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FAQ / SUPPORTED FILE FORMATS > ARC FILES
open source rar

Manage ARC archives (FreeArc file format)



ARC FILE FORMAT

CREATE, OPEN, EXTRACT ARC FILES

ARC FILES, READ MORE

extract arc files



ARC, also known as WRC, is the native archive format of  FreeArcwhat is .arc file, a modern open source file archiver developed by Bulat Ziganshin, providing high level of compression (11 lossless data compression algorithms and filtes are supported, including LZMA and PPMD) with good efficiency (Tom's Hardware comparativearc vs rar vs 7z benchmark), strong encryption (AES, Blowfish, Twofish, Serpent), and ability to create recovery records.

It must not be confused with 1985 SEA's ARC format.arc file definition. The company pionereed the data compression in BBS era, but ARC program fell in popularity after the introduction of more efficient Phil Katz's PKARC, which later developed largely modified and improved ZIP format for PKZIP program, in response to the notorious lawsuit ensued between SEA and PKWARE.

  



  

.ARC

Author Bulat Ziganshin, 2007

SPEED arc extraction

Good, very efficient implementation makes significantly faster than 7Z (marginally faster than RAR) with comparable compression ratio.







COMPRESSION RATIO arc format

Very good. Comparable to 7Z's LZMA/LZMA2, consistently better than RAR compression, but inferior to PAQ.

ADVANCED OPTIONS encrypt 7z file
Very good. Built-in support for AES, Twofish and Serpent encryption, and optional creation of recovery records.






Create, open, extract ARC files


PeaZip provides full read-write support for FreeARC ARC/WRC files (create, convert, browse, test and extract) on Linux and Windows using FreeArc as backend executable.

As alternative, FreeArc has its own graphical frontend available (as free Open Source tool) both for Linux and Windows.

Compress to ARC format

Use one of the following procedures to add files / folders to a new or into an existing .arc file

  • From the system's file explorer

    • Select files and folders and use context menu entry PeaZip, Add to archive: you will be prompted to archive creation screen, allowing to set compression settings, output destination, encryption (password protection), and other options.

  • From PeaZip

    • Select files and folders, and use Add button (or application's context menu entry of same name) to be prompted archive creation screen

    • Drag and drop files / folders from the system to a PeaZip instance; if you are browsing an existing archive you will be asked if you want to add files to the archive or create a new one

From main archive creation interface it is possible to apply encryption (recipient will need to enter a password to read/extract the archive), and to split file - set creation of multiple volumes declaring the maximum output size (spanned archive), in order to keep the output size below mandatory limits (e.g. upload or mail attachment size).
From "Advanced" tab, you can fine-tune more settings: encryption algorithm (Blowfish, Twofish, AES, Serpent), solid compression option, create recovery records, create self extracting archive (SFX) so recipient will not need an archive manager program to extract the data.

From "Console" and "Schedule" tab, the compression / backup task created in the GUI can be saved as command line script and (on Microsoft Windows operating system) scheduled for execution at fixed time intervals (hour, day of the week or of the month) - same apply for extraction / restore tasks, as the same tabs are featured in archive extraction interface.

Update existing ARC archive


To update existing archive, easiest way is to opening it in PeaZip and dragging files/folders to it, which will automatically activate update mode - can be changed into add mode in advanced tab.

To remove (delete) data from the archive, simply select items and press cancel or "Delete from archive" button. Deleted items will not be recoverable from recycle bin.
Entries in the context menu on the right of delete button allows to delete the entire archive in different supported ways (recycle, quick delete, overwrite with zeroes, secure delete shredding data to make the archive not recoverable)

Convert ARC files


File converter procedure using Convert button extracts and then re-pack input archive files into any write-supported format (7z, arc, pea, tar, zip...), optionally keeping or discarding original archives.
This makes possible to convert any type supported for reading (e.g. ACE, CAB, RAR, TAR, ZIP...) into a new ARC file (either one for each individual input archive, or consolidating all input items in a single output archive), as well as to convert existing ARC file into another write-supported format.

Open and extract ARC file

Use one of the procedures described below to open (browse and search inside the archive) and/or decompress .ARC / .WRC files

  • From the system

    • To view archive's content, open it in PeaZip with double click (if file extension is associated with the application), or using system context menu "Open as archive" entry, that will attempt to read any user provided file type regardless file type associations - this option is also available in PeaZip's context menu

    • Use context menu entry "Extract..." for full extraction screen GUI where to set output path and other options

    • Select one or more archives and use context menu entry Extract here or Extract here (to new folder) for quick extraction with no further confirmation

  • Within PeaZip

    • Extract button shows full featured archive extraction screen providing access to all options (password, set output path, open output path after extraction, keep or delete original archives, etc) and can send to extraction selected items only

    • Extract all to... button activate a simplified procedure only asking for output path

    • Simply drag & drop desired objects from the application to the system

    • Doubleclick on an archived file to open it in preview mode, i.e. to inspect its content before considering the need for real extraction

Currently, ARC file content is shown in flat view, meaning all files and folders are shown at once, and full path is reported in last column of the archive browser.

Manage encrypted ARC archives


To create, or extract, an encrypted .arc file, enter the password in PeaZip clicking the padlock icon extract encrypted arc file in the status bar (in the file/archive browser) or below output address field (in extraction or archiving interfaces), or click Tools > Enter password / keyfile in main menu, or press F9 accelerator key.

Ecryption algorithm can be changed in Archiving GUI, Advanced tab, supported cyphers are
  • AES256

  • Serpent 256

  • Twofish 256

  • Blowfish 448 bit (with 64 bit blocks)

"Keyfile" field is optional, leave it blank if you don't want to rely on two factor authentication - keyfile is the "what you have" element (needs to be handled safely), password (or passphrase) is the non-material  "what you know" element; both are needed for recovering the encrypted file content.
Use of keyfile increases security over password only encryption since also having access to the keyfile will be required to perform the extraction, eliminating the need of overly complex passwords to resist to social engineering profiling, and brute-forcing or dictionary attacks.

ARC files, read more


External online resources: FreeArc Wikipedia entryFreeArc software, PPMdWikipedia prediction by partial matching and LZMA/LZMA2Lempel Ziv Markov chain algorithm data compression algorithms, AESwikipedia aes algorithm, Twofishtwofish algorithm, SerpentSerpent algorithm ciphers.

Topics and search suggestions: FreeArc, how to convert, open, extract ARC files, unarc, free .arc file opener and extractor wiki, WRC extension, browse, explore, navigate, read ARC archives, unarchiver, manage / unpack arc format, convert arc files to zip format, "unzip" decompress .arc package, password protect with AES, Twofish, Serpent encryption algorithms, download ARC player / reader / viewer / manager utility, arc vs rar vs 7z comparison



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free rar files utility

PeaZip is a free cross-platform file archiver that provides an unified portable GUI for many Open Source technologies like 7-Zip, FreeArc, PAQ, UPX...
Create 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, ZIP files
Open and extract over 180 archive types: ACE, ARJ, CAB, DMG, ISO, LHA, RAR, UDF, ZIPX files and more...
Features of PeaZip includes extract, create and convert multiple archives at once, create self-extracting archives, split/join files, strong encryption with two factor authentication, encrypted password manager, secure deletion, find duplicate files, calculate hashes, export job definition as script.

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