Axel Beckert: grep everything

During the OpenRheinRuhr I noticed that a friend of mine didn’t know
about zgrep and friends. So I told him what other grep
variations I know and he told me about some grep variations I didn’t
know about.

So here’s our collection of grep wrappers, derivatives and variations.
First I’ll list programs which search for text in different file

grep through what Fixed Strings Wildcards / Basic RegExps Extended RegExps Debian package
uncompressed text files fgrep grep egrep grep
gzip-compressed text files zfgrep zgrep zegrep zutils, gzip
bzip2-compressed text files bzfgrep bzgrep bzegrep bzip2
xz-compressed text files xzfgrep xzgrep xzegrep xz-utils
uncompressed text files in installed Debian packages dfgrep dgrep degrep debian-goodies
gzip-compressed text files in installed Debian packages dzgrep debian-goodies
PDF documents pdfgrep pdfgrep
POD texts podgrep pmtools
E-Mail folder (mbox, MH, Maildir) mboxgrep -G mboxgrep -E mboxgrep
Patches grepdiff grepdiff -E patchutils
Process list pgrep procps
Gnumeric spreadsheets ssgrep -F ssgrep ? gnumeric
Files in ZIP archives zipgrep unzip
ID3 tags in MP3s taggrepper taggrepper
Network packets ngrep ngrep
Tar archives targrep / ptargrep perl (Experimental only for now)

And then there are also greps for special patterns on more or less
normal files:

grep for what uncompressed files compressed files Debian package
PCRE (Perl Compatible Regular Expression) pcregrep (see also the grep -P option) zpcregrep pcregrep
IP Address in a given CIDR range grepcidr grepcidr
XPath expression xml_grep xml-twig-tools

One question is though still unanswered for us: Is there some kind of
meta-grep which chooses per file the right grep from above by looking
at the MIME type of the according files, similar to xdg-open.

Other tools which have grep in their name, but are too special to
properly fit into the above lists:

  • ext3grep: Tool to help recover deleted files on ext3
  • xautomation: Includes a tool named visgrep
    to grep for subimages inside other images.

Includes contributions by Frank Hofmann and Faidon Liambotis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.