An executable file contains the binary code created by a compiler as output when given the source code to implement a computer program as input. In the context of Doom and related games, this term most often refers to one of the following files, which contain versions of the Doom engine specialized by the games' developers to implement the corresponding game's logic:
|The shareware, registered, or commercial versions of Doom
|Doom II or Final Doom
|The shareware, registered, or Shadow of the Serpent Riders versions of Heretic
|The demo or commercial versions of Hexen
|Launcher for the Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel expansion
|The demo version of Strife
|The commercial version of Strife
The Doom engine implemented on most platforms other than MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows may not contain a file with an "EXE" extension, but will contain some other equivalent: examples include an XEX for Xbox; an executable ROM image for the Atari Jaguar, Sega 32X, Super NES, Nintendo 64, or the Game Boy Advance; and a "BIN" file for the Sony PlayStation. These executable images are by necessity system-specific, containing code which can only execute on the specific type of hardware and operating system for which it was designed. Overcoming this limitation to run the program elsewhere may require use of an emulator.
Executables for Apple and Linux systems usually have no extension at all but are instead marked as executable via permission flags in the file system, and can be launched from a command line or via use of a windowing system's shortcut capabilities.
Source ports and editing utilities also possess their own executable files, as do other games in the Doom series such as Doom 3 and Doom (2016). Most of the external utilities shipped with the original engine are also in EXE format, including the setup program, SERSETUP, and the DeathManager! application.