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A command-line client for the Hound source code search engine.

Project description

pyhound is a command line client for the Hound source code search engine. It connects to a Hound server. Here is an absolutely not fabricated example:

$ pyhound frobulate
devguide:tools/frob.rst:433:if you really have to frobulate things, be sure to
footils:tests/    eventlog_api.log_business(obj, 'frobulated', obj)
frobulator:src/frobulator/    error="Could not frobulate event.",


pyhound needs Python 3. It supports versions >= 3.5.


pyhound needs a Hound server. See Hound documentation for further details. The steps below assume that you have a Hound server listening (for example on http://localhost:6080).

To install pyhound, use pip:

pip install pyhound


pyhound aims to output search results in the manner of grep and hence implements some (but definitely not all) of its options.

The main feature of pyhound is its --help argument:

usage: pyhound [-h] [--version] [--endpoint URL] [--repos REPOSITORY_LIST]
               [--exclude-repos REPOSITORY_LIST] [--path FILE_PATH_PATTERN]
               [-A NUM] [-B NUM] [-C NUM] [--color [WHEN]] [-i] [-n]
               [--line-max-length LINE_MAX_LENGTH]

A command-line client for Hound.

positional arguments:
  PATTERN               The regular expression to search.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --version             show program's version number and exit
  --endpoint URL        Host and port of the Hound server. You may also set a
                        HOUND_ENDPOINT environment variable. Default:
                        A comma-separated list of repositories to search in.
                        Default: all.
  --exclude-repos REPOSITORY_LIST
                        A comma-separated list of repositories to exclude.
                        A pattern to match against the path of candidate
  -A NUM, --after-context NUM
                        Print NUM lines of trailing context after matching
                        lines. Cannot be used with -C.
  -B NUM, --before-context NUM
                        Print NUM lines of leading context before matching
                        lines. Cannot be used with -C.
  -C NUM, --context NUM
                        Print NUM lines of output context. Cannot be used with
                        -A or -B.
  --color [WHEN], --colour [WHEN]
                        Surround the matched (non-empty) strings, file names,
                        line numbers and separators (for fields and groups of
                        context lines) with escape sequences to display them
                        in color on the terminal. WHEN may be "never",
                        "always" or "auto".
  -i, --ignore-case     Ignore case distinctions in both the PATTERN and the
                        input files.
  -n, --line-number     Prefix each line of output with the 1-based line
                        number within its input file.
  --line-max-length LINE_MAX_LENGTH
                        If given, don't show matching lines if they are longer
                        than requested.


pyhound currently tries to retrieve all search results in a single request to the Hound server. The server may return an error if there are too many results (currently: more than 5000) and pyhound will kindly display this error. The Hound web user interface has the same limitation and fails in a similar way (although it at least shows the first 20 results).

A future version of pyhound may handle this case and make multiple requests to the Hound server. On the other hand, the usefulness of displaying more than 5000 search results seems questionable.


Apart from the web user interface, Hound comes with a command-line client. But it does not provide a grep-like output. There is a comment in the source code that suggests that it may appear someday, but the comment has been there for 4 years (as of July 2019), so it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Doug Hellmann has released Beagle (also in Python) in February 2018. It seems to concentrate on supporting multiple (many!) output formats, including a grep-like one. I did not test it.

The name

I must apologize. It’s the first time I write a Python package that starts with “py”. I thought I could resist a few more years. How naive of me…

Credits, contributions and license

Well, first things first: thanks to the developers of Hound. :)

pyhound is maintained by developpers at Polyconseil. It is hosted on GitHub at Suggestions and patches are welcome.

Continuous tests are run on Travis CI. Current status: travis-ci-status

pyhound is licensed under the 3-clause BSD license, a copy of which is included in the source.

Project details

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