ar ** ar [-]P[MOD [RELPOS] [COUNT]] ARCHIVE [MEMBER...] ar -M [ <mri-script ] 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 extraction. 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 formats 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 modules 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 archive. 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 different 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.
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