Find printable strings in files (POSIX)


On QNX Neutrino:

strings [options] file

On Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows:

strings_variants [options] file

where strings_variant depends on the target platform, as follows:

Target platform strings_variant
ARMv7 ntoarmv7-strings
AArch64 ntoaarch64-strings
x86 ntox86-strings
x86 64-bit ntox86_64-strings


For each file given, strings prints the printable character sequences that are at least 4 characters long (or the number given with the options) and are followed by an unprintable character. By default, it prints only the strings from the initialized and loaded sections of object and ELF files; for other types of files, it prints the strings from the whole file.

The strings utility is mainly useful for determining the contents of nontext files.

For more information, see the Binutils documentation on the GNU website at

Contributing author: