Linux/Unix – Finding Text in Binaries with Strings

Sometimes you need to read the ASCII text that is inside a binary file. Occasionally, you can learn a lot about an executable that way. For those occurrences, use strings to extract all the human-readable ASCII text. The strings command is part of the binutils package, and is installed by default on Ubuntu. Here are some examples:

$ strings /bin/ls | grep -i libc

Find occurrences of libc in ls


$ cat /bin/ls | strings

List all ASCII text in ls


$ strings /bin/ls

List all ASCII text in ls


About msotela

This blog is for anyone who wants to access the power of a Linux system as a systems administrator or user. You may be a Linux enthusiast, a Linux professional, or possibly a computer professional who is increasingly finding the Windows systems in your data center supplanted by Linux boxes.

Posted on March 16, 2009, in Unix/Linux. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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