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2.11 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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