(coreutils) Standards conformance

Info Catalog (coreutils) Special built-in utilities (coreutils) Common options
 
 2.12 Standards conformance
 ==========================
 
 In a few cases, the GNU utilities' default behavior is incompatible
 with the POSIX standard.  To suppress these incompatibilities, define
 the `POSIXLY_CORRECT' environment variable.  Unless you are checking
 for POSIX conformance, you probably do not need to define
 `POSIXLY_CORRECT'.
 
    Newer versions of POSIX are occasionally incompatible with older
 versions.  For example, older versions of POSIX required the command
 `sort +1' to sort based on the second and succeeding fields in each
 input line, but starting with POSIX 1003.1-2001 the same command is
 required to sort the file named `+1', and you must instead use the
 command `sort -k 2' to get the field-based sort.
 
    The GNU utilities normally conform to the version of POSIX that is
 standard for your system.  To cause them to conform to a different
 version of POSIX, define the `_POSIX2_VERSION' environment variable to
 a value of the form YYYYMM specifying the year and month the standard
 was adopted.  Two values are currently supported for `_POSIX2_VERSION':
 `199209' stands for POSIX 1003.2-1992, and `200112' stands for POSIX
 1003.1-2001.  For example, if you have a newer system but are running
 software that assumes an older version of POSIX and uses `sort +1' or
 `tail +10', you can work around any compatibility problems by setting
 `_POSIX2_VERSION=199209' in your environment.
 
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