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PROGRAM:

NAME


od — dump files in various formats

SYNOPSIS


od [−v] [−A address_base] [−j skip] [−N count] [−t type_string]...
[file...]

od [−bcdosx] [file] [[+]offset[.][b]]

DESCRIPTION


The od utility shall write the contents of its input files to standard output in a user-
specified format.

OPTIONS


The od utility shall conform to the Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, Section 12.2,
Utility Syntax Guidelines, except that the order of presentation of the −t options and the
−bcdosx options is significant.

The following options shall be supported:

−A address_base
Specify the input offset base. See the EXTENDED DESCRIPTION section. The
application shall ensure that the address_base option-argument is a character.
The characters 'd', 'o', and 'x' specify that the offset base shall be written
in decimal, octal, or hexadecimal, respectively. The character 'n' specifies
that the offset shall not be written.

−b Interpret bytes in octal. This shall be equivalent to −t o1.

−c Interpret bytes as characters specified by the current setting of the LC_CTYPE
category. Certain non-graphic characters appear as C escapes: "NUL=\0", "BS=\b",
"FF=\f", "NL=\n", "CR=\r", "HT=\t"; others appear as 3-digit octal numbers.

−d Interpret words (two-byte units) in unsigned decimal. This shall be equivalent
to −t u2.

−j skip Jump over skip bytes from the beginning of the input. The od utility shall read
or seek past the first skip bytes in the concatenated input files. If the
combined input is not at least skip bytes long, the od utility shall write a
diagnostic message to standard error and exit with a non-zero exit status.

By default, the skip option-argument shall be interpreted as a decimal number.
With a leading 0x or 0X, the offset shall be interpreted as a hexadecimal
number; otherwise, with a leading '0', the offset shall be interpreted as an
octal number. Appending the character 'b', 'k', or 'm' to offset shall cause it
to be interpreted as a multiple of 512, 1024, or 1048576 bytes, respectively. If
the skip number is hexadecimal, any appended 'b' shall be considered to be the
final hexadecimal digit.

−N count Format no more than count bytes of input. By default, count shall be interpreted
as a decimal number. With a leading 0x or 0X, count shall be interpreted as a
hexadecimal number; otherwise, with a leading '0', it shall be interpreted as an
octal number. If count bytes of input (after successfully skipping, if −j skip
is specified) are not available, it shall not be considered an error; the od
utility shall format the input that is available.

−o Interpret words (two-byte units) in octal. This shall be equivalent to −t o2.

−s Interpret words (two-byte units) in signed decimal. This shall be equivalent to
−t d2.

−t type_string
Specify one or more output types. See the EXTENDED DESCRIPTION section. The
application shall ensure that the type_string option-argument is a string
specifying the types to be used when writing the input data. The string shall
consist of the type specification characters a, c, d, f, o, u, and x, specifying
named character, character, signed decimal, floating point, octal, unsigned
decimal, and hexadecimal, respectively. The type specification characters d, f,
o, u, and x can be followed by an optional unsigned decimal integer that
specifies the number of bytes to be transformed by each instance of the output
type. The type specification character f can be followed by an optional F, D, or
L indicating that the conversion should be applied to an item of type float,
double, or long double, respectively. The type specification characters d, o, u,
and x can be followed by an optional C, S, I, or L indicating that the
conversion should be applied to an item of type char, short, int, or long,
respectively. Multiple types can be concatenated within the same type_string and
multiple −t options can be specified. Output lines shall be written for each
type specified in the order in which the type specification characters are
specified.

−v Write all input data. Without the −v option, any number of groups of output
lines, which would be identical to the immediately preceding group of output
lines (except for the byte offsets), shall be replaced with a line containing
only an <asterisk> ('*').

−x Interpret words (two-byte units) in hexadecimal. This shall be equivalent to
−t x2.

Multiple types can be specified by using multiple −bcdostx options. Output lines are
written for each type specified in the order in which the types are specified.

OPERANDS


The following operands shall be supported:

file A pathname of a file to be read. If no file operands are specified, the standard
input shall be used.

If there are no more than two operands, none of the −A, −j, −N, −t, or −v
options is specified, and either of the following is true: the first character
of the last operand is a <plus-sign> ('+'), or there are two operands and the
first character of the last operand is numeric; the last operand shall be
interpreted as an offset operand on XSI-conformant systems. Under these
conditions, the results are unspecified on systems that are not XSI-conformant
systems.

[+]offset[.][b]
The offset operand specifies the offset in the file where dumping is to
commence. This operand is normally interpreted as octal bytes. If '.' is
appended, the offset shall be interpreted in decimal. If 'b' is appended, the
offset shall be interpreted in units of 512 bytes.

STDIN


The standard input shall be used if no file operands are specified, and shall be used if a
file operand is '−' and the implementation treats the '−' as meaning standard input.
Otherwise, the standard input shall not be used. See the INPUT FILES section.

INPUT FILES


The input files can be any file type.

ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES


The following environment variables shall affect the execution of od:

LANG Provide a default value for the internationalization variables that are unset or
null. (See the Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, Section 8.2,
Internationalization Variables for the precedence of internationalization
variables used to determine the values of locale categories.)

LC_ALL If set to a non-empty string value, override the values of all the other
internationalization variables.

LC_CTYPE Determine the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of text data
as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to multi-byte characters in
arguments and input files).

LC_MESSAGES
Determine the locale that should be used to affect the format and contents of
diagnostic messages written to standard error.

LC_NUMERIC
Determine the locale for selecting the radix character used when writing
floating-point formatted output.

NLSPATH Determine the location of message catalogs for the processing of LC_MESSAGES.

ASYNCHRONOUS EVENTS


Default.

STDOUT


See the EXTENDED DESCRIPTION section.

STDERR


The standard error shall be used only for diagnostic messages.

OUTPUT FILES


None.

EXTENDED DESCRIPTION


The od utility shall copy sequentially each input file to standard output, transforming
the input data according to the output types specified by the −t option or the −bcdosx
options. If no output type is specified, the default output shall be as if −t oS had been
specified.

The number of bytes transformed by the output type specifier c may be variable depending
on the LC_CTYPE category.

The default number of bytes transformed by output type specifiers d, f, o, u, and x
corresponds to the various C-language types as follows. If the c99 compiler is present on
the system, these specifiers shall correspond to the sizes used by default in that
compiler. Otherwise, these sizes may vary among systems that conform to POSIX.1‐2008.

* For the type specifier characters d, o, u, and x, the default number of bytes shall
correspond to the size of the underlying implementation's basic integer type. For
these specifier characters, the implementation shall support values of the optional
number of bytes to be converted corresponding to the number of bytes in the C-language
types char, short, int, and long. These numbers can also be specified by an
application as the characters 'C', 'S', 'I', and 'L', respectively. The implementation
shall also support the values 1, 2, 4, and 8, even if it provides no C-Language types
of those sizes. The implementation shall support the decimal value corresponding to
the C-language type long long. The byte order used when interpreting numeric values
is implementation-defined, but shall correspond to the order in which a constant of
the corresponding type is stored in memory on the system.

* For the type specifier character f, the default number of bytes shall correspond to
the number of bytes in the underlying implementation's basic double precision
floating-point data type. The implementation shall support values of the optional
number of bytes to be converted corresponding to the number of bytes in the C-language
types float, double, and long double. These numbers can also be specified by an
application as the characters 'F', 'D', and 'L', respectively.

The type specifier character a specifies that bytes shall be interpreted as named
characters from the International Reference Version (IRV) of the ISO/IEC 646:1991
standard. Only the least significant seven bits of each byte shall be used for this type
specification. Bytes with the values listed in the following table shall be written using
the corresponding names for those characters.

Table: Named Characters in od

┌─────────────┬──────────────┬───────────────────┬──────────────┐
Value NameValue NameValue NameValue Name
├─────────────┼──────────────┼───────────────────┼──────────────┤
│\000 nul │ \001 soh │ \002 stx │ \003 etx
│\004 eot │ \005 enq │ \006 ack │ \007 bel
│\010 bs │ \011 ht │ \012 lf or nl* │ \013 vt
│\014 ff │ \015 cr │ \016 so │ \017 si
│\020 dle │ \021 dc1 │ \022 dc2 │ \023 dc3
│\024 dc4 │ \025 nak │ \026 syn │ \027 etb
│\030 can │ \031 em │ \032 sub │ \033 esc
│\034 fs │ \035 gs │ \036 rs │ \037 us
│\040 sp │ \177 del │ │ │
└─────────────┴──────────────┴───────────────────┴──────────────┘
Note: The "\012" value may be written either as lf or nl.

The type specifier character c specifies that bytes shall be interpreted as characters
specified by the current setting of the LC_CTYPE locale category. Characters listed in the
table in the Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, Chapter 5, File Format Notation
('\\', '\a', '\b', '\f', '\n', '\r', '\t', '\v') shall be written as the corresponding
escape sequences, except that <backslash> shall be written as a single <backslash> and a
NUL shall be written as '\0'. Other non-printable characters shall be written as one
three-digit octal number for each byte in the character. Printable multi-byte characters
shall be written in the area corresponding to the first byte of the character; the two-
character sequence "**" shall be written in the area corresponding to each remaining byte
in the character, as an indication that the character is continued. When either the −j
skip or −N count option is specified along with the c type specifier, and this results in
an attempt to start or finish in the middle of a multi-byte character, the result is
implementation-defined.

The input data shall be manipulated in blocks, where a block is defined as a multiple of
the least common multiple of the number of bytes transformed by the specified output
types. If the least common multiple is greater than 16, the results are unspecified. Each
input block shall be written as transformed by each output type, one per written line, in
the order that the output types were specified. If the input block size is larger than the
number of bytes transformed by the output type, the output type shall sequentially
transform the parts of the input block, and the output from each of the transformations
shall be separated by one or more <blank> characters.

If, as a result of the specification of the −N option or end-of-file being reached on the
last input file, input data only partially satisfies an output type, the input shall be
extended sufficiently with null bytes to write the last byte of the input.

Unless −A n is specified, the first output line produced for each input block shall be
preceded by the input offset, cumulative across input files, of the next byte to be
written. The format of the input offset is unspecified; however, it shall not contain any
<blank> characters, shall start at the first character of the output line, and shall be
followed by one or more <blank> characters. In addition, the offset of the byte following
the last byte written shall be written after all the input data has been processed, but
shall not be followed by any <blank> characters.

If no −A option is specified, the input offset base is unspecified.

EXIT STATUS


The following exit values shall be returned:

0 All input files were processed successfully.

>0 An error occurred.

CONSEQUENCES OF ERRORS


Default.

The following sections are informative.

APPLICATION USAGE


XSI-conformant applications are warned not to use filenames starting with '+' or a first
operand starting with a numeric character so that the old functionality can be maintained
by implementations, unless they specify one of the −A, −j, or −N options. To guarantee
that one of these filenames is always interpreted as a filename, an application could
always specify the address base format with the −A option.

EXAMPLES


If a file containing 128 bytes with decimal values zero to 127, in increasing order, is
supplied as standard input to the command:

od −A d −t a

on an implementation using an input block size of 16 bytes, the standard output,
independent of the current locale setting, would be similar to:

0000000 nul soh stx etx eot enq ack bel bs ht nl vt ff cr so si
0000016 dle dc1 dc2 dc3 dc4 nak syn etb can em sub esc fs gs rs us
0000032 sp ! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + , . /
0000048 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ?
0000064 @ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O
0000080 P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ \ ] ^ _
0000096 ` a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o
0000112 p q r s t u v w x y z { | } ~ del
0000128

Note that this volume of POSIX.1‐2008 allows nl or lf to be used as the name for the
ISO/IEC 646:1991 standard IRV character with decimal value 10. The IRV names this
character lf (line feed), but traditional implementations have referred to this character
as newline (nl) and the POSIX locale character set symbolic name for the corresponding
character is a <newline>.

The command:

od −A o −t o2x2x −N 18

on a system with 32-bit words and an implementation using an input block size of 16 bytes
could write 18 bytes in approximately the following format:

0000000 032056 031440 041123 042040 052516 044530 020043 031464
342e 3320 4253 4420 554e 4958 2023 3334
342e3320 42534420 554e4958 20233334
0000020 032472
353a
353a0000
0000022

The command:

od −A d −t f −t o4 −t x4 −N 24 −j 0x15

on a system with 64-bit doubles (for example, IEEE Std 754‐1985 double precision floating-
point format) would skip 21 bytes of input data and then write 24 bytes in approximately
the following format:

0000000 1.00000000000000e+00 1.57350000000000e+01
07774000000 00000000000 10013674121 35341217270
3ff00000 00000000 402f3851 eb851eb8
0000016 1.40668230000000e+02
10030312542 04370303230
40619562 23e18698
0000024

RATIONALE


The od utility went through several names in early proposals, including hd, xd, and most
recently hexdump. There were several objections to all of these based on the following
reasons:

* The hd and xd names conflicted with historical utilities that behaved differently.

* The hexdump description was much more complex than needed for a simple dump utility.

* The od utility has been available on all historical implementations and there was no
need to create a new name for a utility so similar to the historical od utility.

The original reasons for not standardizing historical od were also fairly widespread.
Those reasons are given below along with rationale explaining why the standard developers
believe that this version does not suffer from the indicated problem:

* The BSD and System V versions of od have diverged, and the intersection of features
provided by both does not meet the needs of the user community. In fact, the System V
version only provides a mechanism for dumping octal bytes and shorts, signed and
unsigned decimal shorts, hexadecimal shorts, and ASCII characters. BSD added the
ability to dump floats, doubles, named ASCII characters, and octal, signed decimal,
unsigned decimal, and hexadecimal longs. The version presented here provides more
normalized forms for dumping bytes, shorts, ints, and longs in octal, signed decimal,
unsigned decimal, and hexadecimal; float, double, and long double; and named ASCII as
well as current locale characters.

* It would not be possible to come up with a compatible superset of the BSD and System V
flags that met the requirements of the standard developers. The historical default od
output is the specified default output of this utility. None of the option letters
chosen for this version of od conflict with any of the options to historical versions
of od.

* On systems with different sizes for short, int, and long, there was no way to ask for
dumps of ints, even in the BSD version. Because of the way options are named, the name
space could not be extended to solve these problems. This is why the −t option was
added (with type specifiers more closely matched to the printf() formats used in the
rest of this volume of POSIX.1‐2008) and the optional field sizes were added to the d,
f, o, u, and x type specifiers. It is also one of the reasons why the historical
practice was not mandated as a required obsolescent form of od. (Although the old
versions of od are not listed as an obsolescent form, implementations are urged to
continue to recognize the older forms for several more years.) The a, c, f, o, and x
types match the meaning of the corresponding format characters in the historical
implementations of od except for the default sizes of the fields converted. The d
format is signed in this volume of POSIX.1‐2008 to match the printf() notation.
(Historical versions of od used d as a synonym for u in this version. The System V
implementation uses s for signed decimal; BSD uses i for signed decimal and s for
null-terminated strings.) Other than d and u, all of the type specifiers match format
characters in the historical BSD version of od.

The sizes of the C-language types char, short, int, long, float, double, and long
double are used even though it is recognized that there may be zero or more than one
compiler for the C language on an implementation and that they may use different sizes
for some of these types. (For example, one compiler might use 2 bytes shorts, 2 bytes
ints, and 4 bytes longs, while another compiler (or an option to the same compiler)
uses 2 bytes shorts, 4 bytes ints, and 4 bytes longs.) Nonetheless, there has to be a
basic size known by the implementation for these types, corresponding to the values
reported by invocations of the getconf utility when called with system_var operands
{UCHAR_MAX}, {USHORT_MAX}, {UINT_MAX}, and {ULONG_MAX} for the types char, short, int,
and long, respectively. There are similar constants required by the ISO C standard,
but not required by the System Interfaces volume of POSIX.1‐2008 or this volume of
POSIX.1‐2008. They are {FLT_MANT_DIG}, {DBL_MANT_DIG}, and {LDBL_MANT_DIG} for the
types float, double, and long double, respectively. If the optional c99 utility is
provided by the implementation and used as specified by this volume of POSIX.1‐2008,
these are the sizes that would be provided. If an option is used that specifies
different sizes for these types, there is no guarantee that the od utility is able to
interpret binary data output by such a program correctly.

This volume of POSIX.1‐2008 requires that the numeric values of these lengths be
recognized by the od utility and that symbolic forms also be recognized. Thus, a
conforming application can always look at an array of unsigned long data elements
using od −t uL.

* The method of specifying the format for the address field based on specifying a
starting offset in a file unnecessarily tied the two together. The −A option now
specifies the address base and the −S option specifies a starting offset.

* It would be difficult to break the dependence on US ASCII to achieve an
internationalized utility. It does not seem to be any harder for od to dump characters
in the current locale than it is for the ed or sed l commands. The c type specifier
does this without difficulty and is completely compatible with the historical
implementations of the c format character when the current locale uses a superset of
the ISO/IEC 646:1991 standard as a codeset. The a type specifier (from the BSD a
format character) was left as a portable means to dump ASCII (or more correctly
ISO/IEC 646:1991 standard (IRV)) so that headers produced by pax could be deciphered
even on systems that do not use the ISO/IEC 646:1991 standard as a subset of their
base codeset.

The use of "**" as an indication of continuation of a multi-byte character in c specifier
output was chosen based on seeing an implementation that uses this method. The
continuation bytes have to be marked in a way that is not ambiguous with another single-
byte or multi-byte character.

An early proposal used −S and −n, respectively, for the −j and −N options eventually
selected. These were changed to avoid conflicts with historical implementations.

The original standard specified −t o2 as the default when no output type was given. This
was changed to −t oS (the length of a short) to accommodate a supercomputer implementation
that historically used 64 bits as its default (and that defined shorts as 64 bits). This
change should not affect conforming applications. The requirement to support lengths of 1,
2, and 4 was added at the same time to address an historical implementation that had no
two-byte data types in its C compiler.

The use of a basic integer data type is intended to allow the implementation to choose a
word size commonly used by applications on that architecture.

Earlier versions of this standard allowed for implementations with bytes other than eight
bits, but this has been modified in this version.

FUTURE DIRECTIONS


All option and operand interfaces marked XSI may be removed in a future version.

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