GNU shtool is a compilation of small but very stable and portable shell
scripts into a single shell tool. All ingredients were in successful use over
many years in various free software projects. The compiled shtool script is
intended to be used inside the source tree of those free software packages.
There it can take over various (usually non-portable) tasks related to the
building and installation of such packages.
The following global options are available for shtool. Any commands
are ignored if one of them is present on the shtool command line.
Displays a short help page describing the usage of shtool and it's
ingredient commands in a compact way.
Displays the version number of shtool.
Displays shell trace messages for debugging purposes.
Recreate the shtool script with its own individual shtoolize(1) call.
The following commands are provided by shtool. They are all called
via ""shtool"command". Any command options command_opts and
arguments command_args are specific to the particular command and
are described in the corresponding manual page shtool_command(1).
The commands are listed here sorted by topic, i.e., related commands are
echo(1) style print command providing special expansion constructs (terminal
bold mode, environment details, date) and newline control.
Pretty-printing of the last modification time of a file or directory.
Pretty-printing a field-separated list as a two-dimensional table.
Displaying of a processing indication though a running terminal
mv(1) style command for renaming/moving multiple files at once and
allowing source files just to be deleted if contents did not change.
install(1) style command for installing a program, script or data file
in a portable way.
mkdir(1) style command providing support for automatical parent
directory creation, directory permission control and smart skipping if
directory already exists.
ln(1) style command providing automatic calculation and usage of relative
links if possible.
Creation of a shadow filesystem tree by the help of symbolic links.
Fixing of file permissions in a source tree by cleaning up the
Some scripts contained in GNU shtool were already written in 1994 by
Ralf S. Engelschall for use inside some private source trees. Then
they evolved into more elaborated versions over the years and were used
in various free software projects like ePerl, WML, iSelect, gFONT, etc.
They were complemented with other scripts from the author which he wrote
in March 1998 for the ``Apache Autoconf-style Interface'' (APACI) for
Apache 1.3. In April 1999 the shtool package was created out of the
accumulated master versions of the scripts and in June 1999 it entered
the status of an official GNU program and this way finally joined the
group of GNU autoconf, GNU automake and GNU libtool.