Excellent Utilities: peco – interactive filtering tool

Last Updated on May 22, 2022

In Operation

There’s no purpose of a regular screenshot of peco in action, as it won’t show much. Instead, here’s a very short video highlighting the incremental search functionality. The search results are filtered on each keypress. This is a time saver when you’re looking for something you cannot exactly remember.

When you find the line you’re after, press enter and the line is printed to stdout. Then you can pipe that line to other utilities.

The video only illustrates incremental search, but the utility offers tons more. For example, the tool lets you select multiple lines, which can be a range of lines.

You may notice from our video that we’re using the case-insensitive filter (that’s IgnoreCase), which is the default filter. But there are other filters available. Specifically, CaseSensitive, SmartCase, Regexp and Fuzzy filters.

The SmartCase filter uses case-insensitive matching when all of the queries are lower case, and case-sensitive matching otherwise. The Regexp filter allows you to use any valid regular expression to match lines. The Fuzzy filter allows you to find matches using partial patterns. The Fuzzy filter uses smart case search like the SmartCase filter.

Next page: Page 3 – Other Features

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Other Features
Page 4 – Summary

Complete list of articles in this series:

Excellent Utilities
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AnanicyShell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities
brootNext gen tree explorer and customizable launcher
CerebroFast application launcher
cheat.shCommunity driven unified cheat sheet
CopyQAdvanced clipboard manager
crocSecurely transfer files and folders from the command-line
DeskreenLive streaming your desktop to a web browser
dufDisk usage utility with more polished presentation than the classic df
ezaA turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command
Extension ManagerBrowse, install and manage GNOME Shell Extensions
fdWonderful alternative to the venerable find
fkillKill processes quick and easy
fontpreviewQuickly search and preview fonts
horcruxFile splitter with encryption and redundancy
KoohaSimple screen recorder
KOReaderDocument viewer for a wide variety of file formats
ImagineA simple yet effective image optimization tool
LanguageToolStyle and grammar checker for 30+ languages
Liquid PromptAdaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh
lnavAdvanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting
lsdLike exa, lsd is a turbo-charged alternative to ls
Mark TextSimple and elegant Markdown editor
McFlyNavigate through your bash shell history
mdlessFormatted and highlighted view of Markdown files
naviInteractive cheatsheet tool
notiMonitors a command or process and triggers a notification
NushellFlexible cross-platform shell with a modern feel
nvitopGPU process management for NVIDIA graphics cards
OCRmyPDFAdd OCR text layer to scanned PDFs
Oh My ZshFramework to manage your Zsh configuration
PaperworkDesigned to simplify the management of your paperwork
pastelGenerate, analyze, convert and manipulate colors
PDF Mix ToolPerform common editing operations on PDF files
pecoSimple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful
ripgrepRecursively search directories for a regex pattern
RnoteSketch and take handwritten notes
scrcpyDisplay and control Android devices
StickySimulates the traditional “sticky note” style stationery on your desktop
tldrSimplified and community-driven man pages
tmuxA terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow
TuskAn unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential
UlauncherSublime application launcher
WatsonTrack the time spent on projects
Whoogle SearchSelf-hosted and privacy-focused metasearch engine
ZellijTerminal workspace with batteries included
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4 years ago

You should compare it with fzf. Seems to be much more popular (for example, fzf is in both Arch and Fedora repos, but I didn’t find peco in either). I’m sure there are subtle differences if you dig deep enough, but it would be good to know if something fundamental is different / better in one or the other.

Isobel Craven
Isobel Craven
4 years ago

sitaram, if you want to compare peco with fzf go right ahead.