RAR Test Files

Quick question. How many people realized that it’s legally impossible to create a RAR file without using WinRAR, RAR for Linux, etc., all of which are shareware?

At first, that might seem like no big deal, given that we have 7-Zip now… until you realize how difficult it is to be sure you’re legally in the clear if you have something that unpacks RAR files, or RAR-based formats like CBR and RSN and want to distribute some RAR files as part of your test suite.

Well, when Clint from Lazy Game Reviews released a video titled Registering WinRAR in 2021: How Far Back Does It Work?, I decided that I had reason enough to change that, so I bought a WinRAR license for my Windows XP retro-hobby PC (and, since the license allows a home user to share one license between all their devices, also for my Linux desktop PC and my Windows 98 retro PC).

Home users may use their single computer usage license on all computers and mobile devices (USB drive, external hard drive, etc.) which are property of the license owner.


I’m still waiting for my “WinRAR Physical Delivery on CD” (CA$ 13.94 extra) to arrive, but I’ve already used the digital delivery license key to make a nice load of test RAR and CBR files for the batch file corruption checker that I’m writing which shells out to /usr/bin/unrar t on Linux.

They contain either a testfile.txt or a PNG and a JPG, as appropriate, all made from scratch by me, and all designed to be as compact as possible while still being recognizable as the expected file formats. You’re welcome to use them for whatever you want.

P.S. Since I also have Amiga Forever 2016, I’m looking for suggestions for similar “can’t be made on Linux/Windows using 100% gratis software” formats to build up a complementary repo of Amiga test files.

So far, I’ve combined the Amiga Kickstart ROMs I paid for with the freeware’d LZX release from LZX_Y2KF.LHA to make an LZX test file that lsar -t from The Unarchiver’s command-line tools (mirror) can verify.

CC BY-SA 4.0 RAR Test Files by Stephan Sokolow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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