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Re: Finding Binary Files

From: Derek R. Price
Subject: Re: Finding Binary Files
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 10:31:53 -0500

Manish Koolwal wrote:

>   From among a group of files, how can we find out which are Binary files?
> (This is in reference to UNIX). Also, please help me if you know any fast
> method to sagregate Binary Files.

UNIX itself rarely makes a distinction.  Some applications (like diff) make
guesses based on the presence/proportion of NUL bytes & other special

If you have Perl installed, you could use its binary file test operator which
will return true if the first block of the file contains >30% "special"

    perl -e 'exit(!(-f file && -B $ARGV[0]))' <filename>

will return a Bourne shell true value if the file exists and is binary.  So
in Bourne form:

    for file in "$@"; do
        if perl -e 'exit(!(-f file && -B $ARGV[0]))' "$file"; then
            # do what I do to binary files


Derek Price                      CVS Solutions Architect ( )
mailto:address@hidden     OpenAvenue ( )
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