created_at2019-09-28 00:17:32.619933
updated_at2024-04-26 22:36:52.579215
descriptioncoreutils ~ GNU coreutils (updated); implemented as universal (cross-platform) utils, written in Rust
Terts Diepraam (tertsdiepraam)



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uutils coreutils is a cross-platform reimplementation of the GNU coreutils 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


uutils aims to be a drop-in replacement for the GNU utils. Differences with GNU are treated as bugs.

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.


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 (cargo, rustc)
  • GNU Make (optional)

Rust Version

uutils follows Rust's release channels and is tested against stable, beta and nightly. The current Minimum Supported Rust Version (MSRV) is 1.70.0.


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
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 --package [aka -p] option). For example:

cargo build -p uu_base32 -p uu_cat -p uu_echo -p uu_rm

GNU Make

Building using make is a simple process as well.

To simply build all available utilities:


In release mode:

make PROFILE=release

To build all but a few of the available utilities:


To build only a few of the available utilities:



Install with Cargo

Likewise, installing can simply be done using:

cargo install --path . --locked

This command will install uutils into Cargo's bin folder (e.g. $HOME/.cargo/bin).

This does not install files necessary for shell completion or manpages. For manpages or shell completion to work, use GNU Make or see Manually install shell completions/Manually install manpages.

Install with GNU Make

To install all available utilities:

make install

To install using sudo switch -E must be used:

sudo -E make install

To install all but a few of the available utilities:


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):


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

Installing with make installs shell completions for all installed utilities for bash, fish and zsh. Completions for elvish and powershell can also be generated; See Manually install shell completions.

Manually install shell completions

The coreutils binary can generate completions for the bash, elvish, fish, powershell and zsh shells. It prints the result to stdout.

The syntax is:

cargo run completion <utility> <shell>

So, to install completions for ls on bash to /usr/local/share/bash-completion/completions/ls, run:

cargo run completion ls bash > /usr/local/share/bash-completion/completions/ls

Manually install manpages

To generate manpages, the syntax is:

cargo run manpage <utility>

So, to install the manpage for ls to /usr/local/share/man/man1/ls.1 run:

cargo run manpage ls > /usr/local/share/man/man1/ls.1


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.

Uninstall with Cargo

To uninstall uutils:

cargo uninstall uutils

Uninstall with GNU Make

To uninstall all utilities:

make uninstall

To uninstall every program with a set prefix:


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

GNU test suite compatibility

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.

See for the main meta bugs (many are missing).

Evolution over time


To contribute to uutils, please see CONTRIBUTING.


uutils is licensed under the MIT License - see the LICENSE file for details

GNU Coreutils is licensed under the GPL 3.0 or later.

Commit count: 12816

cargo fmt