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What exactly are .run files and what are they used for? I've seen a couple of those lately and I'm simply wondering what file format it is used for.

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Files that run. Go catch them! – Cody Harlow Nov 16 '10 at 0:31
@kalina This isn't about installing .run files.. – Seth Nov 16 '13 at 20:57
up vote 16 down vote accepted

A .run file is normally a custom made program which needs to be executed in order to install a program. these are not supported generally as they don't track where files go and don't normally provide an uninstall method. there is no way to be sure what the script will do to your system so they're considered unsafe.

They are close to the windows exe file and as such come with the same issues. If you know what you're doing and are happy about taking the risks, you can execute them with these commands:

chmod 755
sudo ./
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Are they usually binary files or scripts? – Olivier Lalonde Nov 15 '10 at 22:24
They can be either, there is no set method or format as such. – Martin Owens -doctormo- Nov 15 '10 at 22:30

They are usually executables of some form. They're not neccessarily installers although most of the ones you'll see are.

As Martin says, and assuming we're talking about an installer, they're usually not as good as packages for when you want to remove them however there are some installers (I'm thinking mainly of the Loki and LGP game installers) do track where they install to and provide a pretty robust uninstall binary.

And what Martin says will work for most binaries, most .run files I've seen are hybrid shell script and compressed binary elements. This means you can just run them through sh. An example with the NVIDIA driver installer:

sudo sh

You can check to see what a file really is (well it works most of the time) with file:

file POSIX shell script text executable

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Wasn't aware of "file" utility, thanks! – Olivier Lalonde Nov 16 '10 at 1:02

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