Get File MIME Type from Command Line

I’ve gotten skilled at shell scripting over the years. I love a good GUI but knowing how to automate makes you a much more powerful engineer. Much of my scripting requires recursing over directories and processing a file if it meets a given criteria, which is often file extension or MIME type.

You can use the following shell command to get a file’s MIME type:

file --mime-type -b Downloads/main.js
# text/plain

file --mime-type -b Downloads/logo.jpg
# image/jpeg

It’s important to use the brief (-b) option in the command or you may receive an error message.

MIME type is used for validation and any number of other informational use cases.

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