Screenshot of Q7Z GUI to P7zip on UbuntuLinux

Thanksgiving Break is a great time to clean up all the million folders and files that accumulate throughout the year. Often, it’s just easier to “zip” them up into a single compressed file, slap a date into the filename and then forget about it until later (use Xmas break to explore the contents of old zip files).

While I’d settled on zip as my standard compression format, I’ve been experimenting with 7zip and using that format quite a bit.

7Z is a modern, open source archive format, featuring AES encryption, native volume spanning, practically unlimited storage capacity and high compression ratio. 7-Zip was the winner of the 2007 community choice awards for “Technical Design” and for “Best Project”. (Source)
Source: Wikipedia and FAQ – Open and extract 7z in Linux and Windows

Since I’m mostly compressing for my own purposes and 7zip is available across all platforms, I wondered how I could take advantage of it on UbuntuLinux…but curiousity took me further.

Two options to accomplish UbuntuLinux GUI-ness with 7zip:

Option #1 – p7zip with Q7Z

  1. Install p7zip on Ubuntu – sudo apt-get install p7zip-full p7zip-rar
    This is a command line program but I wanted something with a GUI interface.
  2. Install Q7Z, which offers a GUI–available as a Debian package or RPM–to the command line p7zip. You can get it here.

Option #2 – Peazip (Works on Windows AND Linux)

  • Install PeaZip – it features the same interface for Windows and Linux, (BTW, there’s a portable one, too) and wow, is it MUCH better looking than Q7Z and offers secure deletion of files as well. It is a cross-platform file and archive manager featuring volume spanning, compression, authenticated encryption; it supports 7Z, 7-Zip sfx, ACE, ARJ, BZ2, CAB, CHM, CPIO, DEB, GZ, ISO, JAR, LHA/LZH, NSIS, OOo, PAQ/LPAQ, PEA, QUAD, RAR, RPM, split, TAR, Z, ZIP.

For fun, I started it compressing a 8.4 gig folder. We’ll see what happens (Q7Z stalled). In the meantime, have fun! Here’s what it looks like as it works….

(Of course, other possibilities…you could always use File-Roller and Krusader, both of which use 7zip, too!).

Of course, it would be silly to think I could work just on UbuntuLinux side of the house…at this point, I still have to be able to open files on the Mac side. But what might work? One of my favorite compression tools–definitely encourage you to buy it for $18–is Springy (gee, I sure would love a free copy).

Springy is an excellent file compression program that isn’t free, costs $18, but does exactly what free file compression programs on GNU/Linux do. It allows you to view your archive file, and extract/delete files. It can apparently handle sizes quite large, although the try-before-you-buy version only lets you go up to 50 megs…no matter, it still works great. It has lots of other features and if I had a seal of approval, I’d give it to them. The only sad part of this story is that you have to pay $18 for something that would be FOSS on any other platform.

That said, it lacks 7zip support…bummer.

Some Mac-friendly 7zip alternative choices include the following:

  • GUI Tar – This is by far the better of the two choices…it actually works but simple compress or extract, no listing.
  • EZ 7Z.- Tried this several times but it didn’t create a file anywhere (though it sure acted like it was going to).

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