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I am a complete noob at Linux so the simplest answer is the best answer!

I need to use Galfit on my laptop. I made a virtual machine (ubuntu 12.04 on vmware player) so I could test if it works suitably well and to see if I need to make a partition and dual boot ubuntu.

So I download the file and I'm stuck. In windows you just run the setup etc. but what do I do here?

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You might be interested in this question on Ask Ubuntu. (How do I install a tar.gz file?) – Moses Sep 10 '13 at 14:27
.exe is a Windows executable. Linux doesn't have specific extensions for denoting executables, but uses permissions instead. If you downloaded the Debian/Ubuntu package, You should be able to just unzip the package and then double-click the galfit file in Nautilus (or whatever they use for a GUI file manager these days). from the commandline, you would just type ./galfit and hit enter. – Tom Sep 10 '13 at 14:28
Just run the binary file. All 4 of those files are archive files, so extra the files, then run the (compiled) binary file. It will be the only file that actually runs. – Ramhound Sep 10 '13 at 14:33
@Fischer - The program in question isn't a Windows program so using WINE acomplishes what? – Ramhound Sep 10 '13 at 14:34
Sorry it's an "application/x-executable" (is that an .exe?). I shall try these suggestions... – Lucidnonsense Sep 10 '13 at 14:34

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Since you did not say which file you downloaded, I will assume you downloaded the .galfit3-debian32.tar.gz file. This is what is known as a gzipped tarball, gzip is a compression program (think winzip) and tar is an archiver, a way of collecting many files into one archive. The two are often used together in the *nix world to create compressed archives.

So, in order to get to the executable that is stored inside the archive, you will need to decompress and extract it. Under Ubuntu, the easiest way to do this would be to double click on the archive. Alternatively open a terminal, and run this command:

tar xvvzf /path/to/downloaded/galfit3-debian32.tar

This will create a file called galfit which is your program. You will now need to make it executable by changing its permissions:

chmod a+x /path/to/downloaded/galfit

You can now run it by running


You might also want to read the galfit manual.

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Yes! Thankyou! It was the middle step I was missing! – Lucidnonsense Sep 10 '13 at 14:43

the file you have downloaded is a kind of compressed file.right click on the file you have downloaded and click extract here.

alternately you can use

tar xvvzf /home/aswin/downloads/galfit3-debian32.tar.gz

navigate to the directory containing contents of the extracted file in terminal. you can use cd utility (change directory )

cd /home/aswin/downloads/galfit3-debian32

here "galfit3-debian32" is the extracted file and /home/aswin/downloads/galfit3-debian32 is the path.

you have to set permission to execute an can be done by

chmod 777 galfit

now you can execute it by typing


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