Posts tagged global

gnu global

posted on 2017-04-26 20:56

Get the current version from here. Alternatively, use the use the anonymous access to CVS, but no Idea wether the patches would work there.

The steps to version 6.5.6 running on a current gentoo install were, including the patches follow. I hope I don't forget something, this write was done a week later.

needed packages

emerge -atv these:

  • dev-python/pygments
  • dev-util/ctags
  • sys-devel/automake
  • sys-devel/m4

getting and compiling

mkdir asdf
cd asdf
curl -O
tar xzvf global-6.5.6.tar.gz
cd global-6.5.6

applying these two patches:

diff --git a/ b/
index cda52e4..d7d1a73 100644
--- a/
+++ b/
@@ -24,6 +24,7 @@ dnl
 AC_INIT([GNU GLOBAL],[6.5.6])
 AC_DEFINE(COPYRIGHT_YEAR,["1996-2016"],[Copyright Year])
 AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE([1.9.3 gnu subdir-objects])

diff --git a/ b/
index 43585a6..f6ab5c5 100644
--- a/
+++ b/

 EXTRA_DIST = ${gtags_DATA} mainpage.dox

    GTAGSCONF=' --suggest:' doxygen

Then back to the shell:

autoreconf -fvi
./configure --with-universal-ctags=`which ctags`
make check
sudo make install

setup and test

sudo updatedb
sudo locate gtags.conf
cp -va /usr/local/share/gtags/gtags.conf ~/.globalrc
gtags --version
global --version
cd ../..
rm -rf asdf


Now onto actual usage:


gtags -v        # generate tag database (initially, rerun with -i everytime code is changed!)

global FUNC     # finds file where FUNC is defined, regexp's work, too
global -r FUNC      # find files where FUNC is used in
global -x FUNC      # == ctags -x, name+line+path+line_content

Of course you only want to look at source, not generated code. If git is used, doing this from the project root will do the trick:

git ls-files > gtags.files

There's more to it, but it should be sufficiant for now. Usually global should be integrated into your dev environment of choice.

Out of the box, less should work. vim and emacs need plugins to work, they won't be covered at this time here.


export LESSGLOBALTAGS=global  ## this is needed so less knows it can work with global
less -t FUNC        # opens file where FUNC is defined

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