binfmt_misc kernel module, contained in versions 2.1.43
and later of the Linux kernel, allows system administrators to register
interpreters for various binary formats based on a magic number or their
file extension, and cause the appropriate interpreter to be invoked whenever
a matching file is executed. Think of it as a more flexible version of the
#! executable interpreter mechanism.
binfmt-support provides an
script with which package maintainers can register interpreters to be used
with this module without having to worry about writing their own
init.d scripts, and which sysadmins can use for a slightly
higher-level interface to this module.
Versions 1.2.0 and above also support a mechanism for extending the range of binary formats among which the kernel can distinguish with the aid of a userspace helper, called a detector.
The source code to
binfmt-support can be retrieved from its
repository (if you don't have Git,
follow the link for installation instructions).