Big Archives need a eternity to open with GUI Programs

Hello all,

what interests me is what is actually the fastest archive to open on Linux?

I don’t know if anyone knows, but I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for about 15 minutes waiting for a tar.gz archive to be opened by Ark.

This archive is about 25gb and contains over 500,000 files.

I know the problem for years, but have never dealt with it because I then simply unpack the respective archive via CLI, pick out the files I want, and delete the rest.

But that can not be the point of the matter.

Under Windows I do not know the problem because there I always used 7zip. It didn’t matter how big or how many files the archive contained, 7zip always opened the archive instantly.

Now I thought I could just use 7zip under Linux as well. But again, the same problem.

It doesn’t matter if I use 7zip, rar, zip, tar, tar with several combinations (gz, lzo, etc). All of them take forever to open with Ark, File-Roller, or other GUI’s.

Does anyone happen to know what is causing this? Or how I can solve the problem?

Thanks a lot.

Translated with (free version)

.tar.zst (zstandard)

It may not be best in terms of compression, but it’s super-fast to unpack

Already tested >

It doesn’t matter if I use 7zip, rar, zip, tar, tar with several combinations (gz, lzo, etc). All of them take forever to open with Ark, File-Roller, or other GUI’s.

Maybe i change the Title. is a little misleading.

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Oh, so you mean by open to just list files inside archive program, not unpack?

Yes. Simply to open the Archives with a GUI like Ark or File-roller or other.

If the Archive is big (in size and files quantity), it takes forever.

Its often faster to decompress it with the cli tools if only few files are needed.

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Yes…well i’m not sure it’s possible to list fast when we’re talking about such sizes…
Let’s see what others think :upside_down_face:

But it must be possible :sweat_smile:

Because like said, under Windows this problem didnt exist (with 7zip).

I thinks this must be a “problem” or difference between linux and windows how such a task is handled? But i dont know where the right place would be to post a issue about that?

You could contact the developers of the tool in 7-zip forum. It’s their official channel of support. As it is cross plattform they might be able to explain the difference.

When it’s up to file archivers, I highly recommend PeaZip. It’s very versatile and cross plattform. You can install qt and gtk version directly from AUR (even as precompiled binary).

PeaZip is a free file archiver utility, based on Open Source technologies of 7-Zip, p7zip, Brotli, FreeArc, PAQ, Zstandard file compression tools, and on secure file compression and encryption [PEA]( project.

Cross-platform, full-featured but user-friendly alternative to WinRar, WinZip and similar general purpose archive manager applications, open and extract 200+ archive formats: 001, 7Z, ACE(*), ARC, ARJ, BR, BZ2, CAB, DMG, GZ, ISO, LHA, PAQ, PEA, RAR(**), TAR, UDF, WIM, XZ, ZIP, ZIPX, ZST. View full list of [supported archive file formats]( for archiving and for extraction.

As archive manager utility, PeaZip provides fast, high compression ratio multi-format archiving to 7Z, ARC, Brotli, BZ2, GZ, PEA, TAR, WIM, Zstandard and ZIP archives (write supported formats), and works as opener / extractor tool for 200+ archive types including ACE, ISO, RAR, ZIPX files, including ability to manage encrypted archives for supported formats.

This software deploys a powerful and complete file manager for editing, viewing, browsing and searching archive files, featuring a wide set of data security functions: [strong encryption]( (AES, Twofish, Serpent), encrypted password manager, optional two-factor authentication (encryption / decryption with password and keyfile), [secure delete](, and [file hashing]( tools.

I looked that there is some AUR package called p7zip-gui. I cannot say what it is (never tested it) but it is probably something. :wink:

On the other hand if you want something quick for 7zip file you can use CLI tools. How do you even select a few files in a GUI tool from 500000 files?

I’ve put together this script which uses 7z l that is passed to fzf - very fast on my test example 130000 files in 1.3GB archive.
Then you can select multiple files with Tab key, press Enter for extraction. Call it with ./ archive.7z. It sure can use some polishing and error checking, but if you know what you are doing… :blush:


list=$(7z l "${archive}" | fzf -m --reverse)

while IFS= read -r line; do
    7z e "-i"'!'"${line:53}" "${archive}"
done <<< "$list"

edit: as a side note I expect you want gui tool since you will use gui file manager. If by chance you have Thunar and you use Alacritty terminal you can use a custom action:
alacritty -e bash -ic "extractor %f"
where extractor is the script above.
That’s as much gui as I can make it. :grinning:


Nah, i almost everytime working only with cli.

but sometimes, im so lazy, i have in the left hand my desperados (beer), and in the right the mouse and wanna only work with gui :joy:

the p7zip-gui i already tried. same behavior.

But your script is very nice.

This i tested already years ago.

I must do more research.