File (command)

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file is a command to find out the type of a given file. Because for Linux, "everything is a file", it can distinguish a lot:

  • hard disks
# file /dev/sda1
/dev/sda1: block special (8/1)
  • file systems
# file -s /dev/sdc
/dev/sdc: Linux rev 1.0 ext3 filesystem data (needs journal recovery) (large files)
  • directories
# file /tmp
/tmp: sticky directory
  • links
# file /lib64/libkeyutils.so.1
/lib64/libkeyutils.so.1: symbolic link to `libkeyutils-1.2.so'
  • normal files
# file /lib64/libkeyutils-1.2.so
/lib64/libkeyutils-1.2.so: ELF 64-bit LSB shared object, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), stripped

See also