Busybox replacement

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This page has information about the commands and features desired for a busybox replacement program.

See Busybox replacement project for the project proposal for this work.

Command List

We have several potential use cases for a busybox replacement, and are using those to determine a consensus on which commands to target for a 1.0 release of an unencumbered busybox replacement package.

Our current candidate list combines the commands toybox already implements, the development environment command list, the toolbox standard commands, and the Sony configuration of busybox.

The first release of a busybox replacement should include the following commands: [insert candidate list here]

Toybox currently implements

The triaged toybox (2 clause BSD license) is currently implementing usable versions of:

 bzcat cal cat catv chroot chvt cksum count cp df dirname dmesg
 echo false help link mkswap nc netcat nice nohup oneit patch pwd
 rmdir seq setsid sha1sum sleep sort sync tee true truncate tty
 uname unlink unshare wc which yes

And contains partial implementations of:

 mdev sh

See the Toybox todo list for the most up to date status.

Use case: provide a self-hosting development environment

The following commands are enough to build the Aboriginal Linux development environment, boot it to a shell prompt, and build Linux From Scratch 6.8 under it. (Aboriginal Linux currently uses BusyBox for this, thus provides a corresponding test environment for toybox.)

This use case includes running init scripts and other shell scripts, running configure, make, and install in each package, and providing basic command line facilities such as a text editor. (It does not include a compiler toolchain or C library, those are outside the scope of this project.)

Already in toybox

 bzcat cat cp dirname echo patch rmdir sha1sum sleep sort sync
 true uname wc which yes env

Additional commands for development environment

 zcat awk basename bzip2 chmod chown cmp cut date dd diff
 egrep expr find grep gzip head hostname id install ln ls
 mkdir mktemp mv od readlink rm sed sh tail tar touch tr uniq
 wget whoami xargs chgrp comm gunzip less logname man split
 tee test time bunzip2 chgrp chroot comm cpio dmesg
 dnsdomainname ftpd ftpget ftpput gunzip ifconfig init less
 logname losetup man mdev mount mountpoint nc pgrep pkill 
 pwd route split stat switch_root tac tee test time umount vi

Use case: replacing Toolbox commands

Standard commands

Toolbox in Android (what version?) implements the following standard commands:

date id uptime ifconfig start stop newfs_msdos
ls route netstat ioctl reboot cmp insmod chmod
cat lsmod chown df top printenv ionice rmmod
sleep notify iftop rmdir dd vmstat hd rm mount
ln lsof ps dmesg renice kill mkdir mv
sync umount

Android-specific commands

Toolbox also provides the following nonstandard commands, which are unique to Android (or at least do not appear in Ubuntu or SUSv4):

 alarm schedtop getprop log setprop watchprops notify wipe
 getevent sendevent nandread smd setconsole r ioctl

Busybox commands

default 1.10 build

A default build of Busybox 1.10 has the following commands:

	[, [[, addgroup, adduser, adjtimex, ar, arp, arping, ash,
	awk, basename, bunzip2, bzcat, bzip2, cal, cat, catv,
	chattr, chgrp, chmod, chown, chpasswd, chpst, chroot,
	chrt, chvt, cksum, clear, cmp, comm, cp, cpio, crond,
	crontab, cryptpw, cut, date, dc, dd, deallocvt, delgroup,
	deluser, df, dhcprelay, diff, dirname, dmesg, dos2unix,
	du, dumpkmap, dumpleases, echo, ed, egrep, eject, env,
	envdir, envuidgid, expand, expr, false, fbset, fdflush,
	fdformat, fdisk, fgrep, find, fold, free, freeramdisk,
	fsck, fsck.minix, fuser, getopt, getty, grep, gunzip,
	gzip, halt, hdparm, head, hexdump, hostid, hostname, hwclock,
	id, ifconfig, ifdown, ifup, inetd, init, insmod, install,
	ip, ipaddr, ipcalc, ipcrm, ipcs, iplink, iproute, iprule,
	iptunnel, kbd_mode, kill, killall, killall5, klogd, last,
	length, less, linux32, linux64, linuxrc, ln, loadfont,
	loadkmap, logger, login, logname, logread, losetup, lpd,
	lpq, lpr, ls, lsattr, lsmod, lzmacat, makedevs, md5sum,
	mdev, mesg, microcom, mkdir, mkfifo, mkfs.minix, mknod,
	mkswap, mktemp, modprobe, more, mount, mountpoint, mt,
	mv, nameif, netstat, nice, nmeter, nohup, nslookup, od,
	openvt, passwd, patch, pgrep, pidof, ping, pipe_progress,
	pivot_root, pkill, poweroff, printenv, printf, ps, pscan,
	pwd, raidautorun, rdate, readlink, readprofile, realpath,
	reboot, renice, reset, resize, rm, rmdir, rmmod, route,
	rpm, rpm2cpio, run-parts, runlevel, runsv, runsvdir, rx,
	script, sed, sendmail, seq, setarch, setconsole, setkeycodes,
	setlogcons, setsid, setuidgid, sh, sha1sum, sleep, softlimit,
	sort, split, start-stop-daemon, stat, strings, stty, su,
	sulogin, sum, sv, svlogd, swapoff, swapon, switch_root,
	sync, sysctl, syslogd, tac, tail, tar, taskset, tee, telnetd,
	test, time, top, touch, tr, true, tty, ttysize, udhcpc,
	udhcpd, umount, uname, uncompress, unexpand, uniq, unix2dos,
	unlzma, unzip, uptime, usleep, uudecode, uuencode, vi,
	vlock, watch, watchdog, wc, wget, which, who, whoami,
	xargs, yes, zcat

Sony CE Linux (internal distribution) 1.13.4 build

This is from a version of busybox used in lots of Sony products: Currently defined functions:

        [, [[, ash, basename, bunzip2, bzcat, cat, chgrp, chmod, chown,
        chroot, cmp, cp, cpio, cut, date, dd, dirname, dmesg, echo, egrep,
        env, expr, false, fgrep, freeramdisk, ftpget, ftpput, getty, grep,
        gunzip, gzip, halt, ifconfig, insmod, kill, killall, klogd, ln,
        logger, login, ls, lsmod, md5sum, mkdir, mkfifo, mknod, mktemp,
        modprobe, mount, mv, pidof, ping, ping6, pivot_root, poweroff,
        pwd, readlink, reboot, rm, rmdir, rmmod, route, sed, sfdisk, sh,
        sha1sum, sleep, sort, stty, swapoff, swapon, switch_root, sync,
        syslogd, tail, tar, taskset, telnet, telnetd, test, touch, true,
        umount, uname, uniq, usleep, vconfig, wc, xargs, zcat

Random Notes

Can implement incrementally

Rob wrote:

One nice thing about busybox/toybox/toolbox is you can install multiple implementations side by side, and have what symlinks you create (or what comes first in the $PATH) determine who is implementing what.

This allows gradual transitions. Each release, we replace a couple more commands from the old one, until the old one finally isn't being used for anything anymore and we can uninstall it...