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The problem if making software run on any Linux distribution is hard to solve. AppImage is one solution which is gaining popularity. In short it's a self-contained archive you can download, make executable and run. Library dependencies, graphics elements and everything else is contained within the "AppImage".

Basic usage

If you, as an example, want to download a version of Krita which is newer than what your distribution provides then that's a matter of running these commands in a terminal:

chmod a+x krita-4.2.0-x86_64.appimage

The first command uses wget[1] to download the AppImage from There could be newer versions by the time you read this. The second command uses chmod[2] to make the file executable. Then it's just a matter of running it:


and that's it.

If you prefer to do things in a file manger you can - depending on your file manager. Download the AppImage file, navigate to the folder where you placed it and right click on it. Select "Properties" and "Permissions". You may find a small checkbox there saying "Allow executing file as a program". Check that box if it's there to make your AppImage executable. Do note: nemo has that option. thunar does not.

Some programs distributed by AppImage will ask you to create a .desktop file when they are launched for the first time. These are files following the freedesktop standard for providing menu entries. Most AppImage's won't try to create a menu entry file for you. A simple way to have those available is to simply put the AppImage in your $HOME/Desktop folder show they show up as an icon on your desktop - unless you're using some crippled desktop environment like GNOME which lack that basic feature.

Quick note on "Universal apps" and the War to become the Standard

In bullet summary there's 3 competing standards for a universal solution for providing a simple file which works on any Linux distribution: Snap - favored by Ubuntu, Flatpak - favored by Fedora and AppImages.

All of them can be used on any distribution and as a end-user it doesn't really matter. If there's no native package for your distribution and there is an AppImage available then that's fine, just use it.