There are a plethora of SO questions a decade old describing cross platform desktop Regex tools. It seems the most popular options were:

  • Kodos (no commits in the past decade, runs off deprecated Qt3)

  • Regexr (desktop version ran on Adobe Air, no longer available)

  • RegExBuddy ($40, maybe it's the only option)

  • With Perl 5.10 use re 'debug';. debugcolor (no clue what this even means)

Are there any modern simple regular expression tools that are cross platform (especially Linux) and will run offline on my desktop?


Have you looked at kiki (https://sources.debian.org/src/kiki/0.5.6-8.1/). It's written in Python and uses wxPython, so likely could be run on numerous platforms. It's in Debian repositories, and possibly other Linux versions.

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  • It seems kiki is no longer in Ubuntu 20.04 repositories. Any ideas how to install it on 20.04+ distributions? – Jason Hunter Jul 29 at 13:33

On my side I always use this Chrome App.

It is very simple and light and it support the few things I need (multiline, highlight and replace). The big plus against the online tool regex101 is that once installed on your chrome browser, you can use it without need of Internet connections.

When using an IDE, you cal also install plugins into:

  1. IntelliJ IDEA: RegexpTester plugin
  2. Eclipse: QuickRex

There are other plugins for Eclipse you can find in the MarketPlace but I did not tested them.

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Are you looking for a tool to run regular expression searches or to help develop & test the regex?

Cross Platform Regular Expression Tool

I am a big fan of Robert Kern's python grin tool/library.


Once you have python installed on your system just run: pip install grin3 or for python 2 installations leave out the 3

What it does

  • Cross platform
  • python re syntax
  • Defaults to not searching in version control housekeeping locations such as .git/ etc.
  • Defaults to not searching backup files

Offline Developer Assistance

The online Regex101 is an excelent tool for building and testing regexes in python, java and pcre (php). It is also available offline from the Chrome store.


Go to the store page here and click "Add to Chrome".


It is quite self explanatory in use: Screenshot


  • Cross platform
  • Supports multiple regex flavours
  • Shows you your matches against sample text that you provide
  • Explains your regex
  • Provides a quick reference
  • Free but you can make a donation
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  • 1
    Yes, I'm looking for software to help develop & test regular expressions when I do not have an internet connection. These two suggestions are good. All the standard regex development tools seem to be online only. Thank you. – Jason Hunter Jul 29 at 13:46

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