Native Archive Extraction Is Finally Coming to Nautilus

Reports have it that the file manager for Gnome, Nautilus, will be improving its support for extracting tars, zips and other compressed archives types.

You might be asking, “but doesn’t it already do this?” , it does -sort of. Let’s carry out a test.

Right-click on any archive type – a .Zip archive in Nautilus for example. You will be presented with a quick action to ‘Extract’ it, but the actual extraction process is handled by another GNOME app called File Roller aka your Archive Manager.

nautilus native extract

Odds are in favor of our guess that you don’t notice the switch-over, but sometimes (if the archive is damaged, for example) you’ll see a few error windows thrown about in your desktop.

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

According to Chitu who explained the reason behind the project on his blog, 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.”

This will allow for users to navigate through archives as if they were already extracted, to get improved progressed feedback right in the place they see other file operations such as copy, move, etc, and to get greater control over the file extraction process (e.g., ‘folder already exists’, ‘cancel extraction’).

Chitu added that this feature will result in a more “transparent process” for users.

The final result will be incorporated in GNOME 3.22 which has been scheduled for release during autumn so just stay tuned to Ubuntu Next.

About The Author
Okoi Martins Jr.
I'm a Computer Scientist with a passion for learning new things in fields ranging from theoretical implications of computer science and mathematical modeling to web development and music. In my spare time, I listen to music, read like a compiler, and learn like an A.I algorithm.

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