|0.0.17||Jan 21, 2023|
|0.0.16||Oct 12, 2022|
|0.0.15||Aug 20, 2022|
|0.0.14||May 22, 2022|
|0.0.0||Sep 28, 2019|
#3 in Command line utilities
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uutils is an attempt at writing universal (as in cross-platform) CLI utilities in Rust. While all programs have been implemented, some options might be missing or different behavior might be experienced.
To install it:
$ cargo install coreutils $ ~/.cargo/bin/coreutils
uutils aims to work on as many platforms as possible, to be able to use the same utils on Linux, Mac, Windows and other platforms. This ensures, for example, that scripts can be easily transferred between platforms. Rust was chosen not only because it is fast and safe, but is also excellent for writing cross-platform code.
uutils has both user and developer documentation available:
Both can also be generated locally, the instructions for that can be found in the coreutils docs repository.
- Rust (
- GNU Make (optional)
uutils follows Rust's release channels and is tested against stable, beta and nightly.
The current Minimum Supported Rust Version (MSRV) is
There are currently two methods to build the uutils binaries: either Cargo or GNU Make.
Building the full package, including all documentation, requires both Cargo and Gnu Make on a Unix platform.
For either method, we first need to fetch the repository:
$ git clone https://github.com/uutils/coreutils $ cd coreutils
Building uutils using Cargo is easy because the process is the same as for every other Rust program:
$ cargo build --release
This command builds the most portable common core set of uutils into a multicall (BusyBox-type) binary, named 'coreutils', on most Rust-supported platforms.
Additional platform-specific uutils are often available. Building these expanded sets of uutils for a platform (on that platform) is as simple as specifying it as a feature:
$ cargo build --release --features macos # or ... $ cargo build --release --features windows # or ... $ cargo build --release --features unix
If you don't want to build every utility available on your platform into the final binary, you can also specify which ones you want to build manually. For example:
$ cargo build --features "base32 cat echo rm" --no-default-features
If you don't want to build the multicall binary and would prefer to build
the utilities as individual binaries, that is also possible. Each utility
is contained in its own package within the main repository, named
"uu_UTILNAME". To build individual utilities, use cargo to build just the
specific packages (using the
-p] option). For example:
$ cargo build -p uu_base32 -p uu_cat -p uu_echo -p uu_rm
make is a simple process as well.
To simply build all available utilities:
To build all but a few of the available utilities:
$ make SKIP_UTILS='UTILITY_1 UTILITY_2'
To build only a few of the available utilities:
$ make UTILS='UTILITY_1 UTILITY_2'
Likewise, installing can simply be done using:
$ cargo install --path .
This command will install uutils into Cargo's bin folder (e.g.
This does not install files necessary for shell completion. For shell completion to work,
GNU Make or see
Manually install shell completions.
To install all available utilities:
$ make install
To install using
-E must be used:
$ sudo -E make install
To install all but a few of the available utilities:
$ make SKIP_UTILS='UTILITY_1 UTILITY_2' install
To install only a few of the available utilities:
$ make UTILS='UTILITY_1 UTILITY_2' install
To install every program with a prefix (e.g. uu-echo uu-cat):
$ make PROG_PREFIX=PREFIX_GOES_HERE install
To install the multicall binary:
$ make MULTICALL=y install
Set install parent directory (default value is /usr/local):
# DESTDIR is also supported $ make PREFIX=/my/path install
make installs shell completions for all installed utilities
zsh. Completions for
powershell can also
be generated; See
Manually install shell completions.
Manually install shell completions
coreutils binary can generate completions for the
zsh shells. It prints the result to stdout.
The syntax is:
cargo run completion <utility> <shell>
So, to install completions for
cargo run completion ls bash > /usr/local/share/bash-completion/completions/ls
Un-installation differs depending on how you have installed uutils. If you used Cargo to install, use Cargo to uninstall. If you used GNU Make to install, use Make to uninstall.
To uninstall uutils:
$ cargo uninstall uutils
To uninstall all utilities:
$ make uninstall
To uninstall every program with a set prefix:
$ make PROG_PREFIX=PREFIX_GOES_HERE uninstall
To uninstall the multicall binary:
$ make MULTICALL=y uninstall
To uninstall from a custom parent directory:
# DESTDIR is also supported $ make PREFIX=/my/path uninstall
Testing can be done using either Cargo or
Just like with building, we follow the standard procedure for testing using Cargo:
$ cargo test
cargo test only runs the common programs. To run also platform
specific tests, run:
$ cargo test --features unix
If you would prefer to test a select few utilities:
$ cargo test --features "chmod mv tail" --no-default-features
If you also want to test the core utilities:
$ cargo test -p uucore -p coreutils
$ gdb --args target/debug/coreutils ls (gdb) b ls.rs:79 (gdb) run
To simply test all available utilities:
$ make test
To test all but a few of the available utilities:
$ make SKIP_UTILS='UTILITY_1 UTILITY_2' test
To test only a few of the available utilities:
$ make UTILS='UTILITY_1 UTILITY_2' test
To include tests for unimplemented behavior:
$ make UTILS='UTILITY_1 UTILITY_2' SPEC=y test
Run Busybox Tests
This testing functionality is only available on *nix operating systems and
To run busybox tests for all utilities for which busybox has tests
$ make busytest
To run busybox tests for a few of the available utilities
$ make UTILS='UTILITY_1 UTILITY_2' busytest
To pass an argument like "-v" to the busybox test runtime
$ make UTILS='UTILITY_1 UTILITY_2' RUNTEST_ARGS='-v' busytest
Comparing with GNU
Below is the evolution of how many GNU tests uutils passes. A more detailed breakdown of the GNU test results of the main branch can be found in the user manual.
To run locally:
$ bash util/build-gnu.sh $ bash util/run-gnu-test.sh # To run a single test: $ bash util/run-gnu-test.sh tests/touch/not-owner.sh # for example # To run several tests: $ bash util/run-gnu-test.sh tests/touch/not-owner.sh tests/rm/no-give-up.sh # for example # If this is a perl (.pl) test, to run in debug: $ DEBUG=1 bash util/run-gnu-test.sh tests/misc/sm3sum.pl
Note that it relies on individual utilities (not the multicall binary).
Improving the GNU compatibility
The Python script
./util/remaining-gnu-error.py shows the list of failing tests in the CI.
To improve the GNU compatibility, the following process is recommended:
- Identify a test (the smaller, the better) on a program that you understand or is easy to understand. You can use the
./util/remaining-gnu-error.pyscript to help with this decision.
- Build both the GNU and Rust coreutils using:
- Run the test with
bash util/run-gnu-test.sh <your test>
- Start to modify
<your test>to understand what is wrong. Examples:
set -vto have the bash verbose mode
echo $?where needed
- When the variable
failis used in the test,
echo $failto see when the test started to fail
- Bump the content of the output (ex:
- Or, if the test is simple, extract the relevant information to create a new test case running both GNU & Rust implementation
- Start to modify the Rust implementation to match the expected behavior
- Add a test to make sure that we don't regress (our test suite is super quick)
To contribute to uutils, please see CONTRIBUTING.
Please note that this is not fully accurate:
- Some new options can be added / removed in the GNU implementation;
- Some error management might be missing;
- Some behaviors might be different.
See https://github.com/uutils/coreutils/issues/3336 for the main meta bugs (many are missing).
uutils is licensed under the MIT License - see the
LICENSE file for details
GNU Coreutils is licensed under the GPL 3.0 or later.