The file command is "a file type guesser", that is, a command-line tool that tells you in words what kind of data a file contains. Unlike most GUI systems, command-line UNIX systems - with this program leading the charge - don't rely on filename extentions to tell you the type of a file, but look at the file's actual contents. This is, of course, more reliable, but requires a bit of I/O
Copy the tea one-liner above into your terminal to install file. tea will interpret the documentation and take care of any dependencies.