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RAR - What's new in the latest version

Version 5.80 beta 1

1. It is allowed to combine several modifiers in the same -ts switch.

For example, we can use -tsca instead -tsc -tsa.

2. Command line -agf<default_format> switch specifies the default format

string for -ag switch. It has a practical value only if placed to
rar.ini configuration file or to RAR environment variable.
For example, if we set RAR environment variable to -agfYYYY-MMM-DD,
we can use -ag without a parameter with YYYY-MMM-DD format string

3. Switches -ed and -e+d can be used in archive processing commands

for any combination of RAR and archive operating systems.
In older versions RAR for Windows could not use them for Unix RAR
archives also as RAR for Unix for Windows RAR archives.

4. Similarly to RAR5 volumes, recovery volumes in RAR4 format use

the same width of volume number field as corresponding RAR volumes.
While previously RAR could create arc.part01.rar and arc.part1.rev
in RAR4 format, now both types of volumes will use "part01".

5. "i" command:

a) if "t" modifer is used, RAR will search the specified strings

in UTF-8 files as well, additionally to ANSI and UTF-16 encodings;

b) better support for Unicode text strings;

c) better performance, especially for case insensitive search;

d) hexadecimal search output includes both text and hexadecimal

representation of found matches.

6. Bugs fixed:

a) previous RAR version failed to unpack folder records

in archives created by RAR 1.50.

Version 5.71

1. Ctrl+C allows to abort RAR "l" command quickly. In previous versions

it could take several seconds until list command stopped.

2. Bugs fixed:

a) in "RAR x -x<mask> arcname" command, parent directories of files

matching the specified mask also were excluded from extracting.

Version 5.70

1. Command line -ta, -tb, -tn, -to switches accept 'm', 'c' and 'a'
modifiers after the switch name. So file time conditions can include
not only the file modification time as in previous versions,
but also creation (ctime "change time" for Unix) and last access time.

Such switch can include multiple modifiers to set the same date
for all specified times. For example, -tamc20190215 will process files
modified and created after 2019-02-15.
New 'o' modifier permits to switch from AND to OR logic,
so -tamco20190215 includes files modified or created after 2019-02-15.
It is also allowed to specify several time filtering switches
with different dates in the same command line, like:
-taco20190201 -tbmo20190210

Switches -ta and -tn also include files matching the specified date
exactly. Switches -tb and -to exclude such files.

2. New -ad1 switch can be used when unpacking multiple archives

recursively, such as 'rar x -r -ad1 arc\*.rar'. It creates
a separate folder for files unpacked from each archive,
but unlike already existing -ad switch, it creates such folders
in each archive folder.

3. Bugs fixed:

a) RAR mixed up source and destination file sizes and times

in the overwrite prompt when updating a file in RAR archive
with -o switch;

b) commands modifying an existing RAR4 volume reset the volume number

field to 1. While it did not affect extraction, tools like WinRAR
displayed a wrong volume number for such volumes;

c) fixed a crash when reading an archive comment from a corrupt

RAR file.

Version 5.61

1. Fixed a crash when processing corrupt RAR archives.

This issue may be also associated with security risks.

Version 5.60

1. "Repair" command efficiency is improved for recovery record protected

RAR5 archives. Now it can detect deletions and insertions of unlimited
size also as shuffled data including data taken from several recovery
record protected archives and merged into a single file in arbitrary

2. If encoding of comment file specified in -z<file> switch is not

defined with -sc switch, RAR attempts to detect UTF-8, UTF-16LE
and UTF-16BE encodings based on the byte order mask and data
validity tests.

3. "Update" and "Fresh" commands ('u' and 'f' in the command line mode)
quit immediately if no files are to be updated. Previously they created
a temporary archive before quitting when updating archives with recovery
record or quick open information.

4. "Repair" command issues "Recovery record is corrupt" message

after repairing RAR5 archive containing a broken recovery record.
Previously such message was issued only by "Test" command
and "Repair" handled most of recovery record damages silently.

5. Bugs fixed:

a) fixed potential security issues when processing corrupt

RAR archives;
b) -tl and -tk switches did not work with archive modification

c) command like 'rar a arcname.rar subdir/arcname.rar' erroneously

issued "No files" warning and refused to add the file.

Version 5.50

1. RAR uses RAR 5.0 archive format by default. You can change it to
RAR 4.x compatible format with -ma4 command line switch.

2. Added support for 1 nanosecond file time precision on Unix platform.

3. You can specify 'f' charset value in -sc switch to use UTF-8
encoding. For example:

rar a -scfl arcname @filelist.txt

to read contents of filelist.txt as UTF-8 text.

4. RAR "lt" and "vt" commands display file times with nanosecond
precision. Such precision is used in RAR5 archives created
by RAR/Unix 5.50. Archives created by Windows RAR version
have 100ns file time precision.

5. Only '+', '-' and '1' precision modifiers are supported

in -ts switch now. Use '+' to store the file time with maximum
precision, '-' to omit the file time and '1' to store it with
1 second precision. Intermediate precision modes previously
defined with '2' and '3' modifiers are not available in RAR 5.0
archive format and ignored by -ts switch.

6. If a wrong password is entered when unpacking an encrypted file

in RAR5 archive, RAR proposes to enter a valid password
for same file again instead of aborting extraction.

7. Bugs fixed:

a) fixed crashes and security vulnerability when unpacking corrupt

RAR archives;

b) directory owners were not set when extracting RAR5 archives

created with -ow switch;

c) if only creation or only last access file time was stored in RAR5
archive with 1 second precision, such as with -ma5 -tsm- -tsa1
switches, this stored time was ignored when extracting.

Version 5.40

1. If RAR recovery volumes (.rev files) are present in the same directory
as usual RAR volumes, archive test command verifies .rev contents
after completing testing .rar files.

If you wish to test only .rev files without checking .rar volumes,
you can run:

rar t arcname.part1.rev

2. Previously "Synchronize archive contents" mode (-as switch) aborted

if some of archiving directories could not be read. Now RAR continues
performing the operation and preserves archived files matching
unreadable directories.

3. If -iver switch is specified, RAR displays the version number

and quits. You can run just "RAR -iver".

4. If -p switch is used without optional <pwd> parameter,

a password can be also set with file redirection or pipe.

For example: rar -p myarc.rar myfiles < psw.txt

5. RAR treats 'arcname.partN' as 'arcname.partN.rar'

if 'arcname.partN' does not exist and 'arcname.part#.rar' exists.

For example, it is allowed to run:

RAR x arcname.part01

to start extraction from arcname.part01.rar

6. Maximum comment length for RAR archives is increased

from 64 to 256 KB.

7. Switch -scul can be used to process big endian UTF-16 list files
as well, provided that they have a correct byte order mark.
Previously it allowed only little endian file lists.

Version 5.30

1. Directory wildcards are allowed in RAR command line in file names to

archive. For example:

rar a backup c:\backup\2015*\*

Recursion is enabled automatically for such directory wildcards

even if -r switch is not specified.

2. New 'R' object for -sc switch defines encoding of console

RAR messages sent to redirected files and pipes. For example:

rar lb -scur data > list.txt

will produce Unicode list.txt with archived file names.

3. Console RAR "l" and "v" commands display file time in YYYY-MM-DD

4. "Test" command also verifies contents of NTFS alternate data streams

in RAR 3.x - 5.x archives. Previously their contents was checked
only during extraction command.

5. Bugs fixed:

a) console RAR crashed instead of displaying an overwrite prompt

when attempting to add files to already existing volumes;

b) console RAR "lt" command did not display seconds in file timestamp.

Version 5.21

1. While previous versions could produce RAR5 volumes of slightly

smaller than requested size sometimes, such situation is less
likely now. In most cases volume size equals to specified by user.

2. Now by default RAR skips symbolic links with absolute paths

in link target when extracting. You can enable creating such links
with -ola switch.

Such links pointing to directories outside of extraction destination

directory can present a security risk. Enable their extraction only
if you are sure that archive contents is safe, such as your own backup.

Version 5.20

1. RAR can read the default set of switches from .rarrc file stored
in the user's home directory. Previously it was possible to
define only the same set of switches for all RAR command with
"switches=<switches>" string. Now .rarrc also allows to specify
separate switch sets for individual RAR commands using
the following syntax:

switches_<command>=<any RAR switches, separated by spaces>

For example:

switches_a=-m5 -s

2. File overwrite prompt displays the size and modification time

for existing and new files.

3. When archiving from stdin with -si switch, RAR sets the current system
time to modification time of archived file. Previous version did not
set this time at all.

4. It is possible to use -si and -v<size> switches together. Previous

versions did not allow to create volumes when archiving from stdin.

Version 5.11

1. Timestamp is set to extracted symlinks.

2. Bugs fixed:

a) deleting a file in RAR5 solid archive containing files stored

with -ver switch caused such files to lose version information.

Version 5.10

1. Switch -ai can be used when creating RAR archive,

so predefined values, typical for file and directory,
are stored instead of actual attributes.
Previously this switch could be used only when extracting.

Version 5.00

1. New RAR 5.0 archiving format. You can use -ma command line switch
to create RAR 5.0 archives. By default RAR creates archives
in 4.x format.

2. Changes in RAR 5.0 compression algorithm:

a) maximum compression dictionary size is increased up to 1 GB
in 64 bit RAR. 32 bit RAR version can use up to 256 MB
dictionary when creating an archive. Both 32 bit and 64 bit
versions can unpack archives with any dictionary size,
including 1 GB;

b) default dictionary size for RAR 5.0 is 32 MB, typically resulting

in higher compression ratio and lower speed than RAR 4.x 4 MB.
You can use -md<size> switch to change this value;

c) -md<size> switch syntax is modified to support larger dictionary

sizes. Append 'k', 'm' and 'g' modifiers to specify the size
in kilo-, mega- and gigabytes, like -md64m for 64 MB dictionary.
If modifiers are not present, megabytes are assumed,
so -md64m is equal to -md64;

d) RAR 5.0 format includes Intel IA-32 executable and delta

compression algorithms, but RAR 4.x text, audio, true color
and Itanium algorithms are not supported. These excluded algorithms
are not efficient for modern data types and hardware configurations;

e) RAR 5.0 decompression can utilize several CPU cores.

Though not to same extent as in compression algorithm,
it improves the decompression speed on large files
with poorly compressible data or when using BLAKE2 checksums.

3. Changes in RAR 5.0 archive format:

a) file times are stored as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

instead of former local time, making file exchange among
several time zones more straightforward;

b) file names and archive comments use UTF-8 encoding.

4. RAR 5.0 recovery record is based on Reed-Solomon error correction

codes. If recovery record size is large enough, 5% and more,
the new error correction scheme provides much higher resistance to
multiple damages comparing to RAR 4.x recovery record.
Smaller record, such as 1 - 2%, or less random damage type would
result in less difference between 4.x and 5.0. For single continuous
damage 4.x and 5.0 efficiency is about the same.

Additionally to usual data erasures, the new recovery record

is able to detect deletions and insertions of much larger size
than in previous RAR versions. Maximum insertion size is several
megabytes. Maximum deletion size depends on the damage type
and in some cases can be as large as the recovery record size.

Still, the best recovery performance and efficiency is achieved

if no deletions and insertions are present, so all data including
damaged sectors preserve their original positions. Thus, if you use
some special software to copy an archive from damaged media,
it is better to choose the mode, when damaged sectors are filled by
zeroes or any other data instead of cutting them out completely
from resulting file.

RAR 5.0 recovery record is more resistant to damage of recovery record

itself and can utilize a partially corrupt recovery record data.
Note, though, that "Repair" command does not fix broken blocks
in recovery record. Only file data are corrected. After successful
archive repair, you may need to create a new recovery record
for saved files.

New recovery record is not based on 512 byte sectors anymore

and incorporates more complicated data structures. So it is impossible
to specify its size in sectors. For RAR 5.0 archives the parameter of
-rr[N] switch and rr[N] command is always treated as a percent of
archive size regardless of presence of % character. Typically N%
recovery record can repair up to N% of continuously damaged data
and increases the archive size by only slightly more than N%.
Ability to fix multiple damages is proportional to N.

We used "Screaming Fast Galois Field Arithmetic Using Intel

SIMD Instructions" paper by James S. Plank, Kevin M. Greenan
and Ethan L. Miller to improve Reed-Solomon coding performance.
Also we are grateful to Artem Drobanov and Bulat Ziganshin
for samples and ideas allowed to make Reed-Solomon coding
more efficient.

5. "Test" command verifies validity of RAR 5.0 recovery record.

Recovery record is tested after processing all archived files.

If corrupt archive contains the recovery record, it might be possible

to repair it even if recovery record validity test is failed.
"Repair" command attempts to utilize even a partially damaged
recovery record. So treat the negative recovery record test result
as a reason to re-create the archive if original files are still
available, but not as a reason to avoid "Repair" command.

6. Changes in RAR 5.0 encryption algorithm:

a) encryption algorithm is changed from AES-128 to AES-256 in CBC mode.

Key derivation function is based on PBKDF2 using HMAC-SHA256;

b) special password verification value allows to detect most of

wrong passwords without necessity to unpack the entire file;

c) if archive headers are not encrypted ("Encrypt file names" option

is off), file checksums for encrypted RAR 5.0 files are modified
using a special password dependent algorithm, to make impossible
guessing file contents based on checksums. Do not expect such
encrypted file checksums to match usual CRC32 and BLAKE2 values.

7. Switch -htb allows to utilize 256 bit length BLAKE2sp hash

( ) instead of 32 bit CRC32 as a file checksum.

While producing slightly larger archives, BLAKE2 can be used

for file contents identification. If two files have the same
BLAKE2 value, it practically guarantees that file contents
is the same. BLAKE2 error detection property is also stronger
than in much shorter CRC32.

8. Features removed:

a) authenticity verification feature did not provide the required

level of reliability and was removed;

b) switch -en (do not add "end of archive" block) is not supported
by RAR 5.0 archives, which always have the end of archive block.
This block helps RAR to safely skip external data like
digital signatures appended to archive;

c) old style extension based arcname.rNN volume names are not

supported by RAR 5.0 archives, which use only arcname.partN.rar
volume names;

d) file comments are not supported anymore both in RAR 4.x

and RAR 5.0 archives. Console RAR 'cf' command is removed.
It does not affect the archive comment support, which is present
in both versions of archive format and is not planned for removal.

9. Switch -oh stores hard links as link instead of file. It is available

only for RAR 5.0 archive format.

10. Changes in recovery volume processing in RAR 5.0 archive format:

a) maximum number of RAR+REV volumes in RAR 5.0 format is 65535

instead of 255;

b) recovery volume operations are faster than in RAR 4.x;

c) additionally to recovery data, RAR 5.0 REV files also store

service information such as checksums of protected RAR files.
So they are slightly larger than RAR volumes which they protect.
If you plan to copy individual RAR and REV files to some removable
media, you need to take it into account and specify RAR volume
size by a few kilobytes smaller than media size.

11. Command line RAR returns the exit code 11 if it can detect that
user entered a wrong password. This code can be returned only
for RAR 5.0 archives. It is impossible to distinguish a wrong
password and data damage for RAR 4.x archives.

12. 'v' and 'l' commands display archived file names in the end of line,
not in that beginning as before. Also some fields previously
available in 'l' and 'v' output are now shown only by 'lt' and 'vt'.

'vt' and 'lt' commands provide the detailed multiline information

for every archived file.

'vta' and 'lta' also include service headers into list.

13. UTF-16 little endian encoding is used in RAR log file rar.log,
so Unicode file names are stored in the log correctly.

You can use -sc<charset>g switch to change the default log file
encoding, such as -scag for native single byte encoding.

14. Command line 'r' (repair) command can include an optional destpath\
parameter defining the destination folder for repaired archive:

rar r archive.rar destpath\

Version 4.20

1. Changes in RAR compression:

a) Multithreaded RAR compression is enabled by default.

You can disable it with -mt1 switch.

Comparing to RAR 4.11, some speed gain is possible

in single processor mode as well.

Speed gain depends on data type and average file size.

Several cores are utilized more efficiently when compressing
large files.

b) we had to increase memory requirements to achieve higher

compression speed. General RAR compression algorithm allocates
about 120 MB comparing to 40 MB in RAR 4.11;
c) RAR text compression algorithm cannot utilize several CPU cores
efficiently, so its performance in multiprocessor environment
is much lower than for general algorithm. Also its decompression
speed is much lower than in general algorithm regardless of
CPU number. So we decided to disable the text algorithm by default.

If you need maximum possible compression ratio for plain text data
regardless of speed, you can enable the text compression
with -mct switch.

2. RAR general decompression algorithm speed is slightly improved,

though not to same extent as RAR compression. RAR decompression
is not able to use several processor cores, so its performance
does not depend on a number of cores.

Version 4.11

1. Bugs fixed:

a) if -x*\somedir\* exclusion mask was specified when archiving

and if name of current directory contained 'somedir', RAR could
exclude all files and stop creating an archive.

Version 4.10

1. Modifications of switch -ag behavior:

a) -ag can be used with all RAR commands, not just with archiving only;

b) 'N' format character behavior differs in archiving and non-archiving

operations. When archiving, it is incremented until the first unused
name is found. In non-archiving operations like extracting it selects
the existing archive preceding the first unused name;

c) 'I' format character allows to specify minutes regardless of presence

and position of 'H' (hours) in format string. It can be used
instead of 'M' (minutes), when you wish to place minutes before
hours or do not need hours at all.

2. New -log[fmt][=name] switch allows to write archive and file names

to log file in archiving, extracting, deleting and listing commands.
This switch is especially useful, when you need to further process
an archive created with -ag or -v switches, because -log provides
the archive name generated by RAR.

3. New -@[+] switch allows to process all parameters starting from

'@' character either as file names (-@) or as file lists (-@+).

4. Volume size in -v<size> switch can be specified as a decimal fraction.

Dot (.) is used as the decimal mark. For example, -v1.5g means
1.5 gigabytes.

Version 4.01

1. Bugs fixed:

a) "Repair" command failed to properly reconstruct structure

of RAR archives, which contained at least one file with packed
size exceeding 4 GB.

This bug did not affect the recovery record based repair.
It happened only if recovery record was not found and RAR
performed reconstruction of archive structure;

b) RAR could crash when creating a new archive with -agNNNN switch
if archive number in generated name was very large,
like a thousand or more.

Version 4.00

1. RAR decompression speed is improved. Depending on data type,

decompression can be up to 30% faster than in previous versions.

Both the general RAR algorithm and most of special RAR multimedia
methods benefit from this improvement. The only module of RAR
algorithm, which is not affected, is "Text compression" method.

2. Changes in -x<file> switch syntax. Now you can specify a wildcard

exclusion mask for folders. Such mask must have the trailing '\'
character, like -x*tmp*\ or -x*\temp\

3. Recovery volume processing involves less disk seek operations

resulting in higher performance.

4. New error code 10 ("no files") is added to list of error codes.

This new code can be returned by archive, extract, delete
and repair commands. It means that RAR did not find any files
matched the specified file or archive mask.