Pacifist 3.6

Browse and preview the content of archives.
4.8  (5 votes)
3.6.2 (See all)

Access the files contained in .dmg disk images, .pkg package files, and .zip, .tar, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, .xar archives by opening them in the suite supporting file preview and management without direct access to the archived data. Extracting individual components of a selected archive is possible.

Pacifist lets you preview the contents of archives in such a way that you can extract the desired files without needing to decompress the whole package. Not only can the tool save time when unarchiving large files but also when accessing the contents of remote archives as it avoids their complete download. The application supports practically any of the most popular archive formats, including PKG, MPKG, XAR, ZIP, TAR, GZ, BZ2, PAX, CPIO and DMG.

Pacifist has an easy-to-use interface. It has a sort of a welcome menu that takes you to the four main operations: opening a local package, opening a package from an URL, opening an Apple installer and searching for receipts. The tool supports dragging and dropping archives onto the window. Then, almost instantly, it can show you a hierarchical list of all the elements inside it. In addition, it gives you access to detailed information about the files, such as permissions, type and size. More than just that, some file types (TXT, RTF, HTML and DOC) can be viewed on the fly. Regrettably, however, the tool may have difficulty to preview the contents of an archive contained within another if their compression methods are different.

There is another operation that helps you look for a given app name, filename or path, which comes in quite handy if you need to reinstall a file. For instance, if an application or a file is damaged, it is possible to get an unspoiled version directly from the installer package without having to install everything. Yet, there is always the danger of performing a wrong or incomplete installation, which may impede the correct functioning of an application or even the complete operating system.

All in all, Pacifist may save a lot of the time normally required to expand all the contents of an archive or download it all. Fortunately, the product is shareware and can be used for free without limitations. Thus, it seems reasonable that it makes you wait for 15 seconds every time you open it.

Pedro Castro
Editor rating:

Review summary


  • Supports local and remote archives
  • Supports multiple archive file types
  • Gives detailed information about the archive’s contents
  • Does not require decompressing the whole archive
  • Supports previewing the contents of various file types
  • Helps you repair installations


  • May have difficulty to preview the contents of an archive contained within another if their compression methods are different
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