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    Command:

    pcregrep

    
    
    

    SYNOPSIS

           pcregrep [options] [long options] [pattern] [path1 path2 ...]
    
    
    

    DESCRIPTION

    
           pcregrep  searches  files  for  character  patterns, in the same way as
           other grep commands do, but it uses the PCRE regular expression library
           to support patterns that are compatible with the regular expressions of
           Perl 5. See pcrepattern(3) for a full description of syntax and  seman-
           tics of the regular expressions that PCRE supports.
    
           Patterns,  whether  supplied on the command line or in a separate file,
           are given without delimiters. For example:
    
             pcregrep Thursday /etc/motd
    
           If you attempt to use delimiters (for example, by surrounding a pattern
           with  slashes,  as  is common in Perl scripts), they are interpreted as
           part of the pattern. Quotes can of course be used to  delimit  patterns
           on  the  command  line  because  they are interpreted by the shell, and
           indeed they are required if a pattern contains  white  space  or  shell
           metacharacters.
    
           The  first  argument that follows any option settings is treated as the
           single pattern to be matched when neither -e nor -f is  present.   Con-
           versely,  when  one  or  both of these options are used to specify pat-
           terns, all arguments are treated as path names. At least one of -e, -f,
           or an argument pattern must be provided.
    
           If no files are specified, pcregrep reads the standard input. The stan-
           dard input can also be referenced by a  name  consisting  of  a  single
           hyphen.  For example:
    
             pcregrep some-pattern /file1 - /file3
    
           By  default, each line that matches a pattern is copied to the standard
           output, and if there is more than one file, the file name is output  at
           the start of each line, followed by a colon. However, there are options
           that can change how pcregrep behaves.  In  particular,  the  -M  option
           makes  it  possible  to  search for patterns that span line boundaries.
           What defines a line  boundary  is  controlled  by  the  -N  (--newline)
           option.
    
           Patterns  are  limited  to  8K  or  BUFSIZ characters, whichever is the
           greater.  BUFSIZ is defined in <stdio.h>. When there is more  than  one
           pattern (specified by the use of -e and/or -f), each pattern is applied
           to each line in the order in which they are defined,  except  that  all
           the  -e  patterns are tried before the -f patterns. As soon as one pat-
           tern matches (or fails to match when -v is used), no  further  patterns
           are considered.
    
           When  --only-matching,  --file-offsets,  or --line-offsets is used, the
           read files whose names end in .gz or .bz2, respectively. You  can  find
           out whether your binary has support for one or both of these file types
           by running it with the --help option. If the appropriate support is not
           present,  files are treated as plain text. The standard input is always
           so treated.
    
    
    

    OPTIONS

    
           --        This terminate the list of options. It is useful if the  next
                     item  on  the command line starts with a hyphen but is not an
                     option. This allows for the processing of patterns and  file-
                     names that start with hyphens.
    
           -A number, --after-context=number
                     Output  number  lines of context after each matching line. If
                     filenames and/or line numbers are being output, a hyphen sep-
                     arator  is  used  instead of a colon for the context lines. A
                     line containing "--" is output between each group  of  lines,
                     unless  they  are  in  fact contiguous in the input file. The
                     value of number is expected to be relatively small.  However,
                     pcregrep guarantees to have up to 8K of following text avail-
                     able for context output.
    
           -B number, --before-context=number
                     Output number lines of context before each matching line.  If
                     filenames and/or line numbers are being output, a hyphen sep-
                     arator is used instead of a colon for the  context  lines.  A
                     line  containing  "--" is output between each group of lines,
                     unless they are in fact contiguous in  the  input  file.  The
                     value  of number is expected to be relatively small. However,
                     pcregrep guarantees to have up to 8K of preceding text avail-
                     able for context output.
    
           -C number, --context=number
                     Output  number  lines  of  context both before and after each
                     matching line.  This is equivalent to setting both -A and  -B
                     to the same value.
    
           -c, --count
                     Do  not  output individual lines; instead just output a count
                     of the number of lines that would otherwise have been output.
                     If  several  files  are  given, a count is output for each of
                     them. In this mode, the -A, -B, and -C options are ignored.
    
           --colour, --color
                     If this option is given without any data, it is equivalent to
                     "--colour=auto".   If  data  is required, it must be given in
                     the same shell item, separated by an equals sign.
    
           --colour=value, --color=value
                     This option specifies under what circumstances the part of  a
                     line that matched a pattern should be coloured in the output.
                     are  "read" (the default) or "skip" (silently skip the path).
    
           -d action, --directories=action
                     If an input path is a directory, "action" specifies how it is
                     to  be  processed.   Valid  values  are "read" (the default),
                     "recurse" (equivalent to the -r option), or "skip"  (silently
                     skip  the path). In the default case, directories are read as
                     if they were ordinary files. In some  operating  systems  the
                     effect  of reading a directory like this is an immediate end-
                     of-file.
    
           -e pattern, --regex=pattern, --regexp=pattern
                     Specify a pattern to be matched. This option can be used mul-
                     tiple times in order to specify several patterns. It can also
                     be used as a way of specifying a single pattern  that  starts
                     with  a hyphen. When -e is used, no argument pattern is taken
                     from the command line; all  arguments  are  treated  as  file
                     names.  There is an overall maximum of 100 patterns. They are
                     applied to each line in the order in which they  are  defined
                     until one matches (or fails to match if -v is used). If -f is
                     used with -e, the command line patterns  are  matched  first,
                     followed  by  the  patterns from the file, independent of the
                     order in which these options are specified. Note that  multi-
                     ple use of -e is not the same as a single pattern with alter-
                     natives. For example, X|Y finds the first character in a line
                     that  is  X or Y, whereas if the two patterns are given sepa-
                     rately, pcregrep finds X if it is present, even if it follows
                     Y  in the line. It finds Y only if there is no X in the line.
                     This really matters only if you are  using  -o  to  show  the
                     part(s) of the line that matched.
    
           --exclude=pattern
                     When pcregrep is searching the files in a directory as a con-
                     sequence of the -r (recursive  search)  option,  any  regular
                     files whose names match the pattern are excluded. Subdirecto-
                     ries are not excluded  by  this  option;  they  are  searched
                     recursively,  subject  to the --exclude_dir and --include_dir
                     options. The pattern is a PCRE  regular  expression,  and  is
                     matched against the final component of the file name (not the
                     entire path). If a  file  name  matches  both  --include  and
                     --exclude,  it  is excluded.  There is no short form for this
                     option.
    
           --exclude_dir=pattern
                     When pcregrep is searching the contents of a directory  as  a
                     consequence  of  the -r (recursive search) option, any subdi-
                     rectories whose names match the pattern are  excluded.  (Note
                     that  the  --exclude  option does not affect subdirectories.)
                     The pattern is a PCRE  regular  expression,  and  is  matched
                     against  the  final  component  of  the  name (not the entire
                     path). If a subdirectory name matches both --include_dir  and
                     --exclude_dir,  it  is  excluded.  There is no short form for
                     "-" to refer to the standard input. When -f is used, patterns
                     specified  on  the command line using -e may also be present;
                     they are tested before the file's patterns. However, no other
                     pattern  is  taken  from  the command line; all arguments are
                     treated as file names. There is an  overall  maximum  of  100
                     patterns. Trailing white space is removed from each line, and
                     blank lines are ignored. An empty file contains  no  patterns
                     and  therefore  matches  nothing. See also the comments about
                     multiple patterns versus a single pattern  with  alternatives
                     in the description of -e above.
    
           --file-offsets
                     Instead  of  showing lines or parts of lines that match, show
                     each match as an offset from the start  of  the  file  and  a
                     length,  separated  by  a  comma. In this mode, no context is
                     shown. That is, the -A, -B, and -C options  are  ignored.  If
                     there is more than one match in a line, each of them is shown
                     separately. This option is mutually  exclusive  with  --line-
                     offsets and --only-matching.
    
           -H, --with-filename
                     Force  the  inclusion  of the filename at the start of output
                     lines when searching a single file. By default, the  filename
                     is  not  shown in this case. For matching lines, the filename
                     is followed by a colon and a  space;  for  context  lines,  a
                     hyphen separator is used. If a line number is also being out-
                     put, it follows the file name without a space.
    
           -h, --no-filename
                     Suppress the output filenames when searching multiple  files.
                     By  default,  filenames  are  shown  when  multiple files are
                     searched. For matching lines, the filename is followed  by  a
                     colon  and  a space; for context lines, a hyphen separator is
                     used. If a line number is also being output, it  follows  the
                     file name without a space.
    
           --help    Output  a  help  message, giving brief details of the command
                     options and file type support, and then exit.
    
           -i, --ignore-case
                     Ignore upper/lower case distinctions during comparisons.
    
           --include=pattern
                     When pcregrep is searching the files in a directory as a con-
                     sequence of the -r (recursive search) option, only those reg-
                     ular files whose names match the pattern are included. Subdi-
                     rectories  are always included and searched recursively, sub-
                     ject to the --include_dir and --exclude_dir options. The pat-
                     tern is a PCRE regular expression, and is matched against the
                     final component of the file name (not the entire path). If  a
                     file  name  matches  both  --include  and  --exclude,  it  is
                     excluded. There is no short form for this option.
                     names  of  the files that do not contain any lines that would
                     have been output. Each file name is output once, on  a  sepa-
                     rate line.
    
           -l, --files-with-matches
                     Instead  of  outputting lines from the files, just output the
                     names of the files containing lines that would have been out-
                     put.  Each  file  name  is  output  once, on a separate line.
                     Searching stops as soon as a matching  line  is  found  in  a
                     file.
    
           --label=name
                     This option supplies a name to be used for the standard input
                     when file names are being output. If not supplied, "(standard
                     input)" is used. There is no short form for this option.
    
           --line-offsets
                     Instead  of  showing lines or parts of lines that match, show
                     each match as a line number, the offset from the start of the
                     line,  and a length. The line number is terminated by a colon
                     (as usual; see the -n option), and the offset and length  are
                     separated  by  a  comma.  In  this mode, no context is shown.
                     That is, the -A, -B, and -C options are ignored. If there  is
                     more  than  one  match in a line, each of them is shown sepa-
                     rately. This option is mutually exclusive with --file-offsets
                     and --only-matching.
    
           --locale=locale-name
                     This  option specifies a locale to be used for pattern match-
                     ing. It overrides the value in the LC_ALL or  LC_CTYPE  envi-
                     ronment  variables.  If  no  locale  is  specified,  the PCRE
                     library's default (usually the "C" locale) is used. There  is
                     no short form for this option.
    
           -M, --multiline
                     Allow  patterns to match more than one line. When this option
                     is given, patterns may usefully contain literal newline char-
                     acters  and  internal  occurrences of ^ and $ characters. The
                     output for any one match may consist of more than  one  line.
                     When  this option is set, the PCRE library is called in "mul-
                     tiline" mode.  There is a limit to the number of  lines  that
                     can  be matched, imposed by the way that pcregrep buffers the
                     input file as it scans it. However, pcregrep ensures that  at
                     least 8K characters or the rest of the document (whichever is
                     the shorter) are available for forward  matching,  and  simi-
                     larly the previous 8K characters (or all the previous charac-
                     ters, if fewer than 8K) are guaranteed to  be  available  for
                     lookbehind assertions.
    
           -N newline-type, --newline=newline-type
                     The  PCRE  library  supports  five  different conventions for
                     indicating the ends of lines. They are  the  single-character
                     ANY.  This  makes  it  possible to use pcregrep on files that
                     have come from other environments without  having  to  modify
                     their  line  endings.  If the data that is being scanned does
                     not agree with the convention set by  this  option,  pcregrep
                     may behave in strange ways.
    
           -n, --line-number
                     Precede each output line by its line number in the file, fol-
                     lowed by a colon and a space for matching lines or  a  hyphen
                     and  a space for context lines. If the filename is also being
                     output, it precedes the line number. This option is forced if
                     --line-offsets is used.
    
           -o, --only-matching
                     Show  only  the  part  of the line that matched a pattern. In
                     this mode, no context is shown. That is, the -A, -B,  and  -C
                     options  are  ignored.  If  there is more than one match in a
                     line, each of them is shown separately.  If  -o  is  combined
                     with  -v  (invert the sense of the match to find non-matching
                     lines), no output is generated, but the return  code  is  set
                     appropriately. This option is mutually exclusive with --file-
                     offsets and --line-offsets.
    
           -q, --quiet
                     Work quietly, that is, display nothing except error messages.
                     The  exit  status  indicates  whether or not any matches were
                     found.
    
           -r, --recursive
                     If any given path is a directory, recursively scan the  files
                     it  contains, taking note of any --include and --exclude set-
                     tings. By default, a directory is read as a normal  file;  in
                     some  operating  systems this gives an immediate end-of-file.
                     This option is a shorthand  for  setting  the  -d  option  to
                     "recurse".
    
           -s, --no-messages
                     Suppress  error  messages  about  non-existent  or unreadable
                     files. Such files are quietly skipped.  However,  the  return
                     code is still 2, even if matches were found in other files.
    
           -u, --utf-8
                     Operate  in UTF-8 mode. This option is available only if PCRE
                     has been compiled with UTF-8 support. Both patterns and  sub-
                     ject lines must be valid strings of UTF-8 characters.
    
           -V, --version
                     Write  the  version  numbers of pcregrep and the PCRE library
                     that is being used to the standard error stream.
    
           -v, --invert-match
                     Invert the sense of the match, so that  lines  which  do  not
    
           The environment variables LC_ALL and LC_CTYPE  are  examined,  in  that
           order,  for  a  locale.  The first one that is set is used. This can be
           overridden by the --locale option.  If  no  locale  is  set,  the  PCRE
           library's default (usually the "C" locale) is used.
    
    
    

    NEWLINES

    
           The  -N (--newline) option allows pcregrep to scan files with different
           newline conventions from the default.  However,  the  setting  of  this
           option  does not affect the way in which pcregrep writes information to
           the standard error and output streams. It uses the  string  "\n"  in  C
           printf()  calls  to  indicate newlines, relying on the C I/O library to
           convert this to an appropriate sequence if the  output  is  sent  to  a
           file.
    
    
    

    OPTIONS COMPATIBILITY

    
           The majority of short and long forms of pcregrep's options are the same
           as in the GNU grep program. Any long option of  the  form  --xxx-regexp
           (GNU  terminology) is also available as --xxx-regex (PCRE terminology).
           However, the --locale, -M, --multiline, -u,  and  --utf-8  options  are
           specific to pcregrep.
    
    
    

    OPTIONS WITH DATA

    
           There are four different ways in which an option with data can be spec-
           ified.  If a short form option is used, the  data  may  follow  immedi-
           ately, or in the next command line item. For example:
    
             -f/some/file
             -f /some/file
    
           If  a long form option is used, the data may appear in the same command
           line item, separated by an equals character, or (with one exception) it
           may appear in the next command line item. For example:
    
             --file=/some/file
             --file /some/file
    
           Note,  however, that if you want to supply a file name beginning with ~
           as data in a shell command, and have the  shell  expand  ~  to  a  home
           directory, you must separate the file name from the option, because the
           shell does not treat ~ specially unless it is at the start of an  item.
    
           The  exception  to  the  above is the --colour (or --color) option, for
           which the data is optional. If this option does have data, it  must  be
           given  in  the first form, using an equals character. Otherwise it will
           be assumed that it has no data.
    
    
    

    MATCHING ERRORS

    
           the -s option to suppress error messages about inaccessible files  does
           not affect the return code.
    
    
    

    SEE ALSO

    
           pcrepattern(3), pcretest(1).
    
    
    

    AUTHOR

    
           Philip Hazel
           University Computing Service
           Cambridge CB2 3QH, England.
    
    
    

    REVISION

    
           Last updated: 08 March 2008
           Copyright (c) 1997-2008 University of Cambridge.
    
                                                                       PCREGREP(1)
    
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