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uudecode Command

The uudecode utility reads a file or standard input if no file is specified, that includes data created by the uuencode utility. The uudecode utility scans the input file, searching for data compatible with the format specified in uuencode and attempts to create or overwrite the file described by the data. The pathname, file access permission bits and contents for the file to be produced are all contained in that data. The mode bits of the created file will be set from the file access permission bits contained in the data; that is, other attributes of the mode, including the file mode creation mask, will not affect the file being produced.

If the pathname of the file to be produced exists, and the user does not have write permission on that file, uudecode will terminate with an error. If the pathname of the file to be produced exists, and the user has write permission on that file, the existing file will be overwritten.

If the input data was produced by uuencode on a system with a different number of bits per byte than on the target system, the results of uudecode are unspecified.


Decodes a binary file that was used for transmission using electronic mail.


uudecode [ -o OutputFile ] [ InFile ]


The uudecode command reads an encoded file, strips off leading and trailing lines added by mailers, and recreates the original file with the specified mode and name. Decoding a file causes the result to be automatically saved to a file. The file name is identical to the remote file argument originally supplied to the uuencode command unless an output file name is specified with the -o flag.


-o OutputFile Specifies the output file name that will be used instead of any pathname contained in the input data. You can direct the output of uudecode to standard output by specifying /dev/stdout as the OutputFile.

InFile Specifies the name of the file to decode.


To decode the file /tmp/con on a local system that was encoded with the follwing command:

uuencode /usr/lib/boot/unix pigmy.goat > /tmp/con

enter: uudecode /tmp/con

The file pigmy.goat will be identical to the originally encoded file /usr/lib/boot/unix.

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