|author||Rob Landley <firstname.lastname@example.org>||2005-10-09 18:20:54 +0000|
|committer||Rob Landley <email@example.com>||2005-10-09 18:20:54 +0000|
The readme in 1.0 is more up to date than the 1.1 version...
Diffstat (limited to 'README')
1 files changed, 163 insertions, 81 deletions
@@ -1,119 +1,201 @@
Please see the LICENSE file for details on copying and usage.
-Please refer to the INSTALL file for instructions on how to build.
-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 GNU coreutils, util-linux, etc. The utilities in BusyBox
-generally have fewer options than their full-featured GNU cousins; however, the
-options that are included provide the expected functionality and behave very
-much like their GNU counterparts.
-BusyBox has been written with size-optimization and limited resources in mind.
-It is also extremely modular so you can easily include or exclude commands (or
-features) at compile time. This makes it easy to customize your embedded
-systems. To create a working system, just add /dev, /etc, and a Linux kernel.
-BusyBox provides a fairly complete POSIX environment for any small or embedded
-BusyBox is extremely configurable. This allows you to include only the
-components you need, thereby reducing binary size. See the file INSTALL
+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, file, findutils, gawk, grep,
+ inetutils, 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
+ 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).
- BusyBox in general will build on any architecture supported by gcc.
- Kernel module loading for 2.2 and 2.4 Linux kernels is currently
- limited to ARM, CRIS, H8/300, x86, ia64, x86_64, m68k, MIPS, PowerPC,
- S390, SH3/4/5, Sparc, v850e, and x86_64 for 2.4.x kernels. For 2.6.x
- kernels, kernel module loading support should work on all architectures.
-Supported C Libraries:
+ 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.)
- uClibc and glibc are supported. People have been looking at newlib and
- dietlibc, but they are currently considered unsupported, untested, or
- worse. Linux-libc5 is no longer supported -- you should probably use uClibc
- instead if you want a small C library.
+ 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 builtin 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.)
- Full functionality requires Linux 2.2.x or better. A large fraction of the
- code should run on just about anything. While the current code is fairly
- Linux specific, it should be fairly easy to port the majority of the code
- to support, say, FreeBSD or Solaris, or Mac OS X, or even Windows (if you
- are into that sort of thing).
+ 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. Use the PREFIX environment variable to specify where to install
+ the busybox binary and symlink forest. (i.e., 'make PREFIX=/tmp/foo install',
+ or 'make PREFIX=/tmp/foo install-hardlinks' if you prefer hard links.)
+Downloading the current source code:
-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.
+ 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.
+ The "stable" series is at:
-If you find bugs, please submit a detailed bug report to the BusyBox mailing
-list at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
- To: email@example.com
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: /bin/date doesn't work
+ And the development series is at:
- Package: BusyBox
- Version: 1.00
- When I execute BusyBox 'date' it produces unexpected results.
- With GNU date I get the following output:
+ Anonymous SVN access is available. For instructions, check out:
- $ date
- Fri Oct 8 14:19:41 MDT 2004
- But when I use BusyBox date I get this instead:
+ For those that are actively contributing and would like to check files in,
- $ date
- illegal instruction
- I am using Debian unstable, kernel version 2.4.25-vrs2 on a Netwinder,
- and the latest uClibc from CVS. Thanks for the wonderful program!
+ The developers also have a bug and patch tracking system
+ (http://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 subversion changelog.
-Note the careful description and use of examples showing not only what BusyBox
-does, but also a counter example showing what an equivalent GNU app does. Bug
-reports lacking such detail may never be fixed... Thanks for understanding.
+ 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.
-Source for the latest released version, as well as daily snapshots, can always
-be downloaded from
+ if you find bugs, please submit a detailed bug report to the busybox mailing
+ list at email@example.com. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
+ from: email@example.com
+ subject: /bin/date doesn't work
+ package: busybox
+ version: 1.00
-BusyBox now has its own publicly browsable SVN tree at:
+ when i execute busybox 'date' it produces unexpected results.
+ with gnu date i get the following output:
-Anonymous SVN access is available. For instructions, check out:
+ $ date
+ fri oct 8 14:19:41 mdt 2004
-For those that are actively contributing there is even SVN write access:
+ 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. thanks for the wonderful program!
+ 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 suprised 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.
+ Shaun Jackman has recently (2005) ported busybox to a combination of newlib
+ and libgloss, and some of his patches have been integrated. This platform
+ may join glibc/uclibc and Linux as a supported combination with the 1.1
+ release, but is not supported in 1.0.
+ 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, v850e, and x86_64. 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:
+Please feed suggestions, bug reports, insults, and bribes back to the busybox