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RAR (file format)

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RAR File Format Overview
– RAR is a proprietary archive file format developed by Eugene Roshal in 1993.
– It supports data compression, error correction, and file spanning.
– RAR compression applications and libraries are proprietary software.
– RAR supports all versions of the RAR archive format, including RAR3 and RAR5.
– The RAR compression algorithm is proprietary and cannot be reverse engineered without written permission.
– RAR files can be created and extracted using software like WinRAR, 7-Zip, and libarchive.

RAR Versions and Software Support
– RAR file format revision history includes versions 1.3, 1.5, 2.0, 2.9, 5.0, and 5.0+.
– Each version introduced various changes and improvements.
– Version 2.9 introduced encryption, file data compression algorithm improvements, and support for larger archives.
– Version 5.0 increased compression dictionary size, maximum path length, and introduced faster compression and decompression.
– Version 5.0+ is partially supported by WinRAR 5.0 and later, and fully supported by WinRAR 7.0 and later.
– WinRAR is the software for Microsoft Windows that supports RAR files.
– RAR software is also available for Linux, FreeBSD, macOS, and Android.
– Archive extraction is supported natively in ChromeOS.
– WinRAR supports the Windows GUI, while other versions run as console commands.
– Different versions of WinRAR have compatibility limitations with older operating systems.

Creating and Extracting RAR Files
– RAR files can be created legally only with commercial software like WinRAR and RAR for Android.
– Command-line RAR and other software with permission from Alexander Roshal can also create RAR files.
– Reverse engineering is forbidden by the software license agreements.
– RARLAB distributes the unrar program, which can unpack RAR files.
– 7-Zip, a free and open-source program, can unpack RAR5 archives.
– PeaZip is a free RAR unarchiver that supports both pre-RAR5 and RAR5 formats.
– The Unarchiver is a proprietary software unarchiver for RAR and other formats, available on macOS.

Other Uses of RAR
– The file extension ‘.rar’ is also used for the unrelated Resource Adapter aRchive file format.
– The Resource Adapter Archive (RAR) is a packaging format used in Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) for deploying resource adapters.
– RAR is also used as an abbreviation for Resource Adapter Archive in the context of Java EE.

Related Archive Formats and Tools
– The filename extension ‘.cbr’ is commonly used for comic book archive files, which are essentially RAR archives containing images.
– There are many other archive formats available, such as tar, 7-zip, gz, and more.
– Comparison of archive formats and file archivers can help in choosing the right tool for specific needs.
Data corruption, bit rot, and disc rot are potential risks that can affect archived files.
– The XADMaster library, licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, also supports RAR extraction.

RAR (file format) (Wikipedia)

RAR is a proprietary archive file format that supports data compression, error correction and file spanning. It was developed in 1993 by Russian software engineer Eugene Roshal and the software is licensed by win.rar GmbH. The name RAR stands for Roshal Archive.

RAR file format
Filename extension
.rar, .rev, .r00, .r01
Internet media type
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)com.rarlab.rar-archive
Magic number52 61 72 21 1A 07 00
(RAR 1.5 to 4.0)
52 61 72 21 1A 07 01 00
(RAR 5+)
Size limitation263-1 bytes (almost 8 exbibytes)
Developed byEugene Roshal
Initial releaseMarch 1993; 30 years ago (1993-03)
Type of formatarchive format
Open format?No (decompression source code available, but not free software, due to restriction that it not be used to create RAR-compatible archives)
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