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PHP Manual


(PHP 4 >= 4.3.0, PHP 5)

fnmatchMatch filename against a pattern


bool fnmatch ( string $pattern , string $string [, int $flags = 0 ] )

fnmatch() checks if the passed string would match the given shell wildcard pattern.



The shell wildcard pattern.


The tested string. This function is especially useful for filenames, but may also be used on regular strings.

The average user may be used to shell patterns or at least in their simplest form to '?' and '*' wildcards so using fnmatch() instead of preg_match() for frontend search expression input may be way more convenient for non-programming users.


The value of flags can be any combination of the following flags, joined with the binary OR (|) operator.

A list of possible flags for fnmatch()
Flag Description
FNM_NOESCAPE Disable backslash escaping.
FNM_PATHNAME Slash in string only matches slash in the given pattern.
FNM_PERIOD Leading period in string must be exactly matched by period in the given pattern.
FNM_CASEFOLD Caseless match. Part of the GNU extension.

Return Values

Returns TRUE if there is a match, FALSE otherwise.


Version Description
5.3.0 This function is now available on Windows platforms.


Example #1 Checking a color name against a shell wildcard pattern

if (fnmatch("*gr[ae]y"$color)) {
"some form of gray ...";



For now this function is not available on non-POSIX compliant systems.

See Also

  • glob() - Find pathnames matching a pattern
  • preg_match() - Perform a regular expression match
  • sscanf() - Parses input from a string according to a format
  • printf() - Output a formatted string
  • sprintf() - Return a formatted string

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