Feb 102017

It all started with a simple list of name='value' and name=`value` entries, all within the same line. My wish was to color a few matching entries for the devious purpose of making them more visible. First stab at solution was extremely easy:

something | grep --color=always -P "somename='.*?'"

Two things to note here: I had to use PERL-style grep as I needed a non-greedy matching and secondly this didn’t fulfill its task. Yep, it didn’t match backtick (`) character.

Simple regex adjustment one might think:

something | grep --color=always -P "somename=['`].*?['`]"

But no – backtick is a tricky one as it serves a special purpose in bash.

I tried a bunch of escaping methods before I remembered that hexadecimal characters are still a thing. Wouldn’t you know it – that worked. To match a backtick, instead of using character itself, one can always use its hexadecimal escape code:

something | grep --color=always -P "somename=['\x60].*?['\x60]"

  2 Responses to “Escaping backtick in (perl)grep”

Comments (2)
  1. What about the obvious \` ?

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