File type identifier via libmagic and TrID.
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.


FileInsight is a Qt-based file type identifier using libmagic (i.e. the Unix file command), Qt 5, and TrID as its backends. It is written in C++ and has been tested to work on both Windows and Linux.

Compilation / Installation


Linux installation is fairly straightforward. For icon display, FileInsight will simply use the icon theme configured on your desktop.

  1. Install Qt 5's development suite, Qt Creator, and libmagic's development files. On a Debian / Ubuntu system, this corresponds to apt-get install qt5-default libmagic-dev qtcreator.

  2. Build the project with Qt Creator.

  3. Optionally, you can download and install TrID from (the backend works by calling it as a subprocess). TrID is free for personal and non-commercial use, but is NOT free as in FOSS.


Windows builds are a pain (no, really!). Instead, you may want to simply grab a Windows build from the releases page.

Getting all the required components

  1. Download and install MinGW and MSYS using this guide:

  2. Install Qt with MinGW from

  3. Fetch the sources for libmagic/file and its dependency libgnurx

Building libmagic/file

  1. Create an empty folder (prefix) to use as the prefix for building libgnurx and libmagic/file.

  2. Compile libgnurx into the empty prefix you created: in a MinGW shell, navigate to the source folder and run ./configure --prefix=THE FOLDER YOU CHOSE && make && make install

  3. Compile libmagic/file into the empty prefix you created: in a MinGW shell, navigate to the source folder and run:

  • autoreconf -f -i
  • LDFLAGS="-L$TARGET/lib -static-libgcc" CFLAGS="-I$TARGET/include" ./configure --prefix=$TARGET
  • make && make install
  1. Now that libmagic and libgnurx have been built, copy the contents of the libmagic build folder into the thirdparty/ directory of FileInsight's source. On Windows, this is where the toolchain will try to load its dependency libraries from.

Building FileInsight (MinGW)

  1. You should be able to build FileInsight now using Qt Creator + MinGW. However, in order for the resulting binary to run, you must copy the following into the directory of your resultant build:
  • bin/libgnurx-0.dll from the libmagic build
  • bin/libmagic-1.dll from the libmagic build
  • share/misc/magic.mgc (libmagic's data file) from the libmagic build
  • libgcc_s_dw2-1.dll from your MinGW root (e.g. C:\MinGW\bin)

Making a Redistributable Build

  1. Copy the windows-build-skeleton/ folder in FileInsight's source to somewhere else (this will be your "Windows build folder"). This folder includes the relevant copyright information that makes the build legally distributable (hopefully).

  2. Use windeployqt to copy the required Qt libraries to the Windows build folder: in a command line, run windeploy PATH-TO-FILEINSIGHT.EXE.

  3. Copy libgnurx-0.dll, libmagic-1.dll, libgcc_s_dw2-1.dll, and magic.mgc into the Windows build folder.

  4. Optional: for TrID backend support, extract TrID from it into the thirdparty directory in the Windows build folder.

  5. Optional: for icon display, extract a prebuilt copy of the Oxygen icon theme (from a source like Debian) into the icons/ folder. Since simple tarball extraction may create (broken) Unix symlinks, they must be expanded so that FileInsight can actually load them.

  • You can use the bundled in the scripts/ folder for this purpose: scripts/ PATH_TO_OXYGEN_ICONS