STRINGS(1)                 Commands and Applications                STRINGS(1)




NAME

       strings - find printable strings in a file


SYNOPSIS

       strings [-afo] [-n number] [file ...]


DESCRIPTION

       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-
       played.

       Strings is useful for identifying random binaries, among other  things.


OPTIONS

       -a     By  default, strings only searches the text and data segments of
              object files. The -a option causes strings to search the  entire
              object file.

       -f     Each  string is preceded by the name of the file in which it was
              found.

       -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.


SEE ALSO

       hexdump(1)


BUGS

       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.


COMPATIBILITY

       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
       was changed.


HISTORY

       The strings command appeared in 3.0 BSD.



GNO                               9 May 1991                        STRINGS(1)

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