The main command is aunpack which extracts files from an archive. Did you ever extract files from an archive, not checking whether the files were located in a subdirectory or in the top directory of the archive, resulting in files scattered all over the place? aunpack overcomes this problem by first extracting to a new directory. If there was only a single file in the archive, that file is moved to the original directory. aunpack also prevents local files from being overwritten by mistake.
The other commands provided are apack (to create archives), als (to list files in archives), and acat (to extract files to standard out). As atool invokes external programs to handle the archives, not all commands may be supported for a certain type of archives.
atool identifies archives by their file extension. Sometimes this is not possible - for instance rar archives usually have varying numeric file extensions. In those cases when atool can't identify the format, file is used instead. (atool can be configured not to use file.)
atool is written in Perl by Oskar Liljeblad and is free software (GNU General Public License ).
The latest version of atool is 0.35.0, which was released on 2008-06-08:
Source code tarball
Debian package (all architectures)
RPM package (all architectures)
Building from source
To build all files, simply run: ./configure
The configure script accepts a few options - use the following command to show them: ./configure --help
Installing atool is a matter of copying the atool file to some appropriate directory for executable files, usually /usr/local/bin. After that, symbolic links for apack, aunpack, als and acat to atool should be created in the same directory. All this can be done automaticly by running: make install
Usage and Configuration
A list of options that atool accepts can be displayed by running atool with the --help option: atool --help
Please see the manual page for atool for full use and configuration information. This document can usually be viewed this way: man ./atool.1