File::FnMatch(3) simple filename and pathname matching


use File::FnMatch qw(:fnmatch); # import everything
# shell-style: match "/a/bc", but not "/a/.bc" nor "/a/b/c"
fnmatch("/a/*", $fn, FNM_PATHNAME|FNM_PERIOD);
# find our A- executables only
grep { fnmatch("A-*.exe", $_) } readdir SOMEDIR;


File::FnMatch::fnmatch() provides simple, shell-like pattern matching.

Though considerably less powerful than regular expressions, shell patterns are nonetheless useful and familiar to a large audience of end-users.


fnmatch ( PATTERN, STRING [, FLAGS] )
Returns true if PATTERN matches STRING, undef otherwise. FLAGS may be the bitwise OR'ing of any supported FNM_* constants (see below).


Do not treat a backslash ('\') in PATTERN specially. Otherwise, a backslash escapes the following character.
Prohibit wildcards from matching a slash ('/').
Prohibit wildcards from matching a period ('.') at the start of a string and, if FNM_PATHNAME is also given, immediately after a slash.

Other possibilities include at least FNM_CASEFOLD (compare "qr//i"), FNM_LEADING_DIR to restrict matching to everything before the first '/', FNM_FILE_NAME as a synonym for FNM_PATHNAME, and the rather more exotic FNM_EXTMATCH. Consult your system documentation for details.


None by default. The export tag ":fnmatch" exports the fnmatch function and all available FNM_* constants.


Wildcards are the question mark ('?') to match any single character and the asterisk ('*') to match zero or more characters. FNM_PATHNAME and FNM_PERIOD restrict the scope of the wildcards, notably supporting the UNIX convention of concealing ``dotfiles'':

Bracket expressions, enclosed by '[' and ']', match any of a set of characters specified explicitly ("[abcdef]"), as a range ("[a-f0-9]"), or as the combination these ("[a-f0-9XYZ]"). Additionally, many implementations support named character classes such as "[[:xdigit:]]". Character sets may be negated with an initial '!' ("[![:space:]]").

Locale influences the meaning of fnmatch() patterns.


Most UNIX-like systems provide an fnmatch implementation. This module will not work on platforms lacking an implementation, most notably Win32.


Michael J. Pomraning

Please report bugs to <mjp-perl AT>


Copyright 2005 by Michael J. Pomraning

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