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How to Open, Extract and Create RAR Files in Linux

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RAR is most popular tool for creating and extracting compressed archive (.rar) files. When we download a archive files from the web, we required a rar tool to extract them. RAR is available freely under Windows operating systems to handle compressed files, but unfortunately rar tool doesn’t pre-installed under Linux systems, we need to install it using third-party tools to open, extract, uncompress or unrar a archive files.

Install Unrar in Linux

Install Unrar in Linux

The guide explains how to install unrar and rar command-line tools using RPMforge repository under Linux systems with yum (Yellowdog Updater, Modified) command with their practical examples.

Enable RPMForge Repository for RHEL/CentOS/Fedora

We must first install and enable RPMForge repository under Linux systems to install Unrar and Rar command-line applications. We have provided RPMForge repositories for RHEL/CentOS 6/5/4 distributions. By default RPMForge repository already shipped with Fedora 17-12 systems, So fedora user’s don’t need to install it again.

For RHEL/CentOS 6/5/4 – 32-Bit OS
## RHEL/CentOS 6 32-Bit ##
# wget http://pkgs.repoforge.org/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.i686.rpm
# rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.i686.rpm

## RHEL/CentOS 5 32-Bit ##
# wget http://pkgs.repoforge.org/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el5.rf.i386.rpm
# rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el5.rf.i386.rpm

## RHEL/CentOS 4 32-Bit ##
# wget http://pkgs.repoforge.org/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-1.el4.rf.i386.rpm
# rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.2-1.el4.rf.i386.rpm
For RHEL/CentOS 6/5/4 – 64-Bit OS
## RHEL/CentOS 6 64-Bit ##
# wget http://pkgs.repoforge.org/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.x86_64.rpm
# rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.x86_64.rpm

## RHEL/CentOS 5 64-Bit ##
# wget http://pkgs.repoforge.org/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el5.rf.x86_64.rpm
# rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el5.rf.x86_64.rpm

## RHEL/CentOS 4 64-Bit ##
# wget http://pkgs.repoforge.org/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el4.rf.x86_64.rpm
# rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el4.rf.x86_64.rpm

Once you’ve enabled RPMforge repository for systems. Follow the below instillation instructions with their examples.

Step 1: How to Install Unrar in Linux

# yum install unrar
Sample Output
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
Dependencies Resolved
=========================================================================================
 Package			Arch			Version				Repository			Size
=========================================================================================
Installing:
 unrar              i386            4.2.3-1.el5.rf      rpmforge			123 k

Transaction Summary
=========================================================================================
Install       1 Package(s)
Upgrade       0 Package(s)

Total download size: 123 k
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
unrar-4.2.3-1.el5.rf.i386.rpm                                 | 123 kB     00:00
Running rpm_check_debug
Running Transaction Test
Finished Transaction Test
Transaction Test Succeeded
Running Transaction
  Installing     : unrar                                                                                                                                            1/1

Installed:
  unrar.i386 0:4.2.3-1.el5.rf

Complete!

Step 2: How to Open/Extract a RAR File in Linux

To open/extract a RAR file in current working directory, just use the following command with unrar e option.

# unrar e tecmint.rar

UNRAR 4.20 beta 3 freeware      Copyright (c) 1993-2012 Alexander Roshal

Extracting from tecmint.rar

Extracting  index.php                                                 OK
Extracting  index.html                                                OK
Extracting  xyz.txt                                                   OK
Extracting  abc.txt                                                   OK
All OK

To open/extract a RAR file in specific path or destination directory, just use the unrar e option, it will extract all the files in specified destination directory.

# unrar e tecmint.rar /home/

UNRAR 4.20 beta 3 freeware      Copyright (c) 1993-2012 Alexander Roshal

Extracting from tecmint.rar

Extracting  /home/index.php                                           OK
Extracting  /home/index.html                                          OK
Extracting  /home/xyz.txt                                             OK
Extracting  /home/abc.txt                                             OK
All OK

To open/extract a RAR file with their original directory structure. just issue below command with unrar x option. It will extract according their folder structure see below output of the command.

# unrar x tecmint.rar

UNRAR 4.20 beta 3 freeware      Copyright (c) 1993-2012 Alexander Roshal

Extracting from tecmint.rar

Creating    tecmint                                                   OK
Extracting  tecmint/index.php                                         OK
Extracting  tecmint/index.html                                        OK
Extracting  tecmint/xyz.txt                                           OK
Extracting  tecmint/abc.txt                                           OK
Creating    default                                                   OK
Extracting  default/index.php                                         OK
Extracting  default/index.html                                        OK
Creating    include                                                   OK
Extracting  include/abc.txt                                           OK
Creating    php                                                       OK
Extracting  php/xyz.txt                                               OK
All OK

Step 3: How to List a RAR File in Linux

To list a files inside a archive file use unrar l option. It will display the list of files with their sizes, date, time and permissions.

unrar l tecmint.rar

UNRAR 4.20 beta 3 freeware      Copyright (c) 1993-2012 Alexander Roshal

Archive tecmint.rar

 Name             Size   Packed Ratio  Date   Time     Attr      CRC   Meth Ver
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 index.php           0        8   0% 18-08-12 19:11 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
 index.html          0        8   0% 18-08-12 19:11 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
 xyz.txt             0        8   0% 18-08-12 19:11 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
 abc.txt             0        8   0% 18-08-12 19:11 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
 index.php           0        8   0% 18-08-12 19:22 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
 index.html          0        8   0% 18-08-12 19:22 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
 abc.txt             0        8   0% 18-08-12 19:22 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
 xyz.txt             0        8   0% 18-08-12 19:22 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8                0       64   0%

Step 4: How to Test a RAR File in Linux

To test an integrity of a archive file, use option unrar t. The below command will perform a complete integrity check for each file and displays the status of the file.

unrar t tecmint.rar

UNRAR 4.20 beta 3 freeware      Copyright (c) 1993-2012 Alexander Roshal

Testing archive tecmint.rar

Testing     tecmint/index.php                                         OK
Testing     tecmint/index.html                                        OK
Testing     tecmint/xyz.txt                                           OK
Testing     tecmint/abc.txt                                           OK
Testing     default/index.php                                         OK
Testing     default/index.html                                        OK
Testing     include/abc.txt                                           OK
Testing     php/xyz.txt                                               OK
All OK

The unrar command is used to extract, list or test archive files only. It has no any option for creating RAR files under Linux. So, here we need to install RAR command-line utility to create archive files.

Step 5: How to Install Rar in Linux

To install RAR command option in Linux, just execute following command.

yum install rar
Sample Output
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
Dependencies Resolved
=========================================================================================
 Package			Arch			Version				Repository			Size
=========================================================================================
Installing:
 rar				i386            3.8.0-1.el5.rf      rpmforge			264 k

Transaction Summary
=========================================================================================
Install       1 Package(s)
Upgrade       0 Package(s)

Total download size: 264 k
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
rar-3.8.0-1.el5.rf.i386.rpm										| 264 kB     00:01
Running rpm_check_debug
Running Transaction Test
Finished Transaction Test
Transaction Test Succeeded
Running Transaction
  Installing     : rar                                          1/1

Installed:
  rar.i386 0:3.8.0-1.el5.rf

Complete!

Step 6: How to Create Rar File in Linux

To create a archive(RAR) file in Linux, run the following command with rar a option. It will create archive file for a tecmint directory.

rar a tecmint.rar tecmint

RAR 3.80   Copyright (c) 1993-2008 Alexander Roshal   16 Sep 2008
Shareware version         Type RAR -? for help

Evaluation copy. Please register.

Creating archive tecmint.rar

Adding    tecmint/index.php                                           OK
Adding    tecmint/index.html                                          OK
Adding    tecmint/xyz.txt                                             OK
Adding    tecmint/abc.txt                                             OK
Adding    tecmint                                                     OK
Done

Step 7: How to Delete files from Archive

To delete a file from a archive file, run the command.

rar d filename.rar

Step 8: How to Recover Archives

To recover or fix a archive file or files, run the command with option rar r.

rar r filename.rar

RAR 3.80   Copyright (c) 1993-2008 Alexander Roshal   16 Sep 2008
Shareware version         Type RAR -? for help

Building fixed.tecmint.rar
Scanning...
Data recovery record not found
Reconstructing tecmint.rar
Building rebuilt.tecmint.rar
Found  tecmint\index.php
Found  tecmint\index.html
Found  tecmint\xyz.txt
Found  tecmint\abc.txt
Found  tecmint
Done

Step 9: How to Update Archives

To update or add files to existing archive file, use the following command with option rar u.

rar u tecmint.rar tecmint.sql

RAR 3.80   Copyright (c) 1993-2008 Alexander Roshal   16 Sep 2008
Shareware version         Type RAR -? for help

Evaluation copy. Please register.

Updating archive tecmint.rar

Adding    tecmint.sql                                                 OK
Done

Now, verify that the file tecmint.sql is added to archive file.

rar l tecmint.rar

RAR 3.80   Copyright (c) 1993-2008 Alexander Roshal   16 Sep 2008
Shareware version         Type RAR -? for help

Archive tecmint.rar

 Name             Size   Packed Ratio  Date   Time     Attr      CRC   Meth Ver
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 index.php           0        8   0% 18-08-12 19:11 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
 index.html          0        8   0% 18-08-12 19:11 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
 xyz.txt             0        8   0% 18-08-12 19:11 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
 abc.txt             0        8   0% 18-08-12 19:11 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
 tecmint             0        0   0% 18-08-12 19:23 drwxr-xr-x 00000000 m0  2.0
 tecmint.sql 0 8 0% 18-08-12 19:46 -rw-r--r-- 00000000 m3b 2.9
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6                0       40   0%

Step 10: How to Set Password to Archives

This is very interesting feature from Rar tool, it allows us to set a password to archive file. To password protect archive file use option rar a -p.

rar a -p tecmint.rar

Enter password (will not be echoed):

Reenter password:

AR 3.80   Copyright (c) 1993-2008 Alexander Roshal   16 Sep 2008
Shareware version         Type RAR -? for help

Evaluation copy. Please register.

Updating archive tecmint.rar

Updating  tecmint.sql                                                 OK
Done

Now verify it by extracting the archive file and see whether it will prompt us to enter password that we have set above.

rar x tecmint.rar

RAR 3.80   Copyright (c) 1993-2008 Alexander Roshal   16 Sep 2008
Shareware version         Type RAR -? for help

Extracting from tecmint.rar

Creating    tecmint                                                   OK
Extracting  tecmint/index.php                                         OK
Extracting  tecmint/index.html                                        OK
Extracting  tecmint/xyz.txt                                           OK
Extracting  tecmint/abc.txt                                           OK
Enter password (will not be echoed) for tecmint.sql:

Extracting  tecmint.sql                                               OK
All OK

Step 11: How to Lock Archives

Another interesting lock feature from rar tool, it provides a option to lock a particular archive file from extracting it.

rar k tecmint.rar

RAR 3.80   Copyright (c) 1993-2008 Alexander Roshal   16 Sep 2008
Shareware version         Type RAR -? for help

Processing archive tecmint.rar
Locking archive
Done

Conclusion

For mor RAR and Unrar options and usage, run the following command it will display a list of options with their description.

# man unrar
# man rar

We have presented almost all of the options above for rar and unrar commands with their examples. If you feel that we’ve missed anything in this list and you would like us to add, please update us using comment form below.

Ravi Saive

Owner at TecMint.com
Simple Word a Computer Geek and Linux Guru who loves to share tricks and tips on Internet. Most Of My Servers runs on Open Source Platform called Linux.

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6 Responses

  1. Naveen says:

    Vary usful and nice tutorial thanks.. every thing explained…

  2. khaled says:

    many many thnx…

  3. Muhammad says:

    How to install new Rar 5.0. New archives don’t extract with old rar.

  4. Rama Kodali says:

    Thanks! Very useful information.

  5. Waseem says:

    i have installed backtrack5r3 on vmware. Now i want to extract a rar file present on desktop but i can’t do it.plz help me.
    i had used the following command.
    unrar e video.rar

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