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uuencode, uudecode - encode/decode a file


uuencode [ sourcefile ] remotefile

uudecode [ -p ] [ encodedfile ... ]


Uuencode and Uudecode are used to transmit files over transmission mediums that do not support other than simple ASCII data.

Uuencode converts a file to a purely ASCII based representation. It encodes the contents of sourcefile or the standard input if no source file is given. The remotefile is included in the encoded file's header as the name of the file into which uudecode should place the decoded data. The header also includes the permission modes of the source file so that these can be preserved on decoding. The encoded output of uuencode is sent to the standard output.

Uudecode reads a file, ignoring any leading and trailing lines that are not part of the encoding, and recreates the original file with the filename and mode specified in it's header. The file to decode is encodedfile or standard input if none is given. The -p flag can be used to send the decoded data to standard output rather than saving it in the file whose name is specified in the header.


Encode a dis file limbo.dis so that it can be included in a mail message:

uuencode limbo.dis limbo.dis > tmp
<place in mail message and send to recipient>

Decode the mail message(msg say):

cat msg | uudecode

This creates the file limbo.dis.

Decode the mail message into a file of your choosing(tmp.dis say):

cat msg | uudecode -p > tmp.dis




The encoded file is expanded by at least a third.
Decoding a file may overwrite an existing file.
Uuencode should take the remote file name to be the same as the source file if one is not given.

UUENCODE(1) Rev:  Thu Feb 15 14:42:47 GMT 2007