Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 11:12

File archiving is the making of archive file such as zip file either with compression or not and either with password or not. User does archiving mostly by file manager right-click or by the archiver program. Ubuntu can handle archiving thanks to File Archiver application that is included in every release. This simple tutorial explains how to do the basic archiving on Ubuntu 20.04 done with clicks. Happy working!

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Archive File

An archive file is a file that contains other file or folder. An archive file can be created (to archive), opened (to open), created with size reduced (to compress), modified (to modify), and extracted (to extract). An archive file may be compressed or not compressed in size. An archive file also may be protected by password or unprotected. To open an archive file or create it, a computer user should have archiver program in his operating system. There are many formats for archive file in which lead to the consequence of there are also many archiver programs created to handle every single archive format and some of them support multiple different formats.

(Examples of different several archive files with format displayed .tar.gz, .tar.xz, .zip, and .7z)

Archive File Formats

Archive file is one thing and compressed archive file is another thing. Some archive formats are archive only without compression, some others are compression only without archive, and some others are both. In unix world, it is common to archive first and then to compress unlike in windows world people accustomed to single touch to create compressed archive file.

  • .zip - free format, archive with compression, the most popular one.
  • .tar -  free format, no compression, the most popular among GNU/Linux users.
  • .gz - free format, compression only, popularly used with .tar archive. 
  • .rar - nonfree and proprietary format owned by winrar, popular among windows users.
  • .7z - the best archive as well as compression format for a long time which recently has been surpassed by .xz
  • .xz - the best compression format right now which is free and open.
  • .tar.gz - the free format archive compressed with gz
  • .tar.xz - the free format archive compressed with xz

Create Archive File

  • Right-click a folder.
  • Compress.
  • Select ZIP format "compatible with all operating systems".
  • OK.
  • Wait for the process.
  • An archive file created with .zip format.

Open Archive File

  • Double-click the archive file.
  • If double-click doesn't work, right-click the file.
  • Open With: File Archiver.
  • The archive file opened in a new window showing its contents. 


Extract Archive File

  • Right-click an archive file.
  • Extract here. 
  • Contents of the archive file extracted.


This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.