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Determining a File's Contents

Debian comes with a utility that can guess at the contents of a file for you. Although it is not 100% accurate, you can use the following command to explore your system:

file /bin/cp
You should see something like this:

/bin/cp: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 386, version 1

Skipping the technical parts, this is an executable file for Intel machines.

file /etc/init.d/boot
The preceding command gives this response:

/etc/init.d/boot: Bourne shell script text
meaning that this is a text file containing a Bourne shell script.

John Goerzen / Ossama Othman