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Linux file system with column to show file encodings?

chanveil Kiji
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 30, 2010
Posts: 15
I keep finding files being converted to encodings other then Unicode however XP's Windows Explorer does not have a detail column for showing the encoding of files in a directory. For those who are not sure what I'm talking about open a folder on XP (I do not use Vista or 7 and 90% of what I use in XP was removed in Vista and 95% removed in 7), click the view menu at the top, and then choose 'details' if it's not already set. In the details view of a folder if you right-click on the columns (Name, size, type, date modified in example) you can customize the columns however there are no columns for viewing the file encoding the files were saved as.

I'm wondering if there is a program (not the console/terminal) in Linux regardless of distro that would allow me to quickly/visually scan my directories for non-unicode code/text files?
charley joyce
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 21, 2011
Posts: 1
you can use the file command , or iconv if you have it
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16305
    
  21

Linux/Unix doesn't store information about file type, unlike some OS's. All files are just sequences of bytes to Linux. Determining the type of file is a fairly complex process where often the file has to be opened and read to scan for "magic" that identifies the file type, such as Java's infamous hex string "0xCAFEBABE" in classfiles. Which is what the "file" program is all about.

While XML files carry the character set encoding in the first line, many file types do not, and the best that can be done is to scan the whole file and make a guess. Which can take a lot of resources, so it isn't done as a matter of course.


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