Monday, June 28, 2021

Peering into binary files on Linux

Any file on a Linux system that isn't a text file is considered a binary file--from system commands and libraries to image files and compiled programs. But these files being binary doesn't mean that you can't look into them. In fact, there are quite a few commands that you can use to extract data from binary files or display their content. In this post, we'll explore quite a few of them.


One of the easiest commands to pull information from a binary file is the file command that identifies files by type. It does this in several ways--by evaluating the content, looking for a "magic number" (file type identifier), and checking the language. While we humans generally judge a file by its file extension, the file command largely ignores that. Notice how it responds to the command shown below.

To read this article in full, please click here

Thanks to Sandra Henry-Stocker (see source)

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