GNU Core Utilities

The GNU Core Utilities or coreutils is a package of GNU software containing reimplementations for many of the basic tools, such as cat, ls, and rm, which are used on Unix-like operating systems.

GNU Core Utilities
Developer(s)GNU Project
Stable release8.31 (March 10, 2019 (2019-03-10)) [±][1]
Written inC, shell script[2]
Operating systemUnix-like
TypeMiscellaneous utilities

In September 2002, the GNU coreutils were created by merging the earlier packages textutils, shellutils, and fileutils, along with some other miscellaneous utilities.[3] In July 2007, the license of the GNU coreutils was updated from GPLv2 to GPLv3.[4]

The GNU core utilities support long options as parameters to the commands, as well as the relaxed convention allowing options even after the regular arguments (unless the POSIXLY_CORRECT environment variable is set). Note that this environment variable enables a different functionality in BSD.

See the List of GNU Core Utilities commands for a brief description of included commands.

Alternative implementation packages are available in the FOSS ecosystem, with a slightly different scope and focus, or license. For example, GPLv2-licensed BusyBox and BSD-licensed Toybox are available for use in embedded devices.

See also


  1. Brady, Pádraig (2019-03-10). "[coreutils-announce] coreutils-8.31 released [stable]". coreutils-announce (Mailing list). Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  2. The GNU Core Utilities Open Source Project on Open Hub: Languages Page
  3. Meyering, Jim (2003-01-13). "README-package-renamed-to-coreutils". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  4. Meyering, Jim (2007-07-23). "COPYING: Update to Version 3". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
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