Suppose you’ve been good (or sort of good anyway), and you have a huge stack of CD-ROMs (or DVDs) with backups and archives of your old files. Great. But how can you find anything? I solved this problem today by making an index of all the files stored on these disks using a few simple GNU command line tools.
Downloaded a file compressed in the RAR format and found that Archive Manager couldn’t open it? RAR support can’t be included in Ubuntu by default because it’s proprietary, but installing it is simple.
The atool package is a collection of Perl scripts that allows you to handle many different archive formats and compression schemes using a single command-line interface. Atool uses other tools behind the scenes to perform the heavy lifting. With atool, you can handle any archive without having to remember what command-line tool to use to expand it and which options that particular tool expects.