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CLI for Noobies: A Primer on the Linux Command Line by Joe Barr

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Chapter 40. Hex Dump Unlocks Mysteries

The hex dump utility may not have been designed with an education goal in mind, or as an exploring tool, but it does a great job at both.

If you have ever been curious about what mysteries lurk within an executable binary, a word processing document, or even an image, hex dump can help you scratch that itch.

As a side benefit you will gain familiarity with the hexadecimal or base 16 numbering system, which is often referred to simply as hex.

To get started, try generating a hex dump of the file you want to examine without any syntax options, using a command like this:

A Hex Dump

linux~>hexdump /usr/bin/hexdump.
The first few lines of the output should look
 something like this: 0000000 457f 464c 0101 0001 0000 ...

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