Detecting Binary content in files

Josh Dukes josh.dukes at
Tue Mar 31 19:19:44 CEST 2009

There might be another way but off the top of my head:

#!/usr/bin/env python

def isbin(filename):
   for b in
       if ord(b) > 127:
           return True
   return False

for f in ['/bin/bash', '/etc/passwd']:
   print "%s is binary: " % f, isbin(f)

Of course this would detect unicode files as being binary and maybe
that's not what you want. How are you thinking about doing it in
perl exactly? 

On Tue, 31 Mar 2009 09:23:05 -0700 (PDT)
ritu <ritu_bhandari27 at> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm wondering if Python has a utility to detect binary content in
> files? Or if anyone has any ideas on how that can be accomplished? I
> haven't been able to find any useful information to accomplish this
> (my other option is to fire off a perl script from within m python
> script that will tell me whether the file is binary), so any pointers
> will be appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Ritu
> --


Josh Dukes
MicroVu IT Department

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