AR(1) General Commands Manual AR(1)
ar – create and maintain library archives
ar -d [-TLsv] archive file ...
ar -m [-TLsv] archive file ...
ar -m [-abiTLsv] position archive file ...
ar -p [-TLsv] archive [file ...]
ar -q [-cTLsv] archive file ...
ar -r [-cuTLsv] archive file ...
ar -r [-abciuTLsv] position archive file ...
ar -t [-TLsv] archive [file ...]
ar -x [-ouTLsv] archive [file ...]
The ar utility creates and maintains groups of files combined into an
archive. Once an archive has been created, new files can be added and
existing files can be extracted, deleted, or replaced.
Files are named in the archive by a single component, i.e., if a file
referenced by a path containing a slash (``/'') is archived it will be
named by the last component of that path. When matching paths listed on
the command line against file names stored in the archive, only the last
component of the path will be compared.
All informational and error messages use the path listed on the command
line, if any was specified, otherwise the name in the archive is used. If
multiple files in the archive have the same name, and paths are listed on
the command line to ``select'' archive files for an operation, only the
first file with a matching name will be selected.
The normal use of ar is for the creation and maintenance of libraries
suitable for use with the loader (see ld(1)) although it is not restricted
to this purpose. The options are as follows:
-a A positioning modifier used with the options -r and -m. The files
are entered or moved after the archive member position, which must
-b A positioning modifier used with the options -r and -m. The files
are entered or moved before the archive member position, which must
-c Whenever an archive is created, an informational message to that
effect is written to standard error. If the -c option is
specified, ar creates the archive silently.
-d Delete the specified archive files.
-i Identical to the -b option.
-m Move the specified archive files within the archive. If one of the
options -a, -b or -i are specified, the files are moved before or
after the position file in the archive. If none of those options
are specified, the files are moved to the end of the archive.
-o Set the access and modification times of extracted files to the
modification time of the file when it was entered into the archive.
This will fail if the user is not the owner of the extracted file
or the super-user.
-p Write the contents of the specified archive files to the standard
output. If no files are specified, the contents of all the files
in the archive are written in the order they appear in the archive.
-q (Quickly) append the specified files to the archive. If the
archive does not exist a new archive file is created. Much faster
than the -r option, when creating a large archive piece-by-piece,
as no checking is done to see if the files already exist in the
-r Replace or add the specified files to the archive. If the archive
does not exist a new archive file is created. Files that replace
existing files do not change the order of the files within the
archive. New files are appended to the archive unless one of the
options -a, -b or -i is specified.
-T Select and/or name archive members using only the first fifteen
characters of the archive member or command line file name. The
historic archive format had sixteen bytes for the name, but some
historic archiver and loader implementations were unable to handle
names that used the entire space. This means that file names that
are not unique in their first fifteen characters can subsequently
be confused. A warning message is printed to the standard error
output if any file names are truncated. (See ar(5) for more
-L Used the extended format to allow long archive member names. This
is the default.
-s Write an object-file index into the archive, or update an existing
one, even if no other change is made to the archive. You may use
this modifier flag either with any operation, or alone. Running
`ar s' on an archive is equivalent to running `ranlib' on it.
-S Do not generate an archive symbol table. This can speed up
building a large library in several steps. The resulting archive
can not be used with the linker. In order to build a symbol table,
you must omit the S modifier on the last execution of ar, or you
must run ranlib on the archive.
-t List the specified files in the order in which they appear in the
archive, each on a separate line. If no files are specified, all
files in the archive are listed.
-u Update files. When used with the -r option, files in the archive
will be replaced only if the disk file has a newer modification
time than the file in the archive. When used with the -x option,
files in the archive will be extracted only if the archive file has
a newer modification time than the file on disk.
-v Provide verbose output. When used with the -d, -m, -q or -x
options, ar gives a file-by-file description of the archive
modification. This description consists of three, white-space
separated fields: the option letter, a dash (``-'') and the file
name. When used with the -r option, ar displays the description as
above, but the initial letter is an ``a'' if the file is added to
the archive and an ``r'' if the file replaces a file already in the
When used with the -p option, the name of each printed file is
written to the standard output before the contents of the file,
preceded by a single newline character, and followed by two newline
characters, enclosed in less-than (``<'') and greater-than (``>'')
When used with the -t option, ar displays an ``ls -l'' style
listing of information about the members of the archive. This
listing consists of eight, white-space separated fields: the file
permissions (see strmode(3) ), the decimal user and group ID's,
separated by a single slash (``/''), the file size (in bytes), the
file modification time (in the date(1) format ``%b %e %H:%M %Y''),
and the name of the file.
-x Extract the specified archive members into the files named by the
command line arguments. If no members are specified, all the
members of the archive are extracted into the current directory.
If the file does not exist, it is created; if it does exist, the
owner and group will be unchanged. The file access and
modification times are the time of the extraction (but see the -o
option). The file permissions will be set to those of the file
when it was entered into the archive; this will fail if the user is
not the owner of the extracted file or the super-user.
The ar utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
TMPDIR The pathname of the directory to use when creating temporary files.
/tmp default temporary file directory
temporary file names
By default, ar writes archives that may be incompatible with historic
archives, as the format used for storing archive members with names longer
than fifteen characters has changed. This implementation of ar is backward
compatible with previous versions of ar in that it can read and write
(using the -T option) historic archives. The -T option is provided for
compatibility only, and will be deleted in a future release. See ar(5) for
The ar utility is expected to offer a superset of the IEEE Std 1003.2
ld(1), ranlib(1), strmode(3), ar(5)
Darwin July 27, 2005 Darwin