PeaZip Review

very good
key review info
application features
  • Full support: 7Z, 7-Zip sfx, Bzip2, Gzip, PEA, split TAR and ZIP.
  • (2 more, see all...)

File compression support is present in every operating system, either by default or by installing additional packages once the OS was set-up. Archived files are used for various reasons, from keeping one's hard drive clean, to facilitating multiple file transfers by gathering many files under the same package file. You can also keep your sensitive files secure by compressing them into an archive and applying a password to it. Whereas many of you think or heard about archiving in Linux being a console process only, those times are long gone. Nowadays, you can install a single graphical application which supports most of the archive formats and allows you to extract or compress files with a few mouse clicks. One of those applications and possibly the best, is called PeaZip.

Peazip is a free archiving application available for both Linux and Windows operating systems, which has been developed as a standalone, self-contained application and released under the LGPL license. Basically, this means that PeaZip doesn't need to be installed and doesn't require any dependencies, except libgdk_pixbuf, which is available on most graphical Linux systems. Moreover, PeaZip can be easily integrated into the KDE desktop by following a couple of instructions. This will provide full support for 7Z, 7Z-sfx, BZip2, GZip/TGZ, PAQ8F, PAQ8JD, PAQ8L, PEA, QUAD, split (.001), TAR and ZIP formats, browse/extract support for ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, ISO, Java archives (JAR, EAR, WAR), Linux installers (DEB, PET/PUP, RPM), LHA, LZH, PK3/PK4, Open Office file types, RAR, Windows installers (NSIS, some MSI) and Z formats and compression only support for Strip/UPX executable. Once successfully integrated into KDE, you'll be able to compress and extract archives easily by right-clicking a file or archive and selecting the proper PeaZip-related action.

To run PeaZip, you can either click the PeaZip shortcut under K Main menu / Utilities, or press Alt+F2 for the run dialog, type peazip and press enter. You will be presented with the PeaZip main window, which displays the supported actions and formats, a short description and two menus: File and Options. Moreover, in the upper-right corner, you'll notice the About button which displays a long description about PeaZip.

The File menu allows you to create a new archive, open an existing one or return to the main screen, while the Options menu provides access to the program's preferences dialog. Once you select an action from the File menu, the interface will slightly change.

When you click Create archive, PeaZip will switch the short description section with a toolbar which consists of buttons for various actions. From this toolbar, you will be able to choose the archive format and its options and which files and folders to add to the archive. Optionally, you can load, save or clear the current layout. The toolbar also provides a button for creating a keyfile for .PEA archives, but for some reason, the text in this dialog appears joined.

The Open archive menu option will open a dialog that allows you to browse to the archive. Once an archive has been selected, PeaZip will start browsing the files inside it. In open archive mode, the toolbar allows you to choose the action for the first button (extract, list, test etc) and the input and output options. There's also a password field where you will need to enter a correct paraphrase before starting the extract process. It will also provide a context menu for each right-clicked file in the archive. The context menu provides actions like extract, add/delete files/folders and more.

The Options menu opens the PeaZip general preferences dialog, which is divided into four tabs. The PeaZip tab provides general application and compression options, the PEA tab includes settings for PEA archives, the Theming tab allows you to change the current colors used by PeaZip, and finally, the Localization tab will provide localization-related options (not yet available).

When creating a new archive, you will be able to change its type and options. The archive type drop-down menu lists all supported formats for archiving. When selecting a type, you will notice an information bar which displays a short description about the format you've chosen. This will enable you to choose the format that suits your needs (compression, speed and security level). For most formats, you will be able to choose a volume size. This option is useful when you want your archive to be split into multiple parts. Moreover, depending on the selected format, you will be presented with options such as compression level, method, dictionary, word, passes and whether to encrypt the archive with a password or not. Finally, clicking the first button on the toolbar while creating an archive, a dialog will pop-up asking you for a file name and location to save the archive, as well as a dialog which displays various info about the archiving process currently taking place.

Overall, PeaZip is quite an impressive application which makes beginner's life a lot easier. Unfortunately, as far as I'm concerned, I'll continue to use a specific console-based tool for each format as it provides more control over the archives. I've added a large file under a bzip2 archive using PeaZip and its interface froze through the whole process. If I needed to stop the process, the only way was by killing it. Moreover, I didn't know if it was still running or had completely frozen until its job was finished and I was presented with an "Everything is Ok" message.

The Good

PeaZip is a graphical archive tool for both Linux and Windows which supports quite an impressive number of formats. Its interface looks great and it provides instructions on how to integrate it with KDE. Moreover, it doesn't have to be installed to run, thus providing a high level of mobility.

The Bad

Besides the About button, there's no help available. Moreover, extracting a password-protected archive through Konqueror will pop-up a dialog saying it couldn't complete the job because the password was wrong. Instead, it would have been nice to pop-up a dialog requesting the password itself.

The Truth

PeaZip is a great archiving application but I think it's more suited for beginner Linux users. Advanced users will always prefer a specific command-line tool for each format as it's faster, it offers much more control over the archives and it displays a detailed output.

Check out some screenshots below:

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user interface 4
features 4
ease of use 4
pricing / value 5


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 
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