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2003/12/15 strings command

© December 2003 Tony Lawrence

Extract printable strings from a file. The usual use is to look inside some data or program file to get possibly useful information out of it. It's also useful if you have a file that MIGHT contain garbage control characters and you just want to be safe.

Without any flags, strings doesn't necessarily search the entire file:

apl$ strings  -15 `which strings` | wc -l
apl$ strings -a -15 `which strings` | wc -l
apl$ strings - -15 `which strings` | wc -l

But on a Linux box:

bash-2.05a$ strings  -15 `which strings` | wc -l
bash-2.05a$ strings  -a -15 `which strings` | wc -l
bash-2.05a$ strings  - -15 `which strings` | wc -l

And on a BSD box, "-" and "-a" are equivalent:

bash-2.05a$ strings  -15 `which strings` | wc -l
bash-2.05a$ strings  -a -15 `which strings` | wc -l
bash-2.05a$ strings  - -15 `which strings` | wc -l

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Take Control of Apple Mail, Third Edition

Take Control of iCloud, Fifth Edition

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