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I asked for recommendations for Regex editors on stackoverflow a while ago. Following is one of the replies:

What is "good" depends on what is most useful to you. For me, though, these are the key features for a good regex editor (besides the ability to test and create regular expressions, of course, which is a prerequisite to be called a "regex editor" :-) :

  1. Displays matches hierarchically with captured groups.
  2. Explains/analyzes an entered regex in plain English, showing a hierarchical tree.
  3. Translates your regex into code for a language of your choice.

RegexBuddy, as @Max mentioned, does all these but there is also a free alternative, Expresso that also does them very well. These two utilities are the only ones I have found with the crucial ability to explain a regex.

The features sound very attractive to me. But later I found the two are for Windows. I tried to install Expresso, the free one, via Wine, but met some trouble, about which I asked in another post.

  1. So I was wondering if in Ubuntu there are some applications comparable to RegexBuddy and Expresso?
  2. If it is required to install .NET Framework in order to install Expresso, is it still worth to install Expresso on Ubuntu?

Thanks and regards!

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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

By far, the best tool for the job is RegExr.

The link above will take you to the online version, which is awesome and definitely the best RegEx tool I've ever used.

If you're looking for something you can install in Ubuntu, then try the desktop version, which is an Adobe Air application:

enter image description here

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Just to support this answer, i plugged in a crazy complex regex pattern in, along with a load of dummy text and it was able to correctly validate and use the regex (it also found everything it was supposed to match and outlined that match). –  Thomas W. Mar 21 '11 at 1:00
    
Thanks! (1) Does Regex desktop version require connection to the Internet? (2) What types of Regex does it support, basic one, Python, Perl, awk, sed, ...? –  Tim Mar 21 '11 at 2:41
    
@Tim: (1) No. (2) I think it uses AS3's internal RegEx library. That being said, I've found that it is pretty close to PCRE. –  Nathan Osman Mar 21 '11 at 2:47
    
The link in your answer to the desktop version redirects to regexr.com. Instructions to install RegExr are located on github.com/gskinner/regexr. –  Maneating Koala Aug 6 at 10:02

Kodos is an application to aid in the creation and debugging of regular expressions in python. The GUI for Kodos should eliminate the need for using the python interpreter for regex design in most instances.

Homepage: http://kodos.sourceforge.net/

Or online tool: http://www.regextester.com/

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I dont think we're looking for Windows programs, @Wojciech. –  Thomas W. Mar 21 '11 at 2:04
    
@EvilPhoneix: Is Kodos Windows or Ubuntu program? I heard it can be used on ubuntu. –  Tim Mar 21 '11 at 2:43
    
it has an .rpm which can be converted into .deb using alien. –  Alaukik Mar 22 '11 at 14:38
    
I installed Kodos in previous Ubuntu versions trough aptitude, but it seems to be dropped from 12.10. If I download the source and use setup.py I get some dependency errors about pyqt and the manual install bails too. Any chance that there is are working deb somewhere? –  Brutus Nov 29 '12 at 16:10

visual-regexp still works, and is in the Ubuntu repository. Unfortunately, the name does not start with "regex", so later on you will think, "Oh yeah, what was that regex editor I installed, type "reg", get nothing, go doing a websearch, and ending up here all over again. Also, (because it's Tk-based?), pasting from your paste buffer into the pattern window doesn't seem to work as expected.

Kodos was a wonderful tool, but unfortunately, neither RegExr nor Kodos runs (without great effort) on Ubuntu 12.10+; Kodos has not been upgraded to QT4, and Adobe Air no longer supports Linux.

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