App Directory: The Best File Archiver For Linux

While most Linux veterans would tell you the command line is all you need to archive a bunch of files, we're fond of PeaZip for its feature-filled, easy-to-use (if sometimes glitchy) interface.

PeaZip

Platform: Windows/Linux Price: Free

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  • Supports packing of 7z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, ZIP and unpacking of over 130 different archive types.
  • Includes its very own security-oriented PEA format
  • AES-256 encryptoin support for 7z, ZIP and PEA formats
  • Integration with GNOME and KDE desktops (though integrating it with GNOME takes a bit of manual work)
  • Command-line version also available

PeaZip aims to be an advanced archive manager that's also easy to use, and it does this extremely well. Not only does it support a large number of file formats and security features (like encryption and integrity checks), but it has a very straightforward GUI that even beginners should find self-explanatory. Its interface is also very configurable, and if you head into the preferences, you have a lot of choices in how you want to use the program.

PeaZip's interface, while beginner-friendly, isn't exactly pretty. In an effort to make an interface that is desktop independent, they've made an interface that looks a bit out of place on every desktop. You also may find tiny graphical glitches throughout the program — nothing serious that hinders your usage of the program, but just looks a little weird. The graphical progress bar is also notorious for being inaccurate (even moreso than normal progress bars), so if you need accurate, up-to-date information on how a file compression is coming along, PeaZip isn't for you (or at least, the GUI isn't — it's command line progress bar is more accurate). Lastly, its desktop integration on GNOME requires moving a few files around before it works correctly, which is a tad annoying (and not something one should expect a beginner to do).

Most of the other graphical archive tools for Linux are fairly similar. You have File Roller, the default archive utility on GNOME; Ark, the default archive utility on KDE; and Xarchiver, a simple, desktop-independent archive utility. All of them are fairly basic, support the most popular file types and the creation of archives, though none really have advanced features like encryption.

Still, for many people, they're more than sufficient, and their integration with the desktop (especially in the case of Ark) are great, not to mention they won't look as out of place as PeaZip. If you don't need the advanced features PeaZip offers, you can probably just stick with your desktop environment's default.

If you want advanced features but don't like PeaZip's GUI, your next step is hitting the command line. p7zip is one of our favourites, being based off the powerful 7-Zip for Windows, though you could always just use the powerful, built-in tar command as well.

Got another archive utility, whether GUI or command line, that you really like? Let us know about it in the comments.

Lifehacker's App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories.


Comments

    If you're using linux - why bother using the GUI? It's much faster anyway using the CLI.

      A couple of reasons to use a GUI:

      (1) you're in X and don't have a terminal open;

      (2) every archive programme operates differently and, naturally, has different switches. Compare cpio vs tar - same basic function, but both accomplish it differently.

      @Steve
      The main reason to use the GUI, in any software, is that makes faster and simpler to select input files.

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