whatis – What is that file?

This is a program that examines a file and attempts to determine what it is.  It is similar to the posix file(1) command but gives more detail and recognizes a wider variety of file types.  (There are occasions when whatis recognizes that file could give more information, and calls the latter program.)

Note:  This program has an unfortunate name collision with the posix program, whatis(1).  You can easily rename the program when you download it.

Linux version

Windows version

Example output:

$ whatis index.html
WHATIS - Version 2.58
Copyright 1989-2011, Glenn Story

File:  /home/glenn/websites/personal/tools/index.html
File-system analysis indicates EXT2 or EXT3 file system
File-mode analysis indicates regular file
File extension (.html) indicates Hyper-Text Markup Language file

File analysis indicates DOS/Windows ASCII Text file

Text analysis indicates HyperText Markup Language (HTML) file


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