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Updated: July 2014

strings (1g)


strings - print the strings of printable characters in files.


strings [-afovV] [-min-len]
[-n min-len] [--bytes=min-len]
[-t radix] [--radix=radix]
[-e encoding] [--encoding=encoding]
[-] [--all] [--print-file-name]
[-T bfdname] [--target=bfdname]
[--help] [--version] file...


GNU Development Tools                                  STRINGS(1)

     strings - print the strings of printable characters in

     strings [-afovV] [-min-len]
             [-n min-len] [--bytes=min-len]
             [-t radix] [--radix=radix]
             [-e encoding] [--encoding=encoding]
             [-] [--all] [--print-file-name]
             [-T bfdname] [--target=bfdname]
             [--help] [--version] file...

     For each file given, GNU strings prints the printable
     character sequences that are at least 4 characters long (or
     the number given with the options below) and are followed by
     an unprintable character.  By default, it only prints the
     strings from the initialized and loaded sections of object
     files; for other types of files, it prints the strings from
     the whole file.

     strings is mainly useful for determining the contents of
     non-text files.

     -   Do not scan only the initialized and loaded sections of
         object files; scan the whole files.

         Print the name of the file before each string.

         Print a summary of the program usage on the standard
         output and exit.

     -n min-len
         Print sequences of characters that are at least min-len
         characters long, instead of the default 4.

     -o  Like -t o.  Some other versions of strings have -o act
         like -t d instead.  Since we can not be compatible with
         both ways, we simply chose one.

     -t radix
         Print the offset within the file before each string.

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GNU Development Tools                                  STRINGS(1)

         The single character argument specifies the radix of the
         offset---o for octal, x for hexadecimal, or d for

     -e encoding
         Select the character encoding of the strings that are to
         be found.  Possible values for encoding are: s =
         single-7-bit-byte characters (ASCII, ISO 8859, etc.,
         default), S = single-8-bit-byte characters, b = 16-bit
         bigendian, l = 16-bit littleendian, B = 32-bit
         bigendian, L = 32-bit littleendian.  Useful for finding
         wide character strings. (l and b apply to, for example,
         Unicode UTF-16/UCS-2 encodings).

     -T bfdname
         Specify an object code format other than your system's
         default format.

         Print the program version number on the standard output
         and exit.

         Read command-line options from file.  The options read
         are inserted in place of the original @file option.  If
         file does not exist, or cannot be read, then the option
         will be treated literally, and not removed.

         Options in file are separated by whitespace.  A
         whitespace character may be included in an option by
         surrounding the entire option in either single or double
         quotes.  Any character (including a backslash) may be
         included by prefixing the character to be included with
         a backslash.  The file may itself contain additional
         @file options; any such options will be processed

     See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following

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GNU Development Tools                                  STRINGS(1)

     |Availability   | developer/gnu-binutils |
     |Stability      | Uncommitted            |
     ar(1), nm(1), objdump(1), ranlib(1), readelf(1) and the Info
     entries for binutils.

     Copyright (c) 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997,
     1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007,
     2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

     Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this
     document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation
     License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the
     Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with
     no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.  A copy
     of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free
     Documentation License".

     This software was built from source available at  The original
     community source was downloaded from

     Further information about this software can be found on the
     open source community website at

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