I'm facing a curious enigma.

I have a zip archive containing files whose filenames contains accented characters (é, à, è etc.)

The "extract here" function from gnome file manager perfectly extracts files with the correct filenames but the archive manager doesn't, nor does any default command line with unzip, file-roller etc.

This is a bit puzzling... Why would one file manager tool auto-detect charsets by default and another wouldn't without any option to do so ?

More generally speaking is there a way for users to find what command line hides behind gnome's file manager's "extract here" command or any other gui routine ?

1 Answer 1


It depends on what packages you have installed.

I really like 7zip, and it can definitely handle zip archives. You can extract it all with

p7zip -d file.zip

There are many others.

As to the second part of the question, why some programs can mangle the file names, it really depends on how those filenames were written. Which tool were they created with. Because it is possible that this tool has messed up file names, and some extraction tools can figure out this mess-up, but some won't.

Let's say that the tool used has written these files using some weird charset rather than something reasonable, like utf-8. If there is no way to know what charset was used, the extraction utility is forced to guess, and it may be guessing incorrectly.

  • 1
    In my case neither p7zip nor unzip -a nor anything else I've been able to find and try got me the correct file name. That's what my main question is how to find what is gnome's interface doing under the hood when clicking "extract here" because I'm surprised it works so well. Nov 23, 2021 at 18:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .