I've got a load of binary data stored as ASCII text in a file like this:

0b 0000 0001
0b 0000 0000
0b 1111 0001 

How would I convert this to a raw binary bitstream, and save it to disk?

Can this be done with standard unix tools?

  • So binary representation (not hexadecimal), with one byte per line, a space between the nibbles and a prefix of "0x " ?
    – Ángel
    Dec 6, 2020 at 21:51
  • "0b" not "0x" that was a typo. But yeah, binary representation Dec 6, 2020 at 21:55
  • It is possible to generate this output with xxd -c 1 -b | sed 's/^[0-9a-f]*:/0b/' | cut -f 1-2 -d\ but xxd doesn't support -b with -r :/
    – Ángel
    Dec 6, 2020 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


Have not fully fleshed this out but try the following:

$ cat demo.sh

while read bb nibble1 nibble2
    byte=$(printf "%s%s" ${nibble1} ${nibble2} )
    hexstr=$(printf '\\\\x%02x' $((2#${byte})) )
    eval printf "$hexstr"
done < infile > outfile

Using your sample input:

$ ./demo.sh

$ xxd outfile
00000000: 0100 f1                                  ...

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