Ack: grep-like tool written in Perl for searching source code from the command line

Ack logo

I use this all the time at work. I get people asking me all the time, “How do you get your grep results to look like that?”

From the ack website (via

  • Blazing fast: It’s fast because it only searches the stuff it makes sense
    to search.
  • Better search: Searches entire trees by default while ignoring Subversion,
    Git and other VCS directories and other files that aren’t your source code.
  • Designed for code search: Where grep is a general text search tool, ack
    is especially for the programmer searching source code. Common tasks take
    fewer keystrokes.
  • Highly portable: ack is pure Perl, so it easily runs on a Windows
    installation Perl (like Strawberry Perl) without modifications.
  • Free and open: Ack costs nothing. It’s 100% free and open source under
    Artistic License v2.0.

Ack screenshot