A file that causes a computer to follow indicated instructions / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In computing, executable code, an executable file, or an executable program, sometimes simply referred to as an executable or binary, causes a computer "to perform indicated tasks according to encoded instructions",[2] as opposed to a data file that must be interpreted (parsed) by a program to be meaningful.[3]

A hex dump of an executable real mode loader. The first column consists of addresses of the first byte in the second column, which comprises bytes of data in hexadecimal notation (least significant byte first), and the last column consists of the corresponding ASCII form.[1]

The exact interpretation depends upon the use. "Instructions" is traditionally taken to mean machine code instructions for a physical CPU.[4] In some contexts, a file containing scripting instructions (such as bytecode) may also be considered executable.