GNU Coreutils

GNU Coreutils 9.0 Are Here in the Year and a Half After the Previous v8.32

Core utilities are the basic, fundamental tools of a GNU/Linux system. Coreutils 9.0 brings with it some important improvements.

The GNU Core Utilities has announced the release of version 9.0 of the basic file, shell and text manipulation utilities used by the GNU operating system and various Linux distributions. These are the core utilities which are expected to exist on every operating system.

What are GNU Coreutils?

It’s easy to understand how important they are for each Linux system, giving the following example.

When Linus Torvalds first wrote and compiled the Linux kernel, he needed a set of very basic system utilities to even begin to perform marginally useful work. The kernel does not provide commands themselves or any type of command shell such as bash. It is useless by itself. So Linus used the freely available GNU Core Utilities and recompiled them for Linux. This gave him a complete operating system that we know today as Linux.

For those of you who don’t know, previously these utilities were offered as three individual sets of GNU utilities named Fileutils, Shellutils, and Textutils. In September 2002, those three have been combined into a single set of utilities called Coreutils.

So to put things short, GNU Coreutils is a package of GNU software consisting of implementations for many of the basic tools (commands), such as ls, mv, rm, cpcat, and so on.

Here you can find the list of commands from the GNU Coreutils 9.0 for Linux/Unix environments.

Coreutils 9.0 Highlights

Coreutils 9.0 is a new major release, with these significant changes:

The cp command has changed how it handles data. It now enables CoW (Copy-on-Write) by default. This is probably the most important change here. For example, it’s a lot easier now to make use of Btrfs feature without having to remember to add a flag each time.

It’s important to note that coreutils are now more tuned to the hardware available. The wc command uses avx2 instructions to count lines. Also cksum supports the -a (--algorithm) option to select any of the existing sum, md5sum, b2sum, sha*sum implementations etc. In addition to, cksum now subsumes all of these programs, and coreutils will introduce no future standalone checksum utility.

For detailed information on all changes in GNU Coreutils 9.0, you can refer to the official announcement.

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