rpl & regexxer: search, replace strings


Developers need to search and replace strings in multiple files frequently. While there are several combinations of commands, sed, awk etc. to do that, the default Ubuntu repos come with 2 relatively unknown specialized gems to search and replace text in several files at a time. Let’s check them out!


regexxer comes with a clean gui and allows you to search patterns using regular expressions and replace them. The visual workflow is pretty straightforward and it has basic preferences to change font, color etc.

To install regexxer on Ubuntu, run:

$ sudo apt-get install regexxer


rpl is a feature-packed cmdline utility to search and replace strings. It supports several options:

  • specify multiple file suffix (like .txt, .log) to process
  • ignore case
  • whole words only
  • create backup of modified files
  • simulate, don’t actually modify
  • recursively visit subdirectoies
  • expand escape sequences
  • prompt and confirm each modification
  • keep modification times
  • include hidden files

To install rpl on Ubuntu, run:

$ sudo apt-get install rpl

For help on usage, run:

$ man rpl


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