Hex viewer
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2.7 KiB


hex is yet another hex viewer. It automatically interprets fields within files using a set of Lua scripts, colorizing them and showing descriptions on the side.

At the moment there aren't that many features and we only have a few decoders.



Regular releases are sporadic. git master should be stable enough. You can get a package with the latest development version from Archlinux's AUR.

Building and Running

Build dependencies: CMake, pkg-config, help2man, liberty (included), termo (included)
Runtime dependencies: ncursesw, libunistring, Lua >= 5.3 (for highlighting)

$ git clone --recursive https://git.janouch.name/p/hex.git
$ mkdir hex/build
$ cd hex/build
$ make

To install the application, you can do either the usual:

# make install

Or you can try telling CMake to make a package for you. For Debian it is:

$ cpack -G DEB
# dpkg -i hex-*.deb

Note that for versions of CMake before 2.8.9, you need to prefix cpack with fakeroot or file ownership will end up wrong.

Having the program installed, optionally create a configuration file and run it on a file of your choice.


Create ~/.config/hex/hex.conf with contents like the following:

colors = {
	footer     = ""
	footer_hl  = "bold"
	bar        = "reverse"
	bar_hl     = "reverse bold"
	even       = ""
	odd        = ""
	selection  = "reverse"

Terminal caveats

Terminals are somewhat tricky to get consistent results on, so be aware of the following:

  • Xterm needs XTerm*metaSendsEscape: true for the default bindings to work

  • urxvt's vtwheel plugin sabotages scrolling


While the Lua API has been made considerably easy to write new decoders with, the design is far from efficient as we make tons of new formatted strings. Since we need Lua 5.3 features (64-bit integers), LuaJIT can't help us here.

Similar software

Contributing and Support

Use https://git.janouch.name/p/hex to report any bugs, request features, or submit pull requests. git send-email is tolerated. If you want to discuss the project, feel free to join me at ircs://irc.janouch.name, channel #dev.

Bitcoin donations are accepted at: 12r5uEWEgcHC46xd64tt3hHt9EUvYYDHe9


This software is released under the terms of the 0BSD license, the text of which is included within the package along with the list of authors.