STRINGS(1) GNU Development Tools STRINGS(1)
strings - print the strings of printable characters in files.
strings [-afovV] [-min-len]
[-n min-len] [--bytes=min-len]
[-t radix] [--radix=radix]
[-e encoding] [--encoding=encoding]
[-U method] [--unicode=method]
[-] [--all] [--print-file-name]
[-T bfdname] [--target=bfdname]
[--help] [--version] file...
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.
Depending upon how the strings program was configured it will default
to either displaying all the printable sequences that it can find in
each file, or only those sequences that are in loadable, initialized
data sections. If the file type in unrecognizable, or if strings is
reading from stdin then it will always display all of the printable
sequences that it can find.
For backwards compatibility any file that occurs after a command line
option of just - will also be scanned in full, regardless of the
presence of any -d option.
strings is mainly useful for determining the contents of non-text
- Scan the whole file, regardless of what sections it contains or
whether those sections are loaded or initialized. Normally this is
the default behaviour, but strings can be configured so that the -d
is the default instead.
The - option is position dependent and forces strings to perform
full scans of any file that is mentioned after the - on the command
line, even if the -d option has been specified.
Only print strings from initialized, loaded data sections in the
file. This may reduce the amount of garbage in the output, but it
also exposes the strings program to any security flaws that may be
present in the BFD library used to scan and load sections. Strings
can be configured so that this option is the default behaviour. In
such cases the -a option can be used to avoid using the BFD library
and instead just print all of the strings found in the file.
Print the name of the file before each string.
Print a summary of the program usage on the standard output and
Print sequences of characters that are at least min-len characters
long, instead of the default 4.
-o 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
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.
Select the character encoding of the strings that are to be found.
Possible values for encoding are: 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. (l and b apply to, for example, Unicode
Controls the display of UTF-8 encoded mulibyte characters in
strings. The default (--unicode=default) is to give them no
special treatment, and instead rely upon the setting of the
--encoding option. The other values for this option automatically
The --unicode=invalid option treats them as non-graphic characters
and hence not part of a valid string. All the remaining options
treat them as valid string characters.
The --unicode=locale option displays them in the current locale,
which may or may not support UTF-8 encoding. The --unicode=hex
option displays them as hex byte sequences enclosed between <>
characters. The --unicode=escape option displays them as escape
sequences (\uxxxx) and the --unicode=highlight option displays them
as escape sequences highlighted in red (if supported by the output
device). The colouring is intended to draw attention to the
presence of unicode sequences where they might not be expected.
Specify an object code format other than your system's default
Print the program version number on the standard output and exit.
By default tab and space characters are included in the strings
that are displayed, but other whitespace characters, such a
newlines and carriage returns, are not. The -w option changes this
so that all whitespace characters are considered to be part of a
By default, output strings are delimited by a new-line. This option
allows you to supply any string to be used as the output record
separator. Useful with --include-all-whitespace where strings may
contain new-lines internally.
Read command-line options from file. The options read are inserted
in place of the original @file option. If file does not exist, or
cannot be read, then the option will be treated literally, and not
Options in file are separated by whitespace. A whitespace
character may be included in an option by surrounding the entire
option in either single or double quotes. Any character (including
a backslash) may be included by prefixing the character to be
included with a backslash. The file may itself contain additional
@file options; any such options will be processed recursively.
ar(1), nm(1), objdump(1), ranlib(1), readelf(1) and the Info entries
Copyright (c) 1991-2016 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or
any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover
Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
Free Documentation License".
binutils-2.27 2021-11-01 STRINGS(1)