GNU Coreutils 9.1 arrives with improvements, fixes and more

Several days ago the availability of the new version was announced stable set of basic system utilities GNU Coreutils 9.1, which includes programs like sort, cat, chmod, chown, chroot, cp, date, dd, echo, hostname, id, ln, ls, etc.

Coreutils (or GNU Core Utilities) is a software package developed by the GNU project which contains several of the basic tools like cat, ls, and rm needed for Unix-like operating systems. It is a combination of three previous packages: file utilities (fileutils), shell utilities (shellutils), and word processing utilities (textutils).

The GNU core utilities support long string options as parameters to commands, as well as some permissiveness in the convention for specifying options before regular arguments (provided the POSIXLY_CORRECT environment variable is set, which enables different functionality in BSD). Additionally, since the GNU philosophy uses information from man pages (and uses tools like info), the information provided is greater.

Main new features of GNU Coreutils 9.1

In this new version of GNU Coreutils 9.1 that is presented, it is highlighted that it was added dd utility support for alternative option names iseek=N for skip=N and oseek=N for seek=N, which are used in the BSD variant of dd.

In addition to this, it is also highlighted that the usefulness dd provides a count of bytes instead of blocks if the counter value ends with a "B" character ("dd count=100KiB"). The count_bytes, skip_bytes, and seek_bytes flags have been deprecated.

It is also noted that the added "--print-ls-colors" option to dircolors to display visually and separately the colors defined in the LS_COLORS environment variable, in addition to adding support for the COLORTERM environment variable in addition to TERM in dircolors.

Utility cat implements the use of the copy_file_range system call, with its support by the system, to copy data between two files only on the kernel side without transferring data to userspace process memory.

chown and chroot provide a warning when using the syntax “chown root.root f” instead of "chown root:root f" as there may be problems on systems that allow dots in usernames).

In ls, file highlighting is disabled by default, taking into account the capacities, as this leads to a load increase of approximately 30%.

En ls and stat, attempts to automount files are disabled. For automatic mounting, you must explicitly specify the option “stat –cached=never

in the utilities cp, mv and install now it is possible to be able use openat* system calls when copying to a directory to improve efficiency and avoid potential race conditions.

On macOS, the cp utility now creates a copy-on-write clone of a file if the source and destination files are in the same APFS and the destination file does not exist. When copying, the access mode and time are also preserved (such as when 'cp ​​-p' and 'cp -a' are executed).

Of the other changes that stand out from this new version:

  • printf provides support for printing numeric values ​​in multibyte characters.
  • "sort --debug" implemented diagnostics for problems with characters in the "--field-separator" parameter conflicting with characters that can be used in numbers.
  • The '–resolution' option has been added to the 'date' utility to display data on time tracking accuracy.
  • chmod -R no longer exits with an error status when finding symlinks. All files would process successfully, but the exit status was wrong.
  • cksum no longer allows abbreviated algorithm names, thus improving backward compatibility and robustness.
  • AIX builds no longer fail because some library functions are missing.

Finally, if you are interested in knowing more about it of this new version, you can check the details in the following link.


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