Linux Format

Archive handling

It’s common to have to work with archives in formats such as ZIP or ARJ.


Thunar can support archive handling by means of a plugin that has to be installed manually. The plugin adds context menu entries to create and extract archives, and it works perfectly well.

Dolphin offers similar facilities on its context menus from a fresh installati­on. It can also open archives natively, but this needs to be enabled in a configurat­ion menu. In our case, that didn’t actually work until we did a reboot of the system. This is the archive handling method that some people will prefer, and it’s particular­ly handy if you drop into two-pane mode.

Dolphin and Nemo have in common that they require that the underlying system support be in place for the seamless archive handling to work. On two different machines, we found that Dolphin couldn’t successful­ly mount a ZIP archive, but it was able to mount ISO images. Forum posts indicated that this is an ongoing issue. From our experience, don’t rely on seamless archive access within Nemo; on the other hand, context menu operations did work. Krusader has context menu options for extraction and compressio­n, and the archives open up as though they are ordinary directorie­s when clicked on. Because it’s always in two-pane mode, this is highly convenient. It can also launch an external tool such as File Roller to handle archives.

Much the same can be said of Midnight Commander as it also enters into archives as though they were directorie­s. Pressing F2 invokes a pop-up menu with archive creation options. It worked fine on the test ZIP file, but it threw an error when accessing an ISO image, even though it did enter it correctly.

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