file man page on Ultrix

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file(1)								       file(1)

Name
       file - determine file type

Syntax
       file [ -c ] [ -f ffile] [ -m mfile] filename ...

Description
       The  command performs a series of tests on each filename argument in an
       attempt to classify it.	If an argument appears to be ASCII,  the  com‐
       mand examines the first 1024 bytes and tries to guess its language.

       For character special files, part of this classification is information
       about which devices the system shows as active.	In particular, device-
       specific	 information such as controller type and unit, device type and
       unit, and status (offline, write locked, density, errors) is  returned.
       The general categories currently implemented are disk, tape, and termi‐
       nal devices. The supported terminal devices include Local  Area	Termi‐
       nals (LAT) but not Local Area Network (LAN) pseudo-terminals.

       The  command  uses  the	file  to identify files that have some sort of
       magic number.  A magic number is any numeric or	string	constant  that
       identifies  the file containing the constant.  Commentary at the begin‐
       ning of explains its format.

Options
       -c   Checks the magic file for format errors by printing	 the  internal
	    representation  of	the  magic file.  No file typing is done under
	    -c.

       -f   Interprets the following argument to  be  a	 file  containing  the
	    names of the files to be examined.

       -m   Instructs file to use an alternate magic file.

Restrictions
       It  often  does a poor job of distinguishing C programs, shell scripts,
       English text, and ASCII text.

       It does not recognize many  programming	languages,  including  Modula,
       Pascal, and Lisp.

Files
       /usr/lib/file/magic

See Also
       magic(5)

								       file(1)
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