Tracker Grep is a simple Tracker add-on that lets you search through text files
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TrackerGrep is a simple Tracker add-on that lets you search through text files. Haiku already comes with a tool that lets you do that (grep) but you need to use it from a Terminal window. Gone are those days of command-line trouble, because from now on TrackerGrep lets you run grep directly from the Tracker.


TrackerGrep is no more than a graphical front-end to the grep tool that comes with BeOS. In the past you needed to know how grep worked in order to use TrackerGrep. As of version 3.0 this is no longer the case, although grep addicts are still catered for.

Select the files that you want to examine. Then right-click on one of the files or open Tracker's File menu. Go to Add-Ons and choose TrackerGrep. Alternatively you can press the keys Right Ctrl-Alt-G (PC keyboard) or Command-Control-G (Macintosh keyboard). If you don't select any files at all, TrackerGrep will look at all the files in the current directory.

In addition to that, you can tell TrackerGrep to look into sub-directories and follow symbolic links as well. But if you do, then be aware that some of your links may be circular (they indirectly point at each other) which causes the search to loop forever if you don't cancel it at some point.

Because grep was meant to examine text files, TrackerGrep will only work on files that have the MIME supertype text or message. Normally this is true for all your text files, HTML files, e-mail messages, source code files, and so on. If a file has another MIME type (or none at all), it will be ignored. In the odd case that you also want to search non-text files, deselect the Text files only option.

During the search, the TrackerGrep window displays the names of the files whose contents match the search pattern. You can click on the little arrow to the left of a file's name to either view or hide its matching lines. The Show Lines check box tells TrackerGrep to automatically expand or collapse the matching lines of all files.

And last, but not least, you can open a file by double-clicking its name or one of its matching lines.

Advanced Usage

By default, TrackerGrep escapes the search text before passing it on to grep. If you want to use grep's full power, turn off the Escape search text item in the Options menu. If this option is disabled, the search pattern is literally transferred to grep. This also allows you to pass any other command line options to grep, simply by typing them in the search text input field. Remember that grep runs inside the shell, so you still may have to escape characters that have a special meaning to the shell, most notably the backslash.

WARNING! With the Escape search text option turned off, entering certain search patterns may produce unexpected results. A search pattern like /* appears to hang the machine. TrackerGrep (and the system in general) becomes unresponsive, because the grepper thread is working like crazy. The same thing happens when you enter grep /* filename in the Terminal (you probably should have typed \\/*).