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testing file types with if statement

Posted on 2002-03-16
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Last Modified: 2010-04-22
Hi all, I want to know how to test if a file is a text file or any other type in a "if" statement (In a shell script) ?
ex: if [ test.wkr is text ] then do....
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Question by:mabell
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4 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:ct.smith
ID: 6873561
This sort of thing, if available, will be specific to the API you're using.  Most languages don't offer anything beyond opening a file as text or binary, which is decided at compile time.

Anyways, you migth have some luck if you look for references to handling or discovering mime types in whatever API/library/language you're using.
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Accepted Solution

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ahoffmann earned 400 total points
ID: 6873984
man test will give you all the answers, the usage of this test depends on your shell (mainly csh vs. sh variants), for example to test a pipe:

   if [ -p file ] then echo is PIPE

If you menan something like "content is word .doc" format vs. "content is plain ASCII" format, use the file command: man file
(keep in mind that the result of the file command highly depends on the quality of your /etc/magic file.
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Author Comment

by:mabell
ID: 6876967
Ok thx :)
I do this (to test if a file is a text file) :
fileTest=$(file $1/$2|awk '{printf $3}')
if [ $fileTest = "text," ]
then
...

were $1 is a directory and $2 is a file passed in parameters
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Expert Comment

by:ahoffmann
ID: 6877950
oops, take care with
     file $1/$2|awk '{printf $3}'
it may produce fals positives, for example see:
     awk '($5 == "text"){print}' /etc/magic
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