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Linux: make AppImage executable

Editorial Staff

An AppImage is a program in a file that does not require installation. So you probably won't find it in most of the package managers. It has no dependencies, for example. So you can just put it on your desktop and launch it from there. Except for one small problem. AppImage files cannot be executed.

How do you make an AppImage file executable? Here's how.

Linux has gone mainstream in the past ten years. It's so mainstream that Apple's OS X was basically a form of Linux (with a few tweaks and a big price tag) and Windows 8 was Microsoft's first attempt at adopting the look, feel and functionality of Linux and with each new issue, it gets closer to replicating it.

And Linux is every bit as easy to use and at least as powerful as those other operating systems.

But there are some parts of it that are a bit arcane, mostly because Linux has security built in and the whole point of security is that authorised persons can do things easily that unauthorised persons cannot. Except that those of use that use Linux daily know how to work around most of those convoluted processes that are designed to slow us down when we want to do something that might be related to security.

And many Linux techies are more than happy to tell you things require special permissions, access to scary parts of the system and so on. One reason they do this is because the commands they recommend will work on all versions of Linus whereas some easy routes are version specific.

Well, in some cases they are right but in this case they are offering complicated - and potentially risky - solutions to a problem where there is a very easy route.

So here's how you do it.

Download the AppImage and put it where you want it e.g. the desktop or a directory where you keep all your files that didn't need to be installed.

Run your antivirus over it.
Right click on the file > properties >permissions.
Tick "Allow executing file as a program"
Close the window.
Double left click on the program to run it.

Note: the extension does not change to e.g. exe or anything else.

So, while lots of other advice is to open a terminal and run commands, you don't have to.
This works and it's quick, easy and safe.

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