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Linux File Types

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 25 Oct 2005

In Windows, many people are used to the fact that a filetype can be deciphered by its extension. Linux, on the other hand, doesn't really care about file extensions.

Linux actually looks at the file mime type and sees what type of file it *really* is, and handles it accordingly. Because of this, people who are used to the Windows way of life can get a bit confused because what isn't allowed in Windows (e.g. a file named "") is perfectly legal in Linux.

This, however, may leave users unable to determine what kind of file they are dealing with.

Worry not, for in most cases you can just use the file command, as follows to get more than enough information about the file type:

[1432][scott@localhost:~]$ file png_list.txt
png_list.txt: ASCII text

This makes it nice and easy to determine a file's type.

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