'file' Command Giving False Positives

Andy Balholm andy at balholm.com
Sat Jul 3 14:25:21 UTC 2010

One thing I noticed about the file command's output might be useful:

For the file in question, it says "MS-DOS executable (built-in)"

For real Windows programs, it gives more information. One that I tried said "PE32 executable for MS Windows (GUI) Intel 80386 32-bit". I remember that some others have said "COFF" instead of "PE32". So maybe you could just assume that unless the file command is able to figure out what _kind_ of executable the file is, it's a false positive. It depends how likely you are to run into a really ancient DOS program (which would probably just get the generic description).

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