GNU Bool

GNU Bool is a utility for finding files that match a boolean expression.

The boolean operators supported are AND, OR and NOT. Also supported is the NEAR operator for locating two expressions within a short distance from each other.

The text processing algorithm understands that newlines don't always mean the end of a sentence. Therefore, the string "afternoon sun" matches "afternoon\nsun" (notice the newline) because adjacent lines are assumed to be in the same context. On the other hand, two newlines would not match because they normally indicate a new paragraph which means a different context. The dash character is also supported to separate words before a newline, so the string "after-\nnoon sun" would match.

The HTML processing algorithm understands many features of the HTML 4.01 standard. Entities such as &eacute; are supported in decimal as &#233; or in hexadecimal as &#xE9;. Elements also retain their structural meaning where the string "daytime" matches "<b>day</b>time" because the bold text style does not separate words. On the other hand, "<p>day</p><p>time</p>" does not match because paragraphs separate context.

Downloading Bool

Bool can be found on the main GNU ftp server: (via HTTP) and (via FTP). It can also be found on the GNU mirrors; please use a mirror if possible.


You may find more information about Bool by running info bool or man bool, or by looking at /usr/doc/bool/, /usr/local/doc/bool/, or similar directories on your system. A brief summary is available by running bool --help.

Mailing lists

Announcements about Bool and most other GNU software are made on <>.

To subscribe to these or any GNU mailing lists, please send an empty mail with a Subject: header of just subscribe to the relevant -request list. For example, to subscribe yourself to the GNU announcement list, you would send mail to <>. Or you can use the mailing list web interface.

Getting involved

Development of Bool, and GNU in general, is a volunteer effort, and you can contribute. For information, please read How to help GNU. If you'd like to get involved, it's a good idea to join the discussion mailing list (see above).

Bool is currently being maintained by Marc Tardif. Please use the mailing lists for contact.


Bool is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

 [FSF logo]  “The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom. We defend the rights of all software users.”