function::bytes_to_string - Linux


The bytes_to_string command is a versatile utility for converting raw binary data represented as a byte array into a human-readable string representation. It’s commonly used for debugging purposes, data manipulation, and for converting binary data retrieved from network or file operations into meaningful text.


bytes_to_string [--hex] [--base64] [--output-file FILE] <byte_array>


  • –hex: Encodes the byte array as a hexadecimal string.
  • –base64: Encodes the byte array as a Base64 string.
  • –output-file FILE: Writes the converted string to a specified file. If omitted, the string is printed to the standard output.


  • Convert a byte array to a hexadecimal string:
bytes_to_string --hex 0x11 0x22 0x33 0x44 0x55
  • Convert a Base64-encoded string to its binary representation:
echo "SGVsbG8gV29ybGQ=" | bytes_to_string --base64
  • Save the converted string to a file:
bytes_to_string --hex 0x11 0x22 0x33 0x44 0x55 --output-file hex_data.txt

Common Issues

  • Mismatched Encoding: Ensure the correct encoding option is used, as mismatched formats can lead to incorrect conversions.
  • Incorrect Byte Array: Check that the provided byte array is valid and correctly formatted.


bytes_to_string can be integrated with other tools for advanced tasks:

  • Feed the output into xxd for further formatting and analysis.
  • Use with openssl to decode Base64-encoded strings obtained from cryptographic operations.

Related Commands

  • strings: Extracts printable strings from binary data.
  • hexdump: Dumps a file or memory block in hexadecimal and ASCII.
  • base64: Encodes and decodes binary data to and from Base64.