AR(1) General Commands Manual AR(1)
ar - create and maintain library archives
ar -d [-Tv] archive file ...
ar -m [-Tv] archive file ...
ar -m [-abiTv] position archive file ...
ar -p [-Tv] archive [file ...]
ar -q [-cTv] archive file ...
ar -r [-cuTv] archive file ...
ar -r [-abciuTv] position archive file ...
ar -t [-Tv] archive [file ...]
ar -x [-ouTv] archive [file ...]
The ar utility creates and maintains groups of files combined into an archive. Once an archive has been created, new files can be added
and existing files can be extracted, deleted, or replaced.
Files are named in the archive by a single component, i.e., if a file referenced by a path containing a slash (``/'') is archived it will
be named by the last component of that path. When matching paths listed on the command line against file names stored in the archive, only
the last component of the path will be compared.
All informational and error messages use the path listed on the command line, if any was specified, otherwise the name in the archive is
used. If multiple files in the archive have the same name, and paths are listed on the command line to ``select'' archive files for an
operation, only the first file with a matching name will be selected.
The normal use of ar is for the creation and maintenance of libraries suitable for use with the loader (see ld(1)) although it is not
restricted to this purpose. The options are as follows:
-a A positioning modifier used with the options -r and -m. The files are entered or moved after the archive member position, which
must be specified.
-b A positioning modifier used with the options -r and -m. The files are entered or moved before the archive member position, which
must be specified.
-c Whenever an archive is created, an informational message to that effect is written to standard error. If the -c option is speci-
fied, ar creates the archive silently.
-d Delete the specified archive files.
-i Identical to the -b option.
-m Move the specified archive files within the archive. If one of the options -a, -b or -i are specified, the files are moved before
or after the position file in the archive. If none of those options are specified, the files are moved to the end of the archive.
-o Set the access and modification times of extracted files to the modification time of the file when it was entered into the archive.
This will fail if the user is not the owner of the extracted file or the super-user.
-p Write the contents of the specified archive files to the standard output. If no files are specified, the contents of all the files
in the archive are written in the order they appear in the archive.
-q (Quickly) append the specified files to the archive. If the archive does not exist a new archive file is created. Much faster than
the -r option, when creating a large archive piece-by-piece, as no checking is done to see if the files already exist in the ar-
-r Replace or add the specified files to the archive. If the archive does not exist a new archive file is created. Files that replace
existing files do not change the order of the files within the archive. New files are appended to the archive unless one of the
options -a, -b or -i is specified.
-T Select and/or name archive members using only the first fifteen characters of the archive member or command line file name. The
historic archive format had sixteen bytes for the name, but some historic archiver and loader implementations were unable to handle
names that used the entire space. This means that file names that are not unique in their first fifteen characters can subsequently
be confused. A warning message is printed to the standard error output if any file names are truncated. (See ar(5) for more infor-
-t List the specified files in the order in which they appear in the archive, each on a separate line. If no files are specified, all
files in the archive are listed.
-u Update files. When used with the -r option, files in the archive will be replaced only if the disk file has a newer modification
time than the file in the archive. When used with the -x option, files in the archive will be extracted only if the archive file
has a newer modification time than the file on disk.
-v Provide verbose output. When used with the -d, -m, -q or -x options, ar gives a file-by-file description of the archive modifica-
tion. This description consists of three, white-space separated fields: the option letter, a dash (``-'') and the file name. When
used with the -r option, ar displays the description as above, but the initial letter is an ``a'' if the file is added to the ar-
chive and an ``r'' if the file replaces a file already in the archive.
When used with the -p option, the name of each printed file is written to the standard output before the contents of the file, pre-
ceded by a single newline character, and followed by two newline characters, enclosed in less-than (``<'') and greater-than (``>'')
When used with the -t option, ar displays an ``ls -l'' style listing of information about the members of the archive. This listing
consists of eight, white-space separated fields: the file permissions (see strmode(3)), the decimal user and group ID's, separated
by a single slash (``/''), the file size (in bytes), the file modification time (in the date(1) format ``%b %e %H:%M %Y''), and the
name of the file.
-x Extract the specified archive members into the files named by the command line arguments. If no members are specified, all the mem-
bers of the archive are extracted into the current directory.
If the file does not exist, it is created; if it does exist, the owner and group will be unchanged. The file access and modifica-
tion times are the time of the extraction (but see the -o option). The file permissions will be set to those of the file when it
was entered into the archive; this will fail if the user is not the owner of the extracted file or the super-user.
The ar utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
TMPDIR The pathname of the directory to use when creating temporary files.
/tmp default temporary file directory
ar.XXXXXX temporary file names
By default, ar writes archives that may be incompatible with historic archives, as the format used for storing archive members with names
longer than fifteen characters has changed. This implementation of ar is backward compatible with previous versions of ar in that it can
read and write (using the -T option) historic archives. The -T option is provided for compatibility only, and will be deleted in a future
release. See ar(5) for more information.
The ar utility is expected to offer a superset of the POSIX 1003.2 functionality.
ld(1), ranlib(1), strmode(3), ar(5)
7th Edition March 21, 1991 AR(1)