strings - Linux Command - Unix Command

Man in cafe works on laptop
Reza Estakhrian / Getty Images

Linux / Unix Command: strings


strings - print the strings of printable characters in files. 


strings [-afov] [-min-len
        [-n min-len] [--bytes=min-len
        [-t radix] [--radix=radix
        [-e encoding] [--encoding=encoding
        [-] [--all] [--print-file-name
        [--help] [--versionfile...  


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.

By default, it only prints the strings from the initialized and loaded sections of object files; for other types of files, it prints the strings from the whole file.

strings is mainly useful for determining the contents of non-text files.  




Do not scan only the initialized and loaded sections of object files; scan the whole files.



Print the name of the file before each string.


Print a summary of the program usage on the standard output and exit.


-n min-len


Print sequences of characters that are at least min-len characters long, instead of the default 4.


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 encodingare: 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.


Specify an object code format other than your system's default format.



Print the program version number on the standard output and exit.

Important: Use the man command (% man) to see how a command is used on your particular computer.

More From Us