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coreutils-8.6 released [stable]

Item posted by Jim Meyering <meyering> on Fri 15 Oct 2010 04:48:49 PM UTC.

This is to announce coreutils-8.6, a "stable" release.

It's been over five months, with 200 change-sets in coreutils
and 550 in gnulib.  There have been a handful of new features
(all relatively safe, imho), several bug fixes, and numerous
minor "changes in behavior".  See NEWS below for a summary.

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

Thanks to all who have 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=v8.6
or run this command from a git-cloned coreutils directory:
  git shortlog v8.5..v8.6

To summarize the many gnulib-related changes, run these commands from
a git-cloned coreutils directory:
  git checkout v8.6
  git submodule summary v8.5

Here are the compressed sources:   (11MB)   (4.5MB)

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-8.6.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 2.68.3-de12b
  Automake 1.11a
  Gnulib v0.0-4380-g78c0415
  Bison 2.4.534-8ff1


* Noteworthy changes in release 8.6 (2010-10-15) [stable]

** Bug fixes

  du no longer multiply counts a file that is a directory or whose
  link count is 1, even if the file is reached multiple times by
  following symlinks or via multiple arguments.

  du -H and -L now consistently count pointed-to files instead of
  symbolic links, and correctly diagnose dangling symlinks.

  du --ignore=D now ignores directory D even when that directory is
  found to be part of a directory cycle.  Before, du would issue a
  "NOTIFY YOUR SYSTEM MANAGER" diagnostic and fail.

  split now diagnoses read errors rather than silently exiting.
  [bug introduced in coreutils-4.5.8]

  tac would perform a double-free when given an input line longer than 16KiB.
  [bug introduced in coreutils-8.3]

  tail -F once again notices changes in a currently unavailable directory,
  and works around a Linux kernel bug where inotify runs out of resources.
  [bugs introduced in coreutils-7.5]

  tr now consistently handles case conversion character classes.
  In some locales, valid conversion specifications caused tr to abort,
  while in all locales, some invalid specifications were undiagnosed.
  [bugs introduced in coreutils 6.9.90 and 6.9.92]

** New features

  cp now accepts the --attributes-only option to not copy file data,
  which is useful for efficiently modifying files.

  du recognizes -d N as equivalent to --max-depth=N, for compatibility
  with FreeBSD.

  sort now accepts the --debug option, to highlight the part of the
  line significant in the sort, and warn about questionable options.

  sort now supports -d, -f, -i, -R, and -V in any combination.

  stat now accepts the %m format directive to output the mount point
  for a file.  It also accepts the %w and %W format directives for
  outputting the birth time of a file, if one is available.

** Changes in behavior

  df now consistently prints the device name for a bind mounted file,
  rather than its aliased target.

  du now uses less than half as much memory when operating on trees
  with many hard-linked files.  With --count-links (-l), or when
  operating on trees with no hard-linked files, there is no change.

  ls -l now uses the traditional three field time style rather than
  the wider two field numeric ISO style, in locales where a style has
  not been specified.  The new approach has nicer behavior in some
  locales, including English, which was judged to outweigh the disadvantage
  of generating less-predictable and often worse output in poorly-configured
  locales where there is an onus to specify appropriate non-default styles.
  [The old behavior was introduced in coreutils-6.0 and had been removed
   for English only using a different method since coreutils-8.1]

  rm's -d now evokes an error;  before, it was silently ignored.

  sort -g now uses long doubles for greater range and precision.

  sort -h no longer rejects numbers with leading or trailing ".", and
  no longer accepts numbers with multiple ".".  It now considers all
  zeros to be equal.

  sort now uses the number of available processors to parallelize
  the sorting operation.  The number of sorts run concurrently can be
  limited with the --parallel option or with external process
  control like taskset for example.

  stat now provides translated output when no format is specified.

  stat no longer accepts the --context (-Z) option.  Initially it was
  merely accepted and ignored, for compatibility.  Starting two years
  ago, with coreutils-7.0, its use evoked a warning.  Printing the
  SELinux context of a file can be done with the %C format directive,
  and the default output when no format is specified now automatically
  includes %C when context information is available.

  stat no longer accepts the %C directive when the --file-system
  option is in effect, since security context is a file attribute
  rather than a file system attribute.

  stat now outputs the full sub-second resolution for the atime,
  mtime, and ctime values since the Epoch, when using the %X, %Y, and
  %Z directives of the --format option.  This matches the fact that
  %x, %y, and %z were already doing so for the human-readable variant.

  touch's --file option is no longer recognized.  Use --reference=F (-r)
  instead.  --file has not been documented for 15 years, and its use has
  elicited a warning since coreutils-7.1.

  truncate now supports setting file sizes relative to a reference file.
  Also errors are no longer suppressed for unsupported file types, and
  relative sizes are restricted to supported file types.

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