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A glob matching library, providing an interface similar to the "re" module.

Project Description

Converts a glob-matching pattern to a regular expression, using Apache Cocoon style rules (with some extensions).



$ pip install globre


import globre

names = [

txt_names = [name for name in names if globre.match('/path/to/*.txt', name)]
assert txt_names == ['/path/to/file.txt']

ini_names = [name for name in names if globre.match('/path/to/*.ini', name)]
assert ini_names == ['/path/to/config.ini']

all_ini_names = [name for name in names if globre.match('/path/to/**.ini', name)]
assert all_ini_names == ['/path/to/config.ini', '/path/to/subdir/base.ini']


This package basically allows using unix shell-like filename globbing to be used to match a string in a Python program. The glob matching allows most characters to match themselves, with the following sequences having special meanings:

Sequence Meaning
? Matches any single character except the slash (‘/’) character.
* Matches zero or more characters excluding the slash (‘/’) character, e.g. /etc/*.conf which will not match “/etc/foo/bar.conf”.
** Matches zero or more characters including the slash (‘/’) character, e.g. /lib/**.so which will match “/lib/foo/”.
\ Escape character used to precede any of the other special characters (in order to match them literally), e.g. foo\? will match “foo” followed by a literal question mark.
[...] Matches any character in the specified regex-style character range, e.g. foo[0-9A-F].conf.
{...} Inlines a regex expression, e.g. foo-{\\D{2,4\}}.txt which will match “foo-bar.txt” but not “foo-012.txt”.

The globre package exports the following functions:

  • globre.match(pattern, string, sep=None, flags=0):

    Tests whether or not the glob pattern matches the string. If it does, a re.MatchObject is returned, otherwise None. The string must be matched in its entirety. See globre.compile for details on the sep and flags parameters. Example:

    globre.match('/etc/**.conf', '/etc/rsyslog.conf')
    # => truthy
  •, string, sep=None, flags=0):

    Similar to globre.match, but the pattern does not need to match the entire string. Example:'lib/**.so', '/var/lib/python/')
    # => truthy
  • globre.compile(pattern, sep=None, flags=0, split_prefix=False):

    Compiles the specified pattern into a matching object that has the same API as the regular expression object returned by re.compile.

    The sep parameter specifies the hierarchical path component separator to use. By default, it uses the unix-style forward-slash separator ("/"), but can be overriden to be a sequence of alternative valid hierarchical path component separator characters. Note that although sep could be set to both forward- and back- slashes (i.e. "/\\") to, theoretically, support either unix- and windows-style path components, this has the significant flaw that then both characters can be used within the same path as separators.

    The flags bit mask can contain all the standard re flags, in addition to the globre.EXACT flag. If EXACT is set, then the returned regex will include the equivalent of a leading ‘^’ and trailing ‘$’, meaning that the regex must match the entire string, from beginning to end.

    If split_prefix is truthy, the return value becomes a tuple with the first element set to any initial non-wildcarded string found in the pattern. The second element remains the regex object as before. For example, the pattern foo/**.ini would result in a tuple equivalent to ('foo/', re.compile('foo/.*\\.ini')).


    prefix, expr = globre.compile('/path/to**.ini', split_prefix=True)
    # prefix => '/path/to'
    names = [
    for name in names:
      if not expr.match(name):
        # ignore the two ".txt" files
      # and do something with:
      #   - /path/to/config.ini
      #   - /path/to/subdir/base.ini

What About the glob Module

This package is different from the standard Python glob module in the following critical ways:

  • The glob module operates on the actual filesystem; globre can be used to match both files on the filesystem as well as any other sources of strings to match.
  • The glob module does not provide the ** “descending” matcher.
  • The glob module does not provide the {...} regular expression inlining feature.
  • The glob module does not provide an alternate hierarchy separator beyond / or \\.
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