Stack OverflowIs there anything like RegexBuddy in the open source world?
[+136] [20] Paul Wicks
[2008-09-18 03:23:11]
[ regex open-source regexbuddy ]

I've used RegexBuddy several times and found it to be a really useful tool. Is there anything like it in the open source world, preferably something that is platform agnostic? (the fact that regexbuddy is windows only is a real downer)

The only thing I've been able to find is Kodos [1], which I've also used quite a lot, but it doesn't quite have the features of regexbuddy.

(16) This seems like a useful question to me - I had exactly the same question and I'm going to try some of the programs listed below as a consequence of the information provided. NOTE-The question doesn't ask which one is best. It specifically asked what open source alternatives exist. This isn't a question prompting debate - unless there is a question about the legality of the license in certain cases. I don't think this one should be closed. - nullnvoid
Hey I just tried RegexBuddy and wow it is great, there is a official 30 day trial although not in the main site, I'm not paying yet, but as my regex usage requirements increase I will pay for it, no doubt! - Jaime Hablutzel
[+71] [2008-09-18 03:55:08] VonC [ACCEPTED]

QuickRex [1] is an eclipse plugin, and can be used on many java-compliant platform, for many implementations of Regular Expressions in the Java-world:

It is also now a standalone application [7] but for windows only for now.


The link to QuickRex is down. Here is another: - Matthias Braun
@mareser Thank you. I have edited the answer and updated the link. - VonC
[+19] [2008-09-18 03:46:53] dj_segfault

KDE has a nice one called KRegexpEditor [1] that's pretty helpful.

There's also regexxer [2] if you prefer GTK.


[+17] [2008-09-18 03:40:53] William Keller

I suggest taking a look at The Regulator [1], it's probably as close to RB as you're going to get!


This project appears to be old now. Last release was about 2007-09-14. Go fish further. - Nick N
[+17] [2009-02-24 17:18:28] csnullptr

According to a colleague of mine RegexBuddy works very well on different platforms using Wine:

Unless you want to use only opensource software for philosophical reasons I would really recommend spending the $40 to buy a license--It will pay for itself in time saved.

(7) Regexbuddy is on my list of essentials. - Toby Allen
[+16] [2008-09-18 03:29:31] Daniel H

web-based reg-ex evaluator:

It's not as thorough as RegexBuddy, but it's platform agnostic, free, and works in 90% of the situations in which I want to use RegexBuddy.

(then again, I often just run RegexBuddy in wine if I'm on linux)

[+13] [2008-09-26 21:50:43] PhiLho

The Regex Coach [1] is excellent although it is not open source and Windows only, but there is an older version for Linux. Amusing note: it is written in Lisp. The above page also links to a Java version (written actually in Groovy, as it seems) which is open source.

JRegexpTester [2] is written in Java, so portable.

REGex TESTER [3] is yet another Web-based tester, it supports JavaScript RE syntax, of course, but also both PHP syntaxes (Perl style and Posix style).

Also Web based, Regular Expression Test Page [4] to test Java syntax.

I have also a PCRE Workbench, written in Delphi, still for Windows...


It is possible to step through a regular expression as it is executed which makes it very useful to find bugs in the regex. - Aftershock
Fast-fw some 5 years. I'm using Regex Coach (I couldn't give this one up) with Wine. No problems whatsoever. - nevvermind
[+10] [2008-09-18 03:25:32] Nescio

I commonly use: [1] the ads can be annoying, but at least it is online so I never have to install anything.


(1) This has ads? I have this nifty thing called Adblock Plus installed, sometimes I forget they even exist. :) - David Is Not Here
[+9] [2008-09-18 04:51:30] sanity

Not sure if this is exactly what you are looking for, but the most interesting regex tool I've found online in quite a long while is [1]


[+7] [2008-09-18 04:05:31] sontek

Your best bet is to use 2 tools from Roy Osherove.. Regulator and Regulazy. Regulator is similar to RegEx Buddy, it allows you to test and validate your regular expressions but Regulazy takes a unique approach of allowing you type in the text you want to match and it generates the regex for you.

You can get both from:

[+7] [2008-09-18 04:48:03] erichui

I've never used RegexBuddy, but if you want a cross platform tool that supports multiple regular expressions language, redet [1] is an excellent candidate to consider. It does depend on having a tcl/tk runtime with the incr widgets library. The lowest friction path is to get ActiveTcl [2], but manually installing the incr Widgets (and incr tcl/tk) from the sourceforge download page [3] is also pretty simple.


Redet shares an important feature with RegexBuddy; it allows testing against many different flavors of regex. Redet does this by using the regex-capable tools available on your system. - user287424
[+7] [2008-09-18 12:28:13] James

There is RadSoftware's Regex Designer [1], it's very useful and is free but not open source ( no idea why).


[+6] [2008-09-18 04:04:16] Steven Oxley

I use an Eclipse plug-in called Regex Tester. You can find information about it here [1]. It has a live evaluation feature, which is really cool because you can see what parts of a sample string will match while you're still typing the regular expression. I find it to be extremely helpful.


[+5] [2011-03-30 10:45:54] Stephan

I regularly use Expresso [1]. It can generate source code for your regex. I pretty like the detail tree that break down any regex.


(2) How is this part of the open-source world? - Chris Wesseling
(1) May not be open-source but it's very useful! +1 for Expresso. - user1383815
[+5] [2011-05-27 17:19:56] Rob Cowie

I'll push Pythex [1] on to this list. A nice, simple web-based regexp evaluator that uses the python re module.


(1) link not working anymore - xvga
Seems to have disappeared and I can't find the source. Shame. - Rob Cowie
(1) Author here. It's up again. Sorry for the inexcusable downtime! - Chewie
Great! If hosting is an issue perhaps you could make the source available on github or similar? - Rob Cowie
(1) @RobCowie It wasn't so much true hosting issues as indolence on my part... But I'd definitely like to put the source on github as soon as I tidy up the code a bit :-) - Chewie
[+5] [2011-07-28 15:50:52] Jeff

I didn't see anyone post this one that I came across recently on SourceForge: Regex Evaluator [1]

Since it's written in Java, it's definitely cross-platform.


[+5] [2012-05-22 10:15:33] sdaau

Edit: in addition to the web-based ones below, just found a couple more older ones (via Regular Expression GUI? - [1] and I mentioned a regular expression coach ... - BrainLog [2]):

Similar SO questions:

Also adding these for online web-based:


[+3] [2011-03-24 11:10:06] DoubleYo

My favorite for PHP regex checker tool :

[+3] [2011-09-25 12:23:23] Coder of Salvation

This one is golden as well, more of an interactive one... but definitely handy since it generates cross-language variants: Txt2regex [1]


[+3] [2012-04-09 01:51:02] Roel

One thing this page does not list is what tools are suitable for what regex-aware programming languages or utilities. For example, egrep/sed/perl/php/C etc. may have different regex "curiosities" and as such it would be good if each answer listed what tools and programming languages are supported.

Also adding (for Perl compatible regexes)

I think the only tools that support many different flavors of regex are RegexBuddy, Redet, and Txt2regex. - user287424
[+2] [2012-10-04 07:45:35] Lindrian

I would suggest

It provides an automatic explanation to the regular expression, finds errors in it and shows you what it matches.

This doesnt support lookbehinds that are variable lengths - {0,8}: Lookbehinds need to be zero-width, thus quantifiers are not allowed - ziggy
Yes, that is how PCRE works. JGsofts own engine and .NET support this behavior, which is available in regexbuddy and not on - Lindrian