Here is a quick config tip on how to compress and extract files using RAR archive utility. First let's see how we can compress directory using RAR. In our example we have a directory called my_files containing five files:
$ mkdir my_files
$ touch my_files/file{1..5}
$ ls my_files/
file1  file2  file3  file4  file5
To compress entire directory using RAR archive tool we use rar's a command. The below command will create a RAR archive called my_files.rar containing all five above files:
$ rar a my_files.rar my_files/

Creating archive my_files.rar

Adding    my_files/file5                                              OK 
Adding    my_files/file4                                              OK 
Adding    my_files/file3                                              OK 
Adding    my_files/file2                                              OK 
Adding    my_files/file1                                              OK 
Done
$ ls -l my_files.rar 
-rw-rw-r--. 1 lrendek lrendek 307 Nov  3 06:55 my_files.rar

The syntax is same even when we need to compress only single file. In the next example we will create a RAR archive containing only a single file, file1 called file.rar:
$ rar a file.rar my_files/file1 

Creating archive file.rar

Adding    my_files/file1                                              OK 
Done
$ ls -l file.rar 
-rw-rw-r--. 1 lrendek lrendek 83 Nov  3 06:58 file.rar
In to following example we again compress entire directory my_files but we instruct RAR to use maximum compression:

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER
Subscribe to our NEWSLETTER and receive latest Linux news, jobs, career advice and tutorials.


rar a my_files.rar -m5 my_files/
To list the contents of RAR archive use l command. For example to see what is inside of my_files.rar archive run:
$ rar l my_files.rar 

Archive my_files.rar

 Name             Size   Packed Ratio  Date   Time     Attr      CRC   Meth Ver
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 file5               0        8   0% 03-11-14 06:52 -rw-rw-r-- 00000000 m5b 2.9
 file4               0        8   0% 03-11-14 06:52 -rw-rw-r-- 00000000 m5b 2.9
 file3               0        8   0% 03-11-14 06:52 -rw-rw-r-- 00000000 m5b 2.9
 file2               0        8   0% 03-11-14 06:52 -rw-rw-r-- 00000000 m5b 2.9
 file1               0        8   0% 03-11-14 06:52 -rw-rw-r-- 00000000 m5b 2.9
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5                0       40   0%
Now that we know how to archive files we can see how to extract files. In the next example we extract all files from my_files.rar archive:
$ unrar x my_files.rar
OR
$ rar x my_files.rar 

Extracting from my_files.rar

Creating    my_files                                                  OK
Extracting  my_files/file5                                            OK 
Extracting  my_files/file4                                            OK 
Extracting  my_files/file3                                            OK 
Extracting  my_files/file2                                            OK 
Extracting  my_files/file1                                            OK 
All OK
To extract only a single file from RAR archive you can specify the file ant its path as an rar argument. Next, example will extract on single file, file3:
$ unrar x my_files.rar my_files/file3
OR
$ rar x my_files.rar my_files/file3

Extracting from my_files.rar

Creating    my_files                                                  OK
Extracting  my_files/file3                                            OK 
All OK
FIND LATEST LINUX JOBS on LinuxCareers.com
Submit your RESUME, create a JOB ALERT.
LINUX CAREER NEWSLETTER
Subscribe to NEWSLETTER and receive latest news, jobs, career advice and tutorials.
DO YOU NEED ADDITIONAL HELP?
Get extra help by visiting our LINUX FORUM or simply use comments below.