, --glob=GLOBS
              Search only files whose name matches the  specified  comma-sepa-
              rated list of GLOBS, same as --include='glob' for each `glob' in
              GLOBS.  When a `glob' is preceded by a `!' or a `^', skip  files
              whose  name  matches  `glob',  same  as  --exclude='glob'.  When
              `glob' contains a `/', full pathnames  are  matched.   Otherwise
              basenames are matched.  When `glob' ends with a `/', directories
              are    matched,     same     as     --include-dir='glob'     and
              --exclude-dir='glob'.   A leading `/' matches the working direc-
              tory.  This option may be repeated  and  may  be  combined  with
              options -M, -O and -t to expand the recursive search.

       --group-separator[=SEP]
              Use SEP as a group separator for context options -A, -B, and -C.
              The default is a double hyphen (`--').

       -H, --with-filename
              Always print the  filename  with  output  lines.   This  is  the
              default when there is more than one file to search.

       -h, --no-filename
              Never  print  filenames  with output lines.  This is the default
              when there is only one file (or only standard input) to  search.

       --heading, -+
              Group matches per file.  Adds a heading and a line break between
              results from different files.

       --help [WHAT], -? [WHAT]
              Display a help message, specifically on WHAT when specified.

       --hexdump=[1-8][b][c][h]
              Output matches in 1 to 8 columns of 8 hexadecimal  octets.   The
              default  is 2 columns or 16 octets per line.  Option `b' removes
              all space breaks, `c' removes  the  character  column,  and  `h'
              removes  the  hex spacing.  Enables -X if -W or -X is not speci-
              fied.

       --hidden, -.
              Search hidden files and directories.

       --hyperlink
              Hyperlinks are enabled for file names when colors  are  enabled.
              Same as --colors=hl.

       -I, --ignore-binary
              Ignore  matches  in  binary files.  This option is equivalent to
              the --binary-files=without-match option.

       -i, --ignore-case
              Perform case insensitive matching.  By default,  ugrep  is  case
              sensitive.   By  default,  this  option applies to ASCII letters
              only.  Use options -P and -i for Unicode case insensitive match-
              ing.

       --ignore-files[=FILE]
              Ignore  files  and  directories  matching the globs in each FILE
              that is encountered in recursive searches.  The default FILE  is
              `.gitignore'.   Matching  files  and  directories located in the
              directory of a FILE's location  and  in  directories  below  are
              ignored    by   temporarily   overriding   the   --exclude   and
              --exclude-dir globs.  Files and directories that are  explicitly
              specified  as  command  line  arguments are never ignored.  This
              option may be repeated.

       --include=GLOB
              Search only files whose name matches GLOB using wildcard  match-
              ing, same as -g GLOB.  GLOB can use **, *, ?, and [...] as wild-
              cards, and \ to quote a wildcard or backslash  character  liter-
              ally.   When  GLOB  contains  a `/', full pathnames are matched.
              Otherwise basenames are matched.  When GLOB  ends  with  a  `/',
              directories are included as if --include-dir is specified.  Oth-
              erwise files are included.  Note that  --exclude  patterns  take
              priority over --include patterns.  GLOB should be quoted to pre-
              vent shell globbing.  This option may be repeated.

       --include-dir=GLOB
              Only directories whose name matches GLOB are included in  recur-
              sive  searches.   GLOB can use **, *, ?, and [...] as wildcards,
              and \ to quote a  wildcard  or  backslash  character  literally.
              When GLOB contains a `/', full pathnames are matched.  Otherwise
              basenames are matched.  Note that  --exclude-dir  patterns  take
              priority  over --include-dir patterns.  GLOB should be quoted to
              prevent shell globbing.  This option may be repeated.

       --include-from=FILE
              Read the globs from FILE and search only files  and  directories
              whose  name  matches  one  or  more  globs  (as  if specified by
              --include and --include-dir).  Lines starting  with  a  `#'  and
              empty  lines  in FILE are ignored.  When FILE is a `-', standard
              input is read.  This option may be repeated.

       --include-fs=MOUNTS
              Only file systems specified by MOUNTS are included in  recursive
              searches.   MOUNTS  is a comma-separated list of mount points or
              pathnames  of  directories  on  file  systems.    --include-fs=.
              restricts  recursive  searches to the file system of the working
              directory only.  Note that  --exclude-fs  mounts  take  priority
              over --include-fs mounts.  This option may be repeated.

       -J NUM, --jobs=NUM
              Specifies  the  number  of  threads spawned to search files.  By
              default an optimum number of threads is spawned to search  files
              simultaneously.   -J1  disables threading: files are searched in
              the same order as specified.

       -j, --smart-case
              Perform case insensitive matching like option -i, unless a  pat-
              tern is specified with a literal ASCII upper case letter.

       --json Output file matches in JSON.  If -H, -n, -k, or -b is specified,
              additional values are output.  See also options --format and -u.

       -K FIRST[,LAST], --range=FIRST[,LAST]
              Start searching at line FIRST, stop at line LAST when specified.

       -k, --column-number
              The column number of a matched pattern is displayed in front  of
              the  respective  matched  line,  starting at column 1.  Tabs are
              expanded when columns are counted, see also option --tabs.

       -L, --files-without-match
              Only the names of files not containing selected lines are  writ-
              ten  to  standard  output.   Pathnames  are listed once per file
              searched.   If  the  standard  input  is  searched,  the  string
              ``(standard input)'' is written.

       -l, --files-with-matches
              Only the names of files containing selected lines are written to
              standard output.  ugrep will only search a file  until  a  match
              has  been  found,  making  searches  potentially less expensive.
              Pathnames are listed once per file searched.   If  the  standard
              input is searched, the string ``(standard input)'' is written.

       --label=LABEL
              Displays  the LABEL value when input is read from standard input
              where a file name would normally be printed in the output.   As-
              sociates a filename extension with standard input when LABEL has
              a suffix.  The default value is `(standard input)'.

       --line-buffered
              Force output to be line buffered instead of block buffered.

       -M MAGIC, --file-magic=MAGIC
              Only files matching the signature pattern  MAGIC  are  searched.
              The  signature "magic bytes" at the start of a file are compared
              to the MAGIC regex pattern.  When matching,  the  file  will  be
              searched.   When MAGIC is preceded by a `!' or a `^', skip files
              with matching MAGIC signatures.  This option may be repeated and
              may  be  combined  with  options -O and -t to expand the search.
              Every file on the search path is read,  making  searches  poten-
              tially more expensive.

       -m NUM, --max-count=NUM
              Stop reading the input after NUM matches in each input file.

       --match
              Match all input.  Same as specifying an empty pattern to search.

       --max-files=NUM
              Restrict the number of files matched to NUM.  Note  that  --sort
              or  -J1  may  be  specified  to  produce replicable results.  If
              --sort is specified, the number of threads spawned is limited to
              NUM.

       --mmap[=MAX]
              Use  memory  maps  to search files.  By default, memory maps are
              used under certain conditions to improve performance.  When  MAX
              is specified, use up to MAX mmap memory per thread.

       -N PATTERN, --neg-regexp=PATTERN
              Specify  a negative PATTERN used during the search of the input:
              an input line is selected only if it matches any of  the  speci-
              fied  patterns  unless  a  subpattern  of  PATTERN.   Same as -e
              (?^PATTERN).  Negative PATTERN matches are  essentially  removed
              before  any  other  patterns are matched.  Note that longer pat-
              terns take precedence over shorter patterns.  This option may be
              repeated.

       -n, --line-number
              Each  output line is preceded by its relative line number in the
              file, starting at line 1.  The line number counter is reset  for
              each file processed.

       --no-group-separator
              Removes  the  group  separator  line from the output for context
              options -A, -B, and -C.

       --not [-e] PATTERN
              Specifies that PATTERN should not match.  Note that -e  A  --not
              -e  B  matches  lines with `A' or lines without a `B'.  To match
              lines with `A' that have no `B', specify -e  A  --andnot  -e  B.
              Option  --stats  displays the search patterns applied.  See also
              options --and, --andnot, and --bool.

       -O EXTENSIONS, --file-extension=EXTENSIONS
              Search only files whose filename extensions match the  specified
              comma-separated  list  of  EXTENSIONS, same as --include='*.ext'
              for each `ext' in EXTENSIONS.  When an `ext' is  preceded  by  a
              `!'  or  a  `^',  skip  files  whose filename extensions matches
              `ext', same as --exclude='*.ext'.  This option may  be  repeated
              and  may  be  combined  with options -g, -M and -t to expand the
              recursive search.

       -o, --only-matching
              Print only the matching part  of  lines.   When  multiple  lines
              match,  the  line numbers with option -n are displayed using `|'
              as the field separator for each additional line matched  by  the
              pattern.   If  -u is specified, ungroups multiple matches on the
              same line.  This option cannot be combined with options -A,  -B,
              -C, -v, and -y.

       --only-line-number
              The line number of the matching line in the file is output with-
              out displaying the match.  The line number counter is reset  for
              each file processed.

       -P, --perl-regexp
              Interpret PATTERN as a Perl regular expression using PCRE2.

       -p, --no-dereference
              If  -R  or -r is specified, no symbolic links are followed, even
              when they are specified on the command line.

       --pager[=COMMAND]
              When output is sent  to  the  terminal,  uses  COMMAND  to  page
              through  the output.  The default COMMAND is `less -R'.  Enables
              --heading and --line-buffered.

       --pretty
              When output is sent to a terminal, enables  --color,  --heading,
              -n, --sort and -T when not explicitly disabled or set.

       -Q[DELAY], --query[=DELAY]
              Query  mode:  user  interface  to  perform interactive searches.
              This mode requires an ANSI capable terminal.  An optional  DELAY
              argument  may  be  specified  to reduce or increase the response
              time to execute searches after the last key press, in increments
              of  100ms,  where  the default is 5 (0.5s delay).  No whitespace
              may be given between -Q and its argument  DELAY.   Initial  pat-
              terns  may be specified with -e PATTERN, i.e. a PATTERN argument
              requires option -e.  Press F1 or CTRL-Z to view the help screen.
              Press  F2 or CTRL-Y to invoke a command to view or edit the file
              shown at the top of the screen.  The command  can  be  specified
              with option --view, or defaults to environment variable PAGER if
              defined, or EDITOR.  Press Tab and Shift-Tab to navigate  direc-
              tories  and  to  select a file to search.  Press Enter to select
              lines to output.  Press ALT-l for option -l to list files, ALT-n
              for  -n,  etc.   Non-option  commands  include ALT-] to increase
              fuzziness and ALT-} to  increase  context.   Enables  --heading.
              See also options --confirm and --view.

       -q, --quiet, --silent
              Quiet mode: suppress all output.  ugrep will only search until a
              match has been found.

       -R, --dereference-recursive
              Recursively read all files under  each  directory.   Follow  all
              symbolic  links,  unlike  -r.   When -J1 is specified, files are
              searched in the same order as specified.  Note that when no FILE
              arguments  are  specified  and  input  is  read from a terminal,
              recursive searches are performed as if -R is specified.

       -r, --recursive
              Recursively read all files under each directory, following  sym-
              bolic  links  only if they are on the command line.  When -J1 is
              specified, files are searched in the same order as specified.

       -S, --dereference
              If -r is specified, all symbolic links are  followed,  like  -R.
              The default is not to follow symbolic links.

       -s, --no-messages
              Silent  mode: nonexistent and unreadable files are ignored, i.e.
              their error messages are suppressed.

       --save-config[=FILE]
              Save configuration FILE.  By default `.ugrep' is saved.  If FILE
              is a `-', write the configuration to standard output.

       --separator[=SEP]
              Use  SEP as field separator between file name, line number, col-
              umn number, byte offset, and the matched line.  The default is a
              colon (`:').

       --sort[=KEY]
              Displays  matching files in the order specified by KEY in recur-
              sive searches.  KEY can be `name' to sort by pathname (default),
              `best'  to sort by best match with option -Z (sort by best match
              requires two passes over the input files),  `size'  to  sort  by
              file size, `used' to sort by last access time, `changed' to sort
              by last modification time, and `created'  to  sort  by  creation
              time.   Sorting  is  reversed  with  `rname',  `rbest', `rsize',
              `rused', `rchanged', or `rcreated'.  Archive  contents  are  not
              sorted.   Subdirectories are sorted and displayed after matching
              files.  FILE arguments are searched in the same order as  speci-
              fied.  Normally ugrep displays matches in no particular order to
              improve performance.

       --stats
              Output  statistics  on  the  number  of  files  and  directories
              searched, and the inclusion and exclusion constraints applied.

       -T, --initial-tab
              Add  a  tab space to separate the file name, line number, column
              number, and byte offset with the matched line.

       -t TYPES, --file-type=TYPES
              Search only files associated with TYPES, a comma-separated  list
              of  file types.  Each file type corresponds to a set of filename
              extensions passed to option -O.  For capitalized file types, the
              search is expanded to include files with matching file signature
              magic bytes, as if passed to option -M.  When a type is preceded
              by  a  `!' or a `^', excludes files of the specified type.  This
              option may be repeated.  The possible file types can  be  (where
              -tlist  displays a detailed list): `actionscript', `ada', `asm',
              `asp', `aspx', `autoconf', `automake',  `awk',  `Awk',  `basic',
              `batch', `bison', `c', `c++', `clojure', `csharp', `css', `csv',
              `dart', `Dart', `delphi',  `elisp',  `elixir',  `erlang',  `for-
              tran',  `gif',  `Gif', `go', `groovy', `gsp', `haskell', `html',
              `jade', `java', `jpeg', `Jpeg', `js',  `json',  `jsp',  `julia',
              `kotlin',  `less',  `lex',  `lisp',  `lua', `m4', `make', `mark-
              down', `matlab',  `node',  `Node',  `objc',  `objc++',  `ocaml',
              `parrot',  `pascal', `pdf', `Pdf', `perl', `Perl', `php', `Php',
              `png', `Png', `prolog', `python', `Python', `r',  `rpm',  `Rpm',
              `rst',  `rtf', `Rtf', `ruby', `Ruby', `rust', `scala', `scheme',
              `shell', `Shell', `smalltalk',  `sql',  `svg',  `swift',  `tcl',
              `tex',  `text',  `tiff',  `Tiff', `tt', `typescript', `verilog',
              `vhdl', `vim', `xml', `Xml', `yacc', `yaml'.

       --tabs[=NUM]
              Set the tab size to NUM to expand tabs for option -k.  The value
              of NUM may be 1, 2, 4, or 8.  The default tab size is 8.

       --tag[=TAG[,END]]
              Disables  colors to mark up matches with TAG.  END marks the end
              of a match if specified, otherwise TAG.  The default is `___'.

       -U, --binary
              Disables Unicode matching for binary file matching, forcing PAT-
              TERN  to  match  bytes, not Unicode characters.  For example, -U
              '\xa3' matches byte A3 (hex) instead of the Unicode  code  point
              U+00A3 represented by the UTF-8 sequence C2 A3.  See also option
              --dotall.

       -u, --ungroup
              Do not group multiple pattern matches on the same matched  line.
              Output the matched line again for each additional pattern match,
              using `+' as the field separator.

       -V, --version
              Display version information and exit.

       -v, --invert-match
              Selected lines are those not matching any of the specified  pat-
              terns.

       --view[=COMMAND]
              Use  COMMAND  to  view/edit  a  file in query mode when pressing
              CTRL-Y.

       -W, --with-hex
              Output binary  matches  in  hexadecimal,  leaving  text  matches
              alone.  This option is equivalent to the --binary-files=with-hex
              option.

       -w, --word-regexp
              The PATTERN is searched for as a word, such  that  the  matching
              text  is  preceded  by a non-word character and is followed by a
              non-word character.  Word characters are  letters,  digits,  and
              the  underscore.   With  option  -P, word characters are Unicode
              letters, digits, and underscore.  This option has no  effect  if
              -x  is also specified.  If a PATTERN is specified, or -e PATTERN
              or -N PATTERN, then this option has no effect on  -f  FILE  pat-
              terns  to allow -f FILE patterns to narrow or widen the scope of
              the PATTERN search.

       -X, --hex
              Output matches in hexadecimal.  This option is equivalent to the
              --binary-files=hex option.  See also option --hexdump.

       -x, --line-regexp
              Select  only those matches that exactly match the whole line, as
              if the patterns are surrounded by ^ and  $.   If  a  PATTERN  is
              specified,  or -e PATTERN or -N PATTERN, then this option has no
              effect on -f FILE patterns to allow -f FILE patterns  to  narrow
              or widen the scope of the PATTERN search.

       --xml  Output  file matches in XML.  If -H, -n, -k, or -b is specified,
              additional values are output.  See also options --format and -u.

       -Y, --empty
              Permits  empty matches.  By default, empty matches are disabled,
              unless a pattern begins with `^' or ends with  `$'.   With  this
              option,  empty-matching  patterns  such  as x? and x*, match all
              input, not only lines containing the character `x'.

       -y, --any-line
              Any matching or non-matching line is output.  Non-matching lines
              are  output  with  the  `-' separator as context of the matching
              lines.  See also options -A, -B, and -C.

       -Z[[+-~]MAX], --fuzzy[=[+-~]MAX]
              Fuzzy  mode:  report  approximate  pattern  matches  within  MAX
              errors.   By  default, MAX is 1: one deletion, insertion or sub-
              stitution is allowed.  When `+' and/or  `-'  precede  MAX,  only
              insertions and/or deletions are allowed, respectively.  When `~'
              precedes MAX, substitution counts as one  error.   For  example,
              -Z+~3  allows  up  to  three insertions or substitutions, but no
              deletions.  The first character of an approximate  match  always
              matches  the  begin  of  a  pattern.   Option --sort=best orders
              matching files by  best  match.   No  whitespace  may  be  given
              between -Z and its argument.

       -z, --decompress
              Decompress  files  to search, when compressed.  Archives (.cpio,
              .pax, .tar and .zip) and compressed archives (e.g.  .taz,  .tgz,
              .tpz,  .tbz,  .tbz2, .tb2, .tz2, .tlz, .txz, .tzst) are searched
              and matching pathnames  of  files  in  archives  are  output  in
              braces.   If  -g,  -O,  -M,  or  -t is specified, searches files
              within archives whose name  matches  globs,  matches  file  name
              extensions,  matches file signature magic bytes, or matches file
              types, respectively.  Supported compression formats: gzip (.gz),
              compress  (.Z),  zip,  bzip2 (requires suffix .bz, .bz2, .bzip2,
              .tbz, .tbz2, .tb2, .tz2), lzma and xz  (requires  suffix  .lzma,
              .tlz,  .xz,  .txz),  lz4  (requires suffix .lz4), zstd (requires
              suffix .zst, .zstd, .tzst).

       -0, --null
              Prints a zero-byte (NUL) after the file name.  This  option  can
              be  used  with commands such as `find -print0' and `xargs -0' to
              process arbitrary file names.

       A `--' signals the end of options; the rest of the parameters are  FILE
       arguments, allowing filenames to begin with a `-' character.

       Long options may start with `--no-' to disable, when applicable.

       The  regular expression pattern syntax is an extended form of the POSIX
       ERE syntax.  For an overview of the syntax see README.md or visit:

              https://github.com/Genivia/ugrep

       Note that `.' matches any non-newline character.  Pattern `\n'  matches
       a  newline character.  Multiple lines may be matched with patterns that
       match one or more newline characters.

EXIT STATUS
       The ugrep utility exits with one of the following values:

       0      One or more lines were selected.

       1      No lines were selected.

       >1     An error occurred.

       If -q or --quiet or --silent is used and a line is selected,  the  exit
       status is 0 even if an error occurred.

CONFIGURATION
       The  ug command is intended for context-dependent interactive searching
       and is equivalent to the ugrep --config command  to  load  the  default
       configuration file `.ugrep' when present in the working directory or in
       the home directory.

       A configuration file contains `NAME=VALUE' pairs per line, where `NAME`
       is  the  name  of a long option (without `--') and `=VALUE' is an argu-
       ment, which is optional and may be omitted  depending  on  the  option.
       Empty lines and lines starting with a `#' are ignored.

       The  --config=FILE  option  and  its  abbreviated form ---FILE load the
       specified configuration file located in the working directory or,  when
       not  found,  located  in the home directory.  An error is produced when
       FILE is not found or cannot be read.

       Command line options are parsed in the following order: the  configura-
       tion  file is loaded first, followed by the remaining options and argu-
       ments on the command line.

       The --save-config option saves a `.ugrep'  configuration  file  to  the
       working  directory  with  a subset of the current options.  The --save-
       config=FILE option saves the configuration to FILE.  The  configuration
       is written to standard output when FILE is a `-'.

GLOBBING
       Globbing  is  used  by options -g, --include, --include-dir, --include-
       from, --exclude, --exclude-dir, --exclude-from to match  pathnames  and
       basenames  in  recursive  searches.   Glob  arguments for these options
       should be quoted to prevent shell globbing.

       Globbing supports  gitignore  syntax  and  the  corresponding  matching
       rules.   When a glob ends in a path separator it matches directories as
       if --include-dir or --exclude-dir is specified.  When a glob contains a
       path  separator `/', the full pathname is matched.  Otherwise the base-
       name of a file or directory is matched.  For example, *.h matches foo.h
       and  bar/foo.h.   bar/*.h  matches  bar/foo.h  but  not  foo.h  and not
       bar/bar/foo.h.  Use a leading `/' to force /*.h to match foo.h but  not
       bar/foo.h.

       When  a  glob  starts  with  a `^' or a `!' as in -g^GLOB, the match is
       negated.  Likewise, a `!' (but not a `^') may be used with globs in the
       files  specified  --include-from, --exclude-from, and --ignore-files to
       negate the glob match.  Empty lines or lines starting with  a  `#'  are
       ignored.

       Glob Syntax and Conventions

       *      Matches anything except a /.

       ?      Matches any one character except a /.

       [a-z]  Matches one character in the selected range of characters.

       [^a-z] Matches one character not in the selected range of characters.

       [!a-z] Matches one character not in the selected range of characters.

       /      When  used at the begin of a glob, matches if pathname has no /.
              When used at the end of a glob, matches directories only.

       **/    Matches zero or more directories.

       /**    When used at the end of a glob, matches everything after the  /.

       \?     Matches a ? (or any character specified after the backslash).

       Glob Matching Examples

       *      Matches a, b, x/a, x/y/b

       a      Matches a, x/a, x/y/a,       but not b, x/b, a/a/b

       /*     Matches a, b,                but not x/a, x/b, x/y/a

       /a     Matches a,                   but not x/a, x/y/a

       a?b    Matches axb, ayb,            but not a, b, ab, a/b

       a[xy]b Matches axb, ayb             but not a, b, azb

       a[a-z]b
              Matches aab, abb, acb, azb,  but not a, b, a3b, aAb, aZb

       a[^xy]b
              Matches aab, abb, acb, azb,  but not a, b, axb, ayb

       a[^a-z]b
              Matches a3b, aAb, aZb        but not a, b, aab, abb, acb, azb

       a/*/b  Matches a/x/b, a/y/b,        but not a/b, a/x/y/b

       **/a   Matches a, x/a, x/y/a,       but not b, x/b.

       a/**/b Matches a/b, a/x/b, a/x/y/b, but not x/a/b, a/b/x

       a/**   Matches a/x, a/y, a/x/y,     but not a, b/x

       a\?b   Matches a?b,                 but not a, b, ab, axb, a/b

       Note  that  exclude  glob patterns take priority over include glob pat-
       terns  when  specified  with  options  -g,  --exclude,   --exclude-dir,
       --include and include-dir.

       Glob  patterns specified with prefix `!' in any of the files associated
       with --include-from, --exclude-from and --ignore-files  will  negate  a
       previous  glob match.  That is, any matching file or directory excluded
       by a previous glob pattern  specified  in  the  files  associated  with
       --exclude-from  or --ignore-file will become included again.  Likewise,
       any matching file or directory included  by  a  previous  glob  pattern
       specified  in  the  files  associated  with  --include-from will become
       excluded again.

ENVIRONMENT
       GREP_PATH
              May be used to specify a file path to pattern files.   The  file
              path  is used by option -f to open a pattern file, when the pat-
              tern file does not exist.

       GREP_COLOR
              May be used to specify ANSI SGR parameters to highlight  matches
              when  option --color is used, e.g. 1;35;40 shows pattern matches
              in bold magenta text on a black background.  Deprecated in favor
              of GREP_COLORS, but still supported.

       GREP_COLORS
              May  be used to specify ANSI SGR parameters to highlight matches
              and other attributes when option --color is used.  Its value  is
              a  colon-separated  list of ANSI SGR parameters that defaults to
              cx=33:mt=1;31:fn=1;35:ln=1;32:cn=1;32:bn=1;32:se=36.   The  mt=,
              ms=,  and  mc=  capabilities  of  GREP_COLORS take priority over
              GREP_COLOR.  Option --colors takes priority over GREP_COLORS.

GREP_COLORS
       Colors are specified as string of colon-separated ANSI  SGR  parameters
       of  the  form  `what=substring', where `substring' is a semicolon-sepa-
       rated list of ANSI SGR codes or `k' (black), `r'  (red),  `g'  (green),
       `y'  (yellow),  `b'  (blue),  `m'  (magenta),  `c' (cyan), `w' (white).
       Upper case specifies background colors.  A `+'  qualifies  a  color  as
       bright.   A  foreground and a background color may be combined with one
       or more font properties `n' (normal), `f' (faint), `h' (highlight), `i'
       (invert), `u' (underline).  Substrings may be specified for:

       sl=    SGR substring for selected lines.

       cx=    SGR substring for context lines.

       rv     Swaps the sl= and cx= capabilities when -v is specified.

       mt=    SGR substring for matching text in any matching line.

       ms=    SGR  substring  for  matching text in a selected line.  The sub-
              string mt= by default.

       mc=    SGR substring for matching text in a  context  line.   The  sub-
              string mt= by default.

       fn=    SGR substring for filenames.

       ln=    SGR substring for line numbers.

       cn=    SGR substring for column numbers.

       bn=    SGR substring for byte offsets.

       se=    SGR substring for separators.

       rv     a Boolean parameter, switches sl= and cx= with option -v.

       hl     a  Boolean parameter, enables filename hyperlinks (\33]8;;link).

       ne     a Boolean parameter, disables ``erase in line'' \33[K.

FORMAT
       Option --format=FORMAT specifies an output  format  for  file  matches.
       Fields may be used in FORMAT, which expand into the following values:

       %[ARG]F
              if option -H is used: ARG, the file pathname and separator.

       %f     the file pathname.

       %a     the file basename without directory path.

       %p     the directory path to the file.

       %z     the file pathname in a (compressed) archive.

       %[ARG]H
              if option -H is used: ARG, the quoted pathname and separator.

       %h     the quoted file pathname.

       %[ARG]N
              if option -n is used: ARG, the line number and separator.

       %n     the line number of the match.

       %[ARG]K
              if option -k is used: ARG, the column number and separator.

       %k     the column number of the match.

       %[ARG]B
              if option -b is used: ARG, the byte offset and separator.

       %b     the byte offset of the match.

       %[ARG]T
              if option -T is used: ARG and a tab character.

       %t     a tab character.

       %[SEP]$
              set field separator to SEP for the rest of the format fields.

       %[ARG]<
              if the first match: ARG.

       %[ARG]>
              if not the first match: ARG.

       %,     if not the first match: a comma, same as %[,]>.

       %:     if not the first match: a colon, same as %[:]>.

       %;     if not the first match: a semicolon, same as %[;]>.

       %|     if not the first match: a verical bar, same as %[|]>.

       %[ARG]S
              if not the first match: ARG and separator, see also %$.

       %s     the separator, see also %S and %$.

       %~     a newline character.

       %m     the number of matches or matched files.

       %O     the matching line is output as a raw string of bytes.

       %o     the match is output as a raw string of bytes.

       %Q     the matching line as a quoted string, \" and \\ replace " and \.

       %q     the match as a quoted string, \" and \\ replace " and \.

       %C     the matching line formatted as a quoted C/C++ string.

       %c     the match formatted as a quoted C/C++ string.

       %J     the matching line formatted as a quoted JSON string.

       %j     the match formatted as a quoted JSON string.

       %V     the matching line formatted as a quoted CSV string.

       %v     the match formatted as a quoted CSV string.

       %X     the matching line formatted as XML character data.

       %x     the match formatted as XML character data.

       %w     the width of the match, counting wide characters.

       %d     the size of the match, counting bytes.

       %e     the ending byte offset of the match.

       %Z     the edit distance cost of an approximate match with option -Z

       %u     select unique lines only, unless option -u is used.

       %1     the first regex group capture of the match,  and  so  on  up  to
              group %9, same as %[1]#; requires option -P.

       %[NUM]#
              the regex group capture NUM; requires option -P.

       %[NUM1|NUM2|...]#
              the first group capture NUM that matched; requires option -P.

       %[NAME]#
              the  NAMEd  group capture; requires option -P and capturing pat-
              tern `(?<NAME>PATTERN)', see also %G.

       %[NAME1|NAME2|...]#
              the first NAMEd group capture that matched; requires  option  -P
              and capturing pattern `(?<NAME>PATTERN)', see also %G.

       %G     list  of  group  capture  indices/names  that  matched; requires
              option -P.

       %[TEXT1|TEXT2|...]G
              list of TEXT indexed by  group  capture  indices  that  matched;
              requires option -P.

       %g     the group capture index/name matched or 1; requires option -P.

       %[TEXT1|TEXT2|...]g
              the  first  TEXT  indexed  by the first group capture index that
              matched; requires option -P.

       %%     the percentage sign.

       Formatted output is written without a terminating newline, unless %~ or
       `\n' is explicitly specified in the format string.

       The  [ARG]  part  of  a  field  is  optional  and may be omitted.  When
       present, the argument must be placed in [] brackets, for example  %[,]F
       to output a comma, the pathname, and a separator.

       %[SEP]$ and %u are switches and do not send anything to the output.

       The  separator  used by the %F, %H, %N, %K, %B, %S and %G fields may be
       changed by preceding the field by %[SEP]$.  When [SEP] is not provided,
       this  reverts  the  separator to the default separator or the separator
       specified with --separator.

       Formatted output is written for each matching pattern, which means that
       a  line may be output multiple times when patterns match more than once
       on the same line.  If field  %u  is  specified  anywhere  in  a  format
       string,  matching  lines  are  output  only  once,  unless  option  -u,
       --ungroup is specified or when more than one line of input matched  the
       search pattern.

       Additional formatting options:

       --format-begin=FORMAT
              the FORMAT when beginning the search.

       --format-open=FORMAT
              the FORMAT when opening a file and a match was found.

       --format-close=FORMAT
              the FORMAT when closing a file and a match was found.

       --format-end=FORMAT
              the FORMAT when ending the search.

       The  context  options  -A,  -B,  -C,  -y,  and display options --break,
       --heading, --color, -T, and --null have no effect on formatted  output.

EXAMPLES
       Display lines containing the word `patricia' in `myfile.txt':

              $ ugrep -w patricia myfile.txt

       Display lines containing the word `patricia', ignoring case:

              $ ugrep -wi patricia myfile.txt

       Display lines approximately matching the word `patricia', ignoring case
       and allowing up to 2 spelling errors using fuzzy search:

              $ ugrep -Z2 -wi patricia myfile.txt

       Count the number of lines containing `patricia', ignoring case:

              $ ugrep -cwi patricia myfile.txt

       Count the number of words `patricia', ignoring case:

              $ ugrep -cowi patricia myfile.txt

       List lines with both `amount' and a decimal number, ignoring case:

              $ ugrep -wi --bool 'amount +(.+)?' myfile.txt

       Alternative query:

              $ ugrep -wi -e amount --and '+(.+)?' myfile.txt

       List all Unicode words in a file:

              $ ugrep -o '\w+' myfile.txt

       List all ASCII words in a file:

              $ ugrep -o '[[:word:]]+' myfile.txt

       List the laughing face emojis (Unicode code points U+1F600 to U+1F60F):

              $ ugrep -o '[\x{1F600}-\x{1F60F}]' myfile.txt

       Check if a file contains any non-ASCII (i.e. Unicode) characters:

              $ ugrep -q '[^[:ascii:]]' myfile.txt && echo "contains Unicode"

       Display the line and column number of `FIXME' in C++ files using recur-
       sive search, with one line of context before and after a matched line:

              $ ugrep -C1 -R -n -k -tc++ FIXME

       List the C/C++ comments in a file with line numbers:

              $ ugrep -n -e '//.*' -e '/\*([^*]|(\*+[^*/]))*\*+\/' myfile.cpp

       The same, but using predefined pattern c++/comments:

              $ ugrep -n -f c++/comments myfile.cpp

       List the lines that need fixing in a C/C++ source file by  looking  for
       the word `FIXME' while skipping any `FIXME' in quoted strings:

              $ ugrep -e FIXME -N '"(\\.|\\\r?\n|[^\\\n"])*"' myfile.cpp

       The same, but using predefined pattern cpp/zap_strings:

              $ ugrep -e FIXME -f cpp/zap_strings myfile.cpp

       Find lines with `FIXME' or `TODO':

              $ ugrep -n -e FIXME -e TODO myfile.cpp

       Find lines with `FIXME' that also contain the word `urgent':

              $ ugrep -n FIXME myfile.cpp | ugrep -w urgent

       Find lines with `FIXME' but not the word `later':

              $ ugrep -n FIXME myfile.cpp | ugrep -v -w later

       Output a list of line numbers of lines with `FIXME' but not `later':

              $ ugrep -n FIXME myfile.cpp | ugrep -vw later |
                ugrep -P '^(\d+)' --format='%,%n'

       Find lines with `FIXME' in the C/C++ files stored in a tarball:

              $ ugrep -z -tc++ -n FIXME project.tgz

       Recursively  find  lines with `FIXME' in C/C++ files, but do not search
       any `bak' and `old' directories:

              $ ugrep -n FIXME -tc++ -g^bak/,^old/

       Recursively search for the word `copyright' in cpio/jar/pax/tar/zip ar-
       chives, compressed and regular files, and in PDFs using a PDF filter:

              $ ugrep -z -w --filter='pdf:pdftotext % -' copyright

       Match  the  binary  pattern `A3hhhhA3hh' (hex) in a binary file without
       Unicode pattern matching -U (which would otherwise match  `\xaf'  as  a
       Unicode  character  U+00A3  with UTF-8 byte sequence C2 A3) and display
       the results in hex with -X using `less -R' as a pager:

              $ ugrep --pager -UXo '\xa3[\x00-\xff]{2}\xa3[\x00-\xff]' a.out

       Hexdump an entire file:

              $ ugrep -X '' a.out

       List all files that are not ignored by one or more `.gitignore':

              $ ugrep -l '' --ignore-files

       List all files containing a RPM signature, located in the `rpm'  direc-
       tory and recursively below up to two levels deeper (3 levels total):

              $ ugrep -3 -l -tRpm '' rpm/

       Monitor  the system log for bug reports and ungroup multiple matches on
       a line:

              $ tail -f /var/log/system.log | ugrep -u -i -w bug

       Interactive fuzzy search with Boolean search queries:

              $ ugrep -Q --bool -Z3 --sort=best

       Display all words in a MacRoman-encoded file that has CR newlines:

              $ ugrep --encoding=MACROMAN '\w+' mac.txt

       Display all options related to "fuzzy" searching:

              $ ugrep --help fuzzy

BUGS
       Report bugs at:

              https://github.com/Genivia/ugrep/issues


LICENSE
       ugrep is released under the BSD-3 license.  All parts of  the  software
       have  reasonable  copyright terms permitting free redistribution.  This
       includes the ability to reuse all or parts of the ugrep source tree.

SEE ALSO
       grep(1).



ugrep 3.3.2                      June 09, 2021                        UGREP(1)

๐Ÿ” Back to table of contents

Regex patterns

For PCRE regex patterns with option -P, please see the PCRE documentation https://www.pcre.org/original/doc/html/pcrepattern.html. The pattern syntax has more features than the pattern syntax described below. For the patterns in common the syntax and meaning are the same.

Note that \s and inverted bracket lists [^...] are modified to prevent matching newlines \n to replicate the behavior of grep.

POSIX regular expression syntax

An empty pattern is a special case that matches everything except empty files, i.e. does not match zero-length files, as per POSIX.1 grep standard.

A regex pattern is an extended set of regular expressions (ERE), with nested sub-expression patterns ฯ† and ฯˆ:

Pattern Matches
x matches the character x, where x is not a special character
. matches any single character except newline (unless in dotall mode)
\. matches . (dot), special characters are escaped with a backslash
\n matches a newline, others are \a (BEL), \b (BS), \t (HT), \v (VT), \f (FF), and \r (CR)
\0 matches the NUL character
\cX matches the control character X mod 32 (e.g. \cA is \x01)
\0141 matches an 8-bit character with octal value 141, i.e. a
\x7f matches an 8-bit character with hexadecimal value 7f
\x{3B1} matches Unicode character U+03B1, i.e. ฮฑ
\u{3B1} matches Unicode character U+03B1, i.e. ฮฑ
\o{141} matches Unicode character U+0061, i.e. a, in octal
\p{C} matches a character in Unicode category C
\Q...\E matches the quoted content between \Q and \E literally
[abc] matches one of a, b, or c
[0-9] matches a digit 0 to 9
[^0-9] matches any character except a digit and excluding newline \n
ฯ†? matches ฯ† zero or one time (optional)
ฯ†* matches ฯ† zero or more times (repetition)
ฯ†+ matches ฯ† one or more times (repetition)
ฯ†{2,5} matches ฯ† two to five times (repetition)
ฯ†{2,} matches ฯ† at least two times (repetition)
ฯ†{2} matches ฯ† exactly two times (repetition)
ฯ†?? matches ฯ† zero or once as needed (lazy optional)
ฯ†*? matches ฯ† a minimum number of times as needed (lazy repetition)
ฯ†+? matches ฯ† a minimum number of times at least once as needed (lazy repetition)
ฯ†{2,5}? matches ฯ† two to five times as needed (lazy repetition)
ฯ†{2,}? matches ฯ† at least two times or more as needed (lazy repetition)
ฯ†ฯˆ matches ฯ† then matches ฯˆ (concatenation)
ฯ†โŽฎฯˆ matches ฯ† or matches ฯˆ (alternation)
(ฯ†) matches ฯ† as a group
(?:ฯ†) matches ฯ† as a group without capture
(?=ฯ†) matches ฯ† without consuming it, i.e. lookahead (without option -P: nothing may occur after (?=ฯ†))
(?^ฯ†) matches ฯ† and ignores it, marking everything in the pattern as a non-match
^ฯ† matches ฯ† at the begin of input or begin of a line (nothing may occur before ^)
ฯ†$ matches ฯ† at the end of input or end of a line (nothing may occur after $)
\Aฯ† matches ฯ† at the begin of input (nothing may occur before \A)
ฯ†\z matches ฯ† at the end of input (nothing may occur after \z)
\bฯ† matches ฯ† starting at a word boundary (without option -P: nothing may occur before \b)
ฯ†\b matches ฯ† ending at a word boundary (without option -P: nothing may occur after \b)
\Bฯ† matches ฯ† starting at a non-word boundary (without option -P: nothing may occur before \B)
ฯ†\B matches ฯ† ending at a non-word boundary (without option -P: nothing may occur after \B)
\<ฯ† matches ฯ† that starts a word (without option -P: nothing may occur before \<)
\>ฯ† matches ฯ† that starts a non-word (without option -P: nothing may occur before \>)
ฯ†\< matches ฯ† that ends a non-word (without option -P: nothing may occur after \<)
ฯ†\> matches ฯ† that ends a word (without option -P: nothing may occur after \>)
(?i:ฯ†) matches ฯ† ignoring case
(?s:ฯ†) . (dot) in ฯ† matches newline
(?x:ฯ†) ignore all whitespace and comments in ฯ†
(?#:X) all of X is skipped as a comment

The order of precedence for composing larger patterns from sub-patterns is as follows, from high to low precedence:

  1. Characters, character classes (bracket expressions), escapes, quotation
  2. Grouping (ฯ†), (?:ฯ†), (?=ฯ†), and inline modifiers (?imsux:ฯ†)
  3. Quantifiers ?, *, +, {n,m}
  4. Concatenation ฯ†ฯˆ
  5. Anchoring ^, $, \<, \>, \b, \B, \A, \z
  6. Alternation ฯ†|ฯˆ
  7. Global modifiers (?imsux)ฯ†

๐Ÿ” Back to table of contents

POSIX and Unicode character classes

Character classes in bracket lists represent sets of characters. Sets can be negated (inverted), subtracted, intersected, and merged (not supported by PCRE2 with option -P):

Pattern Matches
[a-zA-Z] matches a letter
[^a-zA-Z] matches a non-letter (character class negation), newlines are not matched
[a-zโˆ’โˆ’[aeiou]] matches a consonant (character class subtraction)
[a-z&&[^aeiou]] matches a consonant (character class intersection)
[a-zโŽฎโŽฎ[A-Z]] matches a letter (character class union)

Bracket lists cannot be empty, so [] and [^] are invalid. In fact, the first character after the bracket is always part of the list. So [][] is a list that matches a ] and a [, [^][] is a list that matches anything but ] and [, and [-^] is a list that matches a - and a ^.

Negated character classes such as [^a-z] do not match newlines for compatibility with traditional grep pattern matching.

๐Ÿ” Back to table of contents

POSIX and Unicode character categories

POSIX form POSIX category Matches
[:ascii:] \p{ASCII} matches an ASCII character U+0000 to U+007F
[:space:] matches a white space character [ \t\n\v\f\r] or \p{Space} with -P
[:xdigit:] \p{Xdigit} matches a hex digit [0-9A-Fa-f]
[:cntrl:] \p{Cntrl} matches a control character [\x00-\0x1f\x7f]
[:print:] \p{Print} matches a printable character [\x20-\x7e]
[:alnum:] \p{Alnum} matches a alphanumeric character [0-9A-Za-z] or [\p{L}\p{N}] with -P
[:alpha:] \p{Alpha} matches a letter [A-Za-z] or \p{L} with -P
[:blank:] \p{Blank}, \h matches a blank [ \t] or horizontal space with -P
[:digit:] \p{Digit} matches a digit [0-9] or \p{Nd} with -P
[:graph:] \p{Graph} matches a visible character [\x21-\x7e]
[:lower:] matches a lower case letter [a-z] or \p{Ll} with -P
[:punct:] \p{Punct} matches a punctuation character [\x21-\x2f\x3a-\x40\x5b-\x60\x7b-\x7e]
[:upper:] matches an upper case letter [A-Z] or \p{Lu} with -P
[:word:] matches a word character [0-9A-Za-z_] or [\p{L}\p{N}_] with -P
[:^blank:] \P{Blank}, \H matches a non-blank character including newline \n
[:^digit:] \P{Digit} matches a non-digit including newline \n

The POSIX form can only be used in bracket lists, for example [[:lower:][:digit:]] matches an ASCII lower case letter or a digit.

You can also use the upper case \P{C} form that has the same meaning as \p{^C}, which matches any character except characters in the class C. For example, \P{ASCII} is the same as \p{^ASCII}.

Because POSIX character categories only cover ASCII, [[:^ascii]] is empty and therefore invalid to use. By contrast, [^[:ascii]] is a Unicode character class that excludes the ASCII character category.

Unicode category Matches
. matches any single Unicode character except newline \n unless with --dotall
\a matches BEL U+0007
\d matches a digit [0-9] or \p{Nd}
\D matches a non-digit including \n
\e matches ESC U+001b
\f matches FF U+000c
\l matches a lower case letter \p{Ll}
\n matches LF U+000a
\N matches a non-LF character
\r matches CR U+000d
\R matches a Unicode line break
\s matches a white space character [ \t\v\f\r\x85\p{Z}] excluding \n
\S matches a non-white space character
\t matches TAB U+0009
\u matches an upper case letter \p{Lu}
\v matches VT U+000b or vertical space character with option -P
\w matches a word character [0-9A-Za-z_] or [\p{L}\p{Nd}\p{Pc}]
\W matches a non-Unicode word character
\X matches any ISO-8859-1 or Unicode character
\p{Space} matches a white space character [ \t\n\v\f\r\x85\p{Z}] including \n
\p{Unicode} matches any Unicode character U+0000 to U+10FFFF minus U+D800 to U+DFFF
\p{ASCII} matches an ASCII character U+0000 to U+007F
\p{Non_ASCII_Unicode} matches a non-ASCII character U+0080 to U+10FFFF minus U+D800 to U+DFFF
\p{L&} matches a character with Unicode property L& (i.e. property Ll, Lu, or Lt)
\p{Letter},\p{L} matches a character with Unicode property Letter
\p{Mark},\p{M} matches a character with Unicode property Mark
\p{Separator},\p{Z} matches a character with Unicode property Separator
\p{Symbol},\p{S} matches a character with Unicode property Symbol
\p{Number},\p{N} matches a character with Unicode property Number
\p{Punctuation},\p{P} matches a character with Unicode property Punctuation
\p{Other},\p{C} matches a character with Unicode property Other
\p{Lowercase_Letter}, \p{Ll} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Ll
\p{Uppercase_Letter}, \p{Lu} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Lu
\p{Titlecase_Letter}, \p{Lt} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Lt
\p{Modifier_Letter}, \p{Lm} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Lm
\p{Other_Letter}, \p{Lo} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Lo
\p{Non_Spacing_Mark}, \p{Mn} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Mn
\p{Spacing_Combining_Mark}, \p{Mc} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Mc
\p{Enclosing_Mark}, \p{Me} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Me
\p{Space_Separator}, \p{Zs} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Zs
\p{Line_Separator}, \p{Zl} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Zl
\p{Paragraph_Separator}, \p{Zp} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Zp
\p{Math_Symbol}, \p{Sm} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Sm
\p{Currency_Symbol}, \p{Sc} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Sc
\p{Modifier_Symbol}, \p{Sk} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Sk
\p{Other_Symbol}, \p{So} matches a character with Unicode sub-property So
\p{Decimal_Digit_Number}, \p{Nd} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Nd
\p{Letter_Number}, \p{Nl} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Nl
\p{Other_Number}, \p{No} matches a character with Unicode sub-property No
\p{Dash_Punctuation}, \p{Pd} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Pd
\p{Open_Punctuation}, \p{Ps} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Ps
\p{Close_Punctuation}, \p{Pe} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Pe
\p{Initial_Punctuation}, \p{Pi} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Pi
\p{Final_Punctuation}, \p{Pf} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Pf
\p{Connector_Punctuation}, \p{Pc} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Pc
\p{Other_Punctuation}, \p{Po} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Po
\p{Control}, \p{Cc} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Cc
\p{Format}, \p{Cf} matches a character with Unicode sub-property Cf
\p{UnicodeIdentifierStart} matches a character in the Unicode IdentifierStart class
\p{UnicodeIdentifierPart} matches a character in the Unicode IdentifierPart class
\p{IdentifierIgnorable} matches a character in the IdentifierIgnorable class
\p{JavaIdentifierStart} matches a character in the Java IdentifierStart class
\p{JavaIdentifierPart} matches a character in the Java IdentifierPart class
\p{CsIdentifierStart} matches a character in the C# IdentifierStart class
\p{CsIdentifierPart} matches a character in the C# IdentifierPart class
\p{PythonIdentifierStart} matches a character in the Python IdentifierStart class
\p{PythonIdentifierPart} matches a character in the Python IdentifierPart class

To specify a Unicode block as a category use \p{IsBlockName} with a Unicode BlockName.

To specify a Unicode language script, use \p{Language} with a Unicode Language.

Unicode language script character classes differ from the Unicode blocks that have a similar name. For example, the \p{Greek} class represents Greek and Coptic letters and differs from the Unicode block \p{IsGreek} that spans a specific Unicode block of Greek and Coptic characters only, which also includes unassigned characters.

๐Ÿ” Back to table of contents

Perl regular expression syntax

For the pattern syntax of ugrep option -P (Perl regular expressions), see for example Perl regular expression syntax. However, ugrep enhances the Perl regular expression syntax with all of the features listed in POSIX regular expression syntax.

๐Ÿ” Back to table of contents

Troubleshooting

If something is not working, then please check the tutorial and the man page. If you can't find it there and it looks like a bug, then report an issue on GitHub. Bug reports are quickly addressed.


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