file - determine file type
file [-h] [-m mfile] [-f ffile] arg . . .
file [-h] [-m mfile] -f ffile
file -c [-m mfile]
file performs a series of tests on each file supplied by arg and,
optionally, on each file supplied in ffile in an attempt to classify it.
If arg appears to be a text file, file examines the first 512 bytes and
tries to guess its programming language. If arg is an executable a.out,
file prints the version stamp, provided it is greater than 0. For COFF
executables, the version stamp will give the version of compilers used to
generate the executable. For ELF executables, the version stamp gives
the version of ELF to which the file conforms. If arg is a symbolic
link, by default the link is followed and file tests the file that the
symbolic link references.
-c Check the magic file for format errors. For reasons of
efficiency, this validation is normally not carried out.
-f ffile ffile contains the names of the files to be examined.
-h Do not follow symbolic links.
-m mfile Use mfile as an alternate magic file, instead of /etc/magic.
file uses /etc/magic to identify files that have a magic number. A magic
number is a numeric or string constant that indicates the file type.
Commentary at the beginning of /etc/magic explains its format.
file classifies files containing supplementary code set characters
according to the locale specified in the LC_CTYPE environment variable
[see LANG on environ(5)]. file reads each argument and can distinguish
data files, program text files, shell scripts, and executable files as
Data files containing data
Shell scripts containing command text
Language program text files xxx text
containing literals or
comments using supplementary
Executable files executable
language-specific message file [See LANG on environ(5).]
If the -h option is specified and arg is a symbolic link, file prints the
UX:file:ERROR:symbolic link to arg
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