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PeaZip is a cross-platform free rar file archiver & compression utility that provides an unified portable GUI for many Open Source technologies like 7-Zip, FreeArc, PAQ, UPX... free alternative to WinRar, WinZip and similar proprietary software.
- Create / compress 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, ZIP files
- Open and extract ACE, ARJ, CAB, DMG, ISO, LHA, RAR, UDF, ZIPX files and more,
over 200 archive types supported
Features of PeaZip includes:
rar files creator, opener and extractor, batch creation and extraction of multiple archives at once, convert files, create self-extracting archives, split and join files, strong encryption with two factor authentication, encrypted password manager, secure deletion, find duplicate files, calculate hash and checksum, export job definition as script.

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How to create RAR files, free rar compression utility

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RAR is a popular file archiving and compression format introduced for WinRAR (Eugene Roshal, 1995), a file archiver utility released for Microsoft Windows operating systems only. RAR compression is based on Lempel-Ziv LZSS and prediction by partial matching PPMd/PPMII (Dmitry Shkarin), which provides very good compression ratio, almost comparable with 7Z format.
The format also features data recovery capabilities (if optional recovery records are used while creating the archive), and optional AES based encryption.
"RAR" acronym stands for "Roshal ARchive", from the surname of the author.
Read more: what is a RAR file

PeaZip, freeware and open source archiver utility, can open and extract RAR files on Linux and Windows, using the Open Source code written by Igor Pavlov in 7-Zipfree rar file archiver and its POSIX port p7zip project.
Additionally, PeaZip can automatically configure itself to use WinRAR's Rar.exe to create RAR files from PeaZip's own GUI, but only if WinRAR is installed in the system, as due RarLab's licensing terms for rar format no third parts utility can distribute a rar creation tool, unless asking RarLab for licensing the format.

No alternative Open Source free RAR archiver utility (rar creator) is available: UNRAR is available as royalty-free and open source software for allowing extraction of RAR archives both on Linux and Microsoft Windows, but with the clause of not reverse engineering the code for implementing RAR compression which prevents development of royalty free rar archivers & compressors capable to create or add files to said format.

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The non reverse engineering clause about the RAR compression algorithm and code apply as well for any rewritten version, so no Free Software, royalty free RAR archiver and compressor can be created under current licensing terms. In other words, no open source alternative exist to WinRar's Rar.exe

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Consequently, due to RAR's license constrains, no free software can be written to be natively capable of writing RAR archives (which is required both for RAR archive creation, add / update and repairing), unless licensing clause is circumvented calling (Windows / Wine -only) WinRar's executable rar.exe itself, that requires having WinRar (shareware, free for 40 days only) downloaded and installed as a separate product.
Please note that WinRar license's time trial legal limitations apply to any part of the package (as i.e. Rar.exe) as well, even if it does not display the warning screen as the main WinRar's GUI executable.
More online resources: RarLab's WinRARrar file compression software shareware rar file archiver official domain, Lempel-Ziv LZSSLempel Ziv compression and prediction by partial matchingPPM compression PPMd/PPMII Wikipedia pages.

How to use free RAR compressor

Archive format dropdown menu in PeaZip compression screen allows to select "Custom" format, which lets the user select an arbitrary compressor executable, enter command parameters for it, and to customize the syntax of the generated script string in order to adapt to the syntax the compressor is expecting.
"RAR" checkbox in "Advanced" tab will switch automatic support for RAR format on/off.
This allows using PeaZip GUI as alternative way to create RAR files: if WinRAR 32 or 64 bit is installed in the host system PeaZip will display "Custom/RAR" and autoconfigure itself, by default, to use Rar.exe as compressor.
Due RarLab licensing / distribution terms, it is not possible to autonomously create archives in RAR format distributing, or creating a replacement for, Rar.exe, as explained in previous chapter: Rar.exe is free to use, but it is not free software.

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Set compression to Custom/RAR format
Chose "Custom/RAR" format in compression dialog, from there is possible to set basic options as compression level, file spanning, and set password / keyfile.
Following steps will only be necessary if it is needed to customize the task further, as PeaZip will take care to automatically configure parameters for
Rar.exe syntax.

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Set advanced RAR compression options

Go to "Advanced" tab for more RAR specific options, from here is possible to set if compressing to new RAR5 standard ot legacy RAR4, set dictionary size, use BLAKE2 instead of CRC, create self-extracting rar archive, create solid archive, create rar recovery records, etc.

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Configure rar command line parameters
Go to "Console" tab to see the command line composed for Rar.exe, to further refine the task beyond GUI's capabilities, or to save it as cli script for future use.

Advantage of using PeaZip as frontend for creation of RAR archives is the possibility to benefit of unique PeaZip features lacking in WinRAR, in example support for two factor authentication (password + keyfile), integrated archive conversion tool, secure deletion after archiving, easy file manager-like interface for composing the archive layout, ability to see, customize, and save task's command line, etc...
Employing Rar.exe backend allows PeaZip also to edit existing RAR archives, adding or deleting files, and modifiyng existing files in archive.





FAQ > How to > Create rar files, free rar compression utility

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