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 ar-
chive, 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 specified, 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
-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 archive.
-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 trun-
cated. (See ar(5) for more information.)
-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 modification. 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 archive 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 stan-
dard output before the contents of the file, preceded by a single newline charac-
ter, and followed by two newline characters, enclosed in less-than (``<'') and
greater-than (``>'') characters.
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 sep-
arated 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 modi-
fication 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 members 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 modification 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 pro-
vided for compatibility only, and will be deleted in a future release. See ar(5) for more
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)