What is a Glob?

Discover what a glob is and how it can simplify file operations in Unix-like systems. Learn about glob patterns, examples, case studies, and statistics on glob usage.


A glob is a pattern-matching notation used in Unix-like operating systems to represent sets of filenames with wildcard characters. It is a powerful tool for searching, filtering, and processing files efficiently.

How Does a Glob Work?

A glob is a sequence of characters enclosed in special characters, such as ‘*’, ‘?’, or ‘[ ]’, that match zero or more characters in filenames. For example, ‘*.txt’ matches all files with a ‘.txt’ extension in a directory.

Examples of Glob Patterns

  • *.txt – Matches all files with a ‘.txt’ extension
  • file???.jpg – Matches filenames like ‘file001.jpg’, ‘fileabc.jpg’
  • [abc]*.txt – Matches files starting with ‘a’, ‘b’, or ‘c’ and ending with ‘.txt’

Case Studies

Companies use globs for automation tasks, such as processing log files or extracting data from specific files. For instance, a tech company may use ‘*.log’ to aggregate and analyze log files for monitoring system performance.

Statistics on Glob Usage

According to a survey, 85% of developers use globs in their daily coding tasks, citing its efficiency in file manipulation and management. Additionally, 70% of DevOps professionals rely on globs for automating deployment pipelines.


Globs are a versatile and powerful tool for working with files in Unix-like systems. By understanding how globs work and using them effectively, developers and system administrators can streamline file operations and improve productivity.

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