How Can I Browse -- But NOT Extract -- the Contents of a RAR File in Mac OS X?
September 19, 2004 6:07 AM   Subscribe

How can I browse a .rar file using OS X? I've tried UnRarX, I've tried StuffIt Deluxe 8.0.2, and I've tried searching google for anything else that might work, with no luck. I need this feature because I want to access one small file in the archive, but don't have enough room on my hard drive to unrar the whole thing.
posted by teem to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I use the unrar command line utility. You can get it if you install fink. I recommend using fink commander which has a nice gui for installing fink applications.
posted by substrate at 6:24 AM on September 19, 2004

If you're comfortable enough with UNIX and the Terminal, I found command line versions of rar and unrar here. Stuffit expanded them for me, and I used the Terminal to copy the two program files to /usr/bin (I had to use sudo with an administrator password to copy them there, that directory is protected).

Typing the two commands with no arguments causes them to print out their list of options. Using unrar you'll be able to list out the files to ensure you know precisely the name of what you want extracted and then extract only that file. I'm no UNIX whiz myself, but this was pretty straightforward Terminal stuff, so as I said at first, if you're comfortable with the Terminal, you shouldn't have too much trouble.

(Yes, I know, substrate suggested pretty much the same thing, but I had bad voodoo after installing fink on my iBook - it installs stuff all over the place - and I've since discovered that fink is just an automation utility. You don't need it to find and install software; in fact, IMHO if you have to search out software tools and know a little bit about them before downloading and installing them, that's probably a good thing. YMM, of course, V...)
posted by JollyWanker at 10:14 AM on September 19, 2004

JollyWanker, where'd fink install stuff? My version of fink is completely contained within it's own directory hierarchy: /sw.
posted by substrate at 12:49 PM on September 19, 2004

It is? On my iBook, there were things I didn't recognize all over the Library folder. It may not have been fink itself, perhaps it was one of the packages I used fink to install

My larger point about fink was that it emboldened me to go out and install stuff I didn't really understand without taking the time to be sure I knew what I was doing. As they say, "With the power comes responsibility," and the BSD under Mac OS X is very powerful - and pretty dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. Mac users - even those of us who are more computer literate and should know better - tend to rely on the fact that in the old days, the System would (mostly) protect us. But once one starts installing stuff using fink, that's not really the case, is it? You can do all manner of harm to your Mac, not because UNIX programmers are malicious or anything but rather because as a culture I don't think UNIX programmers bother with the kinds of protections Mac users take for granted - after all, they're writing for other UNIX guys, for whom a certain amount of risk seems to be part of the (ahem) "fun"...
posted by JollyWanker at 1:07 PM on September 19, 2004

JollyWanker: it's not so much that the UNIX guys enjoy "risk", it's that they're generally a lot more aware of what they're doing, precisely because there are no safety nets.

(Not that mac users are unaware, of course...)
posted by cheaily at 9:35 PM on September 19, 2004

If you still need help, you might look at MacRAR X. If you are unable to find it, email me and I can send you a copy.
posted by the biscuit man at 6:20 PM on September 21, 2004

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