Add -F for compatibility with POSIX grep #198

petdance opened this Issue Jan 20, 2013 · 2 comments


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From Vladimir Dobriakov (github geekQ)

ack is great and I am using it as a full replacement for grep in vim and bash (set by export GREP=/home/vd/bin/ack)

Ubuntu and Debian provide apt-file utility for searching for packages containing specific file, like apt-file search '/usr/bin/dot' to find the package containing the dot command.

apt-file internally uses environment defined grep and relies on the -F option. So the execution fails

$ apt-file search '/usr/bin/dot'
Unknown option: F
ack: See ack --help or ack --man for options.

My workaround for now is to unset the GREP variable before running apt-file switching to original grep. It world be better though, if ack, aiming to replace grep, would support the POSIX defined -F option, just for compatibility.

Best Regards,



ack has never been intended to be a full-blown replacement for grep. Now if -F were actually something useful that we want to implement in ack, that would be something else. But just being switch-compatible isn't important to me, and it's not possible anyway.

hoelzro commented May 3, 2013

@petdance Since we're not doing this, should we close this issue?

@petdance petdance closed this May 3, 2013
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