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Patool is an archive file manager.

Various archive formats can be created, extracted, tested, listed, searched, repacked and compared with patool. The advantage of patool is its simplicity in handling archive files without having to remember a myriad of programs and options.

The archive format is determined by the file(1) program and as a fallback by the archive file extension.

patool supports 7z (.7z, .cb7), ACE (.ace, .cba), ADF (.adf), ALZIP (.alz), APE (.ape), AR (.a), ARC (.arc), ARJ (.arj), BZIP2 (.bz2), CAB (.cab), COMPRESS (.Z), CPIO (.cpio), DEB (.deb), DMS (.dms), FLAC (.flac), GZIP (.gz), ISO (.iso), LRZIP (.lrz), LZH (.lha, .lzh), LZIP (.lz), LZMA (.lzma), LZOP (.lzo), RPM (.rpm), RAR (.rar, .cbr), RZIP (.rz), SHN (.shn), TAR (.tar, .cbt), XZ (.xz), ZIP (.zip, .jar, .cbz), ZOO (.zoo) and ZSTANDARD (.zst) archive formats. It relies on helper applications to handle those archive formats (for example bzip2 for BZIP2 archives).

The archive formats TAR, ZIP, BZIP2 and GZIP are supported natively and do not require helper applications to be installed.


# Extract several archives with different formats
patool extract otherarchive.rar

# Extract archive with password
patool extract --password somepassword archive.rar

# Test archive integrity
patool test --verbose dist.tar.gz

# List files stored in an archive
patool list package.deb

# Create a new archive
patool create --verbose /path/to/ file1.txt dir/

# Create a new archive with password
patool create --verbose --password somepassword /path/to/ file1.txt dir/

# Show differences between two archives
patool diff release1.0.tar.gz

# Search for text inside archives
patool search "def urlopen" python-3.3.tar.gz

# Repackage an archive in a different format
patool repack linux-2.6.33.tar.gz linux-2.6.33.tar.bz2


See for more info and downloads.


You can use patool functions from other Python applications. Log output will be on sys.stdout and sys.stderr. On errors, PatoolError will be raised. Note that extra options such as password input or customization for specific archive programs are not supported.

import patoolib
patoolib.extract_archive("", outdir="/tmp")
patoolib.test_archive("dist.tar.gz", verbosity=1)
patoolib.create_archive("/path/to/", ("file1.txt", "dir/"))
patoolib.diff_archives("release1.0.tar.gz", "")
patoolib.search_archive("def urlopen", "python3.3.tar.gz")
patoolib.repack_archive("linux-2.6.33.tar.gz", "linux-2.6.33.tar.bz2")

Test suite status

Patool has extensive unit tests to ensure the code quality.