makeself - Man Page

An utility to generate self-extractable archives.


makeself [options] archive_dir file_name label [startup_script] [args]


This program is a free (GPL) utility designed to create self-extractable archives from a directory.


The following options are supported.

-v,  --version

Prints out the makeself version number and exits.

-h,  --help

Print out help information.


Suppress verbose output from the tar command


Do not print any messages other than errors


Compress using gzip (default if detected).


Compress using bzip2.


Compress using pbzip2.


Compress using xz.


Compress using lzop.


Compress using lz4.


Compress using the UNIX 'compress' command.


Do not compress the data.

--complevel lvl

Specify the compression level for gzip,bzip2,pbzui2,xz,lzo or lz4


The archive will create archive_dir in the current directory and uncompress in ./archive_dir.


Upon extraction, the archive will first copy itself to a temporary directory.


Append more files to an existing makeself archive. The label and startup scripts will then be ignored.


Files will be extracted to the current directory. Both --current and --target dir imply --notemp.

--target dir

Extract directly to a target directory. Directory path can be either absolute or relative.

--header file

Specify location of the header script.

--cleanup file

Specify a cleanup script that executes on interrupt and when finished successfully.


Follow the symlinks in the archive.


Do not show the progress during the decompression.


Disable automatic spawn of an xterm if running in X11.


Do not wait for user input after executing embedded program from an xterm.


Do not create a MD5 checksum for the archive.


Do not create a CRC32 checksum for the archive.

--lsm file

LSM file describing the package. --packaging-date date Use provided string as the packaging date instead of the current date.


Here is an example, assuming the user has a package image stored in a /home/joe/mysoft, and he wants to generate a self-extracting package named, which will launch the "setup" script initially stored in /home/joe/mysoft: /home/joe/mysoft "Joe's Nice Software Package" ./setup

Here is also how I created the archive which contains the Makeself distribution: --notemp makeself "Makeself by Stephane Peter" echo "Makeself has extracted itself"


Makeself has been written by Stéphane Peter <>. This man page was originally written by Bartosz Fenski <> for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution (but it may be used by others).