a2p
accept
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adjtime
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after
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aio_error
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aio_return
aio_suspend
aio_waitcomplete
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as
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at
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elif
else
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endif
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modfind
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msdos
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mt
munlock
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mv
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nanosleep
nawk
nc
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nex
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objcopy
objdump
objformat
ocsp
od
onintr
open
openssl
opieaccess
opieinfo
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options
oqmgr
pack
package
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pagesize
palette
pam_auth
panedwindow
parray
passwd
paste
patch
pathchk
pathconf
pawd
pax
pbm
pcre
pcreapi
pcrebuild
pcrecallout
pcrecompat
pcrecpp
pcregrep
pcrematching
pcrepartial
pcrepattern
pcreperform
pcreposix
pcreprecompile
pcresample
pcretest
perl
perl56delta
perl58delta
perl561delta
perl570delta
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perl572delta
perl573delta
perl581delta
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perl583delta
perl584delta
perl585delta
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perl5004delta
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zdiff
zegrep
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_exit
__syscall
 
FreeBSD/Linux/UNIX General Commands Manual
Hypertext Man Pages
pcregrep
 
PCREGREP(1)							   PCREGREP(1)



NAME
       pcregrep - a grep with Perl-compatible regular expressions.

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 for a full description of syntax and  semantics
       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 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 the pattern is copied to  the  stan-
       dard  output, and if there is more than one file, the file name is out-
       put at the start of each line. However,	there  are  options  that  can
       change how pcregrep behaves. In particular, the -M option makes it pos-
       sible to search for patterns that span line boundaries.

       Patterns are limited to 8K  or  BUFSIZ  characters,  whichever  is  the
       greater.  BUFSIZ is defined in .

       If  the	LC_ALL	or LC_CTYPE environment variable is set, pcregrep uses
       the value to set a locale when calling the PCRE library.  The  --locale
       option can be used to override this.

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.
		 The  value may be "never" (the default), "always", or "auto".
		 In the latter case, colouring happens only  if  the  standard
		 output  is  connected to a terminal. The colour can be speci-
		 fied by setting the environment variable  PCREGREP_COLOUR  or
		 PCREGREP_COLOR. The value of this variable should be a string
		 of two numbers, separated by a semicolon.   They  are	copied
		 directly into the control string for setting colour on a ter-
		 minal, so it is your responsibility to ensure that they  make
		 sense.  If  neither  of the environment variables is set, the
		 default is "1;31", which gives red.

       -D action, --devices=action
		 If an input path is  not  a  regular  file  or  a  directory,
		 "action"  specifies  how  it is to be processed. Valid values
		 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 multiple times in order to specify  several  pat-
		 terns.  It  can  also be used as a way of specifying a single
		 pattern that starts with a hyphen. When -e is used, no  argu-
		 ment  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 speci-
		 fied. Note that multiple use of -e is not the same as a  sin-
		 gle  pattern  with  alternatives.  For example, X|Y finds the
		 first character in a line that is X or Y, whereas if the  two
		 patterns  are	given  separately,  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 portion 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 files whose
		 names match the pattern are excluded. The pattern is  a  PCRE
		 regular expression. If a file name matches both --include and
		 --exclude, it is excluded. There is no short  form  for  this
		 option.

       -F, --fixed-strings
		 Interpret  each pattern as a list of fixed strings, separated
		 by newlines, instead of  as  a  regular  expression.  The  -w
		 (match  as  a	word) and -x (match whole line) options can be
		 used with -F. They apply to each of the fixed strings. A line
		 is selected if any of the fixed strings are found in it (sub-
		 ject to -w or -x, if present).

       -f filename, --file=filename
		 Read a number of patterns from the file, one  per  line,  and
		 match	them against each line of input. A data line is output
		 if any of the patterns match it. The filename can be given as
		 "-" 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.

       -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 brief help message and 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
		 files whose names match the pattern are included. The pattern
		 is  a	PCRE  regular  expression. If a file name matches both
		 --include and --exclude, it is excluded. There  is  no  short
		 form for this option.

       -L, --files-without-match
		 Instead  of  outputting lines from the files, just output the
		 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.

       --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, --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.

       -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.

       -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
		 match any of the patterns are the ones that are found.

       -w, --word-regex, --word-regexp
		 Force the patterns to match only whole words. This is equiva-
		 lent to having \b at the start and end of the pattern.

       -x, --line-regex, --line-regexp
		 Force	the  patterns to be anchored (each must start matching
		 at the beginning of a line) and in addition, require them  to
		 match	entire	lines.	This  is  equivalent to having ^ and $
		 characters at the start and end of each alternative branch in
		 every pattern.

ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES

       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.

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

       It  is  possible  to supply a regular expression that takes a very long
       time to fail to match certain lines.  Such  patterns  normally  involve
       nested  indefinite repeats, for example: (a+)*\d when matched against a
       line of a's with no final digit.  The  PCRE  matching  function	has  a
       resource  limit that causes it to abort in these circumstances. If this
       happens, pcregrep outputs an error message and the line that caused the
       problem	to  the  standard error stream. If there are more than 20 such
       errors, pcregrep gives up.

DIAGNOSTICS

       Exit status is 0 if any matches were found, 1 if no matches were found,
       and  2 for syntax errors and non-existent or inacessible files (even if
       matches were found in other files) or too many matching	errors.  Using
       the  -s	option to suppress error messages about inaccessble files does
       not affect the return code.

AUTHOR

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

Last updated: 23 January 2006
Copyright (c) 1997-2006 University of Cambridge.



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