Return names of files that match patterns 

Tclsh Built-In Commands


glob ?switches? pattern ?pattern...?


This command performs file name globbing in a fashion similar to the csh shell. It returns a list of the files whose names match any of the pattern arguments.

If the initial arguments to glob start with - then they are treated as switches. The following switches are currently supported:

-directory directory 

Search for files which match the given patterns starting in the given directory. This allows searching of directories whose name contains glob-sensitive characters without the need to quote such characters explicitly. This option may not be used in conjunction with -path.


The remaining pattern arguments are treated as a single pattern obtained by joining the arguments with directory separators.


Allows an empty list to be returned without error; without this switch an error is returned if the result list would be empty.

-path pathPrefix 

Search for files with the given pathPrefix where the rest of the name matches the given patterns. This allows searching for files with names similar to a given file even when the names contain glob-sensitive characters. This option may not be used in conjunction with -directory.

-types typeList 

Only list files or directories which match typeList, where the items in the list have two forms. The first form is like the -type option of the UNIX find command: b (block special file), c (character special file), d (directory), f (plain file), l (symbolic link), p (named pipe), or s (socket), where multiple types may be specified in the list. glob will return all files which match at least one of the types given.

The second form specifies types where all the types given must match. These are r, w, x as file permissions, and readonly, hidden as special permission cases. On the Macintosh, MacOS types and creators are also supported, where any item which is four characters long is assumed to be a MacOS type (for example, TEXT). Items which are of the form {macintosh type XXXX} or {macintosh creator XXXX} will match types or creators respectively. Unrecognised types, or specifications of multiple MacOS types/creators will signal an error.

The two forms may be mixed, so -types {d f r w} will find all regular files OR directories that have both read AND write permissions. The following are equivalent:

glob -type d *
glob */

except that the first case doesn't return the trailing / and is more platform independent.


Marks the end of switches. The argument following this one will be treated as a pattern even if it starts with a -.

The pattern arguments may contain any of the following special characters:


Matches any single character.


Matches any sequence of zero or more characters.


Matches any single character in chars. If chars contains a sequence of the form a-b then any character between a and b (inclusive) will match.


Matches the character x.


Matches any of the strings a, b, etc.

As with csh, a . at the beginning of a file's name or just after a / must be matched explicitly or with a {} construct. In addition, all / characters must be matched explicitly.

If the first character in a pattern is ~ then it refers to the home directory for the user whose name follows the ~. If the ~ is followed immediately by / then the value of the HOME environment variable is used.

The glob command differs from csh globbing in two ways. First, it does not sort its result list (use the lsort command if you want the list sorted). Second, glob only returns the names of files that actually exist; in csh no check for existence is made unless a pattern contains a ?, *, or [] construct.


Unlike other Tcl commands that will accept both network and native style names (see the filename reference page for details on how native and network names are specified), the glob command only accepts native names.


For Windows UNC names, the servername and sharename components of the path may not contain ?, *, or [] constructs. On Windows NT, if pattern is of the form ~username@domain it refers to the home directory of the user whose account information resides on the specified NT domain server. Otherwise, user account information is obtained from the local computer. On Windows 95 and 98, glob accepts patterns like .../ and ..../ for successively higher up parent directories.


. When using the options, -dir, -join or -path, glob assumes the directory separator for the entire pattern is the standard :. When not using these options, glob examines each pattern argument and uses / unless the pattern contains a :.


Windows 8.1. Windows Server 2012 R2. Windows 10. Windows Server 2016. Windows Server 2019. Windows 11. Windows Server 2022.


PTC MKS Toolkit for Power Users
PTC MKS Toolkit for System Administrators
PTC MKS Toolkit for Developers
PTC MKS Toolkit for Interoperability
PTC MKS Toolkit for Professional Developers
PTC MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers
PTC MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers 64-Bit Edition

PTC MKS Toolkit 10.4 Documentation Build 39.