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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  RAR2FS (1)


rar2fs - FUSE file system for reading RAR archives




rar2fs [options] source target


rar2fs is a FUSE based file system that can mount a source RAR archive/volume or a directory containing any number of RAR archives on target and access (read only) the contents as plain files/directories. Other files located in the source directory are handled transparently. Both compressed and non-compressed (store) archives/volumes are supported but full media seek support (aka. indexing) is only available for non-compressed plaintext archives. If a RAR volume is selected as source the file specified must be the first in the set. Since rar2fs is non-interactive, passwords that are required to decrypt encrypted archives should be stored in a file with the same name as the main archive/volume file but with a .pwd extension. Be aware that a password must be stored in plaintext format and is thus not protected in any way from unauthorized access.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <>


Besides the standard FUSE options rar2fs accepts the following options that can be passed to the program.
--img-type= .<ext>[;.<ext>;...]
  additional image file type extensions

The default image file types recognized by rar2fs is .img, .nrg and .iso. This option will allow more file extensions to be added. It affects the behavior of the --show-comp-img , --preopen-img and --fake-iso options.

  show image file types also for compressed/encrypted archives

Image media files in compressed/encrypted archives usually does not playback very well, if at all. This is because imaged media, such as DVD images, is implementing a file access pattern that can not be fully supported by a partly buffered decoded data stream with limited history. For that reason the default is to not display these files (hide).

  prefetch volume file descriptors for image file types

This option will force all volume files to be opened before playback is started. Specifying this option might help in some rare situations to overcome transient playback disturbances at switch of volume files when mounted across a lossy/slow network. Note that this option only affects playback of image file media read in raw mode (not compressed/encrypted).

--fake-iso= .<ext>[;.<ext>;...]
  fake .iso extension for specified image file types

Some media players does not support display of image files other than those with a .iso extension. However, .img files are usually 100% compatible with .iso and so is .nrg files, even though the .nrg format specification says otherwise. For that reason playback of .nrg might fail. Specifying this option will remove the need for renaming certain file types to .iso just to make them display properly. If playback works or not is all about the player software from here. Each file extension/type in the list should be separated by a semi-colon ’;’ character. It is also possible not to provide any image file type extensions for which the default .img and .nrg will be displayed as .iso together with what was specified in --img-type. Note though that image files are treated somewhat differently depending on where they are located. If the image file is not part of a RAR archive, then there will be a virtual clone made of the original file but with a .iso extension, provided that the file/link does not already exist. This to keep the consistency of the back-end file system, especially when links are involved.

  set number of volume files that are traversed in search for headers [0=All]

Normally the RAR specific header(s) describing the files contained in a volume is located in the first volume file. Providing a value of 1 here should thus be sufficient to cover most cases. The default is 0, meaning that the complete set of volumes files are searched for headers. The lower the value (starting from 1) the faster the display of folders containing a lot of RAR volumes (or volumes with a lot of files) will become since the number of open/search/close requests can be reduced.

  set number of levels down RAR files are parsed inside main archive [1]

Currently only a depth of one (1) is supported. Setting seek depth to anything greater than this has no effect. Set to 0 to turn this feature off.

  use direct file I/O instead of mmap() for .r2i files
--exclude= <file>[;<file>;...]
  exclude file filter

When file access is requested and the file can not be found on the local file system all RAR archives in target folder are also searched for it. Not until that last operation fails the file is considered missing. On some platforms certain files (eg. .lock files) are always accessed but are usually never to expect within a RAR archive. Specifying this option will treat the listed files differently. If not found on local file system they will never be searched for in the local RAR archives. This dramatically decrease the folder load/display time during ’ls’ like operations on such systems. Each file in the list should be separated by a semi-colon ’;’ character.

It is also possible to use this option in such a way that it instead points to a file that lists the actual exclude filter. This is done by specifying an absolute file path (starting with ’/’) instead of a semi-colon separated list of file names. The file pointed to may contain more than one line but for each line files should be separated by a semi-colon ’;’ character.

  disable SMP support (bind to CPU #0)

Note that this option is only available on Linux based platforms with support for the cpu_set_t type (GNU extension).

  disable dynamic library consistency check

At startup rar2fs validates that the dynamic libraries and are compatible/consistent with what was used during compilation. Use this option to by-pass this check, eg. if rar2fs is linked statically. Other use of this option is discouraged.

  tune the size of the I/O buffer

The I/O buffer is used to prefetch data at extraction of compressed or encrypted archives to make sure streaming is possible without delay due to disk or network I/O. Depending on the current system resources and network latency this buffer might need to be adjusted. A small buffer takes less resources but increase the chance that rar2fs must wait for data to arrive during a read request. On the other hand, a large buffer will increase memory footprint which may not always be desired. Also keep in mind that every file being extracted requires its own buffer. So the total memory resources required are always the buffer size multiplied by the number of active extraction threads. Be careful when choosing buffer size. There is no cap on the size itself. The only requirement is that it is a ’power of 2’ Megabytes, eg. 1,2,4,8, etc. The default size is 4MiB.

  tune the size of I/O buffer history

The I/O buffer history is a sliding window within the I/O buffer that is guaranteed to never be overwritten until future data has been consumed passed this limit. This means that, even though an extraction process can never be reversed, this part of the buffer can still deliver "historic" data within this window (eg. skipping backwards during movie playback). The size of the history buffer is expressed as a percentage of the total I/O buffer size between 0% and 75%. Specifying 0 here will completely disable this function. The default size is 50% of the total I/O buffer size.




Project home page <>


Hans Beckérus

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Wed, January 26, 2011 RAR2FS (1) v

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