AR linux command manual

AR(1)                      GNU Development Tools                       AR(1)

       ar - create, modify, and extract from archives

       ar [-X32_64] [-]p[mod [relpos] [count]] archive [member...]

       The  GNU ar program creates, modifies, and extracts from archives.  An
       archive is a single file holding a collection  of  other  files  in  a
       structure  that  makes it possible to retrieve the original individual
       files (called members of the archive).

       The original files' contents, mode  (permissions),  timestamp,  owner,
       and group are preserved in the archive, and can be restored on extrac-

       GNU ar can maintain archives whose members have names of  any  length;
       however,  depending on how ar is configured on your system, a limit on
       member-name length may be imposed for compatibility with archive  for-
       mats maintained with other tools.  If it exists, the limit is often 15
       characters (typical of formats related  to  a.out)  or  16  characters
       (typical of formats related to coff).

       ar  is  considered  a binary utility because archives of this sort are
       most often used as libraries holding commonly needed subroutines.

       ar creates an index to the symbols defined in relocatable object  mod-
       ules  in  the  archive when you specify the modifier s.  Once created,
       this index is updated in the archive whenever ar makes a change to its
       contents  (save  for the q update operation).  An archive with such an
       index speeds up linking to the library, and  allows  routines  in  the
       library  to  call  each other without regard to their placement in the

       You may use nm -s or nm --print-armap to list this index table.  If an
       archive  lacks the table, another form of ar called ranlib can be used
       to add just the table.

       GNU ar is designed to be compatible  with  two  different  facilities.
       You can control its activity using command-line options, like the dif-
       ferent varieties of ar on Unix systems; or, if you specify the  single
       command-line  option -M, you can control it with a script supplied via
       standard input, like the MRI ''librarian'' program.

       GNU ar allows you to mix the operation code p and modifier  flags  mod
       in any order, within the first command-line argument.

       If  you  wish,  you  may  begin the first command-line argument with a

       The p keyletter specifies what operation to execute; it may be any  of
       the following, but you must specify only one of them:

       d   Delete  modules from the archive.  Specify the names of modules to
           be deleted as member...; the archive is untouched if  you  specify
           no files to delete.

           If  you  specify  the  v  modifier,  ar lists each module as it is

       m   Use this operation to move members in an archive.

           The ordering of members in an archive can make a difference in how
           programs  are  linked using the library, if a symbol is defined in
           more than one member.

           If no modifiers are used with "m", any members  you  name  in  the
           member  arguments are moved to the end of the archive; you can use
           the a, b, or i  modifiers  to  move  them  to  a  specified  place

       p   Print the specified members of the archive, to the standard output
           file.  If the v modifier is specified, show the member name before
           copying its contents to standard output.

           If  you  specify no member arguments, all the files in the archive
           are printed.

       q   Quick append; Historically, add the files member... to the end  of
           archive, without checking for replacement.

           The  modifiers  a, b, and i do not affect this operation; new mem-
           bers are always placed at the end of the archive.

           The modifier v makes ar list each file as it is appended.

           Since the point of this operation is speed, the  archive's  symbol
           table  index  is  not updated, even if it already existed; you can
           use ar s or ranlib explicitly to update the symbol table index.

           However, too many different systems assume quick  append  rebuilds
           the index, so GNU ar implements q as a synonym for r.

       r   Insert  the  files member... into archive (with replacement). This
           operation differs from q in that any previously  existing  members
           are deleted if their names match those being added.

           If one of the files named in member... does not exist, ar displays
           an error message, and leaves undisturbed any existing  members  of
           the archive matching that name.

           By  default, new members are added at the end of the file; but you
           may use one of the modifiers a, b, or i to request placement rela-
           tive to some existing member.

           The  modifier  v used with this operation elicits a line of output
           for each file inserted, along with one of the letters a  or  r  to
           indicate  whether the file was appended (no old member deleted) or

       t   Display a table listing the contents of archive, or those  of  the
           files  listed  in member... that are present in the archive.  Nor-
           mally only the member name is shown; if you also want to  see  the
           modes  (permissions),  timestamp,  owner, group, and size, you can
           request that by also specifying the v modifier.

           If you do not specify a member,  all  files  in  the  archive  are

           If there is more than one file with the same name (say, fie) in an
           archive (say b.a), ar t b.a fie lists only the first instance;  to
           see  them  all, you must ask for a complete listing---in our exam-
           ple, ar t b.a.

       x   Extract members (named member) from the archive.  You can use  the
           v  modifier with this operation, to request that ar list each name
           as it extracts it.

           If you do not specify a member,  all  files  in  the  archive  are

       A number of modifiers (mod) may immediately follow the p keyletter, to
       specify variations on an operation's behavior:

       a   Add new files after an existing member of the archive.  If you use
           the  modifier  a,  the  name of an existing archive member must be
           present as the relpos argument, before the archive  specification.

       b   Add  new  files  before an existing member of the archive.  If you
           use the modifier b, the name of an existing archive member must be
           present  as the relpos argument, before the archive specification.
           (same as i).

       c   Create the archive.  The specified archive is always created if it
           did  not  exist,  when  you  request  an update.  But a warning is
           issued unless you specify in advance that you expect to create it,
           by using this modifier.

       f   Truncate  names  in the archive.  GNU ar will normally permit file
           names of any length.  This will cause it to create archives  which
           are not compatible with the native ar program on some systems.  If
           this is a concern, the f modifier may be  used  to  truncate  file
           names when putting them in the archive.

       i   Insert new files before an existing member of the archive.  If you
           use the modifier i, the name of an existing archive member must be
           present  as the relpos argument, before the archive specification.
           (same as b).

       l   This modifier is accepted but not used.

       N   Uses the count parameter.  This is  used  if  there  are  multiple
           entries  in  the  archive  with  the same name.  Extract or delete
           instance count of the given name from the archive.

       o   Preserve the original dates of members when extracting  them.   If
           you do not specify this modifier, files extracted from the archive
           are stamped with the time of extraction.

       P   Use the full path name when matching names in the archive.  GNU ar
           can not create an archive with a full path name (such archives are
           not POSIX complaint), but other archive creators can.  This option
           will  cause GNU ar to match file names using a complete path name,
           which can be convenient when extracting  a  single  file  from  an
           archive created by another tool.

       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 build-
           ing  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.

       u   Normally, ar r... inserts all files listed into the  archive.   If
           you would like to insert only those of the files you list that are
           newer than existing members of the same names, use this  modifier.
           The  u modifier is allowed only for the operation r (replace).  In
           particular, the combination qu is not allowed, since checking  the
           timestamps would lose any speed advantage from the operation q.

       v   This  modifier requests the verbose version of an operation.  Many
           operations  display  additional  information,  such  as  filenames
           processed, when the modifier v is appended.

       V   This modifier shows the version number of ar.

       ar  ignores  an  initial  option spelt -X32_64, for compatibility with
       AIX.  The behaviour produced by this option is the default for GNU ar.
       ar  does  not  support  any of the other -X options; in particular, it
       does not support -X32 which is the default for AIX ar.

       nm(1), ranlib(1), and the Info entries for binutils.

       Copyright (c) 1991, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 2000, 2001,  2002,
       2003 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       Permission  is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
       under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1  or
       any  later  version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
       Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no  Back-Cover
       Texts.   A  copy  of  the  license is included in the section entitled
       ''GNU Free Documentation License''.

binutils-              2004-05-04                            AR(1)