PeaZip: Robust But Easy OSS File Management, Compression and Archiving

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 13, 2008

If you work with lots of files at a time, work with large files frequently, need a simple way to zip and unzip file archives, or just need a good file and archiving management tool when on-the-go, check out PeaZip. This is a very handy open source file and archive manager that works efficiently with almost any file type. It's available for Windows and Linux, and does a number of surprising things, including allowing you to split very large files and later rejoin them, encrypt files, and generate random passwords for files and archives. It's easy enough for novices, too.

In the screenshot below, you can get a feel for the toolbar-driven ways that PeaZip makes it easy to extract zip files, and use an "Extract all to..." option to easily create an archive for files.

You don't have to have the PeaZip application open to get great use out of it, though. Upon installation, you have the option to add PeaZip options to the "Send To" option on context menus. In the screenshot below, I right-clicked on a filename in Windows Explorer, and, as you can see, selected the Send To context menu option. On the right, you can see that I have many archiving and zip options available. I can add the file to an archive, zip it, encrypt it, and even split it.

PeaZip can handle many archive and compression formats both for both Windows and Linux users, and you can find details on supported formats here. in addition to informative screenshots. PeaZip also supports the following types of encryption:

  • 7Z, with AES256 encryption;
  • FreeARC's ARC, with AES256, Blowfish, Twofish256 and Serpent256 encryption;
  • PEA, with AES256 authenticated encryption (EAX mode);
  • ZIP with WinZip's AE encryption, based on AES256.

PeaZip also comes in a portable version, available through the download, and you can read a five-star review of it here. "Operating PeaZip Portable is as easy as dragging files. Drop a ZIP file on the interface and PeaZip goes into decompression mode. Drop a regular file and it opens the archiving screen," say the editors at CNet's It's easy to carry the PeaZip Portable application on a USB thumb drive, where it requires no installation on the computer you're working on, so you can work efficiently with files, large and small, wherever you are.

The only item on my wish list for PeaZip is for it to be extended out to become a full-blown replacement for Windows Explorer's directory-tree and folder approach to file management. I'm not a fan of Windows Explorer, and PeaZip could be easily extended in this direction. Still, this is one of the most useful open source utilities of any kind.