How to read bin data


When reading in binary data that may or may not have been written on a different platform, indicating an endian can be crucial. Thus, it looks like the first integer in the file is 1. As we repeatedly use readBin commands, we will work our way through the binary file until we hit the end. If the n you specify is greater than the number of integers you specified, readBin will read and display as much as is available, so there is no danger of guessing too large an n.

Since we have already read in the first integer, this command will begin at the second. If you know have additional information about what is in your file, you should incorporate that into the readBin command. For example, if you know that you wish to read in integers stored on 4 bytes each, you can indicate this with the size option:.

Similarly, if you know that your file contains characters, complex numbers, or some other type of information, you would adjust the readBin command accordingly, changing integer to character or complex. See help readBin in R for more details. Since you will likely want to do more than just look at what is contained in the binary file, you will need some strategies for formatting data as you read it in.

For example, suppose you are given a binary file with the following description: First, open a connection to the data. To read in the integer values, we can opt to read all onto one vector, and then separate it out into the three variables.

Then, we can combine our three value vectors into one data frame with the variable names as our column names. How can I write a binary data file in R? This page is archived and no longer maintained. For more details, see help file in R. Next, we use the readBin command to begin.

If we think the file contains integers, we can start by reading in the first integer and hoping that the size of the integer does not require further specifications. Different platforms store binary data in different ways, and which end of a string of binary values represents the greatest values or smallest values is a difference that can yield very different results from the same set of binary values.

The binary files in the examples on this page were written using a PC, which suggests they are little-endian. When reading in binary data that may or may not have been written on a different platform, indicating an endian can be crucial. Thus, it looks like the first integer in the file is 1. As we repeatedly use readBin commands, we will work our way through the binary file until we hit the end.

If the n you specify is greater than the number of integers you specified, readBin will read and display as much as is available, so there is no danger of guessing too large an n. Since we have already read in the first integer, this command will begin at the second. If you know have additional information about what is in your file, you should incorporate that into the readBin command.

For example, if you know that you wish to read in integers stored on 4 bytes each, you can indicate this with the size option:. Similarly, if you know that your file contains characters, complex numbers, or some other type of information, you would adjust the readBin command accordingly, changing integer to character or complex.

See help readBin in R for more details. Since you will likely want to do more than just look at what is contained in the binary file, you will need some strategies for formatting data as you read it in. For example, suppose you are given a binary file with the following description: