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I have a .bin file on my Desktop. But when I try to install it, I get the following error in the terminal:

bash: ./filename.bin: cannot execute binary file

What does it mean?

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3 Answers 3

You can use chmod a+x name_of_file.bin then run it by ./name_of_file.bin. BTW that wont install it if it's not an installer file, it will simply run it. If it's an installer file then it will need sudo privileges, but it should give an error if so.

Or like @Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams said, you can use the file properties to set it as executable.

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Nope, given the error message, the file already has execution permissions, but it's not in a recognized executable format. –  Gilles Dec 7 '10 at 23:29

That message means that the file is not in a format that is recognized by your system. Maybe it's an executable for a different operating system or processor type. Or maybe the file was corrupted in transit.

file filename.bin will probably tell you what kind of file you have. Compare the output with file /bin/ls. If you don't know how to interpret the output, post it here, people might be able to help you.

If you see something like filename.bin: gzip compressed data, rename the file to filename.bin.gz, run gunzip filename.bin.gz, and try again.

If you have trouble finding the right installer for your system, tell us what program you're trying to install, and a little more information about your system (Ubuntu, but what version, and what architecture (output of uname -m)?).

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Open up the properties and mark it executable first. Failing that, run it at a terminal so that you can see what's happening.

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Given the error message, the file already has execution permissions, but it's not in a recognized executable format. –  Gilles Dec 7 '10 at 23:30

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