strings linux command

2010-07-20 165 words 1 min read

Ever wondered what's inside some of those binary files on your system (binary executables or binary data)? Several times I've gotten error messages from some command in the Solaris system, but I couldn't tell where the error was coming from because it was buried in some binary executable file.

The Solaris "strings" command lets you look at the ASCII text buried inside of executable files, and can often help you troubleshoot problems. For
instance, one time I was seeing error messages like this when a user was trying to log in:

    Could not set ULIMIT

    I finally traced the problem down to the /bin/login command by running the "strings" command like this:

        root> strings /bin/login | more

        The strings command lists ASCII character sequences in binary files, and help me determine that the "Could not set ULIMIT" error was coming from
        this file. Once I determined that the error message I was seeing was coming from this file, solving the problem became a simple matter.

Tags: Linux


Authored By Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal, Linux and Photography are my hobbies.Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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