Mirror of busybox

Denys Vlasenko 59ac467dc6 libbb: eliminate a static data array in bb_mode_string() 11 hours ago
applets 1a45b2ccea fix "warning array subscript has type 'char'" 5 months ago
applets_sh 981b2eff81 mim: run scripts from a specification file 1 year ago
arch fad8d6b6c0 build system: combat gcc zealotry in data alignment, now for x86_64 too 9 months ago
archival 59ac467dc6 libbb: eliminate a static data array in bb_mode_string() 11 hours ago
configs d32ef3174b *: remove remains of FEATURE_TOUCH_NODEREF 1 month ago
console-tools 6f7b10cdab *: more --help tweaking 3 months ago
coreutils 59ac467dc6 libbb: eliminate a static data array in bb_mode_string() 11 hours ago
debianutils 8c1f8aa016 run-parts: permit dot later in file name 3 months ago
docs 6b6826f0b8 *: --help tweaks 3 months ago
e2fsprogs 1746218bee move iterate_on_dir() from e2fsprogs to libbb 2 months ago
editors 857800c655 awk: never return NULL from awk_printf() 1 week ago
examples d7e39f26d7 examples/var_service/fw/run: allow extif's to be more than one iface 2 weeks ago
findutils 1e7ca18591 Regularize "NUL terminated input" --help texts 3 weeks ago
include 59ac467dc6 libbb: eliminate a static data array in bb_mode_string() 11 hours ago
init b230ff9d8f *: use fopen helpers where appropriate 8 months ago
klibc-utils 14ed4ec8a4 resume: write offset in /sys/power/resume_offset 6 months ago
libbb 59ac467dc6 libbb: eliminate a static data array in bb_mode_string() 11 hours ago
libpwdgrp 2ab9403119 whitespace and comment format fixes, no code changes 4 years ago
loginutils 1f60d88cf6 *: more --help tweaks 3 months ago
mailutils 4455cffa32 Fix mail compilation on the FreeBSD 8 months ago
miscutils 4b032a4d6c chat: hopefully fix infinite spinning on input EOF 1 week ago
modutils f99800758e modprobe: when reading modules.builtin, use basenames of files from it 2 months ago
networking 40f2dd7dd2 httpd: fix config deps 1 week ago
printutils 6937487be7 libbb: reduce the overhead of single parameter bb_error_msg() calls 2 years ago
procps 62d5a1e56f tar,smemcap: commonalyze checksumming code for tar header 3 weeks ago
qemu_multiarch_testing bddbeb82bf qemu_multiarch_testing: small improvements 4 years ago
runit 1849285a20 *: more --help tweaks, mostly expanding ts --help 3 months ago
scripts 540aa11661 scripts/randomtest.loop: let user know about SKIP_MOUNT_MAND_TESTS 1 month ago
selinux ba9f9c2d2c *: --help text tweaks 5 months ago
shell 704c596563 ash: introduce bash-like $FUNCNAME 1 day ago
sysklogd e2b9215868 *: --help tweaks 3 months ago
testsuite 9fe1548bbf date,touch: allow timezone offsets in dates 12 hours ago
util-linux 83e20cb81c getopt: code shrink 1 day ago
.gitignore 3778898f97 Treat custom and applet scripts as applets 2 years ago
.indent.pro 40bfc76385 First revision of the Busybox Style Guide and an accompanying .indent.pro 21 years ago
AUTHORS d2383f57cd paste: new applet 4 years ago
Config.in 39646dce32 build system: make -static-libgcc selectable in config 9 months ago
INSTALL ee0d4cd8cb Tweak INSTALL text 9 years ago
LICENSE af61b2a5ad LICENSE: update address of the FSF 12 years ago
Makefile 9d286a0a55 Start 1.35.0 development cycle 4 weeks ago
Makefile.custom 296381ff4f applets/install: don't try to install nothing 3 years ago
Makefile.flags eb1b2902b8 Makefile.flags: add a test for -lrt availability 5 months ago
Makefile.help e4569be244 build system: "make hosttools" doesn't exist, remove it from "make help" 7 years ago
NOFORK_NOEXEC.lst 88663e481f mv: make it NOEXEC 3 years ago
NOFORK_NOEXEC.sh 6f1c942a31 NOFORK_NOEXEC.sh: a script to find "interesting" applets 3 years ago
README c77a58fb2d typo fix 6 years ago
TODO 008fc9499a libbb: remove vdprintf 4 years ago
TODO_unicode d8528b8e56 ls: unicode fixes 11 years ago
make_single_applets.sh b02f8ca909 make_single_applets.sh: switch off nologin deps option 1 year ago
size_single_applets.sh df1ff103c9 config: add size information for three more applets 2 years ago


Please see the LICENSE file for details on copying and usage.
Please refer to the INSTALL file for instructions on how to build.

What is busybox:

BusyBox combines tiny versions of many common UNIX utilities into a single
small executable. It provides minimalist replacements for most of the
utilities you usually find in bzip2, coreutils, dhcp, diffutils, e2fsprogs,
file, findutils, gawk, grep, inetutils, less, modutils, net-tools, procps,
sed, shadow, sysklogd, sysvinit, tar, util-linux, and vim. The utilities
in BusyBox often have fewer options than their full-featured cousins;
however, the options that are included provide the expected functionality
and behave very much like their larger counterparts.

BusyBox has been written with size-optimization and limited resources in
mind, both to produce small binaries and to reduce run-time memory usage.
Busybox is also extremely modular so you can easily include or exclude
commands (or features) at compile time. This makes it easy to customize
embedded systems; to create a working system, just add /dev, /etc, and a
Linux kernel. Busybox (usually together with uClibc) has also been used as
a component of "thin client" desktop systems, live-CD distributions, rescue
disks, installers, and so on.

BusyBox provides a fairly complete POSIX environment for any small system,
both embedded environments and more full featured systems concerned about
space. Busybox is slowly working towards implementing the full Single Unix
Specification V3 (http://www.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/009695399/), but isn't
there yet (and for size reasons will probably support at most UTF-8 for
internationalization). We are also interested in passing the Linux Test
Project (http://ltp.sourceforge.net).


Using busybox:

BusyBox is extremely configurable. This allows you to include only the
components and options you need, thereby reducing binary size. Run 'make
config' or 'make menuconfig' to select the functionality that you wish to
enable. (See 'make help' for more commands.)

The behavior of busybox is determined by the name it's called under: as
"cp" it behaves like cp, as "sed" it behaves like sed, and so on. Called
as "busybox" it takes the second argument as the name of the applet to
run (I.E. "./busybox ls -l /proc").

The "standalone shell" mode is an easy way to try out busybox; this is a
command shell that calls the built-in applets without needing them to be
installed in the path. (Note that this requires /proc to be mounted, if
testing from a boot floppy or in a chroot environment.)

The build automatically generates a file "busybox.links", which is used by
'make install' to create symlinks to the BusyBox binary for all compiled in
commands. This uses the CONFIG_PREFIX environment variable to specify
where to install, and installs hardlinks or symlinks depending
on the configuration preferences. (You can also manually run
the install script at "applets/install.sh").


Downloading the current source code:

Source for the latest released version, as well as daily snapshots, can always
be downloaded from


You can browse the up to the minute source code and change history online.


Anonymous GIT access is available. For instructions, check out:


For those that are actively contributing and would like to check files in,


The developers also have a bug and patch tracking system
(https://bugs.busybox.net) although posting a bug/patch to the mailing list
is generally a faster way of getting it fixed, and the complete archive of
what happened is the git changelog.

Note: if you want to compile busybox in a busybox environment you must


Getting help:

when you find you need help, you can check out the busybox mailing list
archives at http://busybox.net/lists/busybox/ or even join
the mailing list if you are interested.



if you find bugs, please submit a detailed bug report to the busybox mailing
list at busybox@busybox.net. a well-written bug report should include a
transcript of a shell session that demonstrates the bad behavior and enables
anyone else to duplicate the bug on their own machine. the following is such
an example:

to: busybox@busybox.net
from: diligent@testing.linux.org
subject: /bin/date doesn't work

package: busybox
version: 1.00

when i execute busybox 'date' it produces unexpected results.
with gnu date i get the following output:

$ date
fri oct 8 14:19:41 mdt 2004

but when i use busybox date i get this instead:

$ date
illegal instruction

i am using debian unstable, kernel version 2.4.25-vrs2 on a netwinder,
and the latest uclibc from cvs.


note the careful description and use of examples showing not only what
busybox does, but also a counter example showing what an equivalent app
does (or pointing to the text of a relevant standard). Bug reports lacking
such detail may never be fixed... Thanks for understanding.



Busybox is developed and tested on Linux 2.4 and 2.6 kernels, compiled
with gcc (the unit-at-a-time optimizations in version 3.4 and later are
worth upgrading to get, but older versions should work), and linked against
uClibc (0.9.27 or greater) or glibc (2.2 or greater). In such an
environment, the full set of busybox features should work, and if
anything doesn't we want to know about it so we can fix it.

There are many other environments out there, in which busybox may build
and run just fine. We just don't test them. Since busybox consists of a
large number of more or less independent applets, portability is a question
of which features work where. Some busybox applets (such as cat and rm) are
highly portable and likely to work just about anywhere, while others (such as
insmod and losetup) require recent Linux kernels with recent C libraries.

Earlier versions of Linux and glibc may or may not work, for any given
configuration. Linux 2.2 or earlier should mostly work (there's still
some support code in things like mount.c) but this is no longer regularly
tested, and inherently won't support certain features (such as long files
and --bind mounts). The same is true for glibc 2.0 and 2.1: expect a higher
testing and debugging burden using such old infrastructure. (The busybox
developers are not very interested in supporting these older versions, but
will probably accept small self-contained patches to fix simple problems.)

Some environments are not recommended. Early versions of uClibc were buggy
and missing many features: upgrade. Linking against libc5 or dietlibc is
not supported and not interesting to the busybox developers. (The first is
obsolete and has no known size or feature advantages over uClibc, the second
has known bugs that its developers have actively refused to fix.) Ancient
Linux kernels (2.0.x and earlier) are similarly uninteresting.

In theory it's possible to use Busybox under other operating systems (such as
MacOS X, Solaris, Cygwin, or the BSD Fork Du Jour). This generally involves
a different kernel and a different C library at the same time. While it
should be possible to port the majority of the code to work in one of
these environments, don't be surprised if it doesn't work out of the box. If
you're into that sort of thing, start small (selecting just a few applets)
and work your way up.

In 2005 Shaun Jackman has ported busybox to a combination of newlib
and libgloss, and some of his patches have been integrated.

Supported hardware:

BusyBox in general will build on any architecture supported by gcc. We
support both 32 and 64 bit platforms, and both big and little endian

Under 2.4 Linux kernels, kernel module loading was implemented in a
platform-specific manner. Busybox's insmod utility has been reported to
work under ARM, CRIS, H8/300, x86, ia64, x86_64, m68k, MIPS, PowerPC, S390,
SH3/4/5, Sparc, and v850e. Anything else probably won't work.

The module loading mechanism for the 2.6 kernel is much more generic, and
we believe 2.6.x kernel module loading support should work on all
architectures supported by the kernel.


Please feed suggestions, bug reports, insults, and bribes back to the busybox
mailing list:


and/or maintainer:

Denys Vlasenko