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Glob Patterns

Glob patterns provide a way to specify a path that can match one or more files, such as data/*.json to match all json files in a directory.


  • ? will match any single character
    Example: 2020?stats.csv would match 2020-stats.csv or 2020_stats.csv, but not 2020stats.csv

  • * will match any string in a directory or file name, including the empty string, but won't match across directories
    Example: /data*/test.csv will match /data/test.csv and /data-backup/test.csv, but not /data/backup/test.csv

  • ** will match any number of directories, recursively searching through directories and symlinks (while not traversing a cyclic symlink)
    Example: /data/**/test.csv will match /data/test.csv, /data/backup/test.csv, and /data/backup/test/init/test.csv

Character Classes

  • [...] - An expression between brackets not starting with ! and that is not empty matches any single character in the set.
    Example: /data/test.[ct]sv will match /data/test.csv and /data/test.tsv

  • [!..] - An expression between brackets starting with ! matches any single character except the characters in the set. This is only true if ! is the first character.
    Example: /data/test-[!ABC].csv will match /data/test-D.csv but not /data/test-B.csv

  • [ - ] - With a character set, the use of - indicates a range using the ASCII range from the character on the left to the character on the right. These can be used in both the inclusive and exclusive character classes.
    Example: /data/test[0-9].csv will match /data/test0.csv and /data/test5.csv

  • Multiple ranges can be included in a character class, alongside characters not in a range.
    Example: /data/test-[a-zA-Z0-9#].csv will match /data/test-3.csv and /data/test-#.csv

  • * and ? are not special characters inside a character class. They will only match the characters * and ?.

Escaping special characters

The special characters outside a character class are *, ?, and [.
Inside or a character class, !, -, and ] are the only special characters, and ! is only special when it is the first character.
An unmatched ] is not a special character

Character classes can be used to escape special characters.
Example: /data/test[?].csv will match /data/test?.csv but not /data/test2.csv
Example 2: test[[]backup].csv will match test[backup].csv, as [[] is a character class matching [

\ should not be used as an escape character. /data/my\ file.txt should be written instead as /data/my file.txt


Glob patterns are case sensitive if the file system is case-sensitive.