Imagine this: You come across some mysterious text “0x52908400098527886E0F7030069857D2E4169EE7” or “dQw4w9WgXcQ” and you wonder what it is. What do you do?

Well, with what all you have to do is ask what “0x52908400098527886E0F7030069857D2E4169EE7” and what will tell you!

what’s job is to identify what something is. Whether it be a file or text! Or even the hex of a file! What about text within files? We have that too! what is recursive, it will identify everything in text and more!


python3 -m pip install pywhat

For macOS you can also install using HomeBrew.

brew install pywhat





      --rarity min:max

          Rarity is how unlikely something is to be a false-positive. The
          higher the number, the more unlikely.

          Only print entries with rarity in range [min,max]. min and max can
          be omitted.

          Note: PyWhat by default has a rarity of 0.1. To see all matches,
          with many potential false positives use `0:`.

      --include list

          Only include entries containing at least one tag in a list. List
          is a comma separated list.

      --exclude list

          Exclude specified tags. List is a comma separated list.


      --key key_name

          Sort by the given key.


          Sort in reverse order.

      Available keys:

          name - Sort by the name of regex pattern

          rarity - Sort by rarity

          matched - Sort by a matched string

          none - No sorting is done (the default)



          Return results in json format.

  Boundaryless mode:

      CLI tool matches strings like 'abcdTHM{hello}plze' by default because
      the boundaryless mode is enabled for regexes with a rarity of 0.1 and

      Since boundaryless mode may produce a lot of false-positive matches,
      it is possible to disable it, either fully or partially.

      '--disable-boundaryless' flag can be used to fully disable this mode.

      In addition, '-br', '-bi', and '-be' options can be used to tweak
      which regexes should be in boundaryless mode.

      Refer to the Filtration section for more information.

  Formatting the output:

      --format format_str

          format_str can be equal to:

              pretty - Output data in the table

              json - Output data in json format

              CUSTOM_STRING - Print data in the way you want. For every
              match CUSTOM_STRING will be printed and '%x' (See below for
              possible x values) will be substituted with a match value.

              For example:

                  pywhat --format '%m - %n' ' htb{flag}'

                  will print:

                  htb{flag} - HackTheBox Flag Format
         - Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

              Possible '%x' values:

                  %m - matched text

                  %n - name of regex

                  %d - description (will not output if absent)

                  %e - exploit (will not output if absent)

                  %r - rarity

                  %l - link (will not output if absent)

                  %t - tags (in 'tag1, tag2 ...' format)

              If you want to print '%' or '\' character - escape it: '\%',


      * what 'HTB{this is a flag}'

      * what '0x52908400098527886E0F7030069857D2E4169EE7'

      * what -- '52.6169586, -1.9779857'

      * what --rarity 0.6: '[email protected]'

      * what --rarity 0: --include "credentials, username, password"
      --exclude "aws, credentials" 'James:SecretPassword'

      * what -br 0.6: -be URL '[email protected]'

  Your text must either be in quotation marks, or use the POSIX standard of
  "--" to mean "anything after -- is textual input".

  pyWhat can also search files or even a whole directory with recursion:

      * what 'secret.txt'

      * what 'this/is/a/path'

  -t, --tags                      Show available tags and exit.
  -r, --rarity TEXT               Filter by rarity. Rarity is how unlikely
                                  something is to be a false-positive. The
                                  higher the number, the more unlikely. This
                                  is in the range of 0:1. To filter only items
                                  past 0.5, use 0.5: with the colon on the
                                  end. Default 0.1:1

  -i, --include TEXT              Only show matches with these tags.
  -e, --exclude TEXT              Exclude matches with these tags.
  -o, --only-text                 Do not scan files or folders.
  -k, --key TEXT                  Sort by the specified key.
  --reverse                       Sort in reverse order.
  -br, --boundaryless-rarity TEXT
                                  Same as --rarity but for boundaryless mode
                                  (toggles what regexes will not have

  -bi, --boundaryless-include TEXT
                                  Same as --include but for boundaryless mode.
  -be, --boundaryless-exclude TEXT
                                  Same as --exclude but for boundaryless mode.
  -db, --disable-boundaryless     Disable boundaryless mode.
  --json                          Return results in json format.
  -v, --version                   Display the version of pywhat.
  -if, --include-filenames        Search filenames for possible matches.
  --format TEXT                   Format output according to specified rules.
  -pt, --print-tags               Add flags to output
  --help                          Show this message and exit.



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