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GNU Stow 2.4.0 released

From: Adam Spiers
Subject: GNU Stow 2.4.0 released
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2024 00:11:51 +0100

Hi all,

GNU Stow 2.4.0 is now finally available for download from

and also from the mirrors as soon as they catch up. 

You can see a list of mirrors at 
or use which will automatically 
redirect to a nearby mirror. 

I would like to sincerely apologise to all Stow users for this 
incredibly overdue release, the cadence of which is perhaps vaguely 
reminiscent of releases by the great Donald Knuth, except with none of 
the grace and deliberate planning. 

Going forwards, I hope to avoid such long gaps between releases. 
Two concrete actions have been taken towards this goal. 

Firstly, I am putting out a call for a co-maintainer.  Details here:

Secondly, this latest release makes considerable efforts to make the 
internals more understandable and easy to maintain.  Documentation, 
comments, function and variable names, and the test suite structure 
have all been improved in many places. 

But what is Stow?

Stow is a symlink farm manager program which takes distinct sets 
of software and/or data located in separate directories on the 
filesystem, and makes them all appear to be installed in a single 
directory tree. 

While Stow has often been used to manage system-wide software 
installations, it also provides a clean mechanism for managing 
software and configuration files in users' home directories:

More information is available at the homepage:

Below is a summary of the changes since the previous release, but 
please see NEWS and the git history for full details:

Changes in v2.4.0

1. --dotfiles now works with directories

A long-standing bug preventing the --dotfiles option from working 
correctly with directories has been fixed. 

It should also works in combination with the --compat option. 

2. Eliminated a spurious warning on unstowing

Version 2.3.1 introduced a benign but annoying warning when unstowing 
in certain circumstances.  It looked like this: 

    BUG in find_stowed_path? Absolute/relative mismatch between Stow dir X and 
path Y

This was caused by erroneous logic, and has now been fixed. 

3. Unstowing logic has been improved in other cases

Several other improvements have been made internally to the unstowing 
logic.  These changes should all be either invisible (except for 
changes to debug output) or improvements, but if you encounter any 
unexpected behaviour, please report it as directed in the manual. 

4. Improved debug output

Extra output resulting from use of the -v / --verbose flag now appears 
in a more logical and understandable way. 

5. Janitorial tasks

Users are not substantially affected by these changes, so the details 
have been omitted from this announcement, but again please see NEWS 
and the git history for full details via the above links. 

6. Various maintainer tweaks

Further improved the release process and its documentation in various 
minor ways. 

Happy hacking, 

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