Open an archive as a folder with Nautilus without automatically unzipping it

It would be nice to be able to open an archive with Nautilus and browse it as a folder.
Currently Nautilus only offers the possibility to unzip such files, which is a strong limitation in my opinion:

  • Automatically unzipping instead of opening as a folder is very frustrating, because it triggers an operation in the file manager (which can be very long and take a lot of space depending on the hardware or the archive size) instead of just revealing the content of an archive. This can be especially confusing for ex-Windows users who were used to browse through archives directly in the file manager
  • Relying on external programs like Archive Manager (aka file-roller) is counter-intuitive for the user experience, as opening an archive is a very simple task any file manager should be able to do. Now pertaining to the GNOME ecosystem it also seems like Archive Manager’s future is very uncertain since it has been removed from the core components (and Ubuntu will probably do the same). In consequence, inviting the user to rely on an other program that will not receive many support / maintenance anymore seems a non-sense to me.
  • In my case, I had uninstalled file-roller because I was convinced it wasn’t necessary anymore. But as I discovered that Nautilus couldn’t handle my archives like file-roller did, I also encountered a bug in Gnome Software were searching for ‘file roller’ or ‘archive manager’ didn’t make Gnome’s file roller appear in the results. I finally managed to reinstall it through my terminal, but this will probably irritate any Linux newbie that isn’t comfortable with using a terminal.

Now, I am opening this feature request in GNOME Discourse instead of GNOME’s Gitlab because maybe there are some people / GNOME developpers which would be interested in discussing this subject without overwhelming the devs with infinite and unprecise feature suggestions directly in Gitlab… so feel free to reply :wink:
Otherwise I might consider filling a feature suggest in the repo directly :thinking:

Thanks for starting the conversation here!

I feel the same frustration in that looking inside archives requires using Open With and selecting Archive manager.

I wish there was at least a “preview” step on double click before proceeding with the extraction (or cancelling it).