ark man page

ark — KDE archiving tool


ark [-b] [-a] [-e] [-O] [-c] [-f suffix] [-p] [-t file] [-d] [-o directory] [KF5 Generic Options] [Qt(TM) Generic Options]


Ark is a program for managing various compressed file formats within KDE. Archives can be viewed, extracted, created and modified with Ark. The program can handle various formats such as tar, gzip, bzip2, zip, rar (when the appropriate libraries or command-line programs are installed).

Operation Modes

Ark can be used either as a stand-alone GUI program as well as a command-line program in order to perform some specific tasks.

If invoked without the -b (--batch) or -c (--add) options, Ark is started as a normal GUI program.

When the -b (--batch) option is used, Ark can be used to extract the contents of one or more files directly from the command-line, without launching its GUI.

When the -c (--add) option is used, Ark prompts for files that should be added to a new archive or to an existing archive.


-d, --dialog

Show a dialog for specifying the options for a batch or add operation.

-o, --destination directory

Default the extraction directory to directory. If not passed, the current path is used.

Options for adding files

-c, --add

Query the user for an archive filename and add specified files to it. Quit when finished.

-t, --add-to filename

Add the specified files to filename. Create archive if it does not exist. Quit when finished.

-p, --changetofirstpath

Change the current directory to the first entry and add all other entries relative to this one.

-f, --autofilename suffix

Automatically choose a filename, with the selected suffix (for example rar, tar.gz, zip or any other supported types).

Options for batch extraction

-b, --batch

Use the batch interface instead of the usual dialog. This option is implied if more than one url is specified.

-e, --autodestination

The destination argument will be set to the path of the first file supplied.

-a, --autosubfolder

Archive contents will be read, and if detected to not be a single folder archive, a subfolder by the name of the archive will be created.

-O, --opendestination

Open the destination folder when the extraction is complete.

See Also

More detailed user documentation is available from help:/ark (either enter this URL into Konqueror, or run khelpcenter help:/ark).


ark --batch archive.tar.bz2

Will extract archive.tar.bz2 into the current directory without showing any GUI.

ark -b -d archive.tar.bz2

Will first show an extraction options dialog and then extract both archive.tar.bz2 and into the directory chosen in the dialog.

ark --add-to photo1.jpg text.txt

Will create if does not exist and then add photo1.jpg and text.txt to it.


Ark is currently maintained by Elvis Angelaccio and Ragnar Thomsen.


Lauri Watts <>

Initial version of Ark man page in 2005.

Raphael Kubo da Costa <>

Update of Ark man page in 2009.

Ragnar Thomsen <>

Update of Ark man page in 2015 and 2016.


2016-08-09 KDE Applications 16.08 Ark User's Manual