‘B1 Archiver’ is a completely free file archive manager that can be used in GNU/Linux for opening ‘7z’, ‘Rar’ & ‘Zip’ file formats. By default, GNU/Linux support ‘Zip’ but doesn’t support ‘Rar’ due to its ‘pure’ proprietary nature & ‘7z’ support is also dropped due to file permission incompatibly, though it’s an open-source format.
One can easily add support for these formats under most distributions, including Ubuntu by installing other file archive managers such as ‘PeaZip’ or using command-line tools. Now ‘PeaZip’ is perhaps one of the best ones out there, but I find it to be a bit too much for my simple needs.
This is why I liked ‘B1′ almost immediately, because it has a pretty simple UI that is easy to use. But please remember that, currently ‘B1′ can only read ‘7z’, ‘Rar’, ‘Zip/Zipx’, a format of its own called ‘b1′ & can create an archive using ‘b1′ or ‘Zip’ formats, other format support will be added in the future.
‘B1′ also lets you ‘Pause/Resume’ while creating or extracting archives, split, adds encryption (AES 256-bit) once a password is added, change compression levels, test archives, has a file manager etc.
You can also change file associations, default ‘open action’ & few more settings using the ‘Settings’ window as well. I tested it on Ubuntu 12.10 (64-bit) and it ran pretty smoothly. I also extracted a reasonably large ‘7z’ archive & was impressed by its speed too.
As mentioned, it has an archive container format called ‘b1′ that uses the ‘LZMA’ data compression algorithm. I re-compressed some extracted data into ‘b’, with compression ratio set at maximum, though the output size was slightly higher, it was more than forgivable, as the ‘b1′ archive creation time was also slightly faster.
‘B1′ adds itself into Nautilus’ context menu, so you can create archives pretty easily as well.
It also runs on MS Windows & Mac OS X, and Android support is also planned. If interested, then please download it from this page. Good luck.