On the right click menu (in Nautilus, desktop, etc), there is a "compress" option. Is there any way to make "zip" the default format for this?


After some investigating, it appears that this is controlled by a gconf setting. To set zip as the default compression method, hit Alt+F2 to launch the 'Run Application' window. Type 'gconf-editor' in the box and hit the 'Run' button. This can be seen in the screenshot below.

Run Application Window

Once you hit the 'Run' button, a window like the one below will appear. This is the Configuration Editor.

Configuration Editor

The compression feature of nautilus really uses file-roller. To get to the file-roller settings, start by expanding the 'apps' folder.

Apps Folder

Next, find and expand the 'file-roller' folder.

file-roller folder

Expand the 'dialogs' folder.

dialogs folder

Select the 'batch-add' folder.

batch-add folder

You should now see an item with the name of 'default_extension' in the section on the right. You will want to click on the 'Value' field and change whatever was previously there to '.zip'.

default_extension = .zip

Now, if you close the configuration editor and open nautilus, .zip should be the default compression method.

.zip is default compression method in nautilus

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  • fantastic answer, thank you. I shall try this out as soon as I get back to the machine. – Colin Pickard Oct 20 '10 at 11:04

Well, when you click on «compress» it will show you a window to select the format. The file format is the last chosen format.

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  • I'm looking to make .zip the default in the dropdown if possible – Colin Pickard Oct 13 '10 at 16:26
  • It's rare, ZIP is installed by default. I know RAR is not installed in a fresh installation, but ZIP is. Try to search for «zip» in Software Center. – Alfredo Hernández Oct 13 '10 at 18:56
  • ZIP is available to select, but it is not the default. The default is .tar.gz. I'd like .zip to be the default, to help a user to ensure they are creating a compatible archive. – Colin Pickard Oct 15 '10 at 11:29
  • Well, in *NIX is very used .tar.gz, I see normal to set it as the default. To sum up, .tar.gz is free, .zip is not free in all cases -though the package used in GNU/Linux (Ubuntu in this case) is free-. – Alfredo Hernández Oct 15 '10 at 13:41
  • Is there any way I can change the default for this one computer? The user has to submit coursework in .zip archives due to university rules. – Colin Pickard Oct 15 '10 at 15:01

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