As mentioned on https://appimage.org/ the recommended way to run an AppImage is to

  1. Make it executable

    $ chmod a+x Subsurface*.AppImage

  2. Run it

    $ ./Subsurface*.AppImage

But, I for one am having a hard time remembering this, and I can't be the only one? I find the recommendation quite user-unfriendly because it requires using the terminal.

The following page explains a way to do this without the terminal. https://itsfoss.com/use-appimage-linux/ Right clicking the AppImage, going to Properties, going to Permissions and enabling "Allow executing file as program". Then it should be possible to simply double click the application to start it.

But, this "Allow executing file as program" option doesn't seem available in ElementaryOS. And when attempting to open it (even after making it executable using chmod) I get the Select Application window.

Update: I'm not sure why but after downloading and running the Subsurface AppImage I can also simply run the Cura AppImage...

What is the recommended, non terminal, way to use AppImages in ElementaryOS?

The specific AppImage I've tried is Ultimaker's Cura, from: https://ultimaker.com/en/products/cura-software

This Blueprint might be relevant? https://blueprints.launchpad.net/elementaryos/+spec/appimage-integration

5 Answers 5


How to run .AppImages in Files (elementary OS 5):

  1. Select your .appimage file in Files.
  2. Right-click > Properties > Permissions tab
  3. Click Execute button in "Owner" row:

enter image description here

  1. Click Close button.
  2. Double-click your .appimage file.
  • Note: pressing Alt+Enter will also open the Properties window. May 14, 2019 at 16:51

The alternative to "Allow executing file as program" is enabling Execute for both Owner and Group.

You could also add the following contract file to ~/.local/share/contractor to make it somewhat easier in the future:

[Contractor Entry]
Name=Make executable
Exec=pkexec chmod +x %U

This almost certainly due to a security feature of Files which limits direct execution of files to certain content-types. An issue has been raised about this at the Files GitHub repository so hopefully it will be fixed in the not too distant future.

As a temporary workaround, it may be possible to create a .contract file for this filetype that would allow launching from the context menu (see previous questions on contracts).


There seems to be a new project to make launching AppImages easier. It can also, when you consent, integrate the app in your system automatically. https://github.com/TheAssassin/AppImageLauncher


I found that you can also zip the appimage file with the executable permission intact. So after yoh download and unzip you can just run it.

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