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FreeBSD 11.0 - man page for strings (freebsd section 1)

STRINGS(1)						    BSD General Commands Manual 						STRINGS(1)

strings -- print the strings of printable characters in files
strings [-a | --all] [-e encoding | --encoding=encoding] [-f | --print-file-name] [-h | --help] [-n number | --bytes=number | -number] [-o] [-t radix | --radix=radix] [-v | --version] [file ...]
For each file specified, the strings utility prints contiguous sequences of printable characters that are at least n characters long and are followed by an unprintable character. The default value of n is 4. By default, the strings utility only scans the initialized and loaded sections of ELF objects; for other file types, the entire file is scanned. The strings utility is mainly used for determining the contents of non-text files. If no file name is specified as an argument, standard input is read. The following options are available: -a | --all For ELF objects, scan the entire file for printable strings. -e encoding | --encoding=encoding Select the character encoding to be used while searching for strings. Valid values for argument encoding are: s for single 7-bit-byte characters (ASCII, ISO 8859). S for single 8-bit-byte characters. l for 16-bit little-endian. b for 16-bit big-endian. L for 32-bit little-endian. B for 32-bit big-endian. The default is to assume that characters are encoded using a single 7-bit byte. -f | --print-file-name Print the name of the file before each string. -h | --help Print a usage summary and exit. -n number | --bytes=number | -number Print the contiguous character sequence of at least number characters long, instead of the default of 4 characters. -o Equivalent to specifying -t o. -t radix | --radix=radix Print the offset from the start of the file before each string using the specified radix. Valid values for argument radix are: d for decimal o for octal x for hexadecimal -v | --version Display a version identifier and exit.
The strings utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
To display strings in /bin/ls use: $ strings /bin/ls To display strings in all sections of /bin/ln use: $ strings -a /bin/ln To display strings in all sections of /bin/cat prefixed with the filename and the offset within the file use: $ strings -a -f -t x /bin/cat
ar(1), nm(1), objdump(1), ranlib, readelf(1), size(1)
The first FreeBSD strings utility appeared in FreeBSD v3. It was later discontinued in FreeBSD v5, when i386-only a.out format was dropped in favor of ELF.
The strings utility was re-written by S.Sam Arun Raj <>. This manual page was written by S.Sam Arun Raj <>.
December 19, 2011 BSD