The London Perl and Raku Workshop takes place on 26th Oct 2024. If your company depends on Perl, please consider sponsoring and/or attending.


ptargrep - Apply pattern matching to the contents of files in a tar archive


  ptargrep [options] <pattern> <tar file> ...


   --basename|-b     ignore directory paths from archive
   --ignore-case|-i  do case-insensitive pattern matching
   --list-only|-l    list matching filenames rather than extracting matches
   --verbose|-v      write debugging message to STDERR
   --help|-?         detailed help message


This utility allows you to apply pattern matching to the contents of files contained in a tar archive. You might use this to identify all files in an archive which contain lines matching the specified pattern and either print out the pathnames or extract the files.

The pattern will be used as a Perl regular expression (as opposed to a simple grep regex).

Multiple tar archive filenames can be specified - they will each be processed in turn.


--basename (alias -b)

When matching files are extracted, ignore the directory path from the archive and write to the current directory using the basename of the file from the archive. Beware: if two matching files in the archive have the same basename, the second file extracted will overwrite the first.

--ignore-case (alias -i)

Make pattern matching case-insensitive.

--list-only (alias -l)

Print the pathname of each matching file from the archive to STDOUT. Without this option, the default behaviour is to extract each matching file.

--verbose (alias -v)

Log debugging info to STDERR.

--help (alias -?)

Display this documentation.


Copyright 2010 Grant McLean <>

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.