aphex: The tiny hex editor

The home page for aphex claims it’s a lightweight hex editor, and just to see if that was true, I checked htop to see what portion of the 2Gb on this machine aphex occupied. htop said zero-point-zero. 😕

Well, it’s not often any more than I have to drag out the ancient ps_mem.py script but I did it for aphex. And if 145Kb is lightweight to you, I’m happy to say the home page is right.


A lowly 145Kb puts it within striking range of things like tty-clock and well below popular standbys like the aforementioned htop, or deliberately lightweight utilities like retawq. For text-based software, 145Kb is quite good.

aphex follows vi-ish controls, but only to a point — which will either horrify you or enthuse you, depending on which side of the camp you sit. aphex itself is rather closemouthed, so you might need to keep this page bookmarked the first few times you use it.

I feel obligated to mention one other thing, because I found it rather quickly and the man page backs me up: There is no undo function, and edits are written out immediately. So there’s no save command, and you better be sure you’re comfortable with the edits you make.

If you need the safety of some sort of file backup system, you might look elsewhere for a hex editor. aphex is a bit unforgiving in that arena.

At this point I’ll repeat my mantra about rarely needing a hex editor, and feeling somewhat guilty for not using this one or one of the half dozen others I’ve seen. No worries. At some time in the future, a hex editor will be needed, and I’ll have plenty to choose from.

Indeed, that might be the most difficult part. … 🙂

3 thoughts on “aphex: The tiny hex editor

  1. Pingback: vche: Serious as it gets | Inconsolation

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