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I have a binary file and I need to count occurrences of certain string in this file or even list then with offsets. In Windows or Linux- for this task I use Fedora 12 and Windows 2000.

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For Linux: strings -a filename | grep string | wc -l. – ott-- May 15 '12 at 14:38
up vote 7 down vote accepted

On Linux with GNU grep:

grep -F --text -o --byte-offset mystring binaryfile


$ grep -F --text -o --byte-offset option /bin/tar

Explanation of the parameters:

-F, --fixed-strings
      Interpret PATTERN as a list of fixed strings, separated by newlines,
      any of which is to be matched.  (-F is specified by POSIX.)

-a, --text
      Process  a binary file as if it were text; this is equivalent to the
      --binary-files=text option.

-o, --only-matching
      Print  only the matched (non-empty) parts of a matching line, with
      each such part on a separate output line.

-b, --byte-offset
      Print the 0-based byte offset within the input file before each line
      of output. If -o (--only-matching) is specified, print the offset of
      the matching part itself

To count the occurrences add | wc -l to the command line.

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Is it possible to get count only? I know I asked for offsets, but for the count too. – IvanH May 15 '12 at 19:01
@IvanH: Just pipe it to wc -l – ℝaphink May 16 '12 at 5:04
Good job including the other parameters! – Simon Sheehan Jul 12 '12 at 21:54

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Can it handle a binary file? – IvanH May 16 '12 at 6:34
Yes, it can handle binary values. See the screenshot, it has also found dll files. – user May 16 '12 at 6:42

In Linux, you can use strings -a [filename] | grep [string] | wc -l

In Windows, you can use the strings * | findstr /i [string], with the strings utility from Sysinternals.

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How are multiple occurrences on the same line counted, as one or more? – Cristian Ciupitu May 16 '12 at 13:49

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