Remove unprintable characters from a file
Remove the garbage characters with the Unix tr command
To fix this problem, and get the binary characters out of your files, there are several approaches you can take to fix this problem. Probably the easiest solution involves using the Unix tr command. Here's all you have to remove non-printable binary characters (garbage) from a Unix text file:
tr -cd '\11\12\15\40-\176' < file-with-binary-chars > clean-file
This command uses the -c and -d arguments to the tr command to remove all the characters from the input stream other than the ASCII octal values that are shown between the single quotes. This command specifically allows the following characters to pass through this Unix filter:
octal 11: tab octal 12: linefeed octal 15: carriage return octal 40 through octal 176: all the "good" keyboard characters
All the other binary characters -- the "garbage" characters in your file -- are stripped out during this translation process.