Extract Archives on Right-Click in KDE 4

In KDE 3, extracting archives, such as zip and tar files, is pretty simple. You just find the relevant file in Konqueror or Dolphin, right-click it and choose Extract for a list of extraction options.

For some reason, that functionality hasn't been copied over to KDE 4. Now, you must open up Ark for each archive and use the extraction wizard from there.

Traditional KDE 4 context menu

Extract and Compress KDE4 is a service menu for KDE 4 that restores the right-click extract functionality and once again makes it simple and quick to extract archive files. It also restores the functionality to make archives from the right-click menu.

Go ahead and download the tar.gz file from the website and extract it (yes, using the slow method this last time).

Double-click install.sh in this folder to start the installation of the service menu.

Install.sh file

You will first be asked whether to perform this installation for just your user, or for the whole system. Choose whatever you prefer - obviously you can only do the whole system if you have the administrator rights and the right password.

Service Menu Installation Choice

You'll be asked for the password if necessary and then a folder selection box will come up. Here, you have to select the directory to install in, which must be where your KDE 4 service menus are stored.

Service Menu Folder Selector

On my Kubuntu 8.04 system, the right place for all users is /usr/lib/kde4/share/kde4/services/, so I choose that folder in the selector.

To find out where your service menu directories are, you can run this command in a terminal:

$ kde4-config --path services

That will spit out a list of the directories you can install in, separated by colons (:). In most cases there will be two entries, one in your home folder and one elsewhere. Choose the one in your home folder if you're doing a single user install, or the other one for all users.

Once you know the right directory to install in, choose it in the folder selector dialogue and click OK to install.

The program will now disappear for a few seconds while it installs, so have a little patience until you are notified the install is done.

Installation Done

That's it, the new service menu for extracting and compressing files is installed. You will need to close and re-open any applications, such as Dolphin and Konqueror, before the new options will show up in the right-click menu.

Extract and Compress menu

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold - http://peter.upfold.org.uk/

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Extract Archives on Right-Click in KDE 4

  1. drmjh (guest)

    # Posted on 17 August 2008 at 01:09 PM

    Thanks! Articles like this are so very helpful. They save lots of time and fiddling around.

  2. bej (guest)

    # Posted on 25 August 2008 at 09:31 PM

    thanks! I've been missing this but have been dealing with it. A minor inconvienience vs kde 3.5 on my desktop machine, but i still missed it while trying out kde 4.1 on my laptop.

  3. Dorgendubal (guest)

    # Posted on 02 October 2008 at 04:18 PM

    Thanks! Was exactly what I was looking for. Good job

  4. Daniel Shakhmundes (guest)

    # Posted on 14 October 2008 at 05:04 AM

    Peter, thanks so much for this post.

    Ark in KDE4 is garbage; it did not extract ExtractAndCompress_v1.4.3.tar.gz with the file permissions; i.e. the shell scripts were not executable. I was unable to successfully install Extract and Compress even after "chmod a+x *.sh"

    I was only able to get a successful [system-wide] install after I unarchived with "tar zxvf ExtractAndCompress_v1.4.3.tar.gz"

    I am very disappointed and unimpressed with KDE4, given the missing archive handling options/interfaces along with a dysfunctional archiver (Ark). A lot of people on the web are complaining about Ark - "use KDE3 or WinRAR on Wine". KDE4 better get its act together by openSUSE 11.1 or I'm going back to Gnome...


  5. brice rebsamen (guest)

    # Posted on 29 January 2009 at 07:22 AM


    However on my system (Kubuntu 8.10): "kdesu not found" so I just replaced by kdesudo and it worked.

  6. Extenze (guest)

    # Posted on 19 August 2009 at 11:28 PM

    my God, i thought you were going to chip in with some decisive insght at the end there, not leave it with ‘we leave it to you to decide’.

  7. Basil Wood (guest)

    # Posted on 20 February 2010 at 03:39 AM

    You have to express more your opinion to attract more readers, because just a video or plain text without any personal approach is not that valuable. But it is just form my point of view

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