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Recent versions of StuffIt will extract .xz archives, but they will not run on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. And using something like Fink, it should be possible to install xz-utils on 10.4, so that .xz archives can be extracted from the Terminal.

But is there any graphical application that will run on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, and which will extract .xz files?

It's OK if this application supports extracting .tar.xz archives in a single step, but not necessary, because if it extracts the .tar.xz file to a .tar file, even an older version of StuffIt can extract that.

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up vote 20 down vote accepted

I'd give The Unarchiver a try. It's free, graphical, supports 10.4 and can extract .xz archives.

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The Unarchiver is superb. It's my utility of choice even on Lion. – TJ Luoma Dec 18 '11 at 18:03
It's also available in the Mac App Store, as noted on the linked page. – Caleb Huitt - cjhuitt Mar 23 '13 at 15:11
3 years later - I just found this answer and used it on an .xz file in Mavericks. Still works like a charm. – hairboat Aug 28 '14 at 23:52

Not graphically, but this showed up in searches so for those of us who want to do it from the command line using Homebrew:

$ brew install xz
$ xz -d to-extract.xz
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or via macports: sudo port install xz – Andy Barbour Jul 8 '15 at 19:02
Well done - this worked for me to prepare the debian armhf software for my beagle bone black using xz and then dd to dump the disk image to the micro SD card. +1 – bmike Jan 23 at 1:42

The tar -xzf command didn't work for me, but I installed XZ utils and then unxz filename.tar.xz. Then you can just use the command tar xf filename.tar to open the tarball. I have OSX Mountain Lion (version 10.8.5).

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The reason is that the option -z specifies gzip compression/decompression. The right option for xz is -J. But in fact, modern tar implementations do not require you to specify the decompression algorithm. Just tar -xf is fine. – Siyuan Ren Oct 18 '14 at 8:57

I've used the following native command on mac:

gunzip filename.xz 

it works fine!

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On a mac, you can open up the terminal and use the command tar -xzf filename.xz if you're not looking to download a new App just for .xz archives

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Are you sure about that exact command? The z flag for tar tells it an is archive gzip-compressed. On systems where tar supports xz, the J flag is typically used for that. Or to extract it can simply be omitted; if tar supports a compression method will usually automatically identify it. But back when I asked this question, I had tried command-line tar on a .tar.xz archive and it hadn't worked. Assuming it does now, do you know what version of OS X added it? Back when I asked this question, OS X didn't (seem to) ship with xz-utils: i.e., no xz, unxz, and no xz handling in tar. – Eliah Kagan Oct 8 '14 at 15:12

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