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What is rar file format
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PeaZip is a free cross-platform file archiver / unrar utility 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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FAQ / COMMON ARCHIVE FORMATS > WHAT IS RAR FILE
rar file format specifications

RAR file format



WHAT IS RAR FILE FORMAT

rar extension



RAR extension designates a popular archive format introduced by RarLab's program WinRAR (shareware file archiving utility, free for 40 days) for Microsoft Windows platform; the software was ported to Linux (only as extractor) by the same Author, Eugene Roshal. Initial application release dates back to 1995, last RAR5 standard revision is from 2013.

RAR format is well known for the high compression ratio - superior compared to zip, comparable with 7z and zipx formats - being the compressor based on Lempel-Ziv (LZSS) algorithm and prediction by partial matching (PPMd, Dmitry Shkarin).

RAR standard also features strong encryption by design
  • encrypted RAR4 archives rely on AES-128 based encryption

  • encrypted RAR5 archives rely on AES-256 in CBC mode, with improved key scheduling

Notably, .rar format provides advanced error correction / data recovery capabilities setting optional recovery records during archive creation (from WinRar).
Please note RAR4 and RAR5 standard revisions both have same .rar extension, the format revision level being declared in file header area.
Spanned multi-volume rar archives are designed by R01 extension - with file extension numerator incremented for following volumes of the set.

Online resources about rar file type: WinRarwinrar file type official domain, RAR formatrar file format Wikipedia entry, what is error correctionRAR recovery records, 7-Zipopen source rar

PeaZip provide read-only support to open and extract RAR files through Open Source unrar components from 7z/p7zip, and can convert existing .rar archives into any write supported archive format.
Optionally, the program allows managing RAR5 file type with separate UNRAR5 Plugin based on RarLab's unrar code - not mandatory, PeaZip can natively handle RAR5 standard out of the box.

RAR file type is proprietary, even if the format specifications are well documented and unrar (extraction) code is available for free, it is encumbered by no reverse engineering clause about using sources to create a rar compressor.
No Open Source RAR implementation (with full read / write support) is consequently known, but anyway PeaZip can create RAR files using WinRar executable (if installed) without leaving the application - this works simply setting rar.exe as custom compressor utility in PeaZip.

  



  

.RAR

Author Eugene Roshal, 1995

SPEED rar specs

Good, even employing powerful advanced comperssion techniques, handling the format is remarkably efficient in term of speed.







COMPRESSION RATIO rar format

High, comparable to WinZip's zipx but slightly inferior to 7-Zip's 7z with most common real-world data sets.

ADVANCED OPTIONS what are rar files

Excellent. Most notable feature is native support for recovery records, that allows to recover archives from moderate corruption states.








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