When I compress files, I expect two basic options. None of which are present in Nautilus's "compress..." context menu action, and instead there is only option to set password. So thought to ask for some solution if someone has already solved this nicely.

Most important to me:

1 - compression level

Because often I just want to store files fast. And I don't want to compress hard (default option) files that are already compressed (audio, video, pdf, exe etc), saving both time/speed and efficiency, and yet future efficiency when unpacking ;)

Another thing with which I can live without, but prefer it present:

2 - compression algorithm

Simply I choose different algorithm for text and binary files

I usually use 7z or rar, but also gzip


I couldn't imagine this would be such problem. I found only xarchiver in repository, but it's also optionless as file-roller simpleton. Then I searched for file-roller alternatives which I might call from Nautilus actions:

  1. PeaZip
    It doesn't support arguments and has ugly GUI. I don't understand why developers don't use system theme api, and after that provide themes if they think that's cool. Not mentioning I don't see point of GUI themes for archive manager? Removed immediately

  2. Freearc
    GUI client can't be used with arguments, so I can't use it for my task. Other then that has lot of options. I let it be, and decide later what to do with it

  3. Other?

Writing multiple scripts for Nautilus actions is dumb. Zenity does not offer more then single input box, or single list or single... Writing TK python script does not look good and I don't know GTK to do better

Seems like dead end :(

  • Why don't you actually Open File roller instead of the Nautilus context Menu. And to use what you want you may need to create a Nautilus Action script. – Uri Herrera Feb 15 '12 at 17:14
  • Because I'll have to hunt down for files, instead just compress selected. Isn't that the reason for integrated archiver in Nautilus? Or have you maybe tried integrated 7z or Winrar in Windows Explorer? – zetah Feb 15 '12 at 17:18
  • But you see, file roller is a rather simple compresison utility, while Winrar is more "complicated". Your Second option, if you compress a file using .7z and then you choose another file, it will use .7z as the default algorithm , it uses the last one you used, of course that if you use another one it will change. File roller itself doesn't have a plethore of preferences to choose from Unlike Winrar, actually it doesn't have a preferences menu at all. – Uri Herrera Feb 15 '12 at 17:22

You may also try using B1 Free Archiver. I am not an IT-professional or something but B1 is 100% free, very easy-to-use and what I love most of all - its stylish and polished interface. Take a look at b1.org, you might like it :)


It's not what I had in mind, but until I learn GTK basics I made bash script for Nautilus using Zenity dialog, called "Compress to 7z"
Nautilus script should be placed in ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts and be made executable to be usable

In action:


Evoked Zenity dialog:


It accepts common files and folder including ones with spaces. Archive is named as base folder, and if file under that name exists user is asked for confirmation

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