If somebody tells you StuffIt, they might be brushing you off rudely, but, especially if they're a Mac user, they might just be recommending their favorite file archiver. Since the late 1980s, StuffIt has been the most popular file archiving system for the Mac platform, with a version available for Windows as well (though it never achieved a high degree of popularity there). Like a number of other Mac archivers, StuffIt supports storing the Resource Fork along with the "regular" file, which is one reason Mac-specific archivers were popular in preference to "generic" ones like ZIP. StuffIt also produced more compact archives than its main competitor PackIt at the time it was first released in 1987, when its author, Raymond Lau, was still in high school. It has faced other competitors since, but remained on top. In recent times, however, with OS X being Unix-based, traditional Unix archiving and compression programs such as tar and gzip are getting increasing use on Macs.
The makers of StuffIt have also released the newer format StuffIt X.
These formats remain proprietary, and do not interoperate with other programs unless they are officially licensed.
Older StuffIt archives begin with ASCII "
SIT!", and have "
rLau" at offset 10.
StuffIt 5 archives begin with "
See also StuffIt X#Identification.
Some .SIT files start with a 128-byte MacBinary header.
- Stuffit Archives can be accessed and extracted by The Unarchiver. Although a GUI version is only available for Mac, command-line versions are available for Mac, Linux and Windows. On some GNU/Linux distributions, this can be obtained through the unar package. Source code is also available (under the LGPL)
- macunpack, part of the macutils package in many GNU/Linux distributions, can extract Stuffit Archives.