Linux and UNIX Man Pages

Linux & Unix Commands - Search Man Pages

OSX 10.6.2 - man page for strings (osx section 1)

STRINGS(1)						      General Commands Manual							STRINGS(1)

strings - find the printable strings in a object, or other binary, file
strings [ - ] [ -a ] [ -o ] [ -t format ] [ -number ] [ -n number ] [--] [file ...]
Strings looks for ASCII strings in a binary file or standard input. Strings is useful for identifying random object files and many other things. A string is any sequence of 4 (the default) or more printing characters ending with a newline or a null. Unless the - flag is given, strings looks in all sections of the object files except the (__TEXT,__text) section. If no files are specified standard input is read. The file arguments may be of the form libx.a(foo.o), to request information about only that object file and not the entire library. (Typ- ically this argument must be quoted, ``libx.a(foo.o)'', to get it past the shell.) The options to strings(1) are: -a This option causes strings to look for strings in all sections of the object file (including the (__TEXT,__text) section. - This option causes strings to look for strings in all bytes of the files (the default for non-object files). -- This option causes strings to treat all the following arguments as files. -o Preceded each string by its offset in the file (in decimal). -t format Write each string preceded by its byte offset from the start of the file. The format shall be dependent on the single character used as the format option-argument: d The offset shall be written in decimal. o The offset shall be written in octal. x The offset shall be written in hexadecimal. -number The decimal number is used as the minimum string length rather than the default of 4. -n number Specify the minimum string length, where the number argument is a positive decimal integer. The default shall be 4. -arch arch_type Specifies the architecture, arch_type, of the file for strings(1) to operate on when the file is a universal file. (See arch(3) for the currently know arch_types.) The arch_type can be "all" to operate on all architectures in the file, which is the default.
The algorithm for identifying strings is extremely primitive. Apple Computer, Inc. September 11, 2006 STRINGS(1)