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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for uuencode (redhat section 1)

uuencode(1)						      General Commands Manual						       uuencode(1)

uuencode - encode a binary file uudecode - decode a file created by uuencode
uuencode [-m] [ file ] name uudecode [-o outfile] [ file ]...
Uuencode and uudecode are used to transmit binary files over transmission mediums that do not support other than simple ASCII data. Uuencode reads file (or by default the standard input) and writes an encoded version to the standard output. The encoding uses only print- ing ASCII characters and includes the mode of the file and the operand name for use by uudecode. If name is /dev/stdout the result will be written to standard output. By default the standard UU encoding format will be used. If the option -m is given on the command line base64 encoding is used instead. Uudecode transforms uuencoded files (or by default, the standard input) into the original form. The resulting file is named name (or out- file if the -o option is given) and will have the mode of the original file except that setuid and execute bits are not retained. If out- file or name is /dev/stdout the result will be written to standard output. Uudecode ignores any leading and trailing lines. The program can automatically decide which of the both supported encoding schemes are used.
The following example packages up a source tree, compresses it, uuencodes it and mails it to a user on another system. When uudecode is run on the target system, the file ``src_tree.tar.Z'' will be created which may then be uncompressed and extracted into the original tree. tar cf - src_tree | compress | uuencode src_tree.tar.Z | mail sys1!sys2!user
compress(1), mail(1), uucp(1), uuencode(5)
This implementation is compliant with P1003.2b/D11.
If more than one file is given to uudecode and the -o option is given or more than one name in the encoded files are the same the result is probably not what is expected. The encoded form of the file is expanded by 37% for UU encoding and by 35% for base64 encoding (3 bytes become 4 plus control information).
The uuencode command appeared in BSD 4.0. uuencode(1)