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Latest revision as of 01:25, 13 December 2019

File Format
Name AR
Extension(s) .a, .lib

ar is a non-compressed archive format for Unix-style operating systems. It was mostly superseded by tar for general archiving use, but persists in use for specialized applications involving linkable libraries for development.


[edit] Overview

There are at least 5 different variants of the ar file format since it has never been formally standardized: AIX(big), AIX(small), Coherent, BSD, and GNU.

[edit] Examples

To list the contents of an archive, using the ar utility:

$ ar tv example.a

To extract the contents of an archive:

$ ar xvo example.a

[edit] Software

[edit] References

  • Wikipedia page for the ar archiver
  • IBM AIX documentation on scribd here (page 386+; someone might find a better accessible version)
  • Also from IBM is this description (and this for the "small" variant)
  • The Microsoft PE/COFF documentation also has a section on .lib files which use the same format
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