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In OpenVMS the DUMP command:

Displays the contents of a file, a directory, a disk volume, a magnetic tape volume, or a CD-ROM volume in decimal, hexadecimal, octal format, ASCII, or formatted data structures.

This is frequently used when a file is not a simple text file where the content has a mixture of data types such as strings and integers.

What is the Unix/Linux command for this?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

There's a few options.

  • od should be available on POSIX systems, so most Unix and Linux variants will have it. That command has a slew of options to control the output format.
  • hexdump (from util-linux on my distro) is my favorite for a quick inspection (hexdump -C), but it's not available everywhere.
  • xxd (installed with Vim) is great too - especially since it allows you to convert to a human-readable hex format, and to convert back to binary. So that gives you a pretty simple hex editor.
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+1 for xxd. It's not available everywhere, but that's the one you want to use. – Bruce Ediger Oct 11 '12 at 15:12

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