klik (packaging method)

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klik installing an application
Developer(s) Simon Peter
Stable release 0.5r9 / June 7, 2006; 9 years ago (2006-06-07)
Development status discontinued/unmaintained
Written in Python
Operating system Linux
Type Software download system
License GPL (client)
Website klik.atekon.de (archived 2007)

Klik was a system for using portable software on Linux without needing superuser permissions to install the application. Released in 2006, it was developed until around 2011 and succeeded by the follow up projects AppImageKit and PortableLinuxApps.


Klik did not install software in the traditional sense (i.e., it did not put files all over the place in the system). It used one .cmg file per application. Each one is self-contained: it includes all libraries the application depends on and that are not part of the base system. In this regard, it is similar to "application virtualization". One can klik a file even if they are not a superuser, or they are using a live CD.

Klik integrated with web browsers on the user's computer. Users downloaded and installed software by typing a URL beginning with klik://. This downloaded a klik "recipe" file, which was used to generate the .cmg file. In this way, one recipe could be used to supply packages to a wide variety of platforms.

Klik files were often simpler than compiling and installing an application, as no installation actually took place. The .cmg file is a compressed image which is temporarily mounted to allow access to the program, but not having to extract the program or modify the underlying system. Currently only 8 klik programs can be run at once because of the limitation of mounting compressed images with the Linux kernel, unless FUSE is used. The file is remounted each time the program is run, meaning the user can remove the program by simply deleting the .cmg file.

Release history[edit]

klik was designed in 2004 by Simon Peter. A next version, klik2, was in development; and would natively incorporate the FUSE kernel module, but it never reached past the beta stage. Since 2011 the project homepage klik.atekon.de is not reachable anymore, but a successor project named PortableLinuxApps with similar goals was started by the main developer.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter, Simon (2010). "AppImageKit Documentation 1.0" (pdf). PortableLinuxApps.org. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 2011-07-29. The AppImage format has been created with specific objectives in mind: Be Simple [...], Maintain binary compatibility [...], Be distribution-agnostic [...], Remove the need for installation [...], Allow to put apps anywhere [...], Do not require recompilation [...], Keep base operating system untouched [...], Do not require root [...] 

External links[edit]