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UUENCODE(1) System General Commands Manual UUENCODE(1)
uuencode, uudecode, b64encode, b64decode - encode/decode a binary file
uuencode [-m] [-o output_file] [file] name
uudecode [-cimprs] [file ...]
uudecode [-i] -o output_file
b64encode [-o output_file] [file] name
b64decode [-ciprs] [file ...]
b64decode [-i] -o output_file [file]
The uuencode and uudecode utilities are used to transmit binary files
over transmission mediums that do not support formats other than print-
able ASCII data. b64encode and b64decode are equivalent to running
uuencode and uudecode respectively with the -m flag specified.
uuencode reads file (or by default, the standard input) and writes an
encoded version to the standard output, or to output_file if it has been
specified. The encoding uses only printing ASCII characters and includes
the mode of the file and the operand name for use by uudecode. The name
specifies the filename of the encoded file when it is extracted later by
uudecode transforms ``uuencoded'' files (or by default, the standard
input) into the original form. The resulting file is named either name
or (depending on options passed to uudecode) output_file and will have
the mode of the original file except that set-user-ID and execute bits
are not retained. uudecode ignores any leading and trailing lines.
The options for uuencode are as follows:
-m Use the Base64 method of encoding, rather than the traditional
Output to output_file instead of standard output.
The options for uudecode are as follows:
-c Decode more than one uuencoded file from file if possible.
-i Do not overwrite files.
-m When used with the -r flag, decode Base64 input instead of tradi-
tional uuencode input. Without -r it has no effect.
Output to output_file instead of any pathname contained in the
-p Decode file and write output to standard output.
-r Decode raw (or broken) input which is missing the initial and pos-
sibly the final framing lines. The input is assumed to be in the
traditional uuencode encoding, but if the -m flag is used, or if
the utility is invoked as b64decode, then the input is assumed to
be in Base64 format.
-s Do not strip output pathname to base filename. By default
uudecode deletes any prefix ending with the last slash '/' for
The following example packages up a source tree, compresses it, uuencodes
it and mails it to a user on another system. When uudecode is run on the
target system, the file src_tree.tar.Z will be created which may then be
uncompressed and extracted into the original tree.
$ tar cf - src_tree | compress | \
uuencode src_tree.tar.Z | mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The following example unpacks all uuencoded files from your mailbox into
your current working directory.
$ uudecode -c < $MAIL
The following example extracts a compressed tar archive from your mailbox
$ uudecode -o /dev/stdout < $MAIL | zcat | tar xfv -
basename(1), compress(1), mail(1), uuencode(5)
The uudecode and uuencode utilities conform to IEEE Std 1003.2-1992
The uudecode and uuencode utilities appeared in 4.0BSD.
Files encoded using the traditional algorithm are expanded by 35% (3
bytes become 4 plus control information).
Interix July 27, 2006 Interix