File Roller, written by Paolo Bacchilega, is a program for managing archive files under GNOME. It has been part of the integral GNOME programs (that is, it's officially adopted by the GNOME) since GNOME 2.2 release, even though it has had roots in GNOME 1.x and hasn't been noticed.

In earlier GNOME releases, file management was quite nice after Nautilus got stable. Before that, it was pretty painful, back when gmc was the Thing to Have (::Ducks rotten tomatos from gmc fans::) and when Nautilus was too slow and bloated to run even on high-end systems.

Now, Nautilus is nice, and what's better, things are starting to integrate with it to varying extents. For example, gthumb image viewer shares Nautilus' thumbnails.

And to end this grotesque digression, I need to mention that File Roller integrates with Nautilus quite well - but do not worry, you can, of course, run it completely separate from Nautilus! You can select files and then right-click and say "Add to Archive", boom, you have an archive. Double-click on an archive, extract everything to a folder, boom, Nautilus shows that folder if you kept the right checkbox checked. It also previews documents through Bonobo.

File Roller is able to handle various formats, including the standard *NIX tar archives (with most common compressions like gzip and bzip2), zip archives, and lha and rar archives. Unfortunately, at the moment everything but .tar.* are handled by external programs, most of which are "non-free" (but at least free as in beer...)

Now, File Roller isn't a particularly exciting program, admitted, but it does have a few pretty cool features aside of the very nice Nautilus integration. One of the nice innovative features I've seen was the bookmark list in the extraction, which was just what I had been missing for a loooong time. Why no other popular archivers have had this? Why programs that would benefit from bookmarks never have bookmarks?... Most recent folder? Recent folder lists? Bleah. Give me bookmarks or give me... something else that doesn't suck.

As said, File Roller is nowadays included in most of the complete GNOME 2.2 (and later) distributions. Its home page is at <>.

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