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Archive Utility

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Title: Archive Utility  
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Subject: OS X, The Unarchiver, BetterZip, History of OS X, Archive utility
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Archive Utility

Archive Utility
Archive Utility
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Operating system OS X
Type File archiver

Archive Utility (BOMArchiveHelper until Mac OS X 10.5) is the default archive file handler in OS X. It is usually invoked automatically when opening a file in one of its supported formats.[1] It can be used to create compressed ZIP archives by choosing "Create archive of 'file'" (Leopard: "Compress") in the Finder's File or contextual menu. It is located at /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications/Archive in Mac OS X 10.10, /System/Library/CoreServices/Archive in 10.5 and later, and /System/Library/CoreServices/ in 10.4 [2] Prior to Archive Utility's inclusion in Mac OS X v10.3, beginning with Mac OS 7.6, Apple bundled the freeware StuffIt Expander with the operating system.

Invoking Archive Utility manually shows a minimal GUI letting the user change Archive Utility preferences or choose files to compress or uncompress. BOMArchiveHelper 10.4.11 cannot be manually invoked. It may be inferred that prior to 10.5, BOMArchiveHelper could not be manually invoked.

BOM is an abbreviation of Bill of Materials. Bill of Materials files or .bom files are used by the OS X Installer program to document where files in an installer bundle are installed, what their file permissions should be, and other file metadata. Thus, a Bill of Materials is read by the Installer, and Archive Utility helps it by extracting the files specified in the BOM.

Supported formats

Writing and creating support:

  • ZIP (.zip)—password-protected ZIP archives are created using the Terminal command.
  • cpio (regular archive option)
  • cpgz (compressed archive option)

Reading and extracting support: (It works as a front-end for command-line programs that are part of OS X.)

  • bzip2 (.bz, .bz2)
  • cbz (comic book zip)
  • cpgz (cpio gzipped)
  • cpio (.cpio)
  • gz (.gzip, .gz)
  • tar (.tar)
  • tgz (tar gzipped)
  • tbz, tbz2 (tar bzipped)
  • jar (Java Archive)
  • compress (.Z)
  • uuencode
  • ZIP (.zip)—password-protected ZIP archives are supported. It can not handle streamed ZIP content as well as written by ZIP version > 2.0.

See also


  1. ^ Kirk McElhearn (1 May 2012). "Beyond .zip: Secrets of the Archive Utility'" Macworld. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  2. ^ Sandro Cuccla (27 October 2012)"How to Use & Customize OS X’s Built-in Archive Utility App'"The Mac Observer. Retrieved 25 November 2013.

External links

  • Apple Manual page for lsbom which lists the contents of BOM files

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