A file archiver is computer software which brings together a group of files into a single archive file. An archive file is therefore a collection of files and directories that are stored in one file. There are many advantages of storing multiple files this way. For example, an archive is a great way to store backup data, transfer files to another directory, or to a different computer. Archive files are often compressed to save disk space and reduce transfer times.
This type of utility lets users compress, decompress, and archive files and directories. Most archivers also store additional metadata such as user and group permissions, timestamps, and directory structures. Other features often found in archive managers include support for multiple volumes, encryption, Unicode names, password protection, and integration into the shell.
The granddaddy of archive managers is the tar utility (together with the ar and cpio tools). Tar was created in the early days of Unix and remains an essential utility for any Linux system. The filename extension .tar is synonymous with file archives. Other types of archive formats include .iso (for optical storage mediums such as CDROM and DVD-ROMs), .shar, .cpio, and .ar.
Linux has a good range of open source archive managers, both console based (such as tar) or sporting an attractive graphical user interface and integrating with a desktop environment.
Here’s our recommendations. Hopefully there will be something of interest for anyone who wants to backup their data, create new archives, and decompress files downloaded from the internet.
Let’s explore the 9 archive managers at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with links to relevant resources.
|PeaZip||Cross-platform portable file archiver|
|DAR||Disk ARchive: Backup directory tree and files|
|File Roller||Archive manager for the GNOME desktop environment|
|Engrampa||Archive manager for the MATE environment|
|7-Zip||File archiver with a high compression ratio|
|tar||A file archiver and archive format developed since the early days of Unix|
|Ark||Archive utility for KDE 4|
|Xarchiver||Front-end to various command line archiving tools|
|Arqiver||Simple Qt5 archive manager|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.