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mimetype - Determine file type


mimetype [options] [-] files


This script tries to determine the mime type of a file using the Shared MIME-info
database. It is intended as a kind of file(1) work-alike, but uses mimetypes instead of

If one symlinks the file command to mimetype it will behave a little more compatible, see
"--file-compat". Commandline options to specify alternative magic files are not
implemented the same because of the conflicting data formats. Also the wording of the
descriptions will differ.

For naming switches I followed the manpage of file(1) version 4.02 when possible. They
seem to differ completely from the spec in the 'utilities' chapter of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001


-a, --all
Show output of all rules that match the file.

TODO: this method now just returns one match for each method (globs, magic, etc.).

-b, --brief
Do not prepend filenames to output lines (brief mode).

Force the program to look in these directories for the shared mime-info database. The
directories specified by the basedir specification are ignored.

-d, --describe
Print file descriptions instead of mime types, this is the default when using

-D, --debug
Print debug information about how the mimetype was determined.

-f namefile, --namefile=namefile
Read the names of the files to be examined from the file 'namefile' (one per line)
before the argument list.

Make mimetype behave a little more file(1) compatible. This is turned on automatically
when you call mimetype by a link called 'file'.

A single '-' won't be considered a separator between options and filenames anymore,
but becomes identical to "--stdin". ( You can still use '--' as separator, but that
is not backward compatible with the original file command. ) Also the default becomes
to print descriptions instead of mimetypes.

-F string, --separator=string
Use string as custom separator between the file name and its mimetype or description,
defaults to ':' .

-h, --help
-u, --usage
Print a help message and exits.

-i, --mimetype
Use mime types, opposite to "--describe", this is the default when _not_ using

-L, --dereference
Follow symbolic links.

-l code, --language=code
The language attribute specifies a two letter language code, this makes descriptions
being outputted in the specified language.

-M, --magic-only
Do not check for extensions, globs or inode type, only look at the content of the
file. This is particularly useful if for some reason you don't trust the name or the
extension a file has.

-N, --noalign
Do not align output fields.

If you want an alternative output format, you can specify a format string containing
the following escapes:

%f for the filename
%d description
%m mime type

Alignment is not available when using this, you need to post-process the output to do

Determine type of content from STDIN, less powerful then normal file checking because
it only uses magic typing. This will happen also if the STDIN filehandle is a pipe.

To use this option IO::Scalar needs to be installed.

-v, --version
Print the version of the program and exit.


These variables can list base directories to search for data files. The shared mime-
info will be expected in the "mime" sub directory of one of these directories. If
these are not set, there will be searched for the following directories:


See also the "XDG Base Directory Specification"

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