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Is there a way to build and install only a few of the GNU coreutils?

The README in coreutils-8.19.tar.xz lists 100-odd, but the INSTALL doesn't say how to install only a few, and the Makefile is (to me) opaque.

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Not so much an answer as a pointer to an idea - buildroot normally sets up only a subset of coreutils, and if you have a smallish subset, you might want to consider busybox with the relevant tools. – Danny Staple Oct 10 '12 at 16:41
up vote 2 down vote accepted
  cd ./lib
  cd ../src
  make version.h
  make cat
  make ls



UPDATE as of February 26, 2015:

The recipe above doesn't work in at least coreutils-8.23. I would not recommended building separate files.

The following shows the complexity of internal dependencies for cat and ls:

make src/version.h
make lib/configmake.h
make lib/arg-nonnull.h
make lib/warn-on-use.h
make lib/fcntl.h
make lib/sys/stat.h
make lib/selinux/context.h
make lib/selinux/selinux.h
make lib/unitypes.h
make lib/unistr.h
make lib/uniwidth.h
make lib/getopt.h
make src/cat
make src/ls
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Thanks @Deer Hunter. How might a mortal have discovered this, or is it just common knowledge ? – denis Oct 12 '12 at 10:01
Trial and error - mostly reading the output from naive attempts to make chroot etc. and figuring out the dependencies. – Deer Hunter Oct 12 '12 at 10:03
Now it doesn't work. There's no Makefile after ./configure in lib subdirectory. – enedil Feb 26 '15 at 16:34
Do you know any workaround? – enedil Feb 26 '15 at 17:24
@enedil - fixed a bit, you can try building cat, can't vouch for other utils. – Deer Hunter Feb 26 '15 at 18:14

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