I’m glad to announce that a couple of new, long-awaited (5 and 7 years respectively!) features are going to land in Ark. Starting from the 15.08 release (which will be KF5-based), Ark will be able to:

  • Create password-protected archives from scratch
  • Show a standard Settings dialog

Got a secret?

The UNIX philosophy says: one tool for each task. That’s why you can’t create a password-protected TAR archive using tar itself; you have to encrypt its entries first (using gpg for instance). However, this principle does not apply to any OS and a Linux user should be able to easily create and send an encrypted zip to his Windows-user friend or boss. Now you can do it also through Ark. As always in these cases, screenshots are better than words:


As you can see, when you create a new archive, there is now the checkbox “Protect the archive with a password”. This allows you to enter your preferred password (for zip, rar and 7zip archives) and to choose whether to ask the password before showing the list of files. The latter is called header encryption and is available only with the rar and 7zip formats. Header encryption is enabled by default (when available), in order to offer the maximum protection to the novice users. The very same dialog is shown when creating a new archive from Dolphin through the Ark service menu.

The settings dialog

Ark was one of the few main KDE applications missing a settings dialog and that is no longer the case. The dialog is now available (as expected) from the Settings menu.


The Extraction settings above will be familiar to the long-time Ark user. Nothing new here.


The Preview settings allow the user to choose whether to block the preview of large files, and to define when a file should be considered large (200+ MB, by default). This is useful to prevent Ark from being unusable for a long time, when trying to preview a huge file. The underlying feature was actually developed by Boris Egorov. At the moment there are no other settings, but there will be many more in the future, hopefully.

That’s all from my side, but remember that Ark 15.08 is going to get also other important bugfixes (in addition to the KF5 port)!

I would like to thank Heiko Tietze, Thomas Pfeiffer and Ragnar Thomsen for their inputs on the UI design, and Raphael Kubo da Costa for reviewing the code.