tarman: A fullscreen archive navigator

For some reason, tar has a reputation for being cryptic or difficult to handle.

That’s mystifying to me, probably because I use it on a weekly basis as a bland, uncompressed file bundler. For me, tar cvvf package.tar file1 file2 file3 is certainly no challenge to remember. I can think of far more complex and unintuitive software in the Linux landscape.

For those who can’t handle the challenge of remembering c and v and f and tarname and filename, they may want to look into tarman.


It’s been a while since our last fullscreen archive manager — 2a, if I remember right. tarman pulls the same stunt as 2a, but does it in a cleaner fashion, I believe.

tarman works a lot like Xarchiver or File Roller, in that you can navigate your directory tree and archived files within in it. Select a file or several files, press a to archive them. Ta-da!

Or alternatively, enter an archive (tarman seems to be able to handle bzip2-compressed tar archives; it may know others too), select a file, press e and it will be extracted. Ta-da! Again!

Press F1 or ? for in-your-face help cues. Press q to quit.

As for faults, I can only mention a flickering effect on each keypress. I think tarman is trying to refresh the display at every keystroke, and the redraw is flashing as a result. A little irritating, but minor, and probably something that can be corrected.

That’s about it. Not a lot to it, and it does the job well.

And you avoid all the stress of trying to remember three letters and a couple of names. 🙄 👿

1 thought on “tarman: A fullscreen archive navigator

  1. Theodore

    This… this is so beautiful, even for the extra py dependency, that i was really close to drop my phone from the desk.
    Totally will make (or giveaway the idea) a rewrite in termbox-go one day or another!
    The tool handles bzip and gz because it relies on libarchive: anything supported by libarchive works on this tarman, that means that reads the majority of archives and creates the handful archive types most users need.

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