Introduction to PCRE

The PCRE package contains Perl Compatible Regular Expression libraries. These are useful for implementing regular expression pattern matching using the same syntax and semantics as Perl 5.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS 12.1 platform.

Package Information

PCRE Dependencies



Installation of PCRE

Install PCRE by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr                     \
            --docdir=/usr/share/doc/pcre-8.45 \
            --enable-unicode-properties       \
            --enable-pcre16                   \
            --enable-pcre32                   \
            --enable-pcregrep-libz            \
            --enable-pcregrep-libbz2          \
            --enable-pcretest-libreadline     \
            --disable-static                 &&

To test the results, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

--enable-unicode-properties: This switch enables Unicode properties support and includes the code for handling UTF-8/16/32 character strings in the library. You need this switch if you are going to build GLib-2.78.4.

--enable-pcre16: This switch enables 16 bit character support.

--enable-pcre32: This switch enables 32 bit character support.

--enable-pcregrep-libz: This switch adds support to pcregrep to read .gz compressed files.

--enable-pcregrep-libbz2: This switch adds support to pcregrep to read .bz2 compressed files.

--enable-pcretest-libreadline: This switch adds line editing and history features to pcretest program.

--disable-static: This switch prevents installation of static versions of the libraries.

--enable-jit: this option enables Just-in-time compiling, which can greatly speed up pattern matching.


Installed Programs: pcregrep, pcretest, and pcre-config
Installed Libraries: libpcre.so, libpcre16.so, libpcre32.so, libpcrecpp.so and libpcreposix.so
Installed Directory: /usr/share/doc/pcre-8.45

Short Descriptions


is a grep that understands Perl compatible regular expressions


can test a Perl compatible regular expression


is used during the compile process of programs linking to the PCRE libraries