How to run AppImages on Linux

Jack Wallen shows you how to run AppImage files on the Linux operating system.

How to run AppImages on Linux

Linux now enjoys a number of ways to add apps to the desktop operating system. Users can work with the built-in package manager for their distribution of choice, install from source, or use one of the many universal package formats (such as Flatpak and Snap).

There's another option: AppImages. An AppImage is a package format, for distributing portable software on Linux, that doesn't require superuser permissions to run the application. AppImages attempt to allow Linux distribution-agnostic binary software deployment for application developers, which is called Upstream packaging.

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The beauty of AppImages is that you don't have to actually install the app, just run it from a binary package. But how do you do this? It's actually quite simple. Let me show you.

The first step is to download the AppImage file in question. This file will end in the .AppImage file extension. Download that file to your ~/Downloads directory. Open a terminal window and change into the Downloads directory with the command cd ~/Downloads. You now must give the newly downloaded file the necessary permissions with the command chmod u+x *.AppImage. Let's say the AppImage is AppX.AppImage. That app can now be run with the command ~/Downloads/AppX.AppImage.

Depending upon the app (and your desktop environment), you might be able to pin a launcher to your taskbar or dock, so you don't have to start the app via the command line. You could also give the app more permissions, via the command sudo ugo+x ~/Downloads/AppX.AppImage and then copy the AppImage file to /usr/bin with the command sudo cp ~/AppX.AppImage /usr/bin/, so it can be started from anywhere, not just ~/Downloads.

And that's how you use AppImages in Linux.

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Image: Jack Wallen