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Old 12-16-2009, 09:03 AM
Andrew Farris
Default Linux Executable File types (was Hi)

On Wed, 2009-12-16 at 12:22 +0530, Ajay Kumar Karn wrote:
> Quoting ramesh gandhi <ramesh.kbvr@gmail.com>:
> > 2)what are the executable files in Ubuntu.
> (2) In linus .sh are the executable files.

Just to clarify... There are several different kinds of files that can
'execute'... so it depends on what type of execution you're talking

Here's a list of everything I could think of:
1. Standard ELF Files - Executable Linux Files are binary
executables, like .exe files. These typically don't have an
extension, but they can... you may encounter these with a ".bin"
extension used as installers 'universal linux installers' from
some software vendors, but they are actually the exact same
thing. These can be run by simply calling them from the
2. ".sh" files -- These files are a class of 'executable text
file'... in the loosest sense, '.sh' files are just like '.bat'
files on windows: it's just a 'shell script'. Basically when you
'execute' one of these files, your shell just runs and
interprets each line in the file as though it was entered into
the shell itself. These are useful for writing short programs to
automate tasks, or to conveniently group commands you use
3. ".run" files -- These are another 'executable text file' that
are often used as installers for programs. These are interesting
though, because they're actually a mix between a shell script,
and a binary data blob... similar to a self-extracting archive
on windows
4. ".py", ".pl", ".rb" -- These are also executable text files,
python, perl, and ruby, respectively. They are basically scripts
that are run by an interpreter program but can be given
executable permission so you don't have to explicitly call the
interpreter when you want to run them (i.e. rather than calling
"python ./program.py", you can simply call "./program.py". NOTE:
these programs can also be extension-less).

There are numerous other file formats, such
as .gz, .bz/bz2, .tar/tar.gz/tar.bz2, .deb, etc that are commonly
mistaken for executables, but these are actually just various archive
files, and when you attempt to 'run' them, they open up whatever program
is suitable for opening them (usually an archive manager).

Hope that helps

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