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As the question goes, how does Ubuntu know what file type a file without extension is?

When I save a file as "Untitled Document" without any extension, how does it know? Same thing for video and music formats...

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Each type of file have it is on bit arrangement so the type of file can be determined by this pattern else some metadata also helpful to detect file type still ubuntu cant understand filetype of most of the files without extension – Tachyons Feb 28 '12 at 19:10
up vote 29 down vote accepted

Via "magic"

The file(1) command identifies the type of a file using, among other tests, a test for whether the file contains certain ''magic patterns''. The file /usr/share/misc/magic specifies what patterns are to be tested for, what message or MIME type to print if a particular pattern is found, and additional information to extract from the file.

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Well you weren't kidding about the magic now were you Houdini. Thanks Amazing Zazen! – Luis Alvarado Feb 28 '12 at 19:21

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