GNU Core Utilities

GNU Core Utilities
GNU Core Utilities
Developer(s) GNU Project
Stable release 8.14  (October 12, 2011; 39 days ago (2011-10-12))[1] [+/−]
Written in C
Operating system Unix-like
Type Miscellaneous Utilities
License GNU GPL

The GNU Core Utilities or coreutils is a package of GNU software containing many of the basic tools, such as cat, ls, and rm, needed for Unix-like operating systems. It is a combination of a number of earlier packages, including textutils, shellutils, and fileutils, along with some other miscellaneous utilities.


GNU coreutils capabilities

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

Programs included in coreutils

The list spans the programs from coreutils 7.0.
File Utilities
chcon Change file security context (SELinux)
chgrp Changes file group ownership
chown Changes file ownership
chmod Changes the permissions of a file or directory
cp Copies a file or directory
dd Copies and converts a file
df Shows disk free space on filesystems
dir Is exactly like "ls -C -b". (Files are by default listed in columns and sorted vertically.)
dircolors Setup color for ls
install Copies files and set attributes
ln Creates a link to a file
ls Lists the files in a directory
mkdir Creates a directory
mkfifo Makes named pipes (FIFOs)
mknod Makes block or character special files
mktemp Create a temporary file or directory
mv Moves files or rename files
rm Removes (deletes) files
rmdir Removes empty directories
shred Overwrites a file to hide its contents, and optionally delete it
sync Flushes file system buffers
touch Changes file timestamps
truncate Shrink or extend the size of a file to the specifed size
vdir Is exactly like "ls -l -b". (Files are by default listed in long format.)
Text utilities
base64 base64 encode/decode data and print to standard output
cat Concatenates and prints files on the standard output
cksum Checksums and count the bytes in a file
comm Compares two sorted files line by line
csplit Splits a file into sections determined by context lines
cut Removes sections from each line of files
expand Converts tabs to spaces
fmt Simple optimal text formatter
fold Wraps each input line to fit in specified width
head Outputs the first part of files
join Joins lines of two files on a common field
md5sum Computes and checks MD5 message digest
nl Numbers lines of files
od Dumps files in octal and other formats
paste Merges lines of files
ptx Produces a permuted index of file contents
pr Converts text files for printing
Computes and checks SHA-1, SHA-224/256/384/512 message digest
shuf generate random permutations
sort sort lines of text files
split split a file into pieces
sum Checksums and counts the blocks in a file
tac Concatenates and prints files in reverse
tail Outputs the last part of files
tr Translates or deletes characters
tsort Performs a topological sort
unexpand Converts spaces to tabs
uniq Removes duplicate lines from a sorted file
wc Prints the number of bytes, words, and lines in files
Shell utilities
arch print machine hardware name (same as uname -m)
basename Removes the path prefix from a given pathname
chroot Changes the root directory
date Prints/sets the system date and time
dirname Strips non-directory suffix from file name
du Shows disk usage on file systems
echo Displays a specified line of text
env Displays and modifies environment variables
expr Evaluates expressions
factor Factors numbers
false Does nothing, but exits unsuccessfully
groups Prints the groups of which the user is a member
hostid Prints the numeric identifier for the current host
id Prints real/effective UID and GID
link Creates a link to a file
logname Print the user's login name
nice Modifies scheduling priority
nohup Allows a command to continue running after logging out
pathchk Checks whether file names are valid or portable
pinky A lightweight version of finger
printenv Prints environment variables
printf Formats and prints data
pwd Prints the current working directory
readlink Displays value of a symbolic link
runcon Run command with specified security context
seq Prints a sequence of numbers
sleep Delays for a specified amount of time
stat Returns useful data about an inode
stty Changes and prints terminal line settings
su Run a shell or command with substitute user and group IDs
tee Sends output to multiple files
test Evaluates an expression
timeout Run a command with a time limit
true Does nothing, but exits successfully
tty Prints terminal name
uname Prints system information
unlink Removes the specified file using the unlink function
uptime Tell how long the system has been running
users Prints the user names of users currently logged in to the current host
who Prints a list of all users currently logged in.
whoami Prints the effective userid
yes Prints a string repeatedly
Other Utilities
[ A synonym for test, this program permits expressions like [ expression ].
System Utilities

See also

  • List of Unix programs
  • BusyBox, a coreutils-like package for embedded Linux
  • GNU Binary Utilities


  1. ^ Meyering, Jim (2011-10-12). "[coreutils-announce] coreutils-8.14 released [stable]". coreutils-announce mailing list. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 

External links

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