strings(1) — Linux manual page


STRINGS(1)                  GNU Development Tools                 STRINGS(1)

NAME         top

       strings - print the sequences of printable characters in files

SYNOPSIS         top

       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]
               [-w] [--include-all-whitespace]
               [-s] [--output-separatorsep_string]
               [--help] [--version] file...

DESCRIPTION         top

       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 is 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

OPTIONS         top

       -   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

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

       -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

           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
           processed recursively.

SEE ALSO         top

       ar(1), nm(1), objdump(1), ranlib(1), readelf(1) and the Info entries
       for binutils.

COPYRIGHT         top

       Copyright (c) 1991-2020 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".

COLOPHON         top

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       with executable binaries) project.  Information about the project can
       be found at ⟨⟩.  If you have a
       bug report for this manual page, see
       This page was obtained from the tarball binutils-2.35.1.tar.gz
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binutils-2.35.1                  2020-09-19                       STRINGS(1)

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