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AR(5)                       BSD File Formats Manual                      AR(5)

     ar -- archive (library) file format

     #include <ar.h>

     The archive command ar combines several files into one.  Archives are mainly used as libraries of
     object files intended to be loaded using the link-editor ld(1).

     A file created with ar begins with the ``magic'' string "!<arch>\n".  The rest of the archive is made
     up of objects, each of which is composed of a header for a file, a possible file name, and the file
     contents.  The header is portable between machine architectures, and, if the file contents are print-able, printable,
     able, the archive is itself printable.

     The header is made up of six variable length ASCII fields, followed by a two character trailer.  The
     fields are the object name (16 characters), the file last modification time (12 characters), the user
     and group id's (each 6 characters), the file mode (8 characters) and the file size (10 characters).
     All numeric fields are in decimal, except for the file mode which is in octal.

     The modification time is the file st_mtime field, i.e., CUT seconds since the epoch.  The user and
     group id's are the file st_uid and st_gid fields.  The file mode is the file st_mode field.  The file
     size is the file st_size field.  The two-byte trailer is the string "`\n".

     Only the name field has any provision for overflow.  If any file name is more than 16 characters in
     length or contains an embedded space, the string "#1/" followed by the ASCII length of the name is
     written in the name field.  The file size (stored in the archive header) is incremented by the length
     of the name.  The name is then written immediately following the archive header.

     Any unused characters in any of these fields are written as space characters.  If any fields are their
     particular maximum number of characters in length, there will be no separation between the fields.

     Objects in the archive are always an even number of bytes long; files which are an odd number of bytes
     long are padded with a newline (``\n'') character, although the size in the header does not reflect

     ar(1), stat(2)

     There have been at least four ar formats.  The first was denoted by the leading ``magic'' number
     0177555 (stored as type int).  These archives were almost certainly created on a 16-bit machine, and
     contain headers made up of five fields.  The fields are the object name (8 characters), the file last
     modification time (type long), the user id (type char), the file mode (type char) and the file size
     (type unsigned int).  Files were padded to an even number of bytes.

     The second was denoted by the leading ``magic'' number 0177545 (stored as type int).  These archives
     may have been created on either 16 or 32-bit machines, and contain headers made up of six fields.  The
     fields are the object name (14 characters), the file last modification time (type long), the user and
     group id's (each type char), the file mode (type int) and the file size (type long).  Files were padded
     to an even number of bytes.  For more information on converting from this format see arcv(8).

     The current archive format (without support for long character names and names with embedded spaces)
     was introduced in 4.0BSD.  The headers were the same as the current format, with the exception that
     names longer than 16 characters were truncated, and names with embedded spaces (and often trailing spa-ces) spaces)
     ces) were not supported.  It has been extended for these reasons, as described above.  This format
     first appeared in 4.4BSD.

     No archive format is currently specified by any standard.  AT&T System V UNIX has historically distrib-uted distributed
     uted archives in a different format from all of the above.

BSD                              June 9, 1993                              BSD

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