source: MondoRescue/branches/stable/mindi-busybox/README @ 821

Last change on this file since 821 was 821, checked in by Bruno Cornec, 14 years ago

Addition of busybox 1.2.1 as a mindi-busybox new package
This should avoid delivering binary files in mindi not built there (Fedora and Debian are quite serious about that)

File size: 8.6 KB
1Please see the LICENSE file for details on copying and usage.
2Please refer to the INSTALL file for instructions on how to build.
4What is busybox:
6  BusyBox combines tiny versions of many common UNIX utilities into a single
7  small executable.  It provides minimalist replacements for most of the
8  utilities you usually find in bzip2, coreutils, dhcp, diffutils, e2fsprogs,
9  file, findutils, gawk, grep, inetutils, less, modutils, net-tools, procps,
10  sed, shadow, sysklogd, sysvinit, tar, util-linux, and vim.  The utilities
11  in BusyBox often have fewer options than their full-featured cousins;
12  however, the options that are included provide the expected functionality
13  and behave very much like their larger counterparts.
15  BusyBox has been written with size-optimization and limited resources in
16  mind, both to produce small binaries and to reduce run-time memory usage.
17  Busybox is also extremely modular so you can easily include or exclude
18  commands (or features) at compile time.  This makes it easy to customize
19  embedded systems; to create a working system, just add /dev, /etc, and a
20  Linux kernel.  Busybox (usually together with uClibc) has also been used as
21  a component of "thin client" desktop systems, live-CD distributions, rescue
22  disks, installers, and so on.
24  BusyBox provides a fairly complete POSIX environment for any small system,
25  both embedded environments and more full featured systems concerned about
26  space.  Busybox is slowly working towards implementing the full Single Unix
27  Specification V3 (, but isn't
28  there yet (and for size reasons will probably support at most UTF-8 for
29  internationalization).  We are also interested in passing the Linux Test
30  Project (
34Using busybox:
36  BusyBox is extremely configurable.  This allows you to include only the
37  components and options you need, thereby reducing binary size.  Run 'make
38  config' or 'make menuconfig' to select the functionality that you wish to
39  enable.  (See 'make help' for more commands.)
41  The behavior of busybox is determined by the name it's called under: as
42  "cp" it behaves like cp, as "sed" it behaves like sed, and so on.  Called
43  as "busybox" it takes the second argument as the name of the applet to
44  run (I.E. "./busybox ls -l /proc").
46  The "standalone shell" mode is an easy way to try out busybox; this is a
47  command shell that calls the builtin applets without needing them to be
48  installed in the path.  (Note that this requires /proc to be mounted, if
49  testing from a boot floppy or in a chroot environment.)
51  The build automatically generates a file "busybox.links", which is used by
52  'make install' to create symlinks to the BusyBox binary for all compiled in
53  commands.  This uses the PREFIX environment variable to specify where to
54  install, and installs hardlinks or symlinks depending on the configuration
55  preferences.  (You can also manually run the install script at
56  "applets/").
60Downloading the current source code:
62  Source for the latest released version, as well as daily snapshots, can always
63  be downloaded from
67  You can browse the up to the minute source code and change history online.
71  Anonymous SVN access is available.  For instructions, check out:
75  For those that are actively contributing and would like to check files in,
76  see:
80  The developers also have a bug and patch tracking system
81  ( although posting a bug/patch to the mailing list
82  is generally a faster way of getting it fixed, and the complete archive of
83  what happened is the subversion changelog.
87getting help:
89  when you find you need help, you can check out the busybox mailing list
90  archives at or even join
91  the mailing list if you are interested.
97  if you find bugs, please submit a detailed bug report to the busybox mailing
98  list at  a well-written bug report should include a
99  transcript of a shell session that demonstrates the bad behavior and enables
100  anyone else to duplicate the bug on their own machine. the following is such
101  an example:
103    to:
104    from:
105    subject: /bin/date doesn't work
107    package: busybox
108    version: 1.00
110    when i execute busybox 'date' it produces unexpected results.
111    with gnu date i get the following output:
113    $ date
114    fri oct  8 14:19:41 mdt 2004
116    but when i use busybox date i get this instead:
118    $ date
119    illegal instruction
121    i am using debian unstable, kernel version 2.4.25-vrs2 on a netwinder,
122    and the latest uclibc from cvs.  thanks for the wonderful program!
124    -diligent
126  note the careful description and use of examples showing not only what
127  busybox does, but also a counter example showing what an equivalent app
128  does (or pointing to the text of a relevant standard).  Bug reports lacking
129  such detail may never be fixed...  Thanks for understanding.
135  Busybox is developed and tested on Linux 2.4 and 2.6 kernels, compiled
136  with gcc (the unit-at-a-time optimizations in version 3.4 and later are
137  worth upgrading to get, but older versions should work), and linked against
138  uClibc (0.9.27 or greater) or glibc (2.2 or greater).  In such an
139  environment, the full set of busybox features should work, and if
140  anything doesn't we want to know about it so we can fix it.
142  There are many other environments out there, in which busybox may build
143  and run just fine.  We just don't test them.  Since busybox consists of a
144  large number of more or less independent applets, portability is a question
145  of which features work where.  Some busybox applets (such as cat and rm) are
146  highly portable and likely to work just about anywhere, while others (such as
147  insmod and losetup) require recent Linux kernels with recent C libraries.
149  Earlier versions of Linux and glibc may or may not work, for any given
150  configuration.  Linux 2.2 or earlier should mostly work (there's still
151  some support code in things like mount.c) but this is no longer regularly
152  tested, and inherently won't support certain features (such as long files
153  and --bind mounts).  The same is true for glibc 2.0 and 2.1: expect a higher
154  testing and debugging burden using such old infrastructure.  (The busybox
155  developers are not very interested in supporting these older versions, but
156  will probably accept small self-contained patches to fix simple problems.)
158  Some environments are not recommended.  Early versions of uClibc were buggy
159  and missing many features: upgrade.  Linking against libc5 or dietlibc is
160  not supported and not interesting to the busybox developers.  (The first is
161  obsolete and has no known size or feature advantages over uClibc, the second
162  has known bugs that its developers have actively refused to fix.)  Ancient
163  Linux kernels (2.0.x and earlier) are similarly uninteresting.
165  In theory it's possible to use Busybox under other operating systems (such as
166  MacOS X, Solaris, Cygwin, or the BSD Fork Du Jour).  This generally involves
167  a different kernel and a different C library at the same time.  While it
168  should be possible to port the majority of the code to work in one of
169  these environments, don't be suprised if it doesn't work out of the box.  If
170  you're into that sort of thing, start small (selecting just a few applets)
171  and work your way up.
173  Shaun Jackman has recently (2005) ported busybox to a combination of newlib
174  and libgloss, and some of his patches have been integrated.  This platform
175  may join glibc/uclibc and Linux as a supported combination with the 1.1
176  release, but is not supported in 1.0.
178Supported hardware:
180  BusyBox in general will build on any architecture supported by gcc.  We
181  support both 32 and 64 bit platforms, and both big and little endian
182  systems.
184  Under 2.4 Linux kernels, kernel module loading was implemented in a
185  platform-specific manner.  Busybox's insmod utility has been reported to
186  work under ARM, CRIS, H8/300, x86, ia64, x86_64, m68k, MIPS, PowerPC, S390,
187  SH3/4/5, Sparc, v850e, and x86_64.  Anything else probably won't work.
189  The module loading mechanism for the 2.6 kernel is much more generic, and
190  we believe 2.6.x kernel module loading support should work on all
191  architectures supported by the kernel.
195Please feed suggestions, bug reports, insults, and bribes back to the busybox
197    Rob Landley
198    <>
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