Blazing fast and accurate glob matcher written JavaScript, with no dependencies and full support for standard and extended Bash glob features, including braces, extglobs, POSIX brackets, and regular expressions.
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Blazing fast and accurate glob matcher written in JavaScript.
No dependencies and full support for standard and extended Bash glob features, including braces, extglobs, POSIX brackets, and regular expressions.

Why picomatch?

  • Lightweight - No dependencies
  • Minimal - Tiny API surface. Main export is a function that takes a glob pattern and returns a matcher function.
  • Fast - Loads in about 2ms (that's several times faster than a single frame of a HD movie at 60fps)
  • Performant - Optional precompiling to speed up repeat matching (like when watching files)
  • Accurate matching - Using wildcards (* and ?), globstars (**) for nested directories, advanced globbing with extglobs, braces, and POSIX brackets, and support for escaping special characters with \ or quotes.
  • Well tested - Thousands of unit tests

See the feature comparison to other libraries.


Install with npm:

$ npm install --save picomatch


The main export is a function that takes a glob pattern and an options object and returns a function for matching strings.

const pm = require('picomatch');
const isMatch = pm('*.js');

console.log(isMatch('abcd')); //=> false
console.log(isMatch('a.js')); //=> true
console.log(isMatch('')); //=> false
console.log(isMatch('a/b.js')); //=> false


Option Type Default value Description
bash boolean false Follow bash matching rules more strictly - disallows backslashes as escape characters.
dot boolean false Enable dotfile matching. By default, dotfiles are ignored unless a . is explicitly defined in the pattern, or is true
expandBrace function undefined Function to be called on brace patterns as an alternative to the built-in functionality. The function receives the entire brace pattern including the enclosing braces as its only argument, and it must return a string to be used in the generated regex.
expandRange function undefined Custom function for expanding ranges in brace patterns, such as {a..z}. The function receives the range values as two arguments, and it must return a string to be used in the generated regex. It's recommended that returned strings be wrapped in parentheses. This option is overridden by the braces option.
failglob boolean false Throws an error if no matches are found. Based on the bash option of the same name.
flags boolean undefined Regex flags to use in the generated regex. If defined, the nocase option will be overridden.
ignore array|string undefined One or more glob patterns for excluding strings that should not be matched from the result.
keepQuotes boolean false Retain quotes in the generated regex, since quotes may also be used as an alternative to backslashes.
lookbehinds boolean true Support regex positive and negative lookbehinds. Note that you must be using Node 10 or higher to enable regex lookbehinds.
matchBase boolean false If set, then patterns without slashes will be matched against the basename of the path if it contains slashes. For example, a?b would match the path /xyz/123/acb, but not /xyz/acb/123.
maxLength boolean 65536 Limit the max length of the input string. An error is thrown if the input string is longer than this value.
nobrace boolean false Disabled brace matching. Thus, {a,b} and {1..3} would be treated as literals.
nocase boolean false Make matching case-insensitive. Equivalent to the regex i flag. Note that this option is overridden by the flags option.
nodupes boolean true Deprecated, use nounique instead. This option will be removed in a future major release. By default duplicates are removed. Disable uniquification by setting this option to false.
noextglob boolean false Disable support for matching with extglobs (like +(a|b))
noglobstar boolean false Disable support for matching nested directories with globstars (**)
nonegate boolean false Disable support for negating with leading !
noquantifiers boolean false Disable support for regex quantifiers (like a{1,2}) and treat them as brace patterns to be expanded.
normalize boolean false Normalize returned paths to remove leading ./
posix boolean false Support POSX character classes ("posix brackets").
prepend boolean undefined String to prepend to the generated regex used for matching.
strictBrackets boolean undefined Throw an error if brackets, braces, or parens are imbalanced.
strictSlashes boolean undefined Strictly enforce leading and trailing slashes.
unescapeRegex boolean undefined Remove backslashes preceding escaped characters in the returned regular expression. By default, backslashes are retained.
unixify boolean undefined Convert all slashes in the list to match (not in the glob pattern itself) to forward slashes.

Globbing features

  • Basic globbing (Wildcard matching)
  • Advanced globbing (extglobs, posix brackets, brace matching)

Basic globbing

Character Description
* Matches any character zero or more times, excluding path separators. Does not match path separators or hidden files or directories ("dotfiles"), unless explicitly enabled by setting the dot option to true.
** Matches any character zero or more times, including path separators. Note that ** will only match path separators (/, and \\ on Windows) when they are the only characters in a path segment. Thus, foo**/bar is equivalent to foo*/bar, and foo/a**b/bar is equivalent to foo/a*b/bar, and more than two consecutive stars in a glob path segment are regarded as a single star. Thus, foo/***/bar is equivalent to foo/*/bar.
? Matches any character excluding path separators one time. Does not match path separators or leading dots.
[abc] Matches any characters inside the brackets. For example, [abc] would match the characters a, b or c, and nothing else.

Matching behavior vs. Bash

Picomatch's matching features and expected results in unit tests are based on Bash's unit tests and the Bash 4.3 specification, with the following exceptions:

  • Bash will match foo/bar/baz with *. Picomatch only matches nested directories with **.
  • Bash greedily matches with negated extglobs. For example, Bash 4.3 says that !(foo)* should match foo and foobar, since the trailing * bracktracks to match the preceding pattern. This is very memory-inefficient, and IMHO, also incorrect. Picomatch would return false for both foo and foobar.

Advanced globbing

  • extglobs (todo)
  • POSIX brackets
  • brace expansion (todo)
  • regular expressions (todo)

POSIX brackets

POSIX classes are disabled by default. Enable this feature by setting the posix option to true.

Enable POSIX bracket support

console.log(pm.makeRe('[[:word:]]+', { posix: true }));
//=> /^(?:(?=.)[A-Za-z0-9_]+\/?)$/

Supported POSIX classes

The following named POSIX bracket expressions are supported:

  • [:alnum:] - Alphanumeric characters, equ [a-zA-Z0-9]
  • [:alpha:] - Alphabetical characters, equivalent to [a-zA-Z].
  • [:ascii:] - ASCII characters, equivalent to [\\x00-\\x7F].
  • [:blank:] - Space and tab characters, equivalent to [ \\t].
  • [:cntrl:] - Control characters, equivalent to [\\x00-\\x1F\\x7F].
  • [:digit:] - Numerical digits, equivalent to [0-9].
  • [:graph:] - Graph characters, equivalent to [\\x21-\\x7E].
  • [:lower:] - Lowercase letters, equivalent to [a-z].
  • [:print:] - Print characters, equivalent to [\\x20-\\x7E ].
  • [:punct:] - Punctuation and symbols, equivalent to [\\-!"#$%&\'()\\*+,./:;<=>?@[\\]^_{|}~]`.
  • [:space:] - Extended space characters, equivalent to [ \\t\\r\\n\\v\\f].
  • [:upper:] - Uppercase letters, equivalent to [A-Z].
  • [:word:] - Word characters (letters, numbers and underscores), equivalent to [A-Za-z0-9_].
  • [:xdigit:] - Hexadecimal digits, equivalent to [A-Fa-f0-9].

See the Bash Reference Manual for more information.

Matching special characters as literals

If you wish to match the following special characters in a filepath, and you want to use these characters in your glob pattern, they must be escaped with backslashes or quotes:

Special Characters

Some characters that are used for matching in regular expressions are also regarded as valid file path characters on some platforms.

To match any of the following characters as literals: `$^*+?()[]


console.log(pm.makeRe('foo/bar \\(1\\)'));
console.log(pm.makeRe('foo/bar \\(1\\)'));

Library Comparisons

Comparison to other libraries.

Feature comparison

The following table shows which features are supported by minimatch, micromatch, picomatch, nanomatch, extglob, braces, and expand-brackets.

Feature minimatch micromatch picomatch nanomatch extglob braces expand-brackets
wildcard matching (*?+) - - -
advancing globbing - - - -
brace matching - - -
brace expansion - - - -
extglobs partial - - -
posix brackets - - - -
regular expression syntax - -
file system operations - - - - - - -

Performance comparison

Load time

minimatch: 4.230ms
picomatch: 2.123ms

First match

Time it takes to return the first match, including require() time:

// 9.275ms
// 7.429ms



Pull requests and stars are always welcome. For bugs and feature requests, please create an issue.

Please read the contributing guide for advice on opening issues, pull requests, and coding standards.

Running Tests

Running and reviewing unit tests is a great way to get familiarized with a library and its API. You can install dependencies and run tests with the following command:

$ npm install && npm test
Building docs

(This project's is generated by verb, please don't edit the readme directly. Any changes to the readme must be made in the readme template.)

To generate the readme, run the following command:

$ npm install -g verbose/verb#dev verb-generate-readme && verb


Jon Schlinkert


Copyright © 2018, Jon Schlinkert. Released under the MIT License.