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Beware the Archive Manager in Linux

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Software

This is a very ugly title, and almost misleading. So let's clear it upfront. The archive manager, the GUI frontend for various tar, zip and other archive formats, is a good and robust and safe tool, and there's nothing wrong with it, per se. However, you can easily misuse it and cause a short-term if significant disruption of productivity in your setup.

This short guide will elaborate on a rather common, easily reproducible scenario than any decent Linux user might attempt one day. In fact, it happened to me while testing the Flightgear simulator. What happened was, I download the entire Aircraft data set, totaling some 2.3GB of files inside 376 separate zip files. Naturally, I wanted to extract all these files to the game directory, so I could enjoy the multitude of different aircraft. Imagine what happened next.

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