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Looking for a way to determine whether the loaded binary in IDA is either little or big endian (example do i have a MIPSLE or MIPSBE binary open). I want to avoid just running "file" on the executable, as I may just not have a copy of the executable.

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Found the solution. It is slightly hidden but it is: idaapi.cvar.inf.mf

This returns true on Big and false on Little endian.

idaapi.py uses it:

def as_unicode(s):
    """
    Convenience function to convert a string into appropriate unicode format
    """
    # use UTF16 big/little endian, depending on the environment?
    return unicode(s).encode("UTF-16" + ("BE" if _idaapi.cvar.inf.mf else "LE"))

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