This may be a *nix thing, I'm not sure.

2 Answers 2


An extra byte is for the line end at the end of the file, it's quite common for Linux text editors to add this line end after the last line.

  • 1
    The gcc compiler even complains if this blank line is not there. Sep 1, 2011 at 20:23
  • @Dana the Sane, yeah and shell interpreters (at least old ones) won't interpret the last line of a shell script if it's not terminated with a line end.
    – Alex
    Sep 1, 2011 at 20:31
  • 1
    Some text editors (e.g. vim) will also warn you if you don't have the EOL.
    – Andrew
    Sep 1, 2011 at 23:12

Probably a trailing new-line character. For example, a file created in a text editor containing only an 'a' may actually contain 2 bytes:

$ cat /tmp/test_text | hexdump -C
00000000  61 0a                                             |a.|

However, using echo -n (no new line) gives us a size of 1 byte:

$ echo -n 'a' > /tmp/test_text 
$ ls -l /tmp/test_text 
-rw-r--r--  1 redacted  redacted  1  1 Sep 21:09 /tmp/test_text
$ cat /tmp/test_text | hexdump -C
00000000  61                                                |a|

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