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coreutils-8.8 released [stable]

Item posted by Jim Meyering <meyering> on Wed 22 Dec 2010 07:45:21 PM UTC.

This is to announce coreutils-8.8, a stable, bug-fix release.
There are numerous fixes for our newly-parallelized sort.

The only significant non-bug-fix change was to add a useful set of
features to split that lets you split input into N roughly-equal pieces,
with options to split on line boundaries or not, and, when honoring line
boundaries, to distribute lines in a round-robin fashion or not.
See "info split" for details and examples, or the on-line manual:

See NEWS below for a summary.

Here's the GNU Coreutils home page, in case you're wondering what it is:

Thanks to Paul Eggert, Chen Guo and Pádraig Brady for the many hours
they spent contributing to this release and to everyone else who has
been contributing, helping to manage the mailing list and reporting bugs.

Jim [on behalf of the coreutils maintainers]

For a summary of changes and contributors, see:;a=shortlog;h=v8.8
or run this command from a git-cloned coreutils directory:
  git shortlog v8.7..v8.8

To summarize the many gnulib-related changes, run these commands from
a git-cloned coreutils directory:
  git checkout v8.8
  git submodule summary v8.7

Here are the compressed sources:   (11MB)   (4.6MB)

Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]:

To reduce load on the main server, use a mirror listed at:

[*] You can use either of the above signature files to verify that
the corresponding file (without the .sig suffix) is intact.  First,
be sure to download both the .sig file and the corresponding tarball.
Then, run a command like this:

  gpg --verify coreutils-8.8.tar.gz.sig

If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
then run this command to import it:

  gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 000BEEEE

and rerun the `gpg --verify' command.

This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
  Autoconf 2.67.65-9144
  Automake 1.11a
  Gnulib v0.0-4551-gfe2a230
  Bison 2.4.3

* Noteworthy changes in release 8.8 (2010-12-22) [stable]

** Bug fixes

  cp -u no longer does unnecessary copying merely because the source
  has finer-grained time stamps than the destination.

  od now prints floating-point numbers without losing information, and
  it no longer omits spaces between floating-point columns in some cases.

  sort -u with at least two threads could attempt to read through a
  corrupted pointer. [bug introduced in coreutils-8.6]

  sort with at least two threads and with blocked output would busy-loop
  (spinlock) all threads, often using 100% of available CPU cycles to
  do no work.  I.e., "sort < big-file | less" could waste a lot of power.
  [bug introduced in coreutils-8.6]

  sort with at least two threads no longer segfaults due to use of pointers
  into the stack of an expired thread. [bug introduced in coreutils-8.6]

  sort --compress no longer mishandles subprocesses' exit statuses,
  no longer hangs indefinitely due to a bug in waiting for subprocesses,
  and no longer generates many more than NMERGE subprocesses.

  sort -m -o f f ... f no longer dumps core when file descriptors are limited.

** Changes in behavior

  sort will not create more than 8 threads by default due to diminishing
  performance gains.  Also the --parallel option is no longer restricted
  to the number of available processors.

** New features

  split accepts the --number option to generate a specific number of files.

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