Creating RAR archives in Linux is a simple and efficient way to compress and organize files. RAR, a proprietary archive format, is widely used due to its superior compression ratio and ability to handle large files. Developed by RARLAB, the RAR format is used in conjunction with WinRAR on Windows systems and the rar command-line utility on Linux systems.

Although rar isn't pre-installed on most Linux distributions, it can be easily installed through your distribution's default package manager. Once installed, you can create, extract, and manage RAR archives using the terminal application.

Steps to compress file and folder using rar in Linux:

  1. Open your preferred terminal application such as Konsole or GNOME Terminal.
  2. Install the RAR utility for your specific Linux distribution.
    $ sudo apt update && sudo apt install --assume-yes rar # Ubuntu and Debian
  3. Navigate to the directory containing the files and folders you want to archive.
    $ cd /home/user
    $ ls
  4. Create a RAR archive of the selected files and folders.
    $ rar a archive.rar archive
    RAR 5.50   Copyright (c) 1993-2017 Alexander Roshal   11 Aug 2017
    Trial version             Type 'rar -?' for help
    Evaluation copy. Please register.
    Creating archive archive.rar
    Adding    archive/folder-02/file-02                                   OK
    Adding    archive/folder-02/file-01                                   OK
    Adding    archive/folder-01/file-02                                   OK
    Adding    archive/folder-01/file-01                                   OK
    Adding    archive/folder-02                                           OK
    Adding    archive/folder-01                                           OK
    Adding    archive                                                     OK

    Other options for rar command:

    RAR 5.50   Copyright (c) 1993-2017 Alexander Roshal   11 Aug 2017
    Trial version             Type 'rar -?' for help
    Usage:     rar <command> -<switch 1> -<switch N> <archive> <files...>
                   <@listfiles...> <path_to_extract\>
      a             Add files to archive
      c             Add archive comment
      ch            Change archive parameters
      cw            Write archive comment to file
      d             Delete files from archive
      e             Extract files without archived paths
      f             Freshen files in archive
      i[par]=<str>  Find string in archives
      k             Lock archive
      l[t[a],b]     List archive contents [technical[all], bare]
      m[f]          Move to archive [files only]
      p             Print file to stdout
      r             Repair archive
      rc            Reconstruct missing volumes
      rn            Rename archived files
      rr[N]         Add data recovery record
      rv[N]         Create recovery volumes
      s[name|-]     Convert archive to or from SFX
      t             Test archive files
      u             Update files in archive
      v[t[a],b]     Verbosely list archive contents [technical[all],bare]
      x             Extract files with full path
      -             Stop switches scanning
      @[+]          Disable [enable] file lists
      ad            Append archive name to destination path
      ag[format]    Generate archive name using the current date
      ai            Ignore file attributes
      ap<path>      Set path inside archive
      as            Synchronize archive contents
      c-            Disable comments show
      cfg-          Disable read configuration
      cl            Convert names to lower case
      cu            Convert names to upper case
      df            Delete files after archiving
      dh            Open shared files
      ds            Disable name sort for solid archive
      dw            Wipe files after archiving
      e[+]<attr>    Set file exclude and include attributes
      ed            Do not add empty directories
      en            Do not put 'end of archive' block
      ep            Exclude paths from names
      ep1           Exclude base directory from names
      ep3           Expand paths to full including the drive letter
      f             Freshen files
      hp[password]  Encrypt both file data and headers
      ht[b|c]       Select hash type [BLAKE2,CRC32] for file checksum
      id[c,d,p,q]   Disable messages
      ierr          Send all messages to stderr
      ilog[name]    Log errors to file (registered versions only)
      inul          Disable all messages
      isnd          Enable sound
      iver          Display the version number
      k             Lock archive
      kb            Keep broken extracted files
      log[f][=name] Write names to log file
      m<0..5>       Set compression level (0-store...3-default...5-maximal)
      ma[4|5]       Specify a version of archiving format
      mc<par>       Set advanced compression parameters
      md<n>[k,m,g]  Dictionary size in KB, MB or GB
      ms[ext;ext]   Specify file types to store
      mt<threads>   Set the number of threads
      n<file>       Additionally filter included files
      n@            Read additional filter masks from stdin
      n@<list>      Read additional filter masks from list file
      o[+|-]        Set the overwrite mode
      oh            Save hard links as the link instead of the file
      oi[0-4][:min] Save identical files as references
      ol[a]         Process symbolic links as the link [absolute paths]
      or            Rename files automatically
      ow            Save or restore file owner and group
      p[password]   Set password
      p-            Do not query password
      qo[-|+]       Add quick open information [none|force]
      r             Recurse subdirectories
      r-            Disable recursion
      r0            Recurse subdirectories for wildcard names only
      rr[N]         Add data recovery record
      rv[N]         Create recovery volumes
      s[<N>,v[-],e] Create solid archive
      s-            Disable solid archiving
      sc<chr>[obj]  Specify the character set
      sfx[name]     Create SFX archive
      si[name]      Read data from standard input (stdin)
      sl<size>      Process files with size less than specified
      sm<size>      Process files with size more than specified
      t             Test files after archiving
      ta<date>      Process files modified after <date> in YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format
      tb<date>      Process files modified before <date> in YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format
      tk            Keep original archive time
      tl            Set archive time to latest file
      tn<time>      Process files newer than <time>
      to<time>      Process files older than <time>
      ts[m|c|a]     Save or restore file time (modification, creation, access)
      u             Update files
      v<size>[k,b]  Create volumes with size=<size>*1000 [*1024, *1]
      ver[n]        File version control
      vn            Use the old style volume naming scheme
      vp            Pause before each volume
      w<path>       Assign work directory
      x<file>       Exclude specified file
      x@            Read file names to exclude from stdin
      x@<list>      Exclude files listed in specified list file
      y             Assume Yes on all queries
      z[file]       Read archive comment from file
  5. View information of the newly created rar archive file.
    $ file archive.rar
    archive.rar: RAR archive data, v5
    $ ls -lh archive.rar
    -rw-rw-r-- 1 user user 412 Nov  3 08:32 archive.rar
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