Enable extra compression formats on Ubuntu

compress_compWhile any Linux distro supports the standard Linux compression formats like gzip, bzip2 etc. out of the box today, most newbies wonder how to use formats like rar, 7z etc. on Linux. The good news is, while you need to install a third party app like 7zip or WinRAR on Windows, on Ubuntu everything just translates down to integration with the standard archive management tool – File Roller. It comes with the same flexibility and functionality that you get on Windows, like compression levels, spanned archives etc.

  • RAR – rar files are omnipresent and perhaps have replaced zip files as first compression choice for many. To enable install the rar and unrar packages in synaptic.
  • 7Z – In many cases provide more compression than other compression formats. By default Ubuntu supports only creation but not extraction of 7z archives. Install the p7zip-full package from synaptic to enable creation as well.
  • HJSplit – This was very handy once before the popularity of spanned rar files. Install lxsplit from synaptic which is fully compatible.
  • LZMA – Install the lzma package.
  • XZ – Install the xz-utils package.

patool can take care of many compression formats together by using the packages mentioned above. To install it on Ubuntu, run:

$ sudo apt-get install patool

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