mainGNU Stow - Summary

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Id: #978
System Name: stow
Name: GNU Stow
Group Type: Official GNU software

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This project is part of the GNU Project.

GNU Stow 2.x

GNU Stow version 2 is in a GNU Savannah Git repository. The source package is available:

About Stow

GNU Stow is a symlink farm manager which takes distinct packages of software and/or data located in separate directories on the filesystem, and makes them appear to be installed in the same place. For example, /usr/local/bin could contain symlinks to files within /usr/local/stow/emacs/bin, /usr/local/stow/perl/bin etc., and likewise recursively for any other subdirectories such as .../share, .../man, and so on.

How Stow works

You install (often with GNU Make) your software into a repository directory (often /usr/local/stow).  You tell Stow where you want your software to belong, and Stow safely symbolically links it there. Stow doesn't install or remove your software - it only makes or removes symbolic links to your software, which always remains in the repository.


Let's install GNU Emacs 22.3 into /stow/emacs-22.3 and stow it into our root file system.

$ tar -xvf emacs-22.3.tar.gz
$ cd emacs-22.3
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local
$ make
$ su
# make DESTDIR=/stow/emacs-22.3 install
# stow --verbose --target=/ --dir=/stow emacs-22.3

Stow checks to see if emacs is already in your file system and stops if it there will be a conflict with an existing file. If not, Stow will safely and efficiently link your entire compiled Emacs package into your file system. For example, Stow will make a symbolic link from /usr/local/bin/emacs to /stow/emacs-22.3/usr/local/bin/emacs.

Let's unstow Emacs 22.3

$ su
# stow --verbose --delete --target=/ --dir=/stow emacs-22.3

In a blink of an eye Stow has removed all the symbolic links it created in the previous stow operation. The Emacs package remains at all times in /stow/emacs-22.3 should you wish to restow it.

Registration Date: Sun 23 Dec 2001 11:32:44 AM UTC
License: GNU General Public License v2 or later
Development Status: 5 - Production/Stable


Latest News rss feed
GNU Stow 2.2.2 released
     posted by aspiers, Mon 09 Nov 2015 09:46:24 PM UTC - 0 replies

After a long wait, this release contains a number of bug fixes and minor cleanups.

GNU Stow 2.2.0 released
     posted by aspiers, Sat 18 Feb 2012 08:56:48 PM UTC - 0 replies

This release introduces a long-wanted --no-folding option which disables the (re)folding which in some usage scenarios can be confusing or undesirable.  It also drops the abbreviated -a version of the --adopt option for safety reasons, and makes various improvements to the documentation, test suite, and command-line output.

GNU Stow 2.1.3 released
     posted by aspiers, Tue 10 Jan 2012 01:42:29 PM UTC - 0 replies

This release adds a new --adopt option.

GNU Stow also available via CPAN
     posted by aspiers, Thu 15 Dec 2011 09:13:14 PM UTC - 0 replies

In addition to, Stow is also available from CPAN, and can be installed via the normal CPAN mechanisms.  Follow the link for details:

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