Chrome OS to Drop Support for .tar Archives “Because it is Only Used by Geeks”

According to a recent CL found by Craig Tumblison, Chrome OS will soon drop support for .tar and .tb archives. Reason? “These files are only used by geeks”, and some usage stats, of course!

Here is the description of the bug report:

As of now, supports the following archive file formats via AVFS, per manifest.json.


I think we should drop support for tar files (.tar* and .tb*). These files are only used by geeks. IIRC, some of our internal test tools used to rely on tar balls, but these were switched to .zip.

Support for tar files makes it harder to get rid of the dependency to AVFS (see issue 248427). However, we should get the usage stats before dropping it just in case.

Usage Stats

As mentioned in the initial description, they did find some usage stats, and it went like this:

The usage seems to be decreasing:

Tar 0.09%
Bzip2-compressed Tar 3.48%
Gzip-compressed Tar 2.27%

And remove they did. Support will officially be dropped in M33, with the formats being dropped from the’s manifest file. Actual removal will occur shortly after, says Craig Tumblison.

So, be prepared, if you are in the “geek” category and use .tar archives a lot. I am sure there are at least developers who use these on a Chromebook regularly.


3 responses to “Chrome OS to Drop Support for .tar Archives “Because it is Only Used by Geeks””

  1. To be fair it sounds like the real reason is they want to drop AVFS.

    And it’s probably less of dropping .tar and more dropping .bz2 and .gz. Drop those and .tar suddenly becomes less useful.

    Anyways the .tar file format is dead simple. It should be possible to write an app to explore and extract those files. You could do the same with any archive of course but most are a bit trickier.

  2. Aw, that’s very disappointing. 🙁 I was excited when I found out that Chrome OS supported .tar files, it’ll be sad to see it go.

    Does anyone know if there are any apps in the Chrome Web Store that would work as a replacement?

  3. I’m one of those geeks 🙁

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