strip man page


This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual. The Linux implementation of this interface may differ (consult the corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.

strip — remove unnecessary information from strippable files (DEVELOPMENT)


strip file...


A strippable file is defined as a relocatable, object, or executable file. On XSI-conformant systems, a strippable file can also be an archive of object or relocatable files.

The strip utility shall remove from strippable files named by the file operands any information the implementor deems unnecessary for execution of those files. The nature of that information is unspecified. The effect of strip on object and executable files shall be similar to the use of the -s option to c99 or fort77. The effect of strip on an archive of object files shall be similar to the use of the -s option to c99 or fort77 for each object file in the archive.


The following operand shall be supported:

A pathname referring to a strippable file.


Not used.

Input Files

The input files shall be in the form of strippable files successfully produced by any compiler defined by this volume of POSIX.1‐2008 or produced by creating or updating an archive of such files using the ar utility.

Environment Variables

The following environment variables shall affect the execution of strip:

Provide a default value for the internationalization variables that are unset or null. (See the Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, Section 8.2, Internationalization Variables for the precedence of internationalization variables used to determine the values of locale categories.)
If set to a non-empty string value, override the values of all the other internationalization variables.
Determine the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to multi-byte characters in arguments).
Determine the locale that should be used to affect the format and contents of diagnostic messages written to standard error.
Determine the location of message catalogs for the processing of LC_MESSAGES.

Asynchronous Events



Not used.


The standard error shall be used only for diagnostic messages.

Output Files

The strip utility shall produce strippable files of unspecified format.

Exit Status

The following exit values shall be returned:

Successful completion.
An error occurred.

Consequences of Errors


The following sections are informative.


Historically, this utility has been used to remove the symbol table from a strippable file. It was included since it is known that the amount of symbolic information can amount to several megabytes; the ability to remove it in a portable manner was deemed important, especially for smaller systems.

The behavior of strip on object and executable files is said to be the same as the -s option to a compiler. While the end result is essentially the same, it is not required to be identical.

XSI-conformant systems support use of strip on archive files containing object files or relocatable files.

See Also

ar, c99, fort77

The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, Chapter 8, Environment Variables