Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pengolin ships with version 1.96 of ack which has been superseded by the much improved version 2. Read the ack homepage if you want to find out what is new in ack 2.

Since I’m now using Ubuntu on my work computer I have built a Debian/Ubuntu package and uploaded it to a PPA. This makes installing ack2 really easy on Ubuntu 12.04.

If you want to install it do the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:leonard-ehrenfried/ack2
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ack-grep

Afterwards, ack will be available as ack-grep (there is another program in the Ubuntu repositories using the name ack).

Since I share my .bashrc between OS X and Linux I’ve aliased it as follows:

if [ `uname` == "Linux" ]
  alias ack="ack-grep"