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The unix server I am using has an old version of sort installed (no -V option), would it be possible to install a newer version locally (I do not have root permissions)? Where would I download it and how would I install it? I would like this new version to be the default every time I connect to the server.

As a reference I am using the following version:

sort --version
sort (GNU coreutils) 5.97
Copyright (C) 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

echo $BASH_VERSION
3.2.25(1)-release

./unix_distro.sh 
Linux RedHat 5.5(Final 2.6.18-194.8.1.el5 x86_64)

uname -a
Linux tin.broadinstitute.org 2.6.18-194.8.1.el5 #1 SMP Thu Jul 1 19:04:48 EDT 2010 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
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    You can compile and install a newer version of coreutils in your home directory, but it will only be available to your user. – jordanm Oct 16 '13 at 17:55
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Can you compile and install a newer version without root? Yes.

Can you install it in place of the old one? No.

It used to be fairly common for normal users to have bin directories in their home directories. It's become less common now that everyone can have their own Linux/UNIX box on their desk.

When you used configure you could change the prefix so it installs in your home directory, and then change your PATH to include ~/bin before the standard system stuff.

export PATH=~/bin:${PATH}

You have to add it to the front because otherwise the old version will run instead.

You could even open up permissions so others could change their PATH to include your stuff. But they should really trust you before doing that. Otherwise you could slip malicious programs in.

  • excellent answer, thanks a lot! tryin it now... – Dnaiel Oct 16 '13 at 18:28

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