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Debian buster: changes in coreutils #newinbuster

Debian buster is there, and similar to what we had with #newinwheezy, #newinjessie and #newinstretch it’s time for #newinbuster!

One package that isn’t new but its tools are used by many of us is coreutils, providing many essential system utilities. We have coreutils v8.26-3 in Debian/stretch and coreutils v8.30-3 in Debian/buster. Compared to the changes between jessie and stretch there are no new tools, but there are some new options available that I’d like to point out.

New features/options

b2sum + md5sum + sha1sum + sha224sum + sha256sum + sha384sum + sha512sum (compute and check message digest):

  -z, --zero           end each output line with NUL, not newline, nd disable file name escaping

cp (copy files and directories):

  Use --reflink=never to ensure a standard copy is performed.

env (run a program in a modified environment):

  -C, --chdir=DIR      change working directory to DIR
  -S, --split-string=S  process and split S into separate arguments;
                        used to pass multiple arguments on shebang lines
  -v, --debug          print verbose information for each processing step

ls (list directory contents), dir + vdir (list directory contents):

  --hyperlink[=WHEN]     hyperlink file names; WHEN can be 'always' (default if omitted), 'auto', or 'never'

This –hyperlink option is especially worth mentioning if you’re using a recent terminal emulator (especially based on VTE), see Hyperlinks (a.k.a. HTML-like anchors) in terminal emulators for further information.

rm (remove files or directories):

  --preserve-root=all   do not remove '/' (default); with 'all', reject any command line argument on a separate device from its parent

split (split a file into pieces):

  -x                      use hex suffixes starting at 0, not alphabetic
  --hex-suffixes[=FROM]  same as -x, but allow setting the start value

timeout (run a command with a time limit):

  -v, --verbose  diagnose to stderr any signal sent upon timeout


date (print or set the system date and time):

--rfc-2822 (AKA -R) was renamed into --rfc-email, while --rfc-2822 is still supported

nl (write each FILE to standard output, with line numbers added):

Old default options: -bt        -fn -hn -i1 -l1 -nrn   -sTAB   -v1 -w6 
New default options: -bt -d'\:' -fn -hn -i1 -l1 -n'rn' -s<tab> -v1 -w6

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