Skip to content
Stringsext, a GNU Strings Alternative with Multi-Byte-Encoding Support
Rust Shell
Branch: master
Clone or download
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
doc prepare v2.1.0 Jan 13, 2020
src document coner case in source code Jan 16, 2020
tests/functional add functional test Jan 13, 2020
.gitlab-ci.yml configure Gitlab's continuous integration service Oct 10, 2018
.travis.yml use Travis CI Feb 2, 2017
01-test add functional test Jan 13, 2020
02-make-targets add command-line-test Jan 8, 2020
03-make-win-targets add command-line-test Jan 8, 2020
04-make-doc add command-line-test Jan 8, 2020
05-clean-targets-keep-binaries add command-line-test Jan 8, 2020
Cargo.lock prepare v2.1.0 Jan 13, 2020
Cargo.toml prepare v2.1.0 Jan 13, 2020
LICENSE-APACHE dual license stringsext: Apache 2.0 or MIT Sep 23, 2017
LICENSE-MIT dual license stringsext: Apache 2.0 or MIT Sep 23, 2017 dual license stringsext: Apache 2.0 or MIT Sep 23, 2017 add screenshot Jan 14, 2020

stringsext - search for multi-byte encoded strings in binary data

stringsext is a Unicode enhancement of the GNU strings tool with additional functionalities: stringsext recognizes Cyrillic, Arabic, CJKV characters and other scripts in all supported multi-byte-encodings, while GNU strings fails in finding any of these scripts in UTF-16 and many other encodings.

stringsext prints all graphic character sequences in FILE or stdin that are at least MIN bytes long.

Unlike GNU strings stringsext can be configured to search for valid characters not only in ASCII but also in many other input encodings, e.g.: UTF-8, UTF-16BE, UTF-16LE, BIG5-2003, EUC-JP, KOI8-R and many others. The option --list-encodings shows a list of valid encoding names based on the WHATWG Encoding Standard. When more than one encoding is specified, the scan is performed in different threads simultaneously.

When searching for UTF-16 encoded strings, 96% of all possible two byte sequences, interpreted as UTF-16 code unit, relate directly to Unicode codepoints. As a result, the probability of encountering valid Unicode characters in a random byte stream, interpreted as UTF-16, is also 96%. In order to reduce this big number of false positives, stringsext provides a parametrizable Unicode-block-filter. See --encodings option in the manual page for more details.

stringsext is mainly useful for extracting Unicode content out of non-text files.

When invoked with stringsext -e ascii stringsext can be used as GNU strings replacement.


stringsext -tx -e utf-8 -e utf-16le -e utf-16be \
           -n 10 -a None -u African  /dev/disk/by-uuid/567a8410

 3de2fff0+	(b UTF-16LE)	ݒݓݔݕݖݗݙݪ
 3de30000+	(b UTF-16LE)	ݫݱݶݷݸݹݺ
<3de36528 	(a UTF-8)	فيأنمامعكلأورديافىهولملكاولهبسالإنهيأيقدهلثمبهلوليبلايبكشيام
>3de36528+	(a UTF-8)	أمنتبيلنحبهممشوش
<3de3a708 	(a UTF-8)	علىإلىهذاآخرعددالىهذهصورغيركانولابينعرضذلكهنايومقالعليانالكن
>3de3a708+	(a UTF-8)	حتىقبلوحةاخرفقطعبدركنإذاكمااحدإلافيهبعضكيفبح
 3de3a780+	(a UTF-8)	ثومنوهوأناجدالهاسلمعندليسعبرصلىمنذبهاأنهمثلكنتالاحيثمصرشرححو
 3de3a7f8+	(a UTF-8)	لوفياذالكلمرةانتالفأبوخاصأنتانهاليعضووقدابنخيربنتلكمشاءوهياب
 3de3a870+	(a UTF-8)	وقصصومارقمأحدنحنعدمرأياحةكتبدونيجبمنهتحتجهةسنةيتمكرةغزةنفسبي
 3de3a8e8+	(a UTF-8)	تللهلناتلكقلبلماعنهأولشيءنورأمافيكبكلذاترتببأنهمسانكبيعفقدحس
 3de3a960+	(a UTF-8)	نلهمشعرأهلشهرقطرطلب
 3df4cca8 	(c UTF-16BE)	փօև։֋֍֏֑֛֚֓֕֗֙֜֝֞׹
<3df4cd20 	(c UTF-16BE)	־ֿ׀ׁׂ׃ׅׄ׆ׇ׈׉׊׋


User documentation

Developer documentation

Source code




Manual page download

Building and installing

  1. Install Rust with rustup:

    curl -sSf | sh
  2. Download stringsext:

    git clone
  3. Build

    Enter the Stringsext directory where the file Cargo.toml resides:

    cd stringsext

    Then execute:

    cargo build --release
  4. Install

    a. Linux:

        # install binary
        sudo cp target/release/stringsext /usr/local/bin/
        # install man-page
        sudo cp man/stringsext.1.gz /usr/local/man/man1/
        sudo dpkg-reconfigure man-db   # e.g. Debian, Ubuntu

    b. Windows

    Copy the binary `target/release/stringsext.exe` in a directory
    listed in your `PATH` environment variable.



  • Jens Getreu


  • Apache 2 license or MIT license

Build status

  • status
You can’t perform that action at this time.