Can anyone point me at a decent hex viewer for Solaris? Looking for something with a front-end similar to bless on Ubuntu or Binary Viewer on Windows or ..almost the Delta Hex Editor Netbeans plugin.

This means:

  1. Dual highlight of character vs. hex data. (my cursor shows me where I am in both windows)
  2. Conversion of data under cursor to various int/float types with little/big endian toggle.
  3. Ability to edit data a bonus.

The Netbeans plugin is problematic because Netbeans is slow to start, and it doesn't satisfy criteria #1. So I'm mostly using bvi at the moment. X-Windows or console is fine.

edit: SunOS 5.11

  • You might get more responses on Software Recommendations. I personally use hexedit from rigaux.org, but that doesn't meet your criterion #2. It's been a while since I've used it, but I feel like gHex might meet all 3?
    – Fox
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 2:14
  • Thanks @Fox. I cross-posted the question over there. gHex looks like it may be for newer distributions? I couldn't find anything very easily.
    – zzxyz
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 18:06
  • GHex is part of the GNOME project. The README says it should build on most unices, but I almost exclusively use CLI tools so haven't checked personally. It looks like it requires autotools to build
    – Fox
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 18:17
  • Thanks for the GHex link. Probably obvious where to find that for some people, but not for me :) Looks like gtk+-3.0 is required to build and not available in my package manager. I could probably build Bless as easily :) I'm surprised someone hasn't done a Curses hex editor with these features. Would be crazy useful.
    – zzxyz
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


You can use Midnight Commander for this.

It is a very simple install in Solaris 11:

$ pkg install pkg:/file/mc

Now, to view/edit a file, just do:

$ mc -v foo.bar

This will 'show' the file. Now press F2. This will bring you in hex mode (still in view mode). Then pressing in F2 will allow you to edit .. in hex mode.

In the example below I'm hex editing some random file: Midnight Commander Hex Edit

As for conversion of int/float between little and big endian this is not something Midnight Commander can do, but there are a couple of free online tools for that. Here's one example.

  • Wow. Serious MS-DOS flashbacks, here. I feel like I had this installed on a Windows machine at one point. Doesn't do #2, but I'm truly not sure anything exists that does at this point. (Bar spending a LOT of time building packages from source)
    – zzxyz
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 19:07
  • @zzzyz. Your flashback is probably from an old PC tool called "Norton Commander". :-)
    – peterh
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 15:12
  • @zzzyz. Updated my answer wrt to endian conversion.
    – peterh
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 15:21
  • you may be right, but I think I may have used this tool. I doubt I would've pirated or purchased Norton. On the int/endian thing, it's a matter of convenience to be able to move through the bytes, examining the numbers under the cursor as they change, looking for sensible values. Poorly documented files that are used across system architectures. I probably need to see if there's a bless/scp solution I can just use from Linux.
    – zzxyz
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 16:58

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