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Extracting Image Metadat using Exif Tool in Linux

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Exif stands for Exchangeable image file format. It is a standard that specifies the formats for images, sound, and ancillary tags used by cameras, scanners, and other systems handling image and sound files recorded by cameras. Developed by Japan Electronic Industries Development Association (JEIDA).

Metadata contained in images and other files can give a lot of information that can not be seen by our eyes. For example, see the image of this beach. When you see an image, it seems like a normal image, but it contains metadata.

Exif tool is used to get the metadata contained in an image such as:

  • The camera used to capture the image such as the phone manufacturer and model number.
  • Date and time, when the image was taken
  • Geolocation attached to that image.
  • Use of flash.
  • ISO speed rating.

Use of Metadata:

Metadata, or data that describes files such as photos or videos, is useful during detection by investigators because they are often overlooked by other targeted objects. Now, many social media platforms have removed this problem by removing metadata from files but there are still many images online and this data has been completely omitted.

Required Installations:

For Linux OS

apt install exif

For MacOS

brew install exif 

 Note: exif tool that comes pre-installed in Kali Linux.

Extract Image Metadat using Exif Tool

To view more information about the tool, you can use :

man exif
Extract Image Metadat using Exif Tool


exif --help
Extract Image Metadat using Exif Tool

Extracting Metadata:

exif image.jpg
Extract Image Metadat using Exif Tool

If you get a “corrupt data” error, there may be two cases:

  • No metadata in the file
  • Or you’re scanning a file other than JPG.

Last Updated : 12 Mar, 2021
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