Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I need to give a friend who has a Mac a bunch of files. Compression doesn't matter, only ease of use. What archive format do you recommend such that no 3rd party tools are needed for extraction? Zip?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Gzipped Tarball. Should work anywhere.


tar czvf my-files.tar.gz directory-of-files

(or right-click and "Compress", "Archive" on many distros)


tar xcvf my-files.tar.gz .

(or double-click on a Mac)

share|improve this answer
Thanks, tgz is perfect for me! – Philip Jan 27 '11 at 22:12
That's great. Please consider marking your question as answered so it doesn't stay open! – slhck Jan 27 '11 at 22:25

Archive Utility, which is part of Mac OS X, supports tons of formats for extraction, among these: zip, gzip and bzip2.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, this is good to know. – Philip Jan 27 '11 at 22:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.