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GNU Core Utilities
Developer(s)GNU Project
Stable release
9.2[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 20 March 2023
Written inC, shell script[2]
Operating systemUnix-like
TypeMiscellaneous utilities
License2007[a]: GPL-3.0-or-later
2002[b]: GPL-2.0-or-later

The GNU Core Utilities or coreutils is a package of GNU software containing implementations for many of the basic tools, such as cat, ls, and rm, which are used on Unix-like operating systems.

In September 2002, the GNU coreutils were created by merging the earlier packages textutils, shellutils, and fileutils, along with some other miscellaneous utilities.[3] In July 2007, the license of the GNU coreutils was updated from GPL-2.0-or-later to GPL-3.0-or-later.[4]

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

See the List of GNU Core Utilities commands for a brief description of included commands.

Alternative implementation packages are available in the FOSS ecosystem, with a slightly different scope and focus, or license. For example, BusyBox which is licensed under GPL-2.0-only, and Toybox which is licensed under 0BSD.

See also


  1. ^ GPL-3.0-or-later since version 6.10.
  2. ^ GPL-2.0-or-later until version 6.9.


  1. ^ "coreutils-9.2 released [stable"]; author name string: Pádraig Brady; publication date: 20 March 2023; retrieved: 20 March 2023.
  2. ^ "The GNU Core Utilities Open Source Project on Open Hub: Languages Page". Archived from the original on 2019-03-28. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  3. ^ Meyering, Jim (2003-01-13). "README-package-renamed-to-coreutils". Archived from the original on 2019-12-25. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  4. ^ Meyering, Jim (2007-07-23). "COPYING: Update to Version 3". Archived from the original on 2019-12-25. Retrieved 2018-08-15.