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Nautilus Is Adding Native Archive Extraction

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nautilus native extract

Image: razvanchitu

Nautilus, the GNOME file manager, is to improve support for extracting zips, tars and other compressed archives.

“But it already does this, right?”, I hear you ask.

Well, yes, it sort of does.

Right-click on, say a .Zip archive, in Nautilus and you’ll find a quick action to ‘Extract’ it. But the actual extraction process is handled by another GNOME app called File Roller (aka Archive Manager).

Chances are you don’t notice the hand-over, but sometimes (if the archive is damaged, for example) you’ll see a few windows thrown about your desktop.

GNOME’s Razvan Mihai Chitu is baking File Roller’s decompression capabilities into Nautilus natively, as part of Google Summer of Code 2016.

Chitu explains the reasoning behind the project on his blog, saying that it will: “…simplify working with archives by integrating the core features of file-roller in Nautilus, making decompression the default action for when opening a compressed archive.”

“Alternatively, navigation through the compressed file like a normal folder would be possible as well. Compression and decompression will be handled internally by Nautilus using gnome-autoar, a library for automatically creating and extracting archives.”

Users get improved progress feedback, right where they see other file operations (copy, move, etc.), get greater control over file extraction (e.g., ‘folder already exists’, ‘cancel extraction’), and get to navigate through an archive as though it were already extracted.

This, Chitu says, results in a more “transparent process” for the user.

Look out for the fruits of this work in GNOME 3.22, scheduled for release in the autumn.