Converting shell wildcards to regex

I want to search for titles using shell wildcards like *.js, *.*.* etc. in js. The thing is I loop through a list of titles and I need to filter the files using a js regex test. How do I convert shell wildcards to regex in a good way or are there any libraries that already does that?

Note: I want a generic converter from shell wildcards to regex.



If you want a generic converter function, this should work:

function globStringToRegex(str) {
    return new RegExp(preg_quote(str).replace(/\\\*/g, '.*').replace(/\\\?/g, '.'), 'g');
function preg_quote (str, delimiter) {
    // +   original by: booeyOH
    // +   improved by: Ates Goral (
    // +   improved by: Kevin van Zonneveld (
    // +   bugfixed by: Onno Marsman
    // +   improved by: Brett Zamir (
    // *     example 1: preg_quote("$40");
    // *     returns 1: '\$40'
    // *     example 2: preg_quote("*RRRING* Hello?");
    // *     returns 2: '\*RRRING\* Hello\?'
    // *     example 3: preg_quote("\\.+*?[^]$(){}=!<>|:");
    // *     returns 3: '\\\.\+\*\?\[\^\]\$\(\)\{\}\=\!\<\>\|\:'
    return (str + '').replace(new RegExp('[.\\\\+*?\\[\\^\\]$(){}=!<>|:\\' + (delimiter || '') + '-]', 'g'), '\\$&');

(preg_quote function from here:


var realRegex = globStringToRegex("2012-*-*.js"); //returns a RegExp object of /2012\-.*\-.*\.js/g

Here's a JS fiddle of it working:

You can then use the RegExp object to match:

if (yourString.match(realRegex)) { //do something

Update: Supports ? for single wildcard character.

Basically all this does is convert the whole string to non regex, and then makes sure that * gets mapped to .* and ? gets mapped to ., as they're the equivalent.


This should be pretty close.



  • beginning of string is any character sequence .*
  • followed by .js in the end \.js$
  • do this case insensitive /i

if regexp used to get boolean result (when you don't need a match result), it is better to use test method.



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