RAR and UNRAR from Linux CLI

Posted by admin on September 23, 2009 under Tech Tips | Be the First to Comment

Two great packages available to the Linux community are RAR and UNRAR. If you are already familiar with the RAR compression format, these allow you to create, modify and extract RAR archives. For those of you that appreciate the graphical compression application for Gnome called File Roller, these packages enable it to read RAR files. For more information about the RAR format, check out rarsoft.com.

To install from Ubuntu or Debian, its as simple as:

sudo apt-get install rar unrar

To list the files in a RAR archive, use the l or v option:

rar l video.rar

To decompress a RAR archive called video.rar, simply issue the command:

unrar e video.rar

The unrar package is only intended for decompression tasks. Otherwise, just use the rar command with the e option to extract the files to the current directory.

rar e video.rar

To compress a single file called video.avi, adding it to a RAR file called video.rar:

rar a video.rar video.avi

To compress a single file called video.avi, splitting it into approximately 50 Mb files:

rar a -v50000 video.rar video.avi

This by default creates archive files starting with video.part01.rar, video.part02.rar and following the sequence to completion. To use the older and better known extension sequence format of .rar, .r00, .r01, etc, use the -vn option like so:

rar a -v50000 -vn video.rar video.avi

To compress an entire directory recursively, use the -r option:

rar a -r Documents.rar Documents/

To extract the files from an archive, such that the original directory structure is also recreated, use the x command:

rar x Documents.rar

There are so many other features available to the RAR format, so be sure to check out the man pages or the packaged documentation.

man rar
less /usr/share/doc/rar/rar.txt.gz

(if your version of less supports reading of compressed files)

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