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Unarchiver Provides LGPL RARv3 Extraction Tool 183

An anonymous reader writes "Free software to support the RARv3 archive format has been listed on the FSF's High Priority Projects list for some time now. We've always had ways to create and extract free archive formats, using tools like GNU tar and Info-ZIP. The RARv3 format is proprietary, so we don't want it to replace these tools, but it's not uncommon to see it used for distributing multimedia files over the Internet. That means the lack of free software to extract RARv3 files has been sorely felt. We're happy to share the news that there's now a free software project to fill this gap, and we can mark this item as done. The Unarchiver is a small collection of software written by Dag Ågren."
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Unarchiver Provides LGPL RARv3 Extraction Tool

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  • by wagnerrp ( 1305589 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @12:19AM (#36090352)
    Why would you use a proprietary format to store openly distributed files?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bacon Bits ( 926911 )

      Maybe because it's the best tool for your job? Politics isn't the only reason to pick your software. Or maybe someone has to deal with files from *gasp* someone else!

      • The closed source and payware distributors use executable installers. The Linux community uses tar, compressed using gzip, bzip, or lzma. The legitimate Windows community uses WinZip (because they don't know otherwise) or 7-Zip (because it's free). The hugely overwhelming use of WinRar is just to split files for distribution on antiquated mediums like FTP and Usenet, which don't natively support multi-part uploads and downloads, and have file size limits. Since this is generally multimedia content that

        • by jonwil ( 467024 )

          I find RAR files all the time, even small ones used for small files.

          Lots of people just use RAR because they have WinRar (usually pirated) and its seen as "better"

          • WinRar does better for some filetypes, 7-Zip does better for other filetypes, but in general they're pretty comparable. Given the option between programs comparable in capability and usability, one being free and the other costing $30, why would you choose to pirate the payware one? Is there some stigma that the program you refuse to pay for is somehow inherently better?
            • Because the files I receive from other people are in Rar format, I need to decompress them, and my power to dominate their puny, weak minds with my glowing neon brain-waves, and force them to resend it as a .tar.xz only works in person?

              • But 7zip can decompress rar files.

              • by tepples ( 727027 )

                my power to dominate their puny, weak minds with my glowing neon brain-waves, and force them to resend it as a .tar.xz only works in person

                My experience is different. I manage to get people to cooperate once I explain politely that I lack software to read the file and ask to resend in Zip or 7-Zip format.

            • by dargaud ( 518470 )
              It's been a while, but isn't 7-zip limited to decompressing rar files only ?
              And also, isn't there optional redundancy in split rar files ? i.e. if you compress a (set of) file(s) into several split rars and you loose one or two of them you can still decompress the original file(s). Very convenient when archiving on CDs or, cough, cough, Usenet.
              • Yes, RAR (v3) has that functionality but just about nobody uses it. People use separate PAR [] (v2) files instead.
      • Maybe because it's the best tool for your job?

        Since when is rar the best format for any job? I swear that you pirates are completely ignorant. Your obsession with rar is a self destructive cycle that will forever have you passing around significantly larger files than necessary.

        1995 called and it wants its inefficient proprietary archive format back.

    • because most PC users, when faced with a .7z file, will download winrar.

      and when that happens, it's extra effort for bugger-all (none?) extra compression to make your own archives in 7z. so they end up in rar by default.

      • Odd. I don't understand why people even use RAR anymore when there's 7z. I don't see this horde of clueless users dying for shredded archiving. And as far as I know, RAR isn't this gratifying user experience.

        • For the same reason they still use mp3 when there are several alternatives that provide superior quality at any bitrate. It's established now. Once a technology is established, it's very hard to get rid off.
          • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

            ...except you don't have to worry about whether or not your car or some cheap player from China supports rar.

            A "pirate media" format can change whenever the packagers fancy changes. It doesn't have to be set in stone.

            You don't use ARC any more do you? So obviously change is possible in this area.

        • the one time i tried a 7z only client (i presume the one made by the 7z people), it sucked badly.

          you don't know how often you use shell integration until you lose it, or have to manually add it back in.

          it's probably much better now, but i wouldn't know because it's so much quicker to install winrar.

          • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

            Except Winrar isn't free (in any sense). The shell integration has been part of the installation options in 7-zip for years now. If you don't have a need to create rar archives, only open them. there really is no reason to give Rarlab your money or make it a pirated piece of software on your system.

            • Except Winrar isn't free (in any sense).

              It's free in the sense that you can download a fully functional copy from the developers website. You are supposed to register it after a trial period but the devs don't actually make any significant attempt to enforce that.

              • So it's nagware. Why put up with nagware when there are free alternatives that work just as well?
          • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gm a i l . c om> on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @09:29AM (#36092984) Homepage Journal

            the one time i tried a 7z only client

            How long ago was this? When I switched to 7-Zip nearly four years ago, it already had the same sort of shell integration that WinRAR had.

          • 7Z has all the shell integration that WinRar has (and has for a number of years). We switched away from WinZIP / WinRAR as soon as that happened. As a bonus, it's one less set of licenses that I have to track.

            (Plus the 7Z package is open-source, so it's widely available.)
          • I think you presumed wrong. 7-zip file manager has had that feature for a loooooong time.

   [] is the official 7-zip distribution site. If you get it from elsewhere, good luck.

            The client is plain, straightforward and easy to set up, and it can decompress many compression formats (including RAR).

            Full Windows shell integration built in.

        • BBSes kept using ZIP well after RAR came out because they had scripts that would embed their taglines into the ZIP files that passed through their board, thus incriminating the owners in criminal copyright infringement. I'm not sure why this was considered to be a feature, but it was and probably still is. However, the scripts were eventually updated to support RAR which was carried through the society because the boards were run by nerds or kiddies who wanted to think they were nerds and both groups are wi

          • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

            Now we have RAR and no compelling reason to replace it... not a reason big enough for the whole internet anyway

            Honestly, I keep encountering .7z files all over the place now.

        • by grumbel ( 592662 )

          Odd. I don't understand why people even use RAR anymore when there's 7z.

          Because 7zip is kind of crap really. Not only is it quite slow, it also has absolutely no redundancy or recovery build in what so ever. A single flipped bit will quite literally destroy your whole archive, same with an incomplete 7zip that is missing some bytes at the end. RAR on the other side doesn't mind a flipped bit, with build in recovery data it can fix that and even without it that data will only affect a single file, all the other files and what is left of the damaged file can be extracted without

        • I would rate WinRAR's GUI as being a bit nicer than 7z.

    • Why would you use a proprietary format to store openly distributed files?

      More to the point, why would I care as long as I can open said file?

      • It isnt about opening the file. Its about creating it to begin with. Why would you ever choose an inferior technology like rar?

        Its like storing your photos in gif format just because those files are smaller than bmp, completely ignoring the fact that both of those options are shitty inferior choices.

        The fact that rar is not only a shitty inferior choice, but also a proprietary one, makes the gif analogy perfect.
        • Why would you ever choose an inferior technology like rar?

          Citation needed. Google searches seem to conclude that RARv3 is bested only by 7-zip and then only enough to make the difference completely irrelevant in the real world.

      • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

        Why would you use a proprietary format to store openly distributed files?

        More to the point, why would I care as long as I can open said file?

        Many possible reasons.

        1. Premise rejection: Because you can't open the file. Proprietary software tends to be ported to far fewer platforms than Free software (is there a PPC NetBSD port of WinRar? I don't know) so the proprietary software may not be available to you. (Related to this: because running software inside of emulators is cumbersome and inconvenient, even wh
    • Because a lot of sysadmins didn't think to install an unRAR plugin for ClamAV on the mailserver. If you can put lindsaynaked.jpg.exe inside a RAR file so that it doesn't get scanned, then there's a better chance of getting it onto the corporate LAN.

  • Excellent! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Finally there is a Richard Stallman approved way of extracting my pirated pornography, movies and TV shows on my Linux box.

    Using a proprietary tool on an OSS system is so unethical...

  • by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @12:41AM (#36090430)
    I assume theyr'e using "free" in the not-as-beer sense, since there are plenty of free apps that can unrar , 7-Zip for example. True, these all seem to use code available from RAR that isn't "free" . E.g., from the 7-Zip licence:

    unRAR restriction
    The decompression engine for RAR archives was developed using source
    code of unRAR program.
    All copyrights to original unRAR code are owned by Alexander Roshal.

    RAR is pretty much the default foprmat on Usenet binary groups, for instance.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 1u3hr ( 530656 )
      PS: It'd be real news if there was a free app to CREATE RAR archives.
      • by jonwil ( 467024 )

        Now that there is LGPL code that can decompress RAR files (code that is presumably untainted by the restrictions on the "unrar" code used by most archivers to uncompress RAR files) someone can use that code as a reference for how the compression works.

      • by Goaway ( 82658 )

        It would be fairly easy to write that. Getting it to be as efficient as the original rar archiver might be tricky, but basic compression is about as easy as it is for zlib's Deflate.

    • The main problem with the implementations that are available seems to be that they are very slow for larger files split across multiple rar files. I even remember reading some posting about this somewhere where the gist of the message was "the portable *nix version of rar/unrar was developed to be portable, not efficient. Try using the Windows version if you think it's too slow.".

  • Back in the day, OpenIt! :) I think I even wrote some of that code. How times change, but ObjC still is the best damn mistake to ever happen in programming.
  • The Unarchiver (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PhunkySchtuff ( 208108 ) <kai@automatica.c[ ]au ['om.' in gap]> on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @01:12AM (#36090552) Homepage

    I'll put in a big thanks for The Unarchiver.

    I deploy it as my standard unarchiving utility on all desktops I manage. It replaces the Mac OS X built-in BOMArchiveHelper which isn't as smart about handling extracting multiple files at once, and it handles a vast range of file formats that you'd otherwise have to resort to the command-line to deal with. News of it adding RARv3 is the icing on the cake - not that I've encountered a RARv3 file, but because now I don't need to worry if I do as my standard utility will deal with it.

    Big double-thumbs up to Dag Ågren. Cheers.

    • Indeed. I discovered this amazing gem of a tool a couple years ago and I've loved it ever since. I've been familiarizing myself with the source lately with the intent of implementing a FUSE filesystem layer for at least viewing archives. Glad to see TU is getting a decent amount of attention.

  • To slashdot, thanks for bringing this to my attention! I have far too much data in Amiga archives / disk image formats that previously I had to fire up an emulator to access. With this, and xnview / nconvert along with other tools, I can access my old stuff whenever I want.

    The fact it is open source, and deals with rars, and almost every other archive well is an added bonus!

    Of course, huge thanks to the author. Donation on its way.

    ...and I've just noticed that the author provides a lightweight IFF v

  • by peppepz ( 1311345 ) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @03:49AM (#36091102)
    You could already download the UnRAR source code from the RAR web site itself; if all you want to do is to extract RAR files, its license doesn’t look too evil (I'm quoting the most "problematic" part):

    The UnRAR sources may be used in any software to handle RAR archives without limitations free of charge, but cannot be used to re-create the RAR compression algorithm, which is proprietary. Distribution of modified UnRAR sources in separate form or as a part of other software is permitted, provided that it is clearly stated in the documentation and source comments that the code may not be used to develop a RAR (WinRAR) compatible archiver.

    OK, it's no GPL, but still I'd say that it puts "open source" RAR support in a better position than other high priority GNU projects such as Flash support, where your only chance to have a good experience is to use binary-only code.

  • On the 2 distros I've used most in the last 8 years (Mandriva and Opensuse) unrar is already included (in Mandriva from the PLF repo, in Opensuse from the non-oss repo). So what's the advantage of this new program?

    • UnRAR is a binary. This is why it's in the non-oss repo in Opensuse. The advantage is that this one is under an open source license.

    • unrar is by rarlab, the same company that makes winrar and is run by Alexander Roshal - and licences the format from Eugene Roshal, who invented it. It's shareware, and can only decompress files, not create them. Rar and winrar, that can create archives, are closed source.

      This one is open source, and thus can be incorporated more easily into other open source apps for extraction of the current v3 of rar files; previously, unrarlib could do v1 and v2, but not v3.

    • It really depends on the "unrar" that you are comparing it to and how much you care about using open software.

      GNA unrar is based off of an old version of RARLAB unrar, and does not support RARv3. It is GPL licensed.

      RARLAB unrar, while the source is provided, has restrictions preventing it from being considered "open". One of these restrictions is that it cannot be studied to recreate the RAR compression algorithm.

      Since this new implementation is open, the code could be studied to make an open source applica

  • So now we have free (libre) software for extracting RAR files. Great ! You just need to run it on a proprietary operating system ...

    • by Goaway ( 82658 )

      The command-line version runs on Linux, OS X and Windows. Probably on BSDs too, but I have not been able to test this.

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