Hi, maintainers of unar and unrar-free,

as you might have seen on the BTS, I have today filed a bug report on
unrar-free and revisited an old bug, both of which make unrar-free
largely unusable [1][2]. I found that unrar-free seems to be umaintained
and has not had any commits by upstream for the last 6+ years, and
important bugs are open and ignored.

I found that the unar command from theunarchiver, which is even
recommended by the FSF [3], can handle multipart, modern RAR archives
just fine, only the command-line is incompatible to unrar-free and
unrar-nonfree [4].

One issue is that some tools in Debian, among which are usenet clients,
comic book readers, and others, rely on the syntax of unrar-nonfree, for
some reason I do not know, maybe because it works, in contrast to
unrar-free. I guess the command-line compatibility in unrar-free has
been added for this very reason, but it failed to become a drop-in
replacement for unrar-nonfree because it exits uncleanly on passing some
unrar-free options, and in general does not provide the functionality of

My proposal is to remove unrar-free from Debian, for the reasons
mentioned above, and add a patch to src:unar that include a wrapper
script that provides a command-line wrapper compatible to both
unrar-free and unrar-nonfree, so unar can become a drop-in replacement
for both.

I would like to create th ewrapper script and resulting patch, but
first, I would like to hear your thoughts about my research and


[1]: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=724295
[2]: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=270751
[3]: https://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/free-rarv3-extraction
[4]: http://manpages.debian.net/cgi-bin/man.cgi?query=unrar-free

<burny> Ein Jabber-Account, sie alle zu finden; ins Dunkel zu treiben
        und ewig zu binden; im NaturalNet, wo die Schatten droh'n ;)!

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