What is binfmt_misc and how to enable/disable it ?

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux


  • What is binfmt_misc ?
  • How to enable/disable binfmt_misc ?


What is binfmt_misc?

  • binfmt_misc is a kernel feature which allows invoking almost every program by simply typing its name in the shell. It recognises the binary-type by matching some bytes at the beginning of the file with a magic byte sequence (masking out specified bits) you have supplied.

  • binfmt_misc can also recognize a filename extension aka '.com' or '.exe'.

How to enable/disable it ?

  • Firstly need to make sure it is mounted:
# grep binfmt /proc/mounts
binfmt_misc /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc binfmt_misc rw,relatime 0 0
  • If it is not then mount it with below command:
# mount binfmt_misc -t binfmt_misc /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc
  • To enable it run below command:
# echo 1 > /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc/status
  • To disable it run below command:
# echo 0 > /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc/status

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