The Linux HexEditor Computer Program

Written by Henry Young. Posted in Linux & Unix

The Linux HexEditor is a binary file editor which allows the fundamental binary data that is integrated in a computer file to be manipulated. The numerical format that is used for editing data is called “hexadecimal”, so that is where the mane “hex” comes from.

A common computer file occupies many areas on the disk drive which is designed to integrate contents that can be combined to form the file. Therefore, Linux HexEditors have the role to break down and edit the data from the segments that are integrated in the floppy or the hard disks. These programs are called sector or disk editors.

Turning to a byte editor to accomplish a certain task has many benefits. One of them refers to the fact that, unlike the interpretation that other application software can give to the same content, the user can opt for this editor to edit the raw and the exact form of a file. So, it is more convenient than other higher level forms of applications. For example, it can deliver raw image data, while other image editing software could interpret and show the same file in another way. Therefore, it can alter its form and content.

In a Linux HexEditor, a computer file’s data are shown as hexadecimal values that are gathered into four groups of four bytes. They are followed by a group of 16 ASCII characters which are formed from each byte of hex values. Furthermore, the ASCII characters that can’t be printed and the characters that would need more than one character space are usually restored as a dot in the ASCII field.

Since computers were invented, a large number of file formats were developed. Due to the different uses that people had for their computers, there were many ways that they could have access to the data. So, depending on each individual’s preference, they had many options to choose from, but the most convenient way was to access data as a series of unprocessed digits. Each pair of hexadecimal digits represents a byte, so these types of pairs are seen as a current standard, especially because most of the file formats that are used these days have to manage with data in groups of bytes.

However, the decimal representation is becoming very popular today, so it might replace the hexadecimal one. It features a more familiar number base and extra tools that can provide additional help. Moreover, data inspectors and template systems reduce the advantages of using the hexadecimal numeric format.