Ubuntu- How to unrar rar files with ubuntu?

If you have got a rar file (or other file formats not naively supported by Ubuntu’s archive manager- such as arj, 7zip, etc), you need to install extra packages so that Archive Manager can handle these file formats. For example, if you would like to unrar a file in Ubuntu, you need to install the package unrar.  Open a terminal (command window) and simply issue this command:

sudo apt-get install unrar-free

for a non-free option, you can use:

sudo apt-get install unrar

You might be asked to give your password and then the package is downloaded and installed. After the package is installed, you can use the usual Archive Manager to unrar files.

Archive Manager (File Roller)- Taken from Ubuntu documentation- thanks to the contributors to the Ubuntu wiki

Archive Manager (File Roller)- Taken from Ubuntu documentation- thanks to the contributors to the Ubuntu wiki

In general, following file formats are supported by the Archive Manager by default (from Ubuntu documentation- thanks to the contributors to the Ubuntu documentation wiki):


File extension





.tar.gz, .tgz, .gz

Compressed .tar or compressed single file


.tar.bz, .tbz, .bz

Compressed .tar or compressed single file


.tar.bz2, .tbz2, .bz2

Compressed .tar or compressed single file


.tar.lzma, .lzma

Compressed .tar or compressed single file




.jar, .ear, .war

CD images



These file formats are not supported by default and require additional packages to be supported (from Ubuntu documentation again): In the following table, it is mentioned that which package needs to be installed so that the Archie Manager can handle extra file formats.


File extension




Needs the p7zip package, which doesn’t provide multi-volume support. To support password-protected archives, needs the p7zip-full package


.Z, .tar.Z, .taz

Needs the ncompress package



Needs the sharutils package


.lzo, .tar.lzo, .tzo

Needs the lzop package


.lzh, .lha

Needs the lha package



Needs the arj package



Needs the unace package, providing read-only support



Needs the unrar (non-free) or unrar-free package to extract .rar archives.
Needs shareware rar package to create .rar archives

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14 Responses

  1. on the command line you can unrar rar files with: unrar e my_files.rar

  2. hi all, i am new to linux, i am using linux, i tried to install unrar by the following command -sudo apt-get install unrar, but i got the error as “package unrar is not available, but is referred to another package. this may mean that package is missing, has beeb obsoleted, or is only available from another source. E: package unrar has no installation candidate”

    so how can i install unrar, please post the detailed procedure.(where i can learn linux)

    thanks in advance.


    • You need to add the source (repository) from which the unrar package is available. Just read this detailed explanation about adding repositories and add as many repositories as it takes to get the thing installed:


      • cool, it works dude

    • Use synaptic package manager (under system administration) and search for unrar and download it

    • Some people like to just double click files to have them uncompress. I’m to busy to go through terminal and start typing, when I can double click and be done in 2 seconds. Time is money.

  3. [...] apt-get install unrar-free .. Or sudo apt-get install unrar http://opencheese.com/2009/05/08/ubu…s-with-ubuntu/ [...]

  4. just paste this into a terminal to install unrar:
    sudo apt-get install unrar
    unrar man

    then you can unrar the first file via command line:
    unrar x rar-file.rar

    or just right click the first file and select extract

    if you want to create rar files then install rar:
    sudo apt-get install rar
    rar man
    rar man

  5. I was always facing problem to open a .rar file . Window was showing an error “window cannot open this file ” .Now my problem hasbeen solved .Thank’s for this tip

  6. [...] this command should work for ubuntu $ sudo apt-get install unrar-free More information here.. How to unrar files in ubuntu Fortune and love favour the brave .-. Ovid Reply With Quote + [...]

  7. this thing perfectly worked
    thank you

  8. thanks for guidance.

  9. Hi, I try to use unrar-free, but it’s looks like unrar-free can’t extract my RAR archive. So I decide to use unrar (non-free). What is difference between unrar-free and unrar ?

  10. Whwn I am trying to install unrar program, it says, I already have the newest versaion. But how to unrar files? I cant find intstalled program anywhere.. On right click on file, there are no such posibility.

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