This fairly small class/library can be used to extract different archive formats such as .tar.bz2 or .tbz - archives such as .gem and .lzma will also work. You can also extract audio, by making use of class ExtractAudio. The latter is - and should be - optional though. Usage example: require 'extracter' Extracter.new('/foo/bla-1.0.tar.bz2') The second argument that can be passed to the method new() specifies where we should extract to, example: Extracter.new('/foo/bla-1.0.tar.bz2', '/opt') This would extract to the /opt directory. You can query whether input is an archive or not via: Extracter.is_archive? 'foo.tar.xz' As of April 2014 we also provide a bin/extract file, so that you can simply extract something from the commandline. Since as of November 2018, class Extracter can also "extract" .iso files. (The .iso will be mounted to a directory that will be created, actually.) If you have a specific suggestion to make this gem more useful for others, please drop me an email at: email@example.com Thank you.