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.
Depending upon how the strings program was configured it will default
to either displaying all the printable sequences that it can find in
each file, or only those sequences that are in loadable, initialized
data sections. If the file type in unrecognizable, or if strings is
reading from stdin then it will always display all of the printable
sequences that it can find.
For backwards compatibility any file that occurs after a command line
option of just - will also be scanned in full, regardless of the
presence of any -d option.
strings is mainly useful for determining the contents of non-text
-a--all- Scan the whole file, regardless of what sections it contains or
whether those sections are loaded or initialized. Normally this
is the default behaviour, but strings can be configured so that
the -d is the default instead.
The - option is position dependent and forces strings to perform
full scans of any file that is mentioned after the - on the
command line, even if the -d option has been specified.
Only print strings from initialized, loaded data sections in the
file. This may reduce the amount of garbage in the output, but
it also exposes the strings program to any security flaws that
may be present in the BFD library used to scan and load sections.
Strings can be configured so that this option is the default
behaviour. In such cases the -a option can be used to avoid
using the BFD library and instead just print all of the strings
found in the file.
Print the name of the file before each string.
Print a summary of the program usage on the standard output and
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.
Print the offset within the file before each string. The single
character argument specifies the radix of the offset---o for
octal, x for hexadecimal, or d for decimal.
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).
Specify an object code format other than your system's default
Print the program version number on the standard output and exit.
By default tab and space characters are included in the strings
that are displayed, but other whitespace characters, such a
newlines and carriage returns, are not. The -w option changes
this so that all whitespace characters are considered to be part
of a string.
By default, output strings are delimited by a new-line. This
option allows you to supply any string to be used as the output
record separator. Useful with --include-all-whitespace where
strings may contain new-lines internally.
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
Copyright (c) 1991-2017 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 page is part of the binutils (a collection of tools for working
with executable binaries) project. Information about the project can
be found at ⟨http://www.gnu.org/software/binutils/⟩. If you have a
bug report for this manual page, see
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or you have corrections or improvements to the information in this
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binutils-2.28.51 2017-03-12 STRINGS(1)