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How to work with RAR archives on GNU/Linux

 ·  ☕ 2 min read

RAR is a proprietary archive file format that supports data compression, error recovery and file spanning. A .rar file may contain one or more files or directories. rar utility is used to compress file(s) and unrar to extract.


  • Create a .rar archive from file(s):

    rar a archive.rar file1 file2

    Note: the same command is used to add new files to existing archive.
    Add -r to include all dirs/files under the parent directory.
    Add -p to encrypt file data.
    Add -hp to encrypt both file data and headers.
    Add -rr10 to add recovery records to the archive. This way up to 10% of the compressed archive can become corrupt or unusable, and it will be able to recover the data through parity.

  • Create a .rar archive from file, while specifying the compression level (0 being worst, 5 best, and 3 default). For example, level 4:

    rar a -m4 archive.rar file1
  • Extract file(s) from archive:

    unrar x archive.rar
  • Extract file(s) to specific directory:

    unrar x archive.rar /home/$USER/Documents
  • Extract file(s) from archive to stdout:

    unrar -p archive.rar
  • List all files in archive.rar:

    unrar l archive.rar

    Use v instead for verbose output.

  • Remove file(s) from archive:

    rar d archive.rar file2
  • Test compressed archive data (unrar also can be used):

    rar t archive.rar

All Options

You can find all rar and unrar options in man pages:

man rar
man unrar
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