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How To UnRAR files in Linux?

Updated on March 11, 2010

Compression utilities play a vital role in securing our important files by encryption methods or they help us compress our files thereby saving a considerable amount of disk space (large files especially). So compressing files and folders are direly needed tasks irrespective of operating system. It is noted that people who uses multiple operating systems, namely Microsoft Windows and Linux. Now, it's quite natural that you may need you file when you are working on a particular system but the file was compressed using a utility in another operating system. This is a common issue for those who make use of a PC with dual boot. I have encountered this problem a lot of times.

Different file types

Linux uses utlities of compression which produces files with extensions such as .tar.gz, .tar.bz2 and more. Similarly, Windows uses esxtensions like .zip, .rar and more. So what happens if we want to open or uncompress a file which is compressed using WinRar in Windows? You cannot just right-click the file and select “Extract here” option from the menu. So, you need to do something extar here if you want to unrar the file in Linux distributions like Debian, Ubuntu, Mandriva and more. Read the steps carefully to know how.

Note :-


This commands would work only in debian based linux distributions and so not in redhat based ones.


  • First, enter the following command in your terminal console.


            sudo apt-get install unrar


  • After entering your password, the installation will begin and it will finish within seconds. Now all you have to do is unrar the file using the following command. For that, just copy the file in home folder so that you can make it with this small command, rather than using a large command consisting of the directory in which the file is located.


            sudo unrar e filename.rar


That's it. You have uncompressed the file. And fortunately, the default compssion utility in Linux supports the file .zip file extensions. So, no need to worry about zip files.

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