.ELF File Extension

File Type 1

Nintendo Wii Game File

Developer Nintendo
4.0  |  81 Votes
Category Executable Files
Format Binary

What is an ELF file?

An ELF file is an executable file meant to be used with a Nintendo Wii or Nintendo Wii emulator. It contains a video game or other Wii application. ELF files may contain official Wii applications or homebrew applications.

More Information

ELF files are similar to .DOL files, in that they are used to distribute Nintendo Wii games and other applications. However, ELF files contain extraneous debugging information that DOL files do not. For that reason, gamers prefer to distribute Wii applications as DOL files.

How to open an ELF file

On PCs, you can open an ELF file and launch the game or other application it contains using Dolphin, a cross-platform Nintendo Wii emulator. On a Nintendo Wii, you can open an ELF file by transferring the file to your Wii using an SD card and then opening the file via the Homebrew Channel.

How do I convert a Nintendo Wii ELF file to a DOL file?

In some cases, you may need to convert an ELF file to a DOL file in order to open it. You can convert ELF files to DOL files using the ELF to DOL Converter (cross-platform). The converter is a .BAT script that automatically converts ELF files to DOL files.

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Programs that open ELF files

Updated May 5, 2021
File Type 2

Executable and Linkable Format File

Developer Unix System Laboratories
4.1  |  51 Votes
Category System Files
Format Binary

An ELF file may also be a system file saved in the Executable and Linkable Format (ELF). The ELF format is a standard format used for saving executable files, object files, shared libraries, and memory dumps. Unix users are most likely to encounter ELF files.

More Information

Each ELF file begins with an ELF file header that declares what type of data the ELF file contains. This metadata allows a Unix system to read and execute the file correctly, based on its architecture, expected machine type, and ELF file type.

ELF files typically contain one or more program headers, which tell a Unix system how to execute the program the file contains. ELF files also contain section headers, which list the sections of data the file contains. The actual data the files contain is stored after these headers.

NOTE: ELF files used by Linux and other non-macOS Unix systems often do not use the .elf extension. Instead, they are saved without a file extension.

How to open an ELF file

Many ELF-related Unix utilities allow you to view and examine the data an ELF file contains. For example, you can use elfutils, ELFDump, or readelf to analyze an ELF file.

Programs that open or reference ELF files

Updated October 12, 2022
File Type 3

PlayStation Executable File

Developer Sony
3.3  |  28 Votes
Category Game Files
Format Binary

File used by the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Portable (PSP) gaming systems; contains most of the contents from a video game disc; includes game data, object code, shared libraries, and other data.

More Information

ELF files are sometimes edited to modify PlayStation gameplay.

NOTE: PlayStation ELF files use the "Executable and Linkable Format," which is a standard file format used on Unix systems.

Programs that open ELF files

Updated November 22, 2010

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