xxd Command in Linux



Ever wanted to look at a file to know its uncooked contents, or modify some bytes in a binary file, however had been uncertain proceed? That is the place the xxd command proves invaluable. xxd is a helpful utility obtainable on most Linux methods that lets you generate a hexadecimal illustration of a file and even revert a hex dump again to its authentic binary format.

In different phrases, xxd lets you look inside any file, displaying its contents byte by byte. This may be extraordinarily helpful for builders, system directors, and anybody working with low-level knowledge evaluation or troubleshooting. Whether or not you’re reverse engineering software program, finding out malware, or simply interested by what a file incorporates, xxd gives a easy technique to analyze and modify binary knowledge.

Understanding the xxd Command in Linux

If you’re new to utilizing Linux methods, do try this text: Getting Began with Linux File System


  • Understanding the fundamentals of the xxd command in Linux.
  • Be taught to put in and arrange xxd in your Linux system.
  • Be taught to create and revert a hex dump utilizing the xxd command.

Set up

Earlier than utilizing xxd, guarantee it’s put in in your system. Most Linux distributions embrace xxd by default as a part of the Vim package deal.

# Examine if xxd is put in
xxd -v # Set up xxd
xxd Command in Linux

if not already put in:

sudo apt-get set up vim-common # Debian/Ubuntu
sudo yum set up vim-common # CentOS/RHEL

Command Choices

The xxd command is used for making a hex dump or doing the reverse (i.e., changing a hex dump again to the unique binary). Listed here are a few of the mostly used choices and flags:

  1. -r / -revert:
    • Revert (reverse operation) a hex dump into binary. This can be utilized to transform the hex dump again to its authentic binary type.
    • Utilization: xxd -r <hexdump_file>
  2. -p / -ps / -postscript:
    • Output in plain hex dump type, i.e., steady hex digits with out whitespace, which is appropriate for binary postscript recordsdata.
    • Utilization: xxd -p <file>
  3. -i / -include:
    • Output in C embrace file type. This can generate an array declaration in C with the hex dump knowledge.
    • Utilization: xxd -i <file>
  4. -c / -cols <quantity>:
    • Format quantity bytes per output line. By default, xxd outputs 16 bytes per line.
    • Utilization: xxd -c 8 <file>
  5. -g / -groupsize <quantity>:
    • Separate the output of quantity bytes per group within the hex dump. For instance, xxd -g 1 will group every byte individually.
    • Utilization: xxd -g 1 <file>
  6. -s / -seek <offset>:
    • Begin at offset bytes from the start of the enter file. This enables partial dumps of the file beginning at a selected byte.
    • Utilization: xxd -s 1024 <file>
  7. -l / -len <size>:
    • Cease after size bytes of the enter file. This limits the hex dump to a selected size.
    • Utilization: xxd -l 256 <file>
  8. -a / -autoskip:
    • Condense successive teams of zero-byte traces. This reduces the dimensions of the hex dump by skipping repeated traces of zeros.
    • Utilization: xxd -a <file>
  9. -e:
    • Little-endian dump. This codecs the output to indicate bytes in little-endian order.
    • Utilization: xxd -e <file>
  10. -u:
    • Use higher case hex letters. This outputs the hexadecimal digits A-F in uppercase as a substitute of lowercase.
    • Utilization: xxd -u <file>
  11. -o / -offset <offset>:
    • Add offset to the displayed file place. This selection is helpful when combining a number of hex dumps or for visualizing a selected beginning offset.
    • Utilization: xxd -o 512 <file>


The xxd command in Linux is a flexible software used primarily for creating hex dumps of recordsdata and changing hex dumps again into binary recordsdata. It can be used to govern binary knowledge in numerous methods. Beneath is a complete overview of its utilization:

Hex Dump

A hex dump shows the binary knowledge of a file in a hexadecimal format. This makes it simpler for people to learn and perceive binary knowledge. A typical hex dump exhibits:

  1. Offset: The place of the byte within the file.
  2. Hexadecimal Values: The precise byte values in hexadecimal.
  3. ASCII Illustration: The corresponding ASCII characters (if printable) for every byte.

Observe: You need to use the dd command to create a binary file crammed with zeros:

dd if=/dev/zero of=myfile.bin bs=1024 depend=1

1. Making a Hex Dump

xxd myfile.bin

This command generates a hex dump of myfile.bin.

hex dump using xxd Command in Linux

2. Changing Hex Dump Again to Binary

xxd -r hexfile.txt myfile.bin

This command reads the hex dump from hexfile.txt and writes the binary knowledge to myfile.bin.

3. Making a Hex Dump with 8 Bytes Per Line

xxd -c 8 myfile.bin

4. Beginning the Dump at a Particular Offset

xxd -s 0x100 myfile.bin

This command begins the hex dump at offset 0x100 (256 in decimal).

5. Limiting the Output Size

xxd -l 64 myfile.bin

6. Outputting Binary Illustration

xxd -b myfile.bin

7. Producing a C-Type Embrace File

xxd -i myfile.bin > myfile.h


The xxd command is a sturdy and versatile software for anybody needing to look at or modify binary file contents on a Linux system. Its functionality to create hexadecimal representations and revert them to the unique binary type makes it important for builders, system directors, and people engaged in low-level knowledge evaluation or reverse engineering.

With choices to customise output codecs, similar to setting bytes per line, beginning at particular offsets, and producing C-style embrace recordsdata, xxd permits detailed management over file knowledge presentation and manipulation. Whether or not diagnosing software program points, finding out file buildings, or conducting safety analyses, mastering xxd can considerably enhance your effectivity and expertise in managing binary knowledge.

Be taught Extra: 20 Fundamental Linux Instructions for Knowledge Science in 2024

Often Requested Questions

Q1. What’s xxd and what’s it used for?

A. xxd is a command-line utility on Linux for creating hex dumps and changing them again to binary format. It’s used to examine and modify binary recordsdata.

Q2. How do I set up xxd on my Linux system?

A. Most Linux distributions embrace xxd by default as a part of the Vim package deal. You possibly can test its model with `xxd -v` or set up it utilizing package deal managers like `apt-get` or `yum`.

Q3. What are some choices to customise the output format of xxd?

A. Choices like `-c` for setting bytes per line, `-s` for beginning at a selected offset, and `-i` for producing C-style embrace recordsdata permit customization of the hex dump output.

This autumn. How does xxd deal with ASCII illustration in hex dumps?

A. xxd contains an ASCII illustration alongside hexadecimal values, exhibiting corresponding printable characters for every byte.