Alternatives to Stuffit?

in Mac Software edited January 2014
Now that Mac OS X has truly arrived, there's simply no reason to use StuffIt anymore. I have grown to despise StuffIt's combination of bugs and nags over the years (Stuffit Deluxe for $80?!? Good God, are you insane?) and OS X's UNIX background offers an excellent alternative in .tar.gz files.

Stuffit even decodes these seemlessly, so that nongeeks making the transition need not worry. there anything out there available for Mac OS X that can take the place of Stuffit? Something that does AT LEAST .tar.gz files, but preferable .zip, .sit, and .rar as well? Something with a snappy GUI that could win the hearts of Mac users after years of abuse from Aladdin?

I'd like to start some kind of online campaign to convince Mac file sharing places to start delivering their files as .tar.gz. They could save money on Stuffit licensing, and "the rest of us" could move on to a better standard.


  • Reply 1 of 15
    thuh freakthuh freak Posts: 2,664member
    there are command-line progs to make tars and gzs (called tar and gzip, respectively). theres also bz2 (with bzip2). i dont know about zip or sit (i doubt sit will have an alternative). it wouldn't be too hard for a programmer to make a gui for those apps (i dont think it'd be too hard atleast). i'd do it, but the command-line is cozy for me.
  • Reply 2 of 15
    Scott Anguish's OpenUp 3.2 takes care of opening most everything but the more modern .sit files (which you shouldn't use and complain if anyone else does). See the link below for a list of supported file types.

    (the softrak link seems hosed but you can find it on versiontracker or whatever)

    I only wish it would be updated so that it plays nice with Safari's auto-expanding feature.

    To create tar.gz you can use Mr Anguish's (great name!) Cold Compress

    ( but I think all the cool kids are using compressed disk images these days.

    Also see:

    and for the cool kids:
  • Reply 3 of 15
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    ColdCompress works for me.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    Y'know what I'd like to see? A frickin' compression app that actually uses Altivec. How's that for a wacky idea?! Then you could compress maximally (obtaining smallest file sizes) while not maxing out processing power or waiting ages for a 100MB .sit file to uncompress. The speed at which your HD reads/writes would become the bottleneck.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Aladdin's a good company, good Mac team player. They do overcharge these days and they look like they are dying. Eventually compression will go open source anyway so I don't know what their deal is. Stuffit gets SLOWER every release. My IIsi seemed faster with Stuffit than my PowerBook 12" maxed out. Since everyone and their monkey has a G4 now AltiVec would be nice to utilize. But Stuffit especially SITX is just unacceptably slow. Are these other apps faster at unstuffing .SITs?
  • Reply 6 of 15
    gargoylegargoyle Posts: 660member
    I have had my mac since Feb, and only come across a handful of .sit files. Personally, I prefer tar and gzip, but I am also a unix monkeh!

    Here is a self made GUI for compressing files:-

    1.) Copy this code to a sticky note:


    tar -zcvf ~/Desktop/NewArchive.tar.gz

    2.) When you need to compress files, copy this line into a terminal window.

    3.) Add a space at the end of the line, and then drag the files and folders you want to compress onto the terminal window. Then hit Enter.

    4.) Rename ~/Desktop/NewArchive.tar.gz to something more appropriate.

    He he.. enjoy.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    The BIG problem with tar, though, is that it strips files of their resource fork and doesn't preserve HFS metadata.

    That's why I use compressed DMGs instead.
  • Reply 8 of 15
    gizzmonicgizzmonic Posts: 511member
    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. I'm no stranger to the command line, but I was specifically thinking of a program that less technically inclined Mac users could use. a fox you've come through!

    As for speeding up compression/decompression times, maybe someone will write a version of mactar or macgzip that uses altivec to speed it up...i'm not a programmer so i'm way out of my element here. how hard would that be, or would it even be possible to vectorize this type of operation?
  • Reply 9 of 15
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member

    Originally posted by Aquatic

    Aladdin's a good company, good Mac team player.

    Really? Let me know of the day when their interfaces leave the 80's.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Sure it doesn't have the best GUI out there but at least they didn't drop support when OS X came out. They just need a good new version that is FAST.

    DMGs are annoying. Why are they used for everything? I can only see the use for backing up,working with partitions, burning or pirating.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    I don't use stuffit anymore.

    Last time I tried it it was STILL screwing up files with names

    longer than 32 (34?) characters!! Stuffit simply lops off all characters after that.

    This was on zip files. Does it still do this?

    And the speed is pathetic also. We need an altivec enhanced expander.

    (go Lance!)

    - miles
  • Reply 12 of 15
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Holy crap I forgot. It can only unstuff *1* thing at a time! What is this!? Do they know what a "thread" is?! I take back anything good I said about them, that combined with their slow/extra slowness for SITX makes them just suck ass. It literally takes hours to unstuff something 800 megs on a G4 867mhz with 640 RAM and nothing else running. Does anything out there unsuff faster than the official Stuffit Expander?
  • Reply 13 of 15
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    anyone have any idea how to unstuff .ace files?
  • Reply 14 of 15
    thornragthornrag Posts: 10member

    Originally posted by Aquatic

    DMGs are annoying. Why are they used for everything? I can only see the use for backing up,working with partitions, burning or pirating.

    They're used for everything because:

    1. Excellent compression

    2. Same format: folders of any size, disks of any format

    3. One-step archiving and dearchiving

    4. Free free free

    As you say, they come in very handy for backing up, rearranging partitions, mastering and burning CD-ROMs, and of course for pirating. But not only are they better at all of these than any Stuffit product, they're also perfect for distributing software over the internet, by design. A properly-made .dmg will have no resource fork or cross-platform transit issues, and will appear on the user's desktop exactly as it left yours. That's pretty nice.

    The thing that drives me absolutely crazy is the .dmg file crammed into a stuffit file and then binhexed. All of the advantages to using the .dmg are wasted. I'm with Gizzmonic on the need to advocate this a bit. I don't know how many developers realize the power of disk images.

    An only slightly lesser crime is the jamming of an uncompressed .dmg into a .tar.gz file (of which the mozilla team is relentlessly guilty).

    One step, guys. It really doesn't have to involve three different archiving tools.

    I personally alert the developers of any .bin/.sit/.hqx/.tar/.gz distributions I come across to the far-more-efficient, reliable, compatible, and cost-effective .dmg format. You all should, too.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    That is exactly what everyone does, a binhexed .SIT with a DMG in it.

    The reason I hate DMGs for regular software distribution is because inside them are a bunch of different things. So you unbinhex, UnStuff, UnCompress, Mount, then Agree, then root through what's there, decide what you need, make a folder, move what you want in, double check, through away all the crap you just accumulated on your desktop, then copy the application icon on to the parent folder icon, then move it you where you want it to go. could Stuff the folder. DMGs aren't inherently bad, it's the way they're used. A better way would be to have the folder, and just put that in a compressed DMG, but no one is smart enough to do that apparently. Besides DMGs clutter up the disk pane in Open/Save and Column View's left. And you have to drag them to Trash instead of select all the crap and CmdDelete. At least they're faster than Stuffit at uncompressing.
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