File archiving is perhaps one of the most predominant parts of
online computing today. Anyone installing software of some sort is invariably using
an archive, whether they know it or not. Archives for source code abound;
tarballs compressed with gzip or bzip2, ZIP
files for the Windows users, SIT files for OS X, and dozens of other compressed
file formats are available for all platforms, like RAR

By and large, everyone has their favorite archive format that
they use to handle their own local archives, but it’s not uncommon to find a
typical Linux user dealing with tar.gz, tar.bz2, ZIP, RPM,
and deb archives
on a daily basis. Typically, this means using command-line tools or vendor-supplied
tools to install, unarchive, and otherwise manipulate these archives. However,
integrated in the GNOME environment is a program called File Roller that makes
managing archives a GUI affair.

Tips in your inbox

Delivered each Tuesday, TechRepublic’s free Linux NetNote provides tips, articles, and other resources to help you hone your Linux skills.

Automatically sign up today!

File Roller can be used to inspect archives you’ve downloaded;
you can extract the entire archive or parts of it, and inspect and view files
in the archive without leaving the File Roller interface.

Using File Roller, you can create archives as well, and when
done, you can test the integrity of the archives to make sure there were no
errors compressing it. You can even password-protect certain archive types that
support it (like ZIP).

The nice thing with File Roller is that it also supports RPM
archives, so if you need to view or pull out a single file from an archive
(such as an original configuration file), you can do so by opening the RPM file
in File Roller and extracting a single file rather than installing the entire

For those who prefer KDE, the Ark application offers similar
features for KDE and is also available with KDE on most Linux distributions.