In the Unix operating system, shar (an abbreviation of shell archive) is an archive format. A shar file is a shell script, and executing it will recreate the files. This is a type of self-extracting archive file. It can be created with the Unix shar utility. To extract the files, only the standard Unix Bourne shell sh is usually required.
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Some articles on shar:
... The main purpose of this script was to allow the distribution of formatted program code through e-mail and Usenet newsgroups because Mail transfer agents and NNTP server software only allowed printable ASCII characters (32–126) They tended to strip leading and trailing blanks and TAB characters And they usually broke lines longer than 80 characters ... VMS_SHAR protected leading blanks, and it split long files into parts of less than 16,000 bytes ...