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 rpl(1)                    LAFFEY Computer Imaging                    rpl(1)
                                July 22, 2002

      rpl (RePLace) - replace strings in multiple files


      rpl [-iwRspfdtx [-q|-v]] <old_str> <new_str> <target_file(s)>

      rpl replaces old_str with new_str in all target files. It returns the
      number of strings replaced or a system error code (non-zero) if there
      is an error.

      Note that you should put strings in single quotes if they contain
      spaces. You must also escape all shell meta-characters. It's a good
      idea to put ALL strings in single quotes.

      rpl will attempt to maintain the owner, group and permissions of your
      original files. For safety, rpl creates a temporary file and makes
      changes to that file. It then moves the temporary file over the
      original file.  rpl sets the owner, group, and permissions of the new
      file to match those of the original file.  In some circumstances rpl
      will not be able to do this (such as when a file is owned by the
      superuser but you have group write permission).  In these cases rpl
      will warn you that the owner/group or permissions cannot be set and
      that file will be skipped, unless you use the force (-f) option. Note
      that the use of temp files in predictable, world-writeable locations
      could lead to symlink attacks. Ideally you should set the $TMPDIR
      environment variable to a private directory readable and writeable
      only by you. This is especially important if running rpl as root. You
      have been warned!

      Normally, rpl will change the modification time of all files it
      processes like any other program. However, you may instruct rpl to
      keep the original modification times using the -d (Don't alter mod-
      times) option.

      You can specify file suffixes to be searched using the -x option. Any
      files that do not match the specified suffixes will not be searched or
      modified. The -x option may be used more than once to tell rpl to
      search files with varying suffixes. For instance, say you wanted to
      search all of your ".html", ".htm", and ".php" files you would add

      " -x'.html' -x'.htm' -x'.php' "

      to your command line. rpl would then skip any files that did not end
      with these suffixes. This is mainly useful when doing recursive
      searching (-R option).

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 rpl(1)                    LAFFEY Computer Imaging                    rpl(1)
                                July 22, 2002

      -i   Ignore case of old_str
           rpl will match the old_str in the searched file regardless of the
           case. The case of new_str will not be altered.

      -w   Whole words (old_str bounded by white space in file)
           rpl will only match old_str if it is bounded by the start of a
           line, a space, a tab, or the end of a line.

      -q   Quiet mode (no output at all)
           Good for shell scripts, etc.

      -v   Verbose mode (lots of output)
           rpl will list the name of each file and directory, and the line
           numbers that contain matches.

      -R   Search directories recursively
           rpl will scan every file and every directory recursively. Without
           this option directories will be skipped.

      -x   Specify file suffixes to search. (e.g. ".html", ".c", etc.) May
           be used multiple times. See above for details.

      -p   Prompt for each file
           rpl will prompt you before scanning each file. If you respond 'N'
           or 'n' rpl will skip that file and move on to the next file. The
           default action if you press enter is to process the file.

      -s   Simulation mode
           rpl will scan all of the files and list the names of files that
           it would modify if a replace operation was executed. If you turn
           on the verbose (-v) option as well rpl will list the line numbers
           where the string is matched.

      -e   Honor Escapes
           rpl will honor escape sequences in old_string and "e(carriage
           return)darecprocessed,aas"wellaas,any octalior)hexidecimal ASCII
           codes. Octal ASCII codes start with a '' and are comprised of
           three digits [0-7] (e.g. ' 15'). Hexidecimal ASCII codes start
           with ' x' followed by two characters [0-f] (e.g. ' x0d'). The 'x'
           and the [a-f] may be upper or lowercase. When you use this switch
           you must escape all backslash ('') characters with another
           backslash (e.g. '\').

      -f   Force mode
           rpl will overwrite files even if the owner, group, or permissions
           of the new file will not match the original. Obviously, rpl
           cannot overwrite files if the user does not have write

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 rpl(1)                    LAFFEY Computer Imaging                    rpl(1)
                                July 22, 2002

      -d   Don't change modification times
           rpl will process files, but keep their original modification

      -t   Use $TMPDIR for temporary files
           Causes rpl to write temporary files to the directory specified by
           the environment variable $TMPDIR instead of writing the temp
           files to the original file dir. (See note above about symlink
           attacks and temp files.)

      -L   Display the software license
           This displays the software license that you agree to by using

      -h   Display a brief summary of options

      Report bugs to

      Grep pattern matching.

      An option to backup the original file.

      If you would like to see this or other enhancements send e-mail to

      Original code:
           Joe Laffey <>

      Other contributors include:
           Devrim Erdem <>
           Many thanks to the beta testers who sent in valuable feedback!

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