[RCD] mime problem - excel file as text/plain

chasd chasd at silveroaks.com
Wed Mar 4 16:56:43 CET 2009

> Otherwise I wouldn't know why
> it doesn't work while a simple file does. They should use the same
> magic database in the end.

First, trusting the mime-type from the client is very dangerous.

On Fedora, the php-pear-Fileinfo package uses the same magic file  
that the command line file command uses.
If you compile the fileinfo extension separately, you might be using  
a different magic file, which might provide inconsistent results.
I have seen /usr/share/misc/magic ( default for fileinfo upstream )  
and /usr/share/file/magic ( default for Fedora ).

You also need to use the same flags or options.
Using the PHP fileinfo functions, there are options you pass  
( FILEINFO_MIME ) in order to get the output you want.
Using the file command, there are flags you pass ( -i ) in order to  
get the output you want.

The defaults are different between the two.

For example, these options should give the same between <?php  
finfo_file() ?> and file from the command line -

file -biLz filename

You need to add the integer values of the FILEINFO_* options

-b is the default for finfo_file()
-i == FILEINFO_MIME or 1040

-k == FILEINFO_CONTINUE or 32, which is mutually exclusive of  
That is, you can't use FILEINFO_CONTINUE and FILEINFO_MIME together,  
is is either one of the other.
Sometimes using FILEINFO_CONTINUE and parsing that string gives you  
more information than FILEINFO_MIME does, but that parsing is harder  
and more complicated.

returns a gzip or zip mime-type, you could then do


to see what type of data is inside that compressed file.


Charles Dostale
System Admin - Silver Oaks Communications
824 17th Street, Moline  IL  61265

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