par - ProLine archive utility


par [ startdir ] [ filelist ] [ parfile ]


The par command allows you to archive up to 255 files into a single ProLine archive (.par) file. For example, typing:

par $/etc/help $/etc/help update.par

packs all files in the $/etc/help directory to the file “update.par” in the current working directory.

The arguments are:


This is the path to the topmost directory containing files that will be archived. That includes files in subdirectories found below startdir in the directory hierarchy.

Using $/ is usually a good starting directory.


This argument has special qualities. If it describes the path to a subdirectory, all of the non-directory entries in that subdirectory will be chosen for archiving. Note: this is not recursive.

If filelist is a text file, it contains a list of filenames (full or partial paths) to indicate the files that should be archived. This file must contain one pathname entry per line. (The find command can generate such a file—and it can be used to create a list of files that descend through nested directories).


The parfile argument is the name of the archive file to create.

If any of these arguments are omitted from the command line, par prompts you for them, even the entry of the list of filenames.

File Lists

Note that the files you choose for archiving must follow certain rules. The most important is that you should never introduce a new path to a file that hasn’t had its parent directory entered beforehand. For example, it’s okay to select the file “booga” in “$/ooga/booga”, so long as you chose “$/ooga” before it. Also, none of the entries can specify a file that resides outside of the startdir hierarchy.

Archives will not contain the full path to the original archived files. Therefore, the person doing the unarchiving must be sure about where the contents of the archive will be stored.


Par currently creates archives in the Binary II format, but this may not always be the case. No compression is done.

See Also

find(C), unpar(C)