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Xar (archiver)

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Title: Xar (archiver)  
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Subject: RPM Package Manager, CFS (file format), EGG (file format), Xz, BagIt
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Xar (archiver)

Filename extension .xar
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)
Magic number xar!
Latest release
(9 December 2009 (2009-12-09))
Type of format archive file format
Extended from XML, gzip
Website //xar/

Xar (short for eXtensible ARchive format) is an open source file archiver and the archiver’s file format. It was created within the OpenDarwin project and is used in Mac OS X 10.5 for software installation routines, as well as browser extensions in Safari 5.0. Xar replaced the use of gzipped pax files.[1]

One development branch of RPM, RPM5, uses xar.[2]


The following code snippet shows the magic number, in the /etc/magic format of the Unix file program:

# file(1) magic(5) data for xar archive file format
0     string    xar!    xar - eXtensible ARchiver archive
>6    beshort   x       - version %d


  1. ^ Nabble – xar in Mac OS X
  2. ^ RPM 5 package manager

External links

  • Xar homepage
  • Why xar is interesting – Lists the advantages of xar.
  • Diagram of the data structure of a Xar file
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