STRINGS(1) Commands and Applications STRINGS(1)
strings - find printable strings in a file
strings [-afo] [-n number] [file ...]
Strings displays the sequences of printable characters in each of the
specified files, or in the standard input, by default. By default, a
sequence must be at least four characters in length before being dis-
Strings is useful for identifying random binaries, among other things.
-a By default, strings only searches the text and data segments of
object files. The -a option causes strings to search the entire
-f Each string is preceded by the name of the file in which it was
-n Specifies the minimum number of characters in a sequence to be
number, instead of four.
-o Each string is preceded by its decimal offset in the file.
The algorithm for identifying strings is extremely primitive. In par-
ticular, machine code instructions on certain architectures can resem-
ble sequences of ASCII bytes, which will fool the algorithm.
Historic implementations of strings only search the initialized data
portion of the object file. This was reasonable as strings were nor-
mally stored there. Given new compiler technology which installs
strings in the text portion of the object file, the default behavior
The strings command appeared in 3.0 BSD.
GNO 9 May 1991 STRINGS(1)
Man(1) output converted with