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Feb 2, 2017

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On Ubuntu, unrar fails to decompress rar file. What should I do?

Amazon If you use a cloud server like Digital Ocean or Amazon EC2, you need to install your own tools. Suppose you want to decompress a rar file, you would install the unrar tool to do it.

Should you use unrar on Ubuntu 14.04?

On Ubuntu 14.04, if you try to install unrar via the Unix command "apt-get install unrar", you'll see the following message:

E: Package 'unrar' has no installation candidate
$ unrar
The program 'unrar' can be found in the following packages:
* unrar-free
* unrar (You will have to enable component called 'multiverse')

However, do NOT install unrar-free because for some reason it has trouble uncompressing most files. When you use it to decompress your rar file to get the original folders and files back, you'll see the trace saying Fail for most files. What should you do? Read on.

Solution

Use unzip instead. Here's the command to install the unzip tool:

apt-get install unzip

To unzip a zip file called document.zip, do:

unzip document.zip

It worked for me and should work for you too.

Does it mean you should never use unrar on Ubuntu?

On Ubuntu 16.04, however, you can install the unrar tool and it'll decompress the compressed file to get the original files back as expected.

Questions? Let me know!
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