I have a file with .rar extension, ex: foo.rar

I want to extract content from that file, how do I extract it?


11 Answers 11


You can install unrar - "Unarchiver for .rar files" or unp - "unpack (almost) everything with one command"

To unrar a file:

  • unrar x <myfile>

To unp a file:

  • unp <myfile.rar>

Since unrar is not open source, some distros might not have it in their package manager already. If it's not, try unrar-free.

Notice that unrar x <myfile> will preserve directory structure in archive, in difference with unrar e <myfile> which will flatten it

  • 3
    There is also a rar command. It is binary-only and a bit less easy to use, but can open some files that unrar cannot. Dec 1, 2015 at 6:47
  • On my Linux Mint 18.2 installation, unrar appears to be already installed and available by default. Sep 18, 2017 at 17:15
  • 1
    I needed to first install it by running sudo apt install unrar. This is the official version and it has license prohibing some usage (no compression, only decompression). So you can also use the free version instead: sudo apt-get install unrar-free.
    – tsveti_iko
    May 12, 2020 at 16:29
  • 5
    NON FREE terminal command for "basic data interchange format" is not a good option. May 23, 2020 at 22:41
  • This unp is really awesome!
    – Ahmad
    Nov 10, 2022 at 9:47

You can use unar. This is not related to the non-free unrar, it's free software.

Easy to use:

 unar file.rar
  • @vonbrand: availability depends on the specific GNU/Linux distribution. For example unar is available for Parabola GNU/Linux-libre. Anyway I didn't mention "unrar", and unar != unrar
    – user22304
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:06
  • There is also something called unrar-free.
    – neverMind9
    Oct 30, 2018 at 21:00
  • 1
    If rar is not open source, so much that 7-Zip on OSS distributions will not ship with it, how did unar manage to include it?
    – palswim
    Jan 31, 2019 at 0:57
  • 3
    @palswim, rar is simply a proprietary format and the rar tool is an implementation (which has a non-open license). unar is another implementation that is free. Fedora removed the non-free rar tool due to its license, not because of anything regarding the rar format itself
    – Neowizard
    Mar 9, 2019 at 7:59
  • 3
    Hum.. functional problem in unar that unrar not have, a file of 49750384 bytes, "Failed! (Attempted to read more data than was available)". Sorry, bad program. May 24, 2020 at 13:16
sudo apt-get install p7zip  # debian based systems
sudo yum install p7zip      # CentOS based systems    
7zr x myfile.rar

On Windows I rely on 7zip for rar and every other archive file, and it works on Linux, too.


You can get unar from fedora repo, it's open and licence-pure:

dnf install unar
unar file.rar
  • 1
    Not available. unrar is not open source (it is forbidden to analyze the code to reverse engineer a compression program), so Fedora won't ship it.
    – vonbrand
    Feb 23, 2016 at 10:24
  • su -c 'dnf install download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/… -E %fedora).noarch.rpm download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/… -E %fedora).noarch.rpm'
    – shcherbak
    Feb 24, 2016 at 11:06
  • dnf install unrar
    – shcherbak
    Feb 24, 2016 at 11:07
  • also you can use unar for fedora 23. did the author of the question asked about feora or opensource sollution or about unix rar sollution? @vonbrand
    – shcherbak
    Feb 24, 2016 at 11:10
  • To install on debian, use: sudo apt-get install unar Mar 2, 2018 at 18:12

For Linux Ubuntu and Mint


sudo apt install unar


unar file_name.rar

More info

  • Extract an archive to the current directory: unar {{archive}}

  • Extract an archive to the specified directory: unar -o {{path/to/directory}} {{archive}}

  • Force overwrite if files to be unpacked already exist: unar -f {{archive}}

  • Force rename if files to be unpacked already exist: unar -r {{archive}}

  • Force skip if files to be unpacked already exist: unar -s {{archive}}


Note that unrar is not open source (the license to the available source forbids using it to reverse engineer the compression, which violates point 6 "No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor" of the Open Source Definition), and thus will not be shipped by Fedora.

Go to Rar Labs, check out the source for unrar (be careful, the version might have changed!), build and install (you'll need g++ and make), preferably for your account only:

$ tar zxf unrarsrc-5.3.11.tar.gz
$ cd unrar
$ make DESTDIR=$HOME all
$ make DESTDIR=$HOME install-unrar

Add $HOME/bin to your PATH, and you are all set.

Yes, there is a RPM offered. I would't touch it with the proverbial 10 feet pole, more often than not third parties have no clue on how to create a correct RPM (it isn't exactly rocket science, but there are lots of details that have to be just right, see e.g. Fedora's guidelines). Besides, there are differences between Fedora versions, "one size fits all" can't cut it.

Update: There is a RPM for unrar version 6.0.5 in the RPM Fusion repository for Fedora 34. The license is cited as "Freeware with further limitations".


On Ubuntu and Fedora (and perhaps other distributions as well), you have a GUI solution, Archive Manager. It provides extraction of such archive files as .rar files.

  • 1
    It is rare to see a least popular answer (which was showed at the very bottom before my up-vote), to provide a simplest solution! Thanks @MAChitgarha! For future readers: it is likely that your distro does NOT link the .rar extension name to Archive Manager. With the hint of this answer, I open the Archive Manager manually, and then use it to open the .rar file. It works like a charm!
    – RayLuo
    Jan 6, 2021 at 6:51
  • @RayLuo Really thanks for your comment! Personally, .rar is linked to be opened with Archive Manager in Nautilus (maybe this is the default on Gnome), and even there is an option in the menu here (Fedora Gnome). Maybe something is out-of-date there, or you're not on Gnome? By the way, I'm happy to provide a simple solution for you! Jan 6, 2021 at 14:04
  • 1
    it sounds like it would work out-of-box on Gnome, as it should be. With lots of Desktop Environments in Linux world, I happen to be not on Gnome. Still thank you for the hint.
    – RayLuo
    Jan 7, 2021 at 3:25

Use RAR rar e <filename> it comes with most distros. Created by brother of Eugene Rosahal who is the developer of RAR files.

  • 3
    rar is not a inbuilt command
    – shas
    Feb 4, 2019 at 5:13
  • 1
    Sorry, my fault. Anyway unrar neither. In fact, there is no way to extract rar files with a inbuilt command. Feb 4, 2019 at 10:00

If you do not have sudo rights, 7zip solved the problem for me. You need conda/miniconda installed beforehand:

conda install conda-forge::p7zip

And then

7z x foo.rar
  • 1
    Really wanted this to work but conda says that it doesn't exist: $ conda install -c conda-forge 7zip PackagesNotFoundError: The following packages are not available from current channels: - 7zip Current channels: - https://conda.anaconda.org/conda-forge/linux-64 - https://conda.anaconda.org/conda-forge/noarch - https://repo.anaconda.com/pkgs/main/linux-64 - https://repo.anaconda.com/pkgs/main/noarch - https://repo.anaconda.com/pkgs/r/linux-64 - https://repo.anaconda.com/pkgs/r/noarch
    – ojunk
    May 24, 2023 at 16:11

I'd suggest using a nearest available file manager, either Norton-like (Midnight Commander, Double Commander, Tux Commander, etc., whatever is present in your distribution) or window-based (as Dolphin). Most of them have enough intelligence to open all kinds of archives in a manner suitable for manual contents exploring, but, sometimes, they use external tools. For instance, my Kubuntu suggests Ark in such cases. They would need an external tool, as unrar, for accessing proprietary archive formats; if so, install the latter using a package manager.

If you want to extract the entire archive or a single specified file, unrar e extracts without full path, and unrar x also makes intermediate directories.

  • 1
    Since unrar is not open source, Fedora won't ship support for it in any form.
    – vonbrand
    Feb 23, 2016 at 12:59
  • 1
    @vonbrand Ubuntu provides both unrar and unrar-free. If Fedora can't include the latter, it's not a license issue.
    – Netch
    Feb 27, 2016 at 20:04
  • @vonbrand moreover, there is no word for Fedora from original author. Your approach to limit question to the only non-most-used distribution is destructive.
    – Netch
    Feb 27, 2016 at 20:09
  • 1
    Fedora won't ship anything that isn't open source. Unrar has strings attached ("don't use it to reverse engineer RAR compression"), so definitely not open source, and it is a licence issue.
    – vonbrand
    Feb 8, 2020 at 14:45
  • FYI: Nice try. But "Midnight Commander" errors out with a message "... urar: 1: ... not found". I guess it would still need the command line urar to exist beforehand.
    – RayLuo
    Jan 6, 2021 at 6:53

Install the unrar package. On Fedora, for eample, you can do so with:

sudo yum install unrar

Then, use it to extract the files:

unrar e filename.rar
  • 2
    Fedora 23 has no unrar package among its official packages. I got the source an installed it in my account.
    – vonbrand
    Feb 23, 2016 at 10:20
  • 2
    This is completely misleading. There is no such package.
    – vonbrand
    Feb 23, 2016 at 20:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .