FreeArc Compress App


by FreeArc

Modern general-purpose archiver
Helps with: Compress
Similar to: Xceed Compression App libarchive App Libzip App LZO App More...
Source Type: Open
License Types:
Supported OS:
Languages: C CPP

What is it all about?

FreeArc is a modern general-purpose archiver. Main advantage of FreeArc is fast but efficient compression and rich set of features.

Key Features

•Solid compression with smart updates (only changed solid blocks are recompressed) •User-definable solid block size (-s…) and file sorting order (-ds…), including customized filename ordering (arc.groups) •AES/Blowfish/Twofish/Serpent encryption with keyfiles support and ability to chain multiple ciphers (-p, -hp, --keyfile, --encryption=ALGORITHMS) •FAR and Total Commander plugins allow to create/browse/extract archives using the file manager interface •Ability to create SFX (self-extracted) archives and installers •Ability to list/extract archives directly from Internet: arc x *.h •Archive protection and recovery, including recovery over Internet driven by CRCs of archive sectors (r/rr/-rr/--original=URL) •Ability to test archive before and after any operation (-tp/-t), including checking by recovery record and full archive test •Moving to archive (m), joining archives (j), archive recompression (ch), locking (k) and commenting (-z/cw) •Select files by size, time/age and name (-sl, -sm, -ta, -tb, -tn, -to, -n), select by/clear ARCHIVE file attribute (-ao/-ac) •Base directory on disk / inside archive (-dp/-ap), automatic generation of archive filenames (-ag) •Errors and warnings are reported to stderr and reflected in program exit code; --logfile option saves to the file all the information displayed •Configurable via arc.ini file and FREEARC environment variable; alternative settings may be selected by means of -cfg/-env options


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Product Analysis




By Almera Baynos | 9/20/2016 | Product Analysis |Beginners

FreeArc is a general purpose archiver written in Haskell that was developed by Bulat Ziganshin.  It uses PPMD, LZMA, Gzip and TrueAudio algorithms with automatic switching by file type, and uses a set of filters, like removing repetitions from text. Additionally, it uses filters to further improve compression including: finding repetitions at distances of up to 1GB (REP), dictionary replacements for texts (DICT), improves compression of tables in binary data (DELTA) and executables pre-processor (BCJ). FreeArc works 2-5 times faster than the best compression programs while retaining the same compression ratio.


FreeArc runs either on the command line or via a GUI (Graphical User Interface).


FreeArc is known for the following features:

  • Best speed and compression ratio among all practical archivers
  • Solid compression with smart updates
  • Archive protection and recovery layer
  • Ability to create (SFX) self-extracting archives and installers
  • Ability to test archives before and after the archiving process, including checking by recovery record and full archive testing
  • AES/Blowfish/Twofish/Serpent encryption, including chaining of encryption algorithms
  • FAR and Total Commander plugins
  • Moving to archive, joining archives, archive recompression, locking and commenting
  • Easily portable to other OS and can process large amounts of data

What is FreeArc good for?


The main advantage of FreeArc is that it offers fast and efficient compression with a good feature set. This software may seem outdated considering it hasn’t been updated since 2010, but this remains the best option for absolute compression size. As for the way it works, FreeArc is pretty fast and efficient. FreeArc shows a lot and multiple options when trying to create an archive, including compression, encryption and store file paths, and update mode and comments.


Here are some advantages of using FreeArc:

  • FreeArc is free and open-source, with command line and Graphical User Interface (GUI) versions for both Windows and Linux
  • FreeArc allows you to fine-tune settings for each compression algorithm and choose which compression algorithms are used for each type of file. It also allows you to create new compression profiles and modify the existing ones.
  • FreeArc is 2-5 times faster than other compression programs in each compression class. It is superior to any existing practical compressor.
  • FreeArc includes LZMA, PPMD and multimedia compression algorithms with smart selection of the best algorithm for every file compressed based on data analysis.
  • FreeArc allows you to use external filters and compressors if the built-in compression algorithms are not enough.
  • FreeArc can also add encryption to secure your file archives.


Recently, FreeArc has become very popular for making installers of multi-gigabyte programs. It is the only archiver that supports dictionaries up to 2GB, making its archives smaller than ones made by 7Zip or any other archiver.

Example of the FreeArc Format when using Command line/Console Version


FreeArc has the same format of a command line, uses names of commands and options compatible to it.


The format of a command line of FreeArc is shown below:



Arc Command Archive [Filenames...] [@Filelists...] [Options...]

The above code format is an example of a one command execution in the command line. It is possible to execute several commands at once by separating their descriptions with a semicolon and blank space. For example:



Arc a ../archive2 -m2 -r –t ; a ../archive3 -m3 –r –t ; a ../archive4 -m4 –r –t

The name of an archive also can be set by a mask, thus archive files satisfying to a mask in the current directory are searched. For example:



Arc a c:\archives\* great.nfo

This command will add all archives to the directory c:\archives, into a file named great.nfo.


Explaining above code:


Arc the standard command to use when archiving using FreeArc

A - To add files to archive. Files with the same names, already existing in the archive, will be rewritten


C:\archives the directory or the path to save the archived file


great.nfo the name of the archive.


Detailed documentation of the usage of FreeArc using the console can be viewed on their official site:



You can find a large variety of programs available in the market that can handle archives today, but only a few of them are as reliable and as fast as FreeArc. FreeArc is a great alternative to the well-known file archives out there. In fact, a large variety of options are at your disposal allowing you to customize your archives according to exactly what you need. The professionally built graphical user interface (GUI) helps you create and open archives faster since all the buttons for every feature are available on the toolbar. You can encrypt your archives easily, select various compression methods, and much more.

By Almera Baynos | 9/20/2016 | Product Analysis

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