ack  v3.7.0
About: ack is a Perl code-searching tool, similar to grep but optimized for programmers searching large trees of source code.
  Fossies Dox: ack-v3.7.0.tar.gz  ("unofficial" and yet experimental doxygen-generated source code documentation)  

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ack Documentation

Some Fossies usage hints in advance:

  1. To see the Doxygen generated documentation please click on one of the items in the steelblue colored "quick index" bar above or use the side panel at the left which displays a hierarchical tree-like index structure and is adjustable in width.
  2. If you want to search for something by keyword rather than browse for it you can use the client side search facility (using Javascript and DHTML) that provides live searching, i.e. the search results are presented and adapted as you type in the Search input field at the top right.
  3. Doxygen doesn't incorporate all member files but just a definable subset (basically the main project source code files that are written in a supported language). So to search and browse all member files you may visit the Fossies ack-v3.7.0.tar.gz contents page and use the Fossies standard member browsing features (also with source code highlighting and additionally with optional code folding).

ack 3

ack is a code-searching tool, similar to grep but optimized for programmers searching large trees of source code. It is highly portable and runs on any platform that runs Perl.

ack is written and maintained by Andy Lester (


ack requires Perl 5.10.1 or higher, and it requires the File::Next module to be installed.

Checking prerequisites

To check ack's dependencies, run this command in the shell:

perl -MFile::Next -E'say "ack is ready to build!"'

If everything is OK, you'll see:

ack is ready to build!

If your installation of Perl is outdated, you'll see an error like this:

Unrecognized switch: -Esay "ack is ready to build!"  (-h will show valid options).

If you don't have File::Next installed, you'll see an error like this:

Can't locate File/ in @INC (@INC contains: /home/andy/...
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted.

and you'll need to install File::Next yourself:

# Install File::Next dependency
perl -MCPAN -e install File::Next

Building ack

If you've got a recent enough version of Perl and you have File::Next installed, you can build ack.

# Required
perl Makefile.PL
make test
sudo make install # For a system-wide installation
# - or -
make ack-standalone
cp ack-standalone ~/bin/ack3 # For a personal installation



See the Community page.

Please follow the Code of Conduct in all your interactions with our project.


Copyright 2005-2023 Andy Lester.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the Artistic License v2.0. See also the file that comes with the ack distribution.


ack and are supported by DigitalOcean.