[syslinux] "Cannot execute binary file" with several distros

Nazo nazosan at gmail.com
Tue Aug 22 21:34:28 PDT 2006

Lately I've been finding that most versions of Syslinux no longer work
in the various linux distros I use them in (primarily Mandriva 2006
and Finnix.)  When I try to run binaries such as the extlinux it
produces the error "bash: ./extlinux/extlinux: cannot execute binary
file" which it says for each of the major binaries.  As nearly as I
can tell, everything but the scripts in fact.  At first I thought the
problem was on the side of the distro (and it may technically be in
some ways) but the fact that it has happened in more than one makes me
wonder about that.  In the case of things like Mandriva I can just
simply recompile, no big deal, but, in the case of live distros like
Finnix I'm simply stuck.  They usually come with an old version of
Syslinux, but, as I said, it's an old version.  Also, they seem to
neglect to include other stuff such as extlinux in some cases or the
standard com32 files in most cases (I'm addicted to menu.c32 and its

Any idea what is causing the problem and what, if anything, I can do
to get it working in my rescue disc where I can't rebuild it but can't
use Mandriva libraries either?

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