Stuff that needs to be done
tr - missing SuS3 features in busybox 1.0pre10
tr doesnt support [:blank:], [:digit:] or other predefined classes, [=equiv=]
support is also missing.
doesn't understand () or -exec, and these are actually used out in the real
world. The "make uninstall" of lots of things (including busybox itself)
breaks because of this, and sometimes even "make install" (like udev).
Perl needs "comm" to build. It's small and simple, but we haven't got it.
The command shell situation is a big mess. We have three or four different
shells that don't really share any code, and the "standalone shell" doesn't
work all that well (especially not in a chroot environment), due to apps not
being reentrant. Unifying the various shells and figuring out a configurable
way of adding the minimal set of bash features a given script uses is a big
job, but it be a big improvement.
Can't handle compressing multiple files at once. (I don't mean making a
multiple file archive, I mean compressing more than one file at a time.)
Some global variables aren't re-initialized between runs.
same problem as gzip. "gunzip one.gz two.gz three.gz" doesn't work for
two.gz and three.gz due to global variables not getting reset.
We should have a diff -u command. We have patch, we should have diff
(we only need to support unified diffs though).
should have -i support, and simple fuzz factor support to apply patches
at an offset shouldn't take up too much space.
It would be nice to have a man command. Not one that handles troff or
anything, just one that can handle preformatted ascii man pages, possibly
compressed. This could probably be a script in the extras directory that
calls cat/zcatbzcat | more
More sucks if you're used to less. A tiny less implementation would be
Do a SUSv3 audit
Look at the full Single Unix Specification version 3 (available online at
figure out which of our apps are compliant, and what we're missing that
we might actually care about.
Even better would be some kind of automated compliance test harness that
exercises each command line option and the various corner cases.
Lots of archivers have the same general infrastructure. The directory
traversal code should be factored out, and the guts of each archiver could
be some setup code and a series of callbacks for "add this file",
"add this directory", "add this symlink" and so on.
This could clean up tar and zip, and make it cheaper to add cpio and ar
write support, and possibly even cheaply add things like mkisofs someday,
if it becomes relevant.
Text buffer support.
Several existing applets and potential additions (sort, vi, less...) read
a whole file into memory and act on it. There might be an opportunity
for shared code in there that could be moved into libbb...
Individual compilation of applets.
It would be nice if busybox had the option to compile to individual applets,
for people who want an alternate implementation less bloated than the gnu
utils (or simply with less political baggage), but without it being one big
Turning libbb into a real dll is another possibility, especially if libbb
could export some of the other library interfaces we've already more or less
got the code for (like zlib).
buildroot - Make a "dogfood" option
Busybox is now capable of replacing most gnu packages for real world use,
such as developing software or in a live CD. A system built from busybox
(1.00 with updated sort.c), uclibc 0.9.27, gcc, binutils, make, and a few
other development tools (http://www.landley.net/code/firmware has an example
system using autoconf, automake, bison, flex, libtools, m4, zlib,
and groff: dunno what subset of that is actually necessary) is capable of
rebuilding itself, from scratch, under itself.
It would be a good "eating our own dogfood" test if buildroot had the option
of using busybox instead of bzip2, coreutils, file, findutils, gawk, grep,
inetutils, modutils, net-tools, procps, sed, shadow, sysklogd, sysvinit, tar,
util-linux, and vim. Anything that's wrong with the resulting system, we
can fix. (It would be nice to be able to upgrade busybox to be able to
replace bash, diffutils, gzip, less, and patch as well.)