How to upgrade coreutils to latest version (from source)

Say you're on CentOS 5.x, and want to pimp out your bash prompt using the pretty awesome Solarized color scheme. Well, there's a nice .bashrc Solarized setup here: https://github.com/seebi/dircolors-solarized. To use all the features of dircolors.256dark version, you'll need GNU coreutils 8.5 or higher, otherwise you'll get errors like this:

dircolors: `/root/.dircolors':95: unrecognized keyword RESET
dircolors: `/root/.dircolors':99: unrecognized keyword MULTIHARDLINK
dircolors: `/root/.dircolors':108: unrecognized keyword CAPABILITY
dircolors: `/root/.dircolors':95: unrecognized keyword RESET
dircolors: `/root/.dircolors':99: unrecognized keyword MULTIHARDLINK
dircolors: `/root/.dircolors':108: unrecognized keyword CAPABILITY

Here's how to upgrade your coreutils without breaking anything.

The base of these instructions was derived from the excellent LinuxFromScratch.org--which basically shows you how to safely upgrade your coreutils.

Here we go....

Download the latest version from here: http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/coreutils/

cd /usr/local/src
wget http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/coreutils/coreutils-8.22.tar.xz
tar xfv coreutils-8.22.tar.xz
cd coreutils-8.22

This is key. We make sure to put everything in /usr/bin instead of /bin. -- i.e. so we don't run into compile problems if some of the coreutils are being used

FORCE_UNSAFE_CONFIGURE=1 ./configure \
            --prefix=/usr            \
            --libexecdir=/usr/lib    \
            --enable-no-install-program=kill,uptime
 
make
make install

Now we move what we installed in /usr/bin to /bin overwritting the old coreutils with new.

yes | mv -v /usr/bin/{cat,chgrp,chmod,chown,cp,date,dd,df,echo,head,sleep,nice,false,ln,ls,mkdir,mknod,mv,pwd,rm,rmdir,stty,sync,true,uname,test,[} /bin
yes | mv -v /usr/bin/chroot /usr/sbin
yes | mv -v /usr/share/man/man1/chroot.1 /usr/share/man/man8/chroot.8
sed -i s/\"1\"/\"8\"/1 /usr/share/man/man8/chroot.8

And...... that should do it... Though you may want to reboot the server after--as I noticed that "service restart SERVICENAME" didn't work until.
Example:

service restart httpd
restart: unrecognized service

 

Notes:

  • Skipped running any of the (optional) tests as shown in LinuxFromScratch.org--if you're the type of person that does make test then there's an excellent step by step for that.
  • Also, I didn't bother with the coreutils-8.22-i18n-3.patch mentioned there, since it's for "internationalization-related bugs"; plus it says something about some people experiencing "many bugs" after install... yeah; pass.
Tags: Linux coreutils centos Administration DirectAdmin