GNU Core Utilities are the GNU project's implementation of the core command-line tools of a POSIX system, including tools like ls, cp, mv, rm, etc.

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4
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1answer
71 views

Is there a command line tool to manage unix signals?

Is there a command runner like env, nice, nohup, etc., that can run a program with modified signals? In my case, I need something to reset SIGINT to SIG_DFL. Why do I need this? Because ...
2
votes
1answer
200 views

sudo ls not showing hidden files on Linux

Today I discovered that sudo ls shows hidden files (that is, those that have names starting with .) on OS X. This surprised me so much that I asked a question about this behaviour, which I still find ...
40
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11answers
22k views

Correct locking in shell scripts?

Sometimes you have to make sure that only one instance of a shell script is running at the same time. For example a cron job which is executed via crond that does not provide locking on its own (e.g. ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Why is cp --reflink=auto not the default behaviour?

Why is cp --reflink=auto not the default behaviour? Could it cause any harm to enable it? Is it possible to enable it at compile time, so it is used all across the system, not just in interactive ...
6
votes
1answer
77 views

How does the “1 month ago” option in date command work?

I'm not sure if this gets the past date within the current day or if it only takes 30 or 31 days to it. e.g. If the current date is March 28th, 1 month ago must be February 28th, but what happen ...
3
votes
2answers
153 views

change file size format when using stat

The formatting character %s makes stat print the filesize in bytes # stat -c'%A %h %U %G %s %n' /bin/foo -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 45112 /bin/foo ls can be configured to print the byte size number ...
7
votes
4answers
25k views

Storing output of command in shell variable [duplicate]

I have an operation using cut that I would like to assign result to a variable var4=echo ztemp.xml |cut -f1 -d '.' I get the error: ztemp.xml is not a command The value of var4 never gets ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

cp options --no-clobber vs. --update

I want to copy a single file if (and only if) the destination does not exist. The source file changes rarely, maybe once a month. The destination almost never exists. Are there any differences ...
8
votes
3answers
420 views

Which version of X introduced feature Y?

A big part of my daily job is developing software for use on machines with different versions of the same software, like bash, find, and grep. When encountering a feature which would be useful for ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

what are practical uses of stdbuf or nohup?

I have to finish a writeup of a few coreutils commands for a course at the moment, and I can't think of a starting point for a small practical code example that demonstrates the potential uses of ...
11
votes
3answers
665 views

/usr/bin/ptx: Can you provide a use case or two?

I was going through the list of files included in coreutils and I was able to come up with an example of how I could personally use all of the commands provided except for ptx. Can you give one or two ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

*ls* font differences between files and folders with “--color” option

I have recently switched to urxvt from xterm for better unicode support and it does much better as to the font fallback. However I find an interesting issue: names of files and folders are rendered ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

How can I cross compile the dd linux tool for arm?

I need to cross-compile a full version of dd because my device only has a busybox one that doesn't support many options. Where do I get the source for it? I've been looking on the kernel repo online ...
1
vote
5answers
4k views

ls command - define number of columns

Is there a way to define the number of columns in ls output? I got this far: ls -C sorts in columns and ls -1 produces one column. --tabsize = option to produce two columns resulted in what looks ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Install only a few GNU coreutils?

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
822 views

How is the order in which tar works on files determined?

$ touch dir/{{1..8},{a..p}} $ tar cJvf file.tar.xz dir/ dir/ dir/o dir/k dir/b dir/3 dir/1 dir/i dir/7 dir/4 dir/e dir/a dir/g dir/2 dir/d dir/5 dir/8 dir/c dir/n dir/f dir/h dir/6 dir/l dir/m dir/j ...
2
votes
0answers
100 views

Installed coreutils on CentOS for sort --human-readable flag but it still doesn't work

I'm trying to do du -h | sort -h, but my CentOS 5.7 doesn't have -h flag for sort. So I installed coreutils Updated: coreutils.x86_64 0:5.97-34.el5_8.1 Complete! yet sort still doesn't have ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

Mac OS X: dircolors not found?

I just switched to a Macbook Air. I installed zsh using homebrew, but when I use some of the code that I (originally had) in my .zshrc, I get an error saying that .dircolors was not found. Below is ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Difference between / and // [duplicate]

On the bash prompt one, three or more slashes (/,///,////, ...) are treated as a single slash, whereas two slashes (//) are left as is: 12:07 $ cd / 12:07 $ pwd / 12:07 $ cd // 12:07 $ pwd // 12:07 $ ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is coreutils sort slower than Python?

I wrote the following script to test the speed of Python's sort functionality: from sys import stdin, stdout lines = list(stdin) lines.sort() stdout.writelines(lines) I then compared this to the ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Set default editor for 'info coreutils' [duplicate]

I'm using Ubuntu 14.04 and have this in my .bash_profile: export EDITOR=/usr/bin/vim export VISUAL=/usr/bin/vim man respects this setting but info always opens in something else, nano or it's own ...
1
vote
2answers
260 views

Is grep part of coreutils? (If not, why?)

I have read in a few websites that grep comes with coreutils (e.g. https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Core_Utilities) However, after building them, I noticed that grep is missing. I wonder if I ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Why can't my `date` deal with timezones? [duplicate]

I'm having some weird issues with GNU coreutils date v8.4 (CentOS) that aren't occurring in v8.21 (Ubuntu/Mint). On v8.4, I get the following output (I'm in PST): $ date --version | head -n 1 date ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Problem with install command to copy a whole directory

So I have a repo with some of my config files and I'm trying to create a makefile to install them in the homedir. The problem I have is that when I run the following command straight in bash install ...
0
votes
2answers
223 views

Permissions for installing coreutils with pkgsrc on NetBSD

I'm trying to install coreutils on NetBSD 6.1.5 using the pkgsrc system. This is on the default install of 6.1.5. The only change made has been to install zsh and set it as my default shell for users ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

GNU “install” -d flag — how's it work?

I'm trying to write a makefile rule to copy a directory, maintaining its structure, and since all the other rules in our makefiles use install, I wanted to be consistent. In the manpage, it says: ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Where is using @ before a date string for seconds since the epoch documented?

GNU date and touch commands (and presumably others) use @date to define a date string as seconds since the epoch. For example: $ TZ=UTC date -d@10 Thu Jan 1 00:00:10 UTC 1970 I was answering a ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

How can I display octal notation of permissions with ls - and can octal represent all permissions? [duplicate]

After looking at the man page for ls on my system and searching Google, I see there IS a hack of way to use awk or perl to show octal permissions when using ls, but with bash is there anything more ...
2
votes
3answers
346 views

When was a file last opened?

How do I determine, when a file was last opened? I've looked at man ls (using GNU coreutils 8.22) and I don't see anything about this timestamp.
8
votes
2answers
646 views

sort by hex value

Using coreutils sort, how can I sort numerically by a hexadecimal value (field)? I was expecting something along the lines of sort -k3,3x file_to_sort however, such an x does not exist. Edit: ...
3
votes
2answers
441 views

See extended attributes with coreutils ls on Mac

I have coreutils installed via MacPorts on my Mac running OS X 10.8.4. I have ls set to use the coreutils version of ls [(GNU coreutils) 8.21] when available: if [ -e /opt/local/libexec/gnubin ]; ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

Where can I view a changelog for the sort command

I need to find sort's version when the -V flag was introduced. But I am finding myself some hard time finding the changelog for this command. Where can I view it?
8
votes
1answer
657 views

Is gnu coreutils sort broken?

Consider the following input to sort: cat > foo <<EOM D,,5014978 DD,,25 D,I,1972765530 D,Y,4223624 -,Y,71285059 YA,I,2 EOM Now try running sort foo The output is not sorted when trying ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

numfmt invalid suffix input

I am using numfmt to convert a remote file's Content-Length from bytes to IEC format, i.e. 21M $ curl -sI http://jruby.org.s3.amazonaws.com/downloads/1.7.12/jruby-bin-1.7.12.tar.gz|grep Length|cut ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

“install” command as script

I'm working on a heavily modified Linux based OS targeted for a really specific environment - easy-to-use NAS systems. It does not provide any GUI, apart from a web interface, but it at least has SSH. ...
2
votes
2answers
260 views

Has the GNU coreutils stat tool changed?

Has the GNU coreutils (8.6) version of stat changed? After a recent update, some scripts I wrote that call stat are not working as expected; in particular, I had been making use of stat -c %Y ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the `[` program that resides in my system's /bin?

I was recently browsing my Fedora's /bin folder and noticed a binary named [. I did try to search the internet for more information on that, but I couldn't find anything useful. Running it through ...
4
votes
2answers
441 views

What does `du - hb` do?

With du -bh I think I get the apparent size in human readable format: # du -bh 295K ./test However, I would expect the same from du -hb, but I get something else: # du -hb 301926 ./test I ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is dd using direct slower writing to disk than to a file

I am trying to compare aggregate write rates when writing to a file in a GPFS file system, as compared to writing directly to a disk on a system with Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 6.4 ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

cp --no-target-directory explained

Question: I need a simple example of how to use cp --no-target-directory. I do experience some difficulties in understanding cp --no-target-directory. I do understand the explanation for mv ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Memory-efficient utility to return N first sorted values

I would like to implement a very popular MapReduce example using only existing programs operating in a UNIX way. The problem is to find N most frequent values in an enormous amount of data. The ...
4
votes
2answers
91 views

Off by 1 year error in GNU date?

Right now, 2014-01-06, GNU date 8.4 on CentOS release 6.4, does this: $ date --date "last week" +"%Y-%V" 2013-01 On the other hand, $ date --date "last week" +"%Y-%U" 2013-52 which is just ...
0
votes
2answers
256 views

How can I format the output of stat to contain the null character?

I want to delimit file paths by using the null character (NUL, \0, ...) just like for example find -print0 does. I'm using bash and I tried the following without success: find $1 -print0 > ...
0
votes
1answer
213 views

what does the following command do?

what does the following command do? I have tried to study the linux command but I could not find out what this command does. here is the command: touch finger ; finger touch
3
votes
2answers
174 views

Ignore blank keys in coreutils sort

How do you ignore or is there a way to change the sort order of empty keys when using sort -k? # cat afile a b 11 20 93 45 55 26 09 31 How can I sort the empty column b values at the bottom so it ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

cp -L vs. cp -H

Problem When copying files with cp -H or cp -L, I get the same results: $ ls -l fileA fileA -> fileB $ cp fileA somewhere/ -H $ ls -l somewhere/ fileA # fileA is a copy of fileB, only ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Checking the order of items in a shell environment variable

I am wanting to check that a certain directories always appear after other directories in an environment variable. List items are separated by a colon, as with the PATH variable. This is not simply ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

convert soft- to hardlinks with cp

The cp command's infopage offers on the option --preserve= the following: links Preserve in the destination files any links between corresponding source files. Note that with -L' ...
3
votes
1answer
333 views

cp --attributes-only documented but not working “now”?

PROBLEM: cp --attributes-only Source Target results in two files unchanged, where the attributes from Source should be copied to Target. Attempts to solve: As I have the 8.13 version of coreutils ...
5
votes
3answers
548 views

What's the real point of the -f option on rm?

By reading the GNU coreutils man page for rm, one of the options is -f, which according to the manual, -f, --force ignore nonexistent files and arguments, never prompt Now, I made some ...