ar [-]p[mod] [--plugin name] [--target bfdname] [relpos] [count] archive [member…] ar -M [ <mri-script ]
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.
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
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
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
ranlib can be used to add just the table.
ar can optionally create a thin archive,
which contains a symbol index and references to the original copies
of the member files of the archive. This is useful for building
libraries for use within a local build tree, where the relocatable
objects are expected to remain available, and copying the contents of
each object would only waste time and space.
An archive can either be thin or it can be normal. It cannot be both at the same time. Once an archive is created its format cannot be changed without first deleting it and then creating a new archive in its place.
Thin archives are also flattened, so that adding one thin archive to another thin archive does not nest it, as would happen with a normal archive. Instead the elements of the first archive are added individually to the second archive.
The paths to the elements of the archive are stored relative to the archive itself.
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”
|• ar cmdline:||Controlling |
|• ar scripts:||Controlling |