pcregrep - a grep with Perl-compatible regular expressions.
pcregrep [-Vcfhilnrsvx] pattern [file] ...
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 pcre(3) for a full description of syntax and
If no files are specified, pcregrep reads the standard input. By default, each line that
matches the pattern is copied to the standard output, and if there is more than one file,
the file name is printed before each line of output. However, there are options that can
change how pcregrep behaves.
Lines are limited to BUFSIZ characters. BUFSIZ is defined in <stdio.h>. The newline char-
acter is removed from the end of each line before it is matched against the pattern.
-V Write the version number of the PCRE library being used to the standard error
-c Do not print individual lines; instead just print a count of the number of lines
that would otherwise have been printed. If several files are given, a count is
printed for each of them.
Read patterns from the file, one per line, and match all patterns against each
line. There is a maximum of 100 patterns. Trailing white space is removed, and
blank lines are ignored. An empty file contains no patterns and therefore
-h Suppress printing of filenames when searching multiple files.
-i Ignore upper/lower case distinctions during comparisons.
-l Instead of printing lines from the files, just print the names of the files con-
taining lines that would have been printed. Each file name is printed once, on a
-n Precede each line by its line number in the file.
-r If any file is a directory, recursively scan the files it contains. Without -r a
directory is scanned as a normal file.
-s Work silently, that is, display nothing except error messages. The exit status
indicates whether any matches were found.
-v Invert the sense of the match, so that lines which do not match the pattern are
now the ones that are found.
-x Force the pattern to be anchored (it must start matching at the beginning of the
line) and in addition, require it to match the entire line. This is equivalent
to having ^ and $ characters at the start and end of each alternative branch in
the regular expression.
pcre(3), Perl 5 documentation
Exit status is 0 if any matches were found, 1 if no matches were found, and 2 for syntax
errors or inacessible files (even if matches were found).
Philip Hazel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Last updated: 15 August 2001
Copyright (c) 1997-2001 University of Cambridge.