The majority of Linux users have no issues installing or removing applications. Every distro you use will have a package manager that can handle anything. But as the Linux community grows, developers try to keep things even more straightforward and stable for end-users and developers.
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Recently, we have seen the rise of Snap and Flatpak. I have talked about both here and here. These app development frameworks solve some of the problems that Linux app developers have faced for a long time.
Appimage also aims to solve numerous issues. It solves many issues regarding using the software on Linux distros. One of the significant problems for Linux users is to get an app specific to their distro, and the same for developers. They have to build their app for different Linux distros.
One file equals One app
appimage files contain the required libraries or dependencies—no other package needed to be installed to run any appimage. Instead, the application may ask the user to integrate the application into the system to launch it from the app menu. I will talk about appimage integration later in this article.
How to install appimage on Ubuntu?
appimage is the simplest way to run an app on Linux. Almost all Linux distributions can run appimage perfectly fine. Whether it be installing Appimage on Ubuntu or any other distro, you just need to download one file and it’ll run without installation.
Running appimage –
- Get appimage of your desired application
- Make it executable
- Double click it
And that’s pretty much it. All you need to do is make the appimage executable either from the command line or right-click the file >> properties >> permissions and check ‘Allow executing file as program”.
To make appimage executable from the command line, open the terminal and type the following command –
sudo chmod +x name.appimage
Integrate appimage with system
appimage apps are designed to pack all the app-specific libraries and dependencies with them and work like portable Windows applications. Just click it, and it will run.
If you want to integrate an appimage with your system and open it from the apps menu like any other application, it is completely possible.
Many applications, when run, ask the user to integrate them with the system. And clicking on ‘Yes’ runs the application and creates an entry in the applications menu. But this functionality is only available if the developer of the app has provided that option.
There is an optional daemon called appimaged. If installed, this daemon will look for appimage files in the most commonly used directories and register the appimage apps automatically.
To install appimaged, use the following commands –
chmod a+x appimaged-x86_64.AppImage
Once done, the terminal will prompt you to log out and log back in to complete the installation. Or you can restart your system.
Now any appimage in the following directories will be registered with the system. From now on, you won’t even need to make any file executable; download any app image and open it from the apps menu.
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Directories monitored by appimaged
- $HOME/Downloads (or its localized equivalent, as determined by
- [any mounted partition]/Applications
Uninstall appimage from Ubuntu
appimage app is just a simple file, and when you run it, it does not store even a single file in the system installation directory or anywhere else. As I mentioned above, certain apps may ask for confirmation to integrate appimage with the system to easily open it from the apps menu. If you confirm it, it’ll register the app with the system and link it with the appimage file.
If you have installed appimaged, you do not have to do anything extra to integrate or remove any app. Just downloading an appimage will register the app with the system menu, and deleting the file will disintegrate it automatically.
appimage file is an entire app. If an app developer releases a new version of the app, users can download the new version and delete the older version. That’s how you can update it.
But if you want to update the current app, you can try to do so using the AppImageUpdate package provided by the AppImage developer. This package only updates an app if the update information is available in the file.
Download AppImageUpdate from the app market and run it like any other appimage file.
Now select the app you want to update, and it’ll be updated. appimage updates are really fast because only the portion of the app that has changed is updated, not the entire app.
So that is how you can run an appimage file. Running an entire application from a single file is a great advantage. If the project continues, I hope to get an even better way to update any application.
Also, the application website lists 900+ applications, but there is no search option to find a specific app. It’ll be better to have a snap-like store and get all the applications properly sorted out and easily findable.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I install AppImage in terminal?
You don’t need to “install” an AppImage file. AppImage files are designed to be portable and self-contained, which means they don’t require installation like traditional software packages. Instead, you can download the AppImage file and make it executable to run it.
How do I add AppImage to an app?
If you want to add an AppImage file as an application shortcut in your system’s app launcher or menu, you can create a desktop entry for the application.
Here are the general steps to create a desktop entry for an AppImage file –
Please create a new file in a text editor and save it with a .desktop extension. For example, you can use the following command to create a new file called myapp.desktop:
Add the following lines to the desktop entry file, replacing with the name of the application –
The Exec line should point to the location of the AppImage file, and the %U allows you to pass URLs to the application as arguments. The Icon line should point to the location of an icon file for the application.
Save and close the file.
Make the desktop entry file executable by using the following command –
chmod +x myapp.desktop
Move the desktop entry file to the appropriate location in your system. The exact location may vary depending on your system and desktop environment, but typically it’s one of the following directories –
/usr/share/applications/ (for system-wide application shortcuts)
~/.local/share/applications/ (for user-specific application shortcuts) Refresh your app launcher or menu to see the new application shortcut.
That’s it! You should now be able to launch the application by clicking on its shortcut in the app launcher or menu.
How to install AppImage in Windows?
To run an AppImage file in Windows, you must use a third-party tool called “AppImageLauncher”. Here are the general steps to install and use AppImageLauncher in Windows –
Download the latest version of AppImageLauncher from the official website –
Install AppImageLauncher by running the downloaded installer. After installation, right-click on the AppImage file you want to run and select “Open With” > “AppImageLauncher”. The first time you run an AppImage file with AppImageLauncher, it will ask you if you want to integrate the AppImage file with your system. Click “Yes” to integrate it.
Once integrated, AppImageLauncher will create a shortcut for the AppImage file in your system’s app launcher or menu. To run the application, click on its shortcut in the app launcher or menu.
That’s it! You should now be able to run AppImage files in Windows using AppImageLauncher. Not all AppImage files may be compatible with Windows, so some applications may not work as expected.