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File identifier for Windows, Linux and DOS

Forte downloads - 4 star rating




The file identifier software is a command line tool that permits identifying files as well as getting information on directories from their content (thereafter called a resource), and not simply from their file extensions (in the case of files). It currently supports DOS, Windows and Linux systems.


  • New Version 0.6.2 released, this version contains major bugfixes and adds support for OGG, FLAC, EBML and better MP3 file support.
  • Identified resources have their file extensions identified, as well as a descriptive comment indicating the type of resource.
  • Optionally, identified resources can be categorized and their MIME media types identified. This permits getting statistics on the types of files stored on the system.
  • Optionally, different methods for extracting metadata related to the resource are supplied, the currently supported methods are as follow:
  1. Embedded metadata for certain file types (PDF, PNG, SGML/HTML, etc.)
  2. Embedded XMP packet information support [2]<
  3. 4DOS/4NT/4OS2 descript.ion file support
  4. DEX (Description explorer) database support (compatible with descript.ion file)
  5. Sidecar XMP file support
  6. Portable application description (PAD) file support. The resource to be associated with the PAD file is extracted from within the PAD file.
  • The resource identifier database is a simple text file apparent to the UNIX magic file. It can be easily extended by end users.
  • Extraction of the metadata to a DEX (Description Explore software) database is also supported. This permits to use DEX database compatible tools to edit and view the metadata.
  • Create HTML or SFV compatible reports of the files that were analyzed
  • Create CSV reports (Professional version only – contact us to get access to this feature)


The following information can currently be downloaded (applies to both the freeware and shareware version). These specifications can freely be used and implemented.

The Magic database file format (2005-01-29) contains a specification on the text file format used to identify files. Users that wish to extend the database to identify more files should read this document.

The 4DOS/4NT Description file extensions (2006-12-23) specifies the storage format of the DEX Database (when used with the Descrliption explorer software). This DEX database is actually a 4DOS/4NT descript.ion file with extensions (this is completely backward compatible with 4NT/4DOS).

The Description explorer XMP Schema extension proposal (2007-04-04) adds a new schema to the XMP packet information, this packet information contains information such as revision number, crc32, etc. These schemas are used in the DEX database.


You can submit bug reports and view current known bugs here.


Help support this software by making a donation!

The software is still in BETA stage. The updates to the file database can be obtained from the website. That website also contains information for developers on different file formats. The binary releases of the software can be downloaded below (stay tuned for support for MacOS X):

Here are shortcuts to download the software directly from here:

If interested in a visual metadata editor, you can download the visual version here


This software is freeware, and can be used freely in commercial and non-commercial applications. See license.txt for more information on the licensing terms for the usage of this software.

A professional version is available which permits creating CSV reports. The professional version costs 22.50$ CAD (Canadian Dollars) and gives you unlimited support and updates until version 2.0.0. See the included readme.txt for contact information to purchase the professional version.