1<html><head><title>toybox roadmap</title>
   2<!--#include file="header.html" -->
   3<title>Toybox Roadmap</title>
   5<h2>Roadmap sections</h2>
   8<li><a href=#goals>Introduction</a></li>
   9<li><a href=#susv4>POSIX-2008/SUSv4</a></li>
  10<li><a href=#sigh>Linux "Standard" Base</a></li>
  11<li><a href=#rfc>IETF RFCs and Man Pages</a></li>
  12<li><a href=#dev_env>Development Environment</a></li>
  13<li><a href=#android>Android Toolbox</a></li>
  14<li><a href=#aosp>Building AOSP</a></li>
  15<li><a href=#tizen>Tizen Core</a></li>
  16<li><a href=#yocto>Yocto</a></li>
  17<li><a href=#fhs>Filesystem Hierachy Standard</a></li>
  18<li><a href=#buildroot>buildroot</a></li>
  19<li>Miscelaneous: <a href=#klibc>klibc</a>, <a href=#glibc>glibc</a>,
  20<a href=#sash>sash</a>, <a href=#sbase>sbase</a>,
  21<a href=#uclinux>uclinux</a>...</li>
  22<li><a href=#packages>Other Packages</a></li>
  25<a name="goals" />
  26<h2>Introduction (Goals and use cases)</h2>
  28<p>We have several potential use cases for a new set of command line
  29utilities, and are using those to determine which commands to implement
  30for Toybox's 1.0 release. Most of these have their own section in the
  31<a href=status.html>status page</a>, showing current progress towards
  34<p>The most interesting publicly available standards are A) POSIX-2008 (also
  35known as SUSv4), B) the Linux Standard Base version 4.1, and C) the official
  36<a href=>Linux man pages</a>.
  37But they include commands we've decided not implement, exclude
  38commands or features we have, and don't always entirely match reality.</p>
  40<p>The most thorough real world test (other than a large interactive
  41userbase) is using toybox as the command line in a build system such as
  42<a href=>Aboriginal
  43Linux</a>, having it rebuild itself from source code, and using the result
  44to <a href=>build Linux From Scratch</a>.
  45The current "minimal native development system" goal is to use
  46<a href=faq.html#mkroot>mkroot</a>
  47plus <a href=faq.html#cross>musl-cross-make</a> to hermetically build
  48<a href=>AOSP</a>.</p>
  50<p>We've also checked what commands were provided by similar projects
  51(klibc, sash, sbase, embutils,
  52nash, and beastiebox), looked at various vendor configurations of busybox,
  53and collected end user requests.</p>
  55<p>Finally, we'd like to provide a good replacement for the Bash shell,
  56which was the first program Linux ever ran and remains the standard shell
  57of Linux (no matter what Ubuntu says). This doesn't necessarily mean including
  58every last Bash 5.x feature, but does involve {various,features} &lt(beyond)
  61<p>See the <a href=status.html>status page</a> for the categorized command list
  62and progress towards implementing it. There's also a
  63<a href=todo.html>historical todo list</a> from the project's 2011 relaunch.</p>
  65<hr />
  66<a name="standards">
  67<h2>Use case: standards compliance.</h2>
  69<h3><a name=susv4 /><a href="#susv4">POSIX-2008/SUSv4</a></h3>
  70<p>The best standards describe reality rather than attempting to impose a
  71new one. A good standard should document, not legislate.
  72Standards which document existing reality tend to be approved by
  73more than one standards body, such ANSI and ISO both approving <a href=>C99</a>. That's why IEEE 1003.1-2008,
  74the Single Unix Specification version 4, and the Open Group Base Specification
  75edition 7 are all the same standard from three sources, but most people just
  76call it "posix" (portable operating system derived from unix).
  77It's available <a href=>online in full</a>, and may be downloaded as a tarball.
  78Previous versions (<a href=>SUSv3</a> and
  79<a href=>SUSv2</a>)
  80are also available.
  82<a href=>Posix
  832008</a> was reissued in 2013 and 2018, the first was minor wordsmithing
  84with no behavioral changes, the second was to renew a ten year timeout
  85to still be considered a "current standard" by some government regulations.
  86It's still posix-2008/SUSv4/issue 7.)</p>
  88<h3>Why not just use posix for everything?</h3>
  90<p>Unfortunately, Posix describes an incomplete subset of reality, because
  91it was designed to. It started with proprietary unix vendors collaborating to
  92describe the functionality their fragmented APIs could agree on, which was then
  93incorporated into <a href=>US federal procurement standards</a>
  94as a <a href=>compliance requirement</a>
  95for things like navy contracts, giving large corporations
  96like IBM and Microsoft millions of dollars of incentive
  97to punch holes in the standard big enough to drive
  98<a href=>Windows NT</a> and
  99<a href=>OS/360</a> through.
 100When open source projects like Linux started developing on the internet
 101(enabled by the 1993 relaxation of the National Science Foundation's
 102"Acceptable Use Policy" allowing everyone to connect to the internet,
 103previously restricted to approved government/military/university organizations),
 104Posix <a href=>ignored
 105the upstarts</a> and Linux eventually
 106<a href=>returned the favor</a>,
 107leaving Posix behind.</p>
 109<p>The result is a "standard" that lacks any mention of commands like
 110"init" or "mount" required to actually boot a system.
 111It describes logname but not login. It provides ipcrm
 112and ipcs, but not ipcmk, so you can use System V IPC resources but not create
 113them. And widely used real-world commands such as tar and cpio (the basis
 114of initramfs and RPM) which were present in earlier
 115versions of the standard have been removed, while obsolete commands like
 116cksum, compress, sccs and uucp remain with no mention of modern counterparts
 117like crc32/sha1sum, gzip/xz, svn/git or scp/rsync. Meanwhile posix' description
 118of the commands
 119themselves are missing dozens of features and specify silly things like ebcdic
 120support in dd or that wc should use %d (not %lld) for byte counts. So
 121we have to extensively filter posix to get a useful set of recommendations.</p>
 125<p>Starting with the
 126<a href="">full "utilities" list</a>,
 127we first remove generally obsolete
 128commands (compress ed ex pr uncompress uccp uustat uux), commands for the
 129pre-CVS "SCCS" source control system (admin delta get prs rmdel sact sccs unget
 130val what), fortran support (asa fort77), and batch processing support (batch
 131qalter qdel qhold qmove qmsg qrerun qrls qselect qsig qstat qsub).</p>
 133<p>Some commands are for a compiler toolchain (ar c99 cflow ctags cxref gencat
 134iconv lex m4 make nm strings strip tsort yacc) which is outside of toybox's
 135mandate and should be supplied externally. (Some of these may be
 136revisited later, but not for toybox 1.0.)</p>
 138<p>Some commands are part of a command shell, and can't be implemented as
 139separate executables (alias bg cd command fc fg getopts hash jobs kill read
 140type ulimit umask unalias wait). These may be implemented as part of the
 141built-in toybox shell, but are not exported into $PATH via symlinks and
 142thus are not part of toybox's main command list. (If you fork a
 143child process and have it "cd" then exit, you've accomplished nothing.)
 144Again, what posix provides is incomplete: a shell also needs exit, if, while,
 145for, case, export, set, unset, trap, exec... (And for bash compatibility
 146function, source, declare...)</p>
 148<p>A few other commands are judgement calls, providing command-line
 149internationalization support (iconv locale localedef), System V inter-process
 150communication (ipcrm ipcs), and cross-tty communication from the minicomputer
 151days (talk mesg write). The "pax" utility <a href=>failed</a> to replace tar,
 152"mailx" is
 153a command line email client, and "lp" submits files for printing to... what
 154exactly? (cups?) The standard defines crontab but not crond. What is
 155pathchk supposed to be portable _to_? (Linux accepts 255 byte path components
 156with any char except NUL or / and no max length on the total path, and
 157<a href=>EXPLICITLY</a>
 158doesn't care if it's an invalid utf8 sequence.)</p>
 160<p>Removing all of that leaves the following commands, which toybox should
 164<span id=posix>
 165at awk basename bc cal cat chgrp chmod chown cksum cmp comm cp
 166csplit cut date dd df diff dirname du echo env expand expr false file find
 167fold fuser getconf grep head id join kill link ln logger logname ls man
 168mkdir mkfifo more mv newgrp nice nl nohup od paste patch printf ps
 169pwd renice rm rmdir sed sh sleep sort split stty tabs tail tee test time
 170touch tput tr true tty uname unexpand uniq unlink uudecode uuencode vi wc
 171who xargs zcat
 175<h3><a name=sigh /><a href="#sigh">Linux Standard Base</a></h3>
 177<p>One attempt to supplement POSIX towards an actual usable system was the
 178Linux Standard Base. Unfortunately, the quality of this "standard" is
 179fairly low, largely due to the Free Standards Group that maintained it
 180being consumed by <a href=>the Linux Foundation</a> in 2007.</p>
 182<p>Where POSIX allowed its standards process to be compromised
 183by leaving things out (but what
 184they DID standardize tends to be respected, if sometimes obsolete),
 185the Linux Standard Base's failure mode is different. They respond to
 186pressure by including anything their members pay them enough to promote,
 187such as allowing Red Hat to push
 188RPM into the standard even though all sorts of distros (Debian, Slackware, Arch,
 189Gentoo, Android) don't use it and never will. This means anything in the LSB is
 190at best a suggestion: arbitrary portions of this standard are widely
 193<p>The <a href=>community perception</a>
 194seems to be that the Linux Standard Base is
 195the best standard money can buy: the Linux Foundation is supported by
 196financial donations from large companies and the LSB
 197<a href=>represents the interests
 198of those donors</a> regardless of technical merit. (The Linux Foundation, which
 199maintains the LSB, is NOT a 501c3. It's a 501c6, the
 200same kind of legal entity as the Tobacco Institute and
 201<a href=>Microsoft's</a>
 202old "<a href=>Don't Copy That Floppy</a>" program.) Debian officially
 203<a href=>washed its hands of LSB</a> by
 204refusing to adopt release 5.0 in 2015, and no longer even pretends to support
 205it (which affects Debian derivatives like Ubuntu and Knoppix). Toybox has
 206stayed on 4.1 for similar reasons: a lot of historical effort went into
 207producing the standard before the Linux Foundation took over.</p>
 209<p>That said, Posix by itself isn't enough, and this is the next most
 210comprehensive standards effort for Linux so far, so we salvage what we can.</p>
 214<p>The LSB specifies a <a href=>list of command line
 218ar at awk batch bc chfn chsh col cpio crontab df dmesg du echo egrep 
 219fgrep file fuser gettext grep groupadd groupdel groupmod groups 
 220gunzip gzip hostname install install_initd ipcrm ipcs killall lpr ls 
 221lsb_release m4 md5sum mknod mktemp more mount msgfmt newgrp od passwd 
 222patch pidof remove_initd renice sed sendmail seq sh shutdown su sync 
 223tar umount useradd userdel usermod xargs zcat
 226<p>Where posix specifies one of those commands, LSB's deltas tend to be
 227accomodations for broken tool versions which aren't up to date with the
 228standard yet. (See <a href=>more</a> and <a href=>xargs</a>
 229for examples.)</p>
 231<p>Since we've already committed to using our own judgement to skip bits of
 232POSIX, and LSB's "judgement" in this regard is purely bug workarounds to declare
 233various legacy tool implementations "compliant", this means we're mostly
 234interested in the set of LSB tools that aren't mentioned in posix.</p>
 236<p>Of these, gettext and msgfmt are internationalization, install_initd and
 237remove_initd weren't present in Ubuntu 10.04, lpr is out of scope,
 238lsb_release just reports information in /etc/os-release, and sendmail's
 239turned into a pile of cryptographic verification and DNS shenanigans due
 240to spammers.</p>
 242<p>This leaves:</p>
 245<span id=lsb>
 246chfn chsh dmesg egrep fgrep groupadd groupdel groupmod groups
 247gunzip gzip hostname install killall md5sum
 248mknod mktemp mount passwd pidof seq shutdown
 249su sync tar umount useradd userdel usermod zcat
 253<h3><a name=rfc /><a href="#rfc">IETF RFCs and Man Pages</a></h3>
 255<p>They're very nice, but there's thousands of them.</p>
 257<p>Discussion of standards wouldn't be complete without the Internet
 258Engineering Task Force's "<a href=>Request For Comments</a>" collection and Michael Kerrisk's
 259<a href=>Linux man-pages project</a>.
 260Except these aren't standards, they're collections of documentation with
 261low barriers to inclusion. They're not saying "you should support
 262X", they're saying "if you do, here's how".
 263Thus neither really helps us select which commands to include.</p>
 265<p>The man pages website includes the commands in git, yum, perf, postgres,
 266flatpack... Great for examining the features of a command you've
 267already decided to include, useless for deciding _what_ to include.</p>
 269<p>The RFCs are more about protocols than commands. The noise level is
 270extremely high: there's thousands of RFCs, many describing a proposed idea
 271that never took off, and less than 1% of the resulting documents are
 272currently relevant to toybox. And the documents are numbered based on the
 273order they were received, with no real attempt at coherently indexing
 274the result. As with man pages they can be <a href=>long and complicated</a> or
 275<a href=>terse and impenetrable</a>,
 276have developed a certain amount of <a href=>bureaucracy</a> over the years, and often the easiest way to understand what
 277they <a href=>document</a> is to find an <a href=>earlier version</a> to read first.</p>
 279<p>That said, RFC documents can be useful (especially for networking protocols)
 280and the four URL templates the recommended starting files
 281for new commands (toys/example/skeleton.c or toys/example/hello.c depending on how much
 282plumbing you want to start with) provide point to posix, lsb, man, and
 283rfc pages.</p>
 285<hr />
 286<a name="dev_env">
 287<h2><a href="#dev_env">Use case: provide a self-hosting development environment</a></h2>
 289<p>The following commands were enough to build the <a href=>Aboriginal Linux</a> development
 290environment, boot it to a shell prompt, and build <a href=>Linux From Scratch 6.8</a> under it.</p>
 293<span id=development>
 294bzcat cat cp dirname echo env patch rmdir sha1sum sleep sort sync
 295true uname wc which yes zcat
 296awk basename chmod chown cmp cut date dd diff
 297egrep expr fdisk find grep gzip head hostname id install ln ls
 298mkdir mktemp mv od readlink rm sed sh tail tar touch tr uniq
 299wget whoami xargs chgrp comm gunzip less logname split
 300tee test time bunzip2 chgrp chroot comm cpio dmesg
 301dnsdomainname ftpget ftpput gunzip ifconfig init less
 302logname losetup mdev mount mountpoint nc pgrep pkill 
 303pwd route split stat switch_root tac umount vi
 304resize2fs tune2fs fsck.ext2 genext2fs mke2fs xzcat
 308<p>This use case includes running init scripts and other shell scripts, running
 309configure, make, and install in each package, and providing basic command line
 310facilities such as a text editor. (It does not include a compiler toolchain or
 311C library, those are outside the scope of the toybox project, although mkroot
 312has a <a href=>potentialy follow-up project</a>.
 313For now we use distro toolchains,
 314<a href=>musl-cross-make</a>,
 315and the Android NDK for build testing.)
 316That build system also instaled bash 2.05b as #!/bin/sh and its scripts
 317required bash extensions not present in shells such as busybox ash.
 318To replace that toysh needs to supply several bash extensions _and_ work
 319when called under the name "bash".</p>
 321<p>The above command list was collected using a command line recording wrapper,
 322see scripts/record-commands and toys/example/logpath.c, which
 323scripts/ uses to populate root/log/*-commands.txt. Try
 324<b>awk '{print $1}' root/build/log/*-commands.txt | sort -u | grep -v musl | xargs</b>
 325after building a mkroot target to get a similar command list used by that
 328<h3>Stages and moving targets</h3>
 330<p>The development environment use case has two stages, achieving:
 3311) a bootable system that can rebuild itself from source, and 2)
 332a build environment capable
 333of bootstrapping up to arbitrary complexity (by building
 334Linux From Scratch and Beyond Linux From Scratch under the resulting
 335system, or the Android Open Source Project). To accomplish just the first
 336goal (a minimal system that can rebuild _itself_ from source), the old
 337build still needs the following busybox commands for which toybox does
 338not yet supply adequate replacements:</p>
 341awk dd diff expr fdisk gzip less route sh tr unxz vi xzcat
 344<p>All of those except awk and less have partial implementations
 345in "pending".</p>
 347<p>In 2017 Aboriginal Linux development ended, replaced by a much simpler
 348project ("mkroot") designed to use an existing cross+native toolchain (such as
 349<a href=>musl-cross-make</a>
 350or the Android NDK) instead of building its own cross and native compilers
 351from source. In 2019 the still-incomplete
 352mkroot was merged into toybox as the "make root" target (which runs
 353scripts/ This is intended
 354as a simpler way of providing essentially the same build environment, and doesn't
 355significantly affect the rest of this analysis (although the "rebuild itself
 356from source" test should now include building musl-cross-make under either
 357mkroot or toybox's "make airlock" host environment).</p>
 359<p>Building Linux From Scratch is not the same as building the
 360<a href=>Android Open Source Project</a>,
 361but after toybox 1.0 we plan to try
 362<a href=>modifying the AOSP build</a>
 363to reduce dependencies. (It's fairly likely we'll have to add at least
 364a read-only git utility so repo can download the build's source code,
 365but that's actually <a href=>not
 366that hard</a>. We'll probably also need our own "make" at some point after
 3671.0, which is its own moving target thanks to cmake and ninja and so on.)
 368The ongoing Android <a href=>hermetic build</a> work is already advancing
 369this goal.</p>
 371<hr />
 372<h2><a name=android /><a href="#android">Use case: Replacing Android Toolbox</a></h2>
 374<p>Android has a policy against GPL in userspace, so even though BusyBox
 375predates Android by many years, they couldn't use it. Instead they grabbed
 376an old version of ash (later replaced by
 377<a href="">mksh</a>)
 378and implemented their own command line utility set
 379called "toolbox" (which toybox has already mostly replaced).</p>
 381<p>Toolbox doesn't have its own repository, instead it's part of Android's
 382<a href=>system/core
 383git repository</a>. Android's Native Development Kit (their standalone
 384downloadable toolchain)  has its own
 385<a href=>roadmap</a>, and each version has
 386<a href=>release
 389<h3>Toolbox commands:</h3>
 391<p>According to <a href=>
 392system/core/toolbox/Android.bp</a> the toolbox directory builds the
 393following commands:</p>
 396getevent getprop modprobe setprop start
 399<p>getprop/setprop/start were in toybox and moved back because they're so
 400tied to non-public system interfaces. modprobe shares the implementation
 401used in init. getevent is a board bringup tool built with a python script
 402that pulls all the constants from the latest kernel headers.</p>
 404<h3>Other Android /system/bin commands</h3>
 406<p>Other than the toolbox links, the currently interesting
 407binaries in /system/bin are:</p>
 410<li><b>arping</b> - ARP REQUEST tool (iputils)</li>
 411<li><b>blkid</b> - identify block devices (e2fsprogs)</li>
 412<li><b>e2fsck</b> - fsck for ext2/ext3/ext4 (e2fsprogs)</li>
 413<li><b>fsck.f2fs</b> - fsck for f2fs (f2fs-tools)</li>
 414<li><b>fsck_msdos</b> - fsck for FAT (BSD)</li>
 415<li><b>gzip</b> - compression/decompression tool (zlib)</li>
 416<li><b>ip</b> - network routing tool (iproute2)</li>
 417<li><b>iptables/ip6tables</b> - IPv4/IPv6 NAT admin (iptables)</li>
 418<li><b>iw</b> - wireless device config tool (iw)</li>
 419<li><b>logwrapper</b> - redirect stdio to android log (Android)</li>
 420<li><b>make_ext4fs</b> - make ext4 fs (Android)</li>
 421<li><b>make_f2fs</b> - make f2fs fs (f2fs-tools)</li>
 422<li><b>ping/ping6</b> - ICMP ECHO_REQUEST tool (iputils)</li>
 423<li><b>reboot</b> - reboot (Android)</li>
 424<li><b>resize2fs</b> - resize ext2/ext3/ext4 fs (e2fsprogs)</li>
 425<li><b>sh</b> - mksh (BSD)</li>
 426<li><b>ss</b> - socket statistics (iproute2)</li>
 427<li><b>tc</b> - traffic control (iproute2)</li>
 428<li><b>tracepath/tracepath6</b> - trace network path (iputils)</li>
 429<li><b>traceroute/traceroute6</b> - trace network route (iputils)</li>
 432<p>The names in parentheses are the upstream source of the command.</p>
 436<p>For reference, combining everything listed above that's still "fair game"
 437for toybox, we get:</p>
 440arping blkid e2fsck dd fsck.f2fs fsck_msdos gzip ip iptables
 441ip6tables iw logwrapper make_ext4fs make_f2fs modpobe newfs_msdos ping ping6
 442reboot resize2fs sh ss tc tracepath tracepath6 traceroute traceroute6
 445<p>We may eventually implement all of that, but for toybox 1.0 we need to
 446focus a bit. If Android has an acceptable external package, and the command
 447isn't needed for system bootstrapping, replacing the external package is
 448not a priority.</p>
 450<p>However, several commands toybox plans to implement anyway could potentially
 451replace existing Android versions, so we should take into account Android's use
 452cases when doing so. This includes:</p>
 454<span id=toolbox>
 455dd getevent gzip modprobe newfs_msdos sh
 459<p>Update: <a href=>
 460external/toybox/Android.bp</a> has symlinks for the following toys out
 461of "pending". (The toybox modprobe is also built for the device, but
 462it isn't actually used and is only there for sanity checking against
 463the libmodprobe-based implementation.) These should be a priority for
 467bc dd diff expr getfattr lsof more stty tr traceroute
 470<p>Android wishlist:</p>
 473mtools genvfatfs mke2fs gene2fs
 476<hr />
 477<h2><a name=aosp /><a href="#aosp">Use case: Building AOSP</a></h2>
 479<p>The list of external tools used to build AOSP was
 480<a href="">here</a>,
 481but as they're switched over to toybox they disappear and reappear
 482<a href="">here</a>.</p>
 485awk basename bash bc bzip2 cat chmod cmp comm cp cut date dd diff dirname du
 486echo egrep env expr find fuser getconf getopt git grep gzip head hexdump
 487hostname id jar java javap ln ls lsof m4 make md5sum mkdir mktemp mv od openssl
 488paste patch pgrep pkill ps pstree pwd python python2.7 python3 readlink
 489realpath rm rmdir rsync sed setsid sh sha1sum sha256sum sha512sum
 490sleep sort stat tar tail tee todos touch tr true uname uniq unix2dos unzip
 491wc which whoami xargs xxd xz zip zipinfo
 494<p>The following are already in the tree and will be used directly:</p>
 497awk bzip2 jar java javap m4 make python python2.7 python3 xz
 500<p>Subtracting what's already in toybox (including the following toybox toys
 501that are still in pending: <code>bc dd diff expr gzip lsof tar tr</code>),
 502that leaves:</p>
 505bash fuser getopt git hexdump openssl pstree rsync sh todos unzip zip zipinfo
 508<p>For AOSP, zip/zipinfo/unzip are likely to be libziparchive based. The
 509todos callers will use unix2dos instead if it's available. git/openssl
 510seem like they should just be brought in to the tree. rsync is used to
 511work around a Mac <code>cp -Rf</code> bug with broken symbolic links. That
 515bash fuser getopt hexdump pstree
 518<p>(Why are fuser and pstree used during the AOSP build? They're used for
 519diagnostics if something goes wrong. So it's really just bash, getopt,
 520and hexdump that are actually used to build.)</p>
 522<hr />
 523<h2><a name=tizen /><a href="#tizen">Use case: Tizen Core</a></h2>
 525<p>A side effect of the Linux Foundation following the money to the
 526exclusion of all else is they "support" their donors' myriad often
 527contradictory pet projects with elaborate announcements and press releases.
 528Long ago when Nokia's Maemo merged
 529with Intel's Moblin to form <a href=>MeeGo</a>, there were believable <a href=>statements</a>
 530about unifying fragmented vendor efforts. Then MeeGo merged with
 531<a href=>LiMo</a> to
 532<a href=notes-2012.html#16-05-2012>form Tizen</a>,
 533which became a Samsung-only project (that <a href=>still ships</a>
 534inside <a href=>televisions</a>,
 535but was otherwise subsumed into <a href=>Android GO</a>).</p>
 537<p>Along the way, the Tizen project expressed a desire to eliminate GPLv3 software
 538from its core system, and in installing toybox as
 539<a href=>part of this process</a>.</p>
 541<p>They had a fairly long list of new commands they wanted to see in toybox:</p>
 544<span id=tizen_cmd>
 545arch base64 users unexpand shred join csplit
 546hostid nproc runcon sha224sum sha256sum sha384sum sha512sum sha3sum mkfs.vfat fsck.vfat 
 547dosfslabel uname pinky diff3 sdiff zcmp zdiff zegrep zfgrep zless zmore
 551<p>In addition, they wanted to use several commands then in pending:</p>
 554<span id=tizen>
 555tar diff printf wget rsync fdisk vi less tr test stty fold expr dd
 559<p>Also, tizen uses a different Linux Security Module called SMACK, so
 560many of the SELinux options ala ls -Z needed smack alternatives in an
 561if/else setup. We added lib/lsm.h to abstract this, but haven't heard
 562from Tizen in years and have started implementing SELinux support without
 563Smack support in places like tar.c. At some point, lib/lsm.h may go away
 564due to lack of expressed interest.</p>
 566<hr />
 567<h2><a name=yocto /><a href="#yocto">Use case: Yocto</a></h2>
 569<p>Another project the Linux Foundation is paid to appreciate is Yocto,
 570which was designed to fix the ongoing proprietary fragmentation problem
 571(now in Linux build systems instead of vendor unix forks) by being the
 572build system equivalent of a glue trap. While proclaiming that having the
 573"minimum level of standardization" contributes to a "strong ecosystem",
 574Yocto uses a "<a href=>layered</a>"
 575design where everybody who touches it is encouraged to add more and more layers
 576of metadata on top of what came before, until they wind up <a href=>using repo</a> just to manage
 577the layers (let alone their contents). But -- and this is the
 578important bit -- all these dispirate forks are called "yocto" and built on
 579top of giant piles of code the Linux Foundation can take credit for
 580since they filed the serial numbers off OpenEmbedded. (And THEN users
 581are encouraged to check the result into their own repository as one
 582big initial commit, discarding all layers and history.)</p>
 584<p>Yocto's "core-image-minimal" target (only 3,106 build steps in the 3.3
 585release, which includes building host versions of gnome packages and
 586<a href=>something called</a>
 587the "uninative binary shim") builds a busybox-based system with the following commands:</p>
 590<span id=yocto_cmd>
 591addgroup adduser ascii sh awk base32 basename blkid bunzip2 bzcat bzip2 cat
 592chattr chgrp chmod chown chroot chvt clear cmp cp cpio crc32 cut date dc dd
 593deallocvt delgroup deluser depmod df diff dirname dmesg dnsdomainname du
 594dumpkmap dumpleases echo egrep env expr false fbset fdisk fgrep find flock
 595free fsck fstrim fuser getopt getty grep groups gunzip gzip head hexdump
 596hostname hwclock id ifconfig ifdown ifup insmod ip kill killall klogd less
 597ln loadfont loadkmap logger logname logread losetup ls lsmod lzcat md5sum
 598mesg microcom mkdir mkfifo mknod mkswap mktemp modprobe more mount mountpoint
 599mv nc netstat nohup nproc nslookup od openvt patch pgrep pidof pivot_root
 600printf ps pwd rdate readlink realpath reboot renice reset resize rev rfkill
 601rm rmdir rmmod route run-parts sed seq setconsole setsid sh sha1sum sha256sum
 602shuf sleep sort start-stop-daemon stat strings stty sulogin swapoff swapon
 603switch_root sync sysctl syslogd tail tar tee telnet test tftp time top touch
 604tr true ts tty udhcpc udhcpd umount uname uniq unlink unzip uptime users
 605usleep vi watch wc wget which who whoami xargs xzcat yes zcat
 611<a name="fhs" />
 612<hr /><a href=fhs>Filesystem Hierachy Standard</a>
 613<h2>Filesystem Hierarchy Standard:</h2>
 615<p>Another standard taken over by the Linux Foundation. (At least the
 616links to this one didn't <a href=>go 404</a> the
 617instant they took it over). Of historical interest due to what it
 618managed to achieve before they chased away the hobbyists maintaining it.
 619Only one version (3.0 in 2015) has been released since the Linux Foundation
 620absorbed the FHS. The previous release, Version 2.3, was released in 2004.
 621The Linux Foundation did not retain earlier versions. The contents of
 622the relevant sections appear identical between the two versions, the
 623Linux Foundation just added section numbers.</p>
 625<p><a href=>FHS 3.0</a>
 626section 3.4.2 requires commands to be in the /bin directory, and then 3.4.3
 627has an optional list,
 628and then 3.16.2 and 3.16.3 similarly cover /sbin. There are linux
 629specific sections in 6.1.2 and 6.1.6 but everything in them is obsolete.</p>
 631<p>The /bin options include csh but not bash, and ed but not vi.
 632The /sbin options have update which seems obsolete (filesystem
 633buffers haven't needed a userspace process to flush them for DECADES),
 634fastboot and fasthalt (reboot and halt have -nf), and
 635fsck.* and mkfs.* that don't actually specify any specific filesystems.
 636Removing that gives us:</p>
 639<span id=fhs_cmd>
 640cat chgrp chmod chown cp date dd df dmesg echo false hostname kill ln
 641login ls mkdir mknod more mount mv ps pwd rm rmdir sed sh stty su sync true
 642umount uname tar cpio gzip gunzip zcat netstat ping
 643shutdown fdisk getty halt ifconfig init mkswap reboot route swapon swapoff
 647<hr /><a name=buildroot />
 650<p>If a toybox-based development environment is to support running
 651buildroot under it, the <a href=>mandatory packages</a>
 652section of the buildroot manual lists:</p>
 655which sed make bash patch gzip bzip2 tar cpio unzip rsync file bc wget
 658<p>(It also lists binutils gcc g++ perl python, and for debian it wants
 659build-essential. And it wants file to be in /usr/bin because
 660<a href=>libtool
 661breaks otherwise</a>.)</p>
 663<p>Oddly, buildroot can't NOT cross compile. Buildroot does not support a cross toolchain that lives in "/usr/bin"
 664with a prefix of "" (if you try, and chop out the test for a blank prefix,
 665it dies trying to run "/usr/bin/-gcc"). You can patch your way to
 666making it work if you try, but buildroot's developers explicitly do not
 667support this.</p>
 669<hr /><a name=klibc />
 672<p>Long ago some kernel developers came up with a project called
 673<a href=>klibc</a>.
 674After a decade of development it still has no web page or HOWTO,
 675and nobody's quite sure if the license is BSD or GPL. It inexplicably
 676<a href=>requires perl to build</a>, and seems like an ideal candidate for
 679<p>In addition to a C library less general-purpose than old versions of bionic
 680(let alone musl), klibc builds a random assortment of executables to run init scripts
 681with. There's no multiplexer command, these are individual executables:</p>
 684cat chroot cpio dd dmesg false fixdep fstype gunzip gzip halt ipconfig kill
 685kinit ln losetup ls minips mkdir mkfifo mknodes
 686mksyntax mount mv nfsmount nuke pivot_root poweroff readlink reboot resume
 687run-init sh sha1hash sleep sync true umount uname zcat
 690<p>To get that list, build klibc according to the instructions (I
 691<a href=>looked at</a> version
 6922.0.2 and did cd klibc-*; ln -s /output/of/kernel/make/headers_install
 693linux; make) then <b>echo $(for i in $(find . -type f); do file $i | grep -q
 694executable && basename $i; done | grep -v '[.]g$' | sort -u)</b> to find
 695executables, then eliminate the *.so files and *.shared duplicates.</p>
 697<p>Some of those binaries are build-time tools that don't get installed,
 698which removes mknodes, mksyntax, sha1hash, and fixdep from the list.
 699(And sha1hash is just an unpolished sha1sum anyway.)</p>
 701<p>The run-init command is more commonly called switch_root, nuke is just
 702"rm -rf -- $@", and minips is more commonly called "ps": I'm not doing aliases
 703for these oddball names.
 704The "kinit" command is another gratuitous rename, it's init running as PID 1.
 705The halt, poweroff, and reboot commands work with it.</p>
 707<p>Yet more stale forks of dash and gzip got sucked in here (see "dubious
 708license terms" above).</p>
 710<p>In theory "blkid" or "file" handle fstype (and df for mounted filesystems),
 711but we could do fstype.</p>
 713<p>We should implement nfsmount, and probably smbmount
 714and p9mount even though this hasn't got one. The reason these aren't
 715in the base "mount" command is they interactively query login credentials.</p>
 717<p>The ipconfig command here has a built in dhcp client, so it's ifconfig
 718and dhcpcd and maybe some other stuff.</p>
 720<p>The resume command is... weird. It finds a swap partition and reads data
 721from it into a /proc file, something the kernel is capable of doing itself.
 722(Even though the klibc author
 723<a href=>attempted
 724to remove</a> that capability from the kernel, current kernel/power/hibernate.c
 725still parses "resume=" on the command line). And yet various distros seem to
 726make use of klibc for this.
 727Given the history of swsusp/hibernate (and 
 728<a href=>TuxOnIce</a>
 729and <a href=>kexec jump</a>...) I've lost track
 730of the current state of the art here. Ah, Documentation/power/userland-swsusp.txt
 731has the API docs, and <a href=>here's a better
 734<p>This gives us a klibc command list:</p>
 737<span id=klibc_cmd>
 738cat chroot dmesg false kill ln losetup ls mkdir mkfifo readlink rm switch_root
 739sleep sync true uname
 741cpio dd ps mv pivot_root
 742mount nfsmount fstype umount
 743sh gunzip gzip zcat
 744kinit halt poweroff reboot
 750<hr />
 751<a name=glibc />
 754<p>Rather a lot of command line utilities come bundled with glibc:</p>
 757catchsegv getconf getent iconv iconvconfig ldconfig ldd locale localedef
 758mtrace nscd rpcent rpcinfo tzselect zdump zic
 761<p>Of those, musl libc only implements ldd. Of the rest:</p>
 764<li><b>catchsegv</b> is a rudimentary debugger, probably out of scope for toybox.</li>
 765<li><b>iconv</b> has been <a href="#susv4">previously discussed</a>.</li>
 766<li><b>iconvconfig</b> is only relevant if iconv is user-configurable; musl uses a
 767non-configurable iconv now that utf8+unicode exist.</li>
 768<li><b>getconf</b> is a posix utility which displays several variables from 
 769unistd.h; it probably belongs in the development toolchain.</li>
 770<li><b>getent</b> handles retrieving entries from passwd-style databases
 771(in a rather lame way) and is trivially replacable by grep.</li>
 772<li><b>locale</b> was discussed under <a href=#susv4>posix</a>.
 773localedef compiles locale definitions, which musl currently does not use.</li>
 774<li><b>mtrace</b> is a perl script to use the malloc debugging that glibc has built-in;
 775this is not relevant for musl, and would necessarily vary with libc.</li>
 776<li><b>nscd</b> is a name service caching daemon, which is not yet relevant for musl.</li>
 777<li><b>rpcinfo</b> and <b>rpcent</b> are related to the Remote Procedure Calls
 778layer (an old sun technology used by some userspace NFS implementations),
 779which musl does not include and debian does not install by default.</li>
 782<p>The remaining commands involve glibc's bundled timezone database,
 783which seems to be derived from the <a href=>IANA
 784timezone database</a>. Unless we want to maintain our own fork of the
 785standards body's database like glibc does, these are of no interest,
 786but for completeness:</p>
 789<li><b>tzselect</b> outputs a TZ variable correponding to user input. 
 790The documentation does not indicate how to use it in a script, but it seems
 791that Debian may have done so.</li>
 792<li><b>zdump</b> prints current time in each of several timezones, optionally
 793outputting a great deal of extra information about each timezone.</li>
 794<li><b>zic</b> converts a description of a timezone to a file in tz format.</li>
 797<p>We implemented getconf, and I could see maybe arguing for ncsd.
 798The rest are not relevant to toybox.</p>
 802<hr />
 803<a name=sash />
 804<h2>Stand-Alone Shell</h2>
 806<p>Wikipedia has <a href=>a good
 807summary of sash</a>, with links. The original Stand-Alone Shell project reached
 808a stopping point, and then <a href=>"sash plus
 809patches"</a> extended it a bit further. The result is a megabyte executable
 810that provides 40 commands.</p>
 812<p>Sash is a shell with built-in commands. It doesn't have a multiplexer
 813command, meaning "sash ls -l" doesn't work (you have to go "sash -c 'ls -l'").
 816<p>The list of commands can be obtained via building it and doing
 817"echo help | ./sash | awk '{print $1}' | sed 's/^-//' | xargs echo", which
 818gives us:</p>
 821alias aliasall ar cd chattr chgrp chmod chown cmp cp chroot dd echo ed exec
 822exit file find grep gunzip gzip help kill losetup losetup ln ls lsattr mkdir
 823mknod more mount mv pivot_root printenv prompt pwd quit rm rmdir setenv source
 824sum sync tar touch umask umount unalias where
 827<p>Plus sh because it's a shell. A dozen or so commands can only sanely be
 828implemented as shell builtins (alias aliasall cd exec exit prompt quit setenv
 829source umask unalias), and where is an alias for which.</p>
 831<p>This leaves:</p>
 834<span id=sash_cmd>
 835chgrp chmod chown cmp cp chroot echo find grep help kill losetup
 836ln ls mkdir mknod mount mv pivot_root printenv pwd rm rmdir sync tar touch umount
 837ar chattr dd ed file gunzip gzip lsattr more sh
 841<p>(For once, this project doesn't include a fork of gzip, instead
 842it sucks in -lz from the host.)</p>
 844<hr />
 845<a name=sbase />
 848<p>It's <a href=>on suckless</a> in
 849<a href=>two parts</a>. As of November 2015 it's
 850implemented the following (renaming "cron" to "crond" for
 851consistency, and yanking "sponge", "mesg", "pagesize", "respawn", and
 855<span id=sbase_cmd>
 856basename cal cat chgrp chmod chown chroot cksum cmp comm cp crond cut date
 857dirname du echo env expand expr false find flock fold getconf grep head
 858hostname join kill link ln logger logname ls md5sum mkdir mkfifo mktemp mv
 859nice nl nohup od paste printenv printf pwd readlink renice rm rmdir sed seq
 860setsid sha1sum sha256sum sha512sum sleep sort split strings sync tail
 861tar tee test tftp time touch tr true tty uname unexpand uniq unlink uudecode
 862uuencode wc which xargs yes
 869<span id=sbase_cmd>
 870chvt clear dd df dmesg eject fallocate free id login mknod mountpoint
 871passwd pidof ps stat su truncate unshare uptime watch
 876<hr />
 877<a name=nash />
 880<p>Red Hat's nash was part of its "mkinitrd" package, replacement for a shell
 881and utilities on the boot floppy back in the 1990's (the same general idea
 882as BusyBox, developed independently). Red Hat discontinued nash development
 883in 2010, replacing it with dracut (which collects together existing packages,
 884including busybox).</p>
 886<p>I couldn't figure out how to beat source code out of
 887<a href=>Fedora's current git</a>
 888repository. The last release version that used it was Fedora Core 12
 889which has <a href=>a source rpm</a>
 890that can be unwound with "rpm2cpio mkinitrd.src.rpm | cpio -i -d -H newc
 891--no-absolute-filenames" and in there is a mkinitrd-6.0.93.tar.bz2 which
 892has the source.</p>
 894<p>In addition to being a bit like a command shell, the nash man page lists the
 895following commands:</p>
 898access echo find losetup mkdevices mkdir mknod mkdmnod mkrootdev mount
 899pivot_root readlink raidautorun setquiet showlabels sleep switchroot umount
 902<p>Oddly, the only occurrence of the string pivot_root in the nash source code
 903is in the man page, the command isn't there. (It seems to have been removed
 904when the underscoreless switchroot went in.)</p>
 906<p>A more complete list seems to be the handlers[] array in nash.c:</p>
 909access buildEnv cat cond cp daemonize dm echo exec exit find kernelopt
 910loadDrivers loadpolicy mkchardevs mkblktab mkblkdevs mkdir mkdmnod mknod
 911mkrootdev mount netname network null plymouth hotplug killplug losetup
 912ln ls raidautorun readlink resume resolveDevice rmparts setDeviceEnv
 913setquiet setuproot showelfinterp showlabels sleep stabilized status switchroot
 914umount waitdev
 917<p>This list is nuts: "plymouth" is an alias for "null" which is basically
 918"true" (which the above list doesn't have). Things like buildEnv and
 919loadDrivers are bespoke Red Hat behavior that might as well be hardwired in
 920to nash's main() without being called.</p>
 922<p>Instead of eliminating items
 923from the list with an explanation for each, I'm just going to cherry pick
 924a few: the device mapper (dm, raidautorun) is probably interesting,
 925hotplug (may be obsolete due to kernel changes that now load firmware
 926directly), and another "resume" ala klibc.</p>
 928<p>But mostly: I don't care about this one. And neither does Red Hat anymore.</p>
 930<p>Verdict: ignore</p>
 932<hr />
 933<a name=beastiebox />
 936<p>Back in 2008, the BSD guys vented some busybox-envy
 937<a href=>on sourceforge</a>. Then stopped.
 938Their repository is still in CVS, hasn't been touched in years, it's a giant
 939hairball of existing code sucked together. (The web page says the author
 940is aware of crunchgen, but decided to do this by hand anyway. This is not
 941a collection of new code, it's a katamari of existing code rolled up in a
 944<p>Combining the set of commands listed on the web page with the set of
 945man pages in the source gives us:</P>
 948[ cat chmod cp csh date df disklabel dmesg echo ex fdisk fsck fsck_ffs getty
 949halt hostname ifconfig init kill less lesskey ln login ls lv mksh more mount
 950mount_ffs mv pfctl ping poweroff ps reboot rm route sed sh stty sysctl tar test
 951traceroute umount vi wiconfig
 954<p>Apparently lv is the missing link between ed and vi, copyright 1982-1997 (do
 955not want), ex is another obsolete vi mode, lesskey is "used to
 956specify a set of key bindings to be used with less", and csh is a shell they
 957sucked in (even though they have mksh?), [ is an alias for test. Several more bsd-isms that don't have Linux
 958equivalents (even in the ubuntu "install this package" search) are
 959disklabel, fsck_ffs, mount_ffs, and pfctl. And wiconfig is a
 960wavelan interface network card driver utility. Subtracting all that and the
 961commands toybox already implements at triage time, we get:</p>
 964<span id=beastiebox_cmd>
 965fdisk fsck getty halt ifconfig init kill less more mount mv ping poweroff
 966ps reboot route sed sh stty sysctl tar test traceroute umount vi
 970<p>Not a hugely interesting list, but eh.</p>
 972<p>Verdict: ignore</p>
 974<hr />
 975<a name=BsdBox />
 978<p>Somebody decided to do a <a href=>multicall binary for freebsd</a>.</p>
 980<p>They based it on crunchgen, a tool that glues existing programs together
 981into an archive and uses the name to execute the right one. It has no
 982simplification or code sharing benefits whatsoever, it's basically an
 983archiver that produces executables.</p>
 985<p>That's about where I stopped reading.</p>
 987<p>Verdict: ignore.</p>
 989<hr />
 990<a name=slowaris />
 991<h2>OpenSolaris Busybox</h2>
 993<p>Somebody <a href=>wrote
 994a wiki page</a> saying that Busybox for OpenSolaris would be a good idea.</p>
 996<p>The corresponding "files" tab is an auto-generated stub. The project never
 997even got as far as suggesting commands to include before Oracle discontinued
1000<p>Verdict: ignore.</p>
1002<hr />
1003<a name=uclinux />
1006<p>Long ago a hardware developer named Jeff Dionne put together a
1007nommu Linux distribution, which involved rewriting a lot of command line
1008utilities that relied on <a href=>features
1009unavailable on nommu</a> hardware.</p>
1011<p>In 2003 Jeff moved to Japan and handed
1012the project off to people who allowed it to roll to a stop. The website
1013turned into a mess of 404 links, the navigation indexes stopped being
1014updated over a decade ago, and the project's CVS repository suffered a
1015hard drive failure for which there were no backups. The project continued
1016to put out "releases" through 2014 (you have to scroll down in the "news"
1017section to find them, the "HTTP download" section in the nav bar on the
1018left hasn't been updated in over a decade), which were hand-updated tarball
1019snapshots mostly consisting of software from the 1990's. For example the
10202014 release still contained ipfwadm, the package which predated ipchains,
1021which predated iptables, which is in the process of being replaced by
1024<p>Nevertheless, people still try to use this because the project was viewed
1025as the place to discuss, develop, and learn about nommu Linux.
1026The role of as an educational resource kept people coming
1027to it long after it had collapsed as a Linux distro.</p>
1029<p>Starting around 0.6.0 toybox began to address nommu support with the goal
1030of putting uClinux out of its misery.</p>
1032<p>An analysis of <a href=>uClinux-dist-20140504</a> found 312 package
1033subdirectories under "user".</p>
1035<h3>Taking out the trash</h3>
1037<p>A bunch of packages (<b>inotify-tools, input-event-demon, ipsec-tools, netifd,
1038keepalived, mobile-broadband-provider-info, nuttp, readline, snort,
1039snort-barnyard, socat, sqlite, sysklogd, sysstat, tcl, ubus, uci, udev,
1040unionfs, uqmi, usb_modeswitch, usbutils, util-linux</b>)
1041are hard to evaluate because
1042uclinux has directories for them, but their source isn't actually in the
1043uclinux tree. In some of these the makefiles download a git repo during
1044the build, so I'm assuming you can build the external package if you really
1045care. (Even when I know what these packages do, I'm skipping them
1046because uclinux doesn't actually contain them, and any given snapshot
1047of the build system will bitrot as external web links change over time.)</p>
1049<p>Other packages are orphaned, meaning they're not mentioned from any Kconfig
1050or Makefiles outside of their directory, so uclinux can't actually build
1051them: <b>mbus</b> is an orphaned i2c test program expecting to run in some sort
1052of hardwired hardware context, <b>mkeccbin</b> is an orphaned "ECC annotated
1053binary file" generator (meaning it's half of a flash writer),
1054<b>wsc_upnp</b> is a "Ralink WPS" driver (some sort of stale wifi chip)...</p>
1056<p>The majority of the remaining packages are probably not of interest to
1057toybox due to being so obsolete or special purpose they may not actually be
1058of interest to anybody anymore. (This list also includes a lot of
1059special-purpose network back-end stuff that's hard for anybody but
1060datacenter admins to evaluate the current relevance of.)</p>
1063arj asterisk boottools bpalogin br2684ctl camserv can4linux cgi_generic
1064cgihtml clamav clamsmtp conntrack-tools cramfs crypto-tools cxxtest
1065ddns3-client de2ts-cal debug demo diald discard dnsmasq dnsmasq2
1066ethattach expat-examples ez-ipupdate fakeidentd
1067fconfig ferret flatfs flthdr freeradius freeswan frob-led frox fswcert
1068game gettyd gnugk haserl horch
1069hostap hping httptunnel ifattach ipchains
1070ipfwadm ipmasqadm ipportfw ipredir ipset iso_client
1071jamvm jffs-tools jpegview jquery-ui kendin-config kismet klaxon kmod
1072l2tpd lcd ledcmd ledcon lha lilo lirc lissa load loattach
1073lpr lrpstat lrzsz mail mbus mgetty microwin ModemManager msntp musicbox
1074nooom null openswan openvpn palmbot pam_* pcmcia-cs playrt plugdaemon pop3proxy
1075potrace qspitest quagga radauth
1076ramimage readprofile rdate readprofile routed rrdtool rtc-ds1302
1077sendip ser sethdlc setmac setserial sgutool sigs siproxd slattach
1078smtpclient snmpd net-snmp snortrules speedtouch squashfs scep sslwrap stp
1079stunnel tcpblast tcpdump tcpwrappers threaddemos tinylogin tinyproxy
1080tpt tripwire unrar unzoo version vpnled w3cam xl2tpd zebra
1083<p>This stuff is all over the place: arj, lha, rar, and zoo are DOS archivers,
1084ethattach describes itself as just "a network tool",
1085mail is a textmode smtp mailer literally described as "Some kind of mail
1086proggy" in uclinux's kconfig (as opposed to clamsmtp and smtpclient and
1087so on), this gettyd isn't a generic version but specifically a
1088hardwired ppp dialin utility, mgetty isn't a generic version but is combined
1089with "sendfax", hostap is an intersil prism driver, wlan-ng is also an
1090intersil prism dirver, null is a program to intentionally dereference a
1091null pointer (in case you needed one), iso_client is a
1092"Demo Application for the USB Device Driver", kendin-config is
1093"for configuring the Micrel Kendin KS8995M over QSPI", speedtouch configures
1094a specific brand of asdl modem, portmap is part of Anfs,
1095ferret, linux-igd, and miniupnp are all upnp packages,
1096lanbypass "can be used to control the LAN
1097bypass switches on the Advantech x86 based hardware platforms", lcd is
1098"test of lcddma device driver" (an out-of-tree Coldfire driver apparently
1099lost to history, the uclinux linux-2.4.x directory has a config symbol for
1100it, but nothing in the code actually _uses_ it...), qspitest is another
1101coldfire thing, mii-tool-fec is
1102"strictly for the FEC Ethernet driver as implemented (and modified) for
1103the uCdimm5272", rtc-ds1302 and rtc-m41t11 are usermode drivers for specific
1104clock chips, stunnel is basically "openssl s_client -quiet -connect",
1105potrace is a bitmap to vector graphic converter, radauth performs command line
1106authentication against a radius server,
1107clamav, klaxon, ferret, l7-protocols, and nessus are very old network security
1108software (it's got a stale snapshot of nmap too), xl2tpd is a PPP over UDP
1109tunnel (rfc 2661), zebra is the package quagga replaced,
1110lilo is the x86-only bootloader that predated grub (and recently discontinued
1111development), lissa is a "framebuffer graphics demo" from
11121998, the squashfs package here is the out of tree patches for 2.4 kernels
1113and such before the filesystem was merged upstream (as opposed to the
1114squashfs-new package which is a snapshot of the userspace tool from 2011),
1115load is basically "dd file /dev/spi", version is basically "cat /proc/version",
1116microwin is a port of the WinCE graphics API to Linux, scep is a 2003
1117implementation of an IETF draft abandoned in 2010, tpt depends on
1118Andrew Morton's 15 year old unmerged "timepegs" kernel patch using the pentium
1119cycle counter, vpnled controls a light that reboots systems (what?),
1120w3cam is a video4linux 1.0 client (v4l2 showed up during 2.5 and support for
1121the old v4l1 was removed in 2.6.38 back in 2011), busybox ate tinylogin
1122over a decade ago, lrpstat is a java network monitor
1123from 2001, lrzsz is zmodem/ymodem/zmodem, msntp and stp implement rfc2030
1124meaning it overflows in 2036 (the package was last updated in 2000), rdate
1125is rfc 868 meaning it also overflows in 2036 (which is why ntp was invented
1126a few decades back), reiserfsprogs development stopped abruptly after
1127Hans Reiser was convicted of murdering his wife Nina (denying it on the
1128stand and then leading them to the body as part of his plea bargain during
1132<p>Seriously, there's a lot of crap in there. It's hard to analyze most
1133of it far enough to prove it _doesn't_ do anything.</p>
1135<h3>Non-toybox programs</h3>
1137<p>The following software may actually still do something intelligible
1138(although the package versions tend to be years out of date), but
1139it's not a direction toybox has chosen to go in.</p>
1141<p>There are several programming languages (<b>bash, lua, jamvm, tinytcl,
1142perl, python</b>) in there. Maybe someone somewhere wants a 2008 release of a
1143java virtual machine tested to work on nommu systems (jamvm), but it's out
1144of scope for toybox.</p>
1146<p>A bunch of benchmark programs: <b>cpu, dhrystone, mathtest, nbench, netperf,
1147netpipe, and whetstone</b>.</p>
1149<p>A bunch of web servers: <b>appWeb, boa, fnord (via tcpserver), goahead, httpd,
1150mini_httpd, and thttpd</b>.</p>
1152<p>A bunch of shells: <b>msh</b> is a clever (I.E. obfuscated) little shell,
1153<b>nwsh</b> is "new shell" (that's what it called itself in 1999 anyway),
1154<b>sash</b> is another shell with a bunch of builtins (ls, ps, df, cp, date, reboot,
1155and shutdown, this roadmap analyzes it <a href="#sash">elsewhere</a>),
1156<b>sh</b> is a very old minix shell fork, and <b>tcsh</b> is also a shell.</p>
1158<p>Also in this category, we have:</p>
1161dropbear jffs-tools jpegview kexec-tools bind ctorrent
1162iperf iproute2 ip-sentinel iptables kexec
1163nmap oggplay openssl oprofile p7zip pppd pptp play vplay
1164hdparm mp3play at clock
1165mtd-utils mysql logrotate brcfg bridge-utils flashw
1166ebtables etherwake ethtool expect gdb gdbserver hostapd
1167lm_sensors load netflash netstat-nat
1168radvd recover rootloader resolveip rp-pppoe
1169rsyslog rsyslogd samba smbmount squashfs-new squid ssh strace tip
1170uboot-envtools ulogd usbhubctrl vconfig vixie-cron watchdogd
1171wireless_tools wpa_supplicant
1174<p>An awful lot of those are borderline: play and vplay are wav file
1175audio players, there's oprofile _and_ readprofile (which just reads kernel
1176profiling data from /proc/profile),
1177radvd is a "routr advertisement daemon" (ipv6 stateless autoconf),
1178ctorrent is a bittorent client, 
1179lm_sensors is hardware (heat?) monitoring,
1180resolveip is dig only less so,
1181rp-pppoe is ppp over ethernet,
1182ebtables is an ethernet version of iptables (for bridging),
1183their dropbear is from 2012, and that ssh version is from 2011
1184(which means it's about nine months too _old_ to have the heartbleed bug).
1185There's both ulogd and ulogd2 (no idea why), and pppd is version 2.4 but
1186there's a ppd-2.3 directory also. We used to be interested in ftpd/proftpd
1187as a way of uploading files out of a vm, but support for that has waned
1188over the years and there are lots of alternatives.</p>
1190<p>Lots of flash stuff:
1191flashw is a flash writer, load is an spi flash loader, netflash writes
1192to flash via tftp,
1193recover is also a reflash daemon intended to come up when the system can't boot,
1194rootloader seems to be another reflash daemon but without dhcp.</p>
1196<h3>Already in roadmap</h3>
1198<p>The following packages contain commands already in the toybox roadmap:</p>
1201agetty cal cksum cron dhcpcd dhcpcd-new dhcpd dhcp-isc dosfstools e2fsprogs
1202elvis-tiny levee fdisk fileutils ftp grep hd hwclock inetd init ntp
1203iputils login module-init-tools netcat shutils ntpdate lspci ping procps
1204rsync shadow shutils stty sysutils telnet telnetd tftp tftpd traceroute
1205unzip wget mawk net-tools
1208<p>There are some duplicates in there, levee is a tiny vi implementation
1209like elvis-tiny, ntp and ntpdate overlap, etc.</p>
1211<p>Verdict: We don't really need to do a whole lot special for nommu
1212systems, just get the existing toybox roadmap working on nommu and
1213we're good. The uClinux project can rest in peace.</p>
1215<hr />
1218<p>The following additional commands have been requested (and often submitted)
1219by various users. I _really_ need to clean up this section.</p>
1223<span id=request>
1224dig freeramdisk getty halt hexdump hwclock klogd modprobe ping ping6 pivot_root
1225poweroff readahead rev sfdisk sudo syslogd taskset telnet telnetd tracepath
1226traceroute unzip usleep vconfig zip free login modinfo unshare netcat help w
1227iwconfig iwlist rdate
1228dos2unix unix2dos catv clear
1229pmap realpath setsid timeout truncate
1230mkswap swapon swapoff
1231count oneit fstype
1232acpi blkid eject pwdx
1233sulogin rfkill bootchartd
1234arp makedevs sysctl killall5 crond crontab deluser last mkpasswd watch
1235blockdev rpm2cpio arping brctl dumpleases fsck
1236tcpsvd tftpd
1237factor fallocate fsfreeze inotifyd lspci nbd-client partprobe strings
1238base32 base64 mix
1239reset hexedit nsenter shred
1240fsync insmod ionice lsmod lsusb rmmod vmstat xxd top iotop
1241lsof ionice compress dhcp dhcpd addgroup delgroup host iconv ip
1242ipcrm ipcs netstat openvt
1243deallocvt iorenice
1244udpsvd adduser
1245microcom tunctl chrt getfattr setfattr
1247ascii crc32 devmem fmt i2cdetect i2cdump i2cget i2cset mcookie prlimit sntp ulimit uuidgen dhcp6 ipaddr iplink iproute iprule iptunnel cd exit toysh bash traceroute6
1248blkdiscard rtcwake
1250pwgen readelf unicode
1252linux32 hd strace
1256<hr />
1257<a name=packages />
1258<h2>Other packages</h2>
1260<p>System administrators have <a href=>asked</a> what other Linux packages toybox commands
1261replace, so they can annotate alternatives in their package management system.</p>
1263<p>This section uses the package definitions from Chapter 6 of
1264<a href=>Linux From Scratch 9.0</a>). Each package lists what we currently
1265replace, pending commands [in square brackets], and what we DON'T plan to
1268<p>Each "see also" note means the listed package also installs the listed shared
1269libraries. (While toybox contains equivalent functionality to a lot of these
1270shared libraries in its lib/ directory, it does not currently provide a shared
1271library interface.)</p>
1273<h3>Packages toybox plans to provide complete-ish replacements for:</h3>
1275<li><b>file</b>: file (see also: libmagic)</li>
1276<li><b>m4</b>: [m4]</li>
1277<li><b>bc</b>: [bc] [dc]</li>
1278<li><b>bison</b>: [yacc] (not: bison, see also: liby)</li>
1279<li><b>flex</b>: [lex] (not: flex flex++, see also: libfl)</li>
1280<li><b>make</b>: [make]</li>
1281<li><b>sed</b>: sed</li>
1282<li><b>grep</b>: grep egrep fgrep</li>
1283<li><b>bash</b>: bash sh (not: bashbug)</li>
1284<li><b>diffutils</b>: cmp [diff] [diff3] [sdiff]</li>
1285<li><b>gawk</b>: [awk] (not: gawk gawk-5.0.1)</li>
1286<li><b>findutils</b>: find xargs (not: locate updatedb)</li>
1287<li><b>less</b>: less (not: lessecho lesskey)</li>
1288<li><b>gzip</b>: zcat [gzip] [gunzip] [zcmp] [zdiff] [zegrep] [zfgrep] [zgrep] [zless] [zmore]
1289(not: gzexe uncompress zforce znew)</li>
1290<li><b>make</b>: [make]</li>
1291<li><b>patch</b>: patch</li>
1292<li><b>tar</b>: tar</li>
1293<li><b>procps-ng</b>: free pgrep pidof pkill ps sysctl top uptime vmstat w watch
1294[pmap] [pwdx] [slabtop]
1295(not: tload, see also libprocps)</li>
1296<li><b>sysklogd</b>: [klogd] [syslogd]</li>
1297<li><b>sysvinit</b>: [init] halt poweroff reboot killall5 [shutdown]
1298(not telinit runlevel fstab-decode bootlogd)</li>
1299<li><b>man</b>: man (but not accessdb apropos catman lexgrog mandb manpath whatis,
1300see also libman libmandb)</li>
1301<li><b>vim</b>: vi xxd (but not ex, rview, rvim, view, vim, vimdiff, vimtutor)</li>
1302<li><b>sysvinit</b>: [init] halt poweroff reboot killall5 [shutdown]
1303(not telinit runlevel fstab-decode bootlogd)</li>
1304<li><b>kmod</b>: insmod lsmod rmmod modinfo [modprobe]
1305(not: depmod kmod)</li>
1306<li><b>attr</b>: [getfattr] setfattr (not: attr, see also: libattr)</li>
1307<li><b>shadow</b>: [chfn] [chpasswd] [chsh] [groupadd] [groupdel] [groupmod]
1308[newusers] passwd [su] [useradd] [userdel] [usermod]
1309[lastlog] [login] [newgidmap] [newuidmap]
1310(not: chage expiry faillog groupmems grpck logoutd newgrp nologin pwck sg
1311vigr vipw, grpconv grpunconv pwconv pwunconv, chgpasswd gpasswd)</li>
1312<li><b>psmisc</b>: killall [fuser] [pstree] [peekfd] [prtstat]
1313(not: pslog pstree.x11)</li>
1314<li><b>inetutils</b>: dnsdomainname [ftp] hostname ifconfig ping ping6 [telnet] [tftp] [traceroute] (not: talk)</li>
1315<li><b>coreutils</b>: [ base32 base64 basename cat chgrp chmod chown chroot cksum comm cp cut date
1316dd df dirname du echo env expand factor false fmt fold groups head hostid id install
1317link ln logname ls md5sum mkdir mkfifo mknod mktemp mv nice nl nohup nproc od
1318paste printenv printf pwd readlink realpath rm rmdir seq sha1sum shred
1319sleep sort split stat sync tac tail tee test timeout touch true truncate
1320tty uname uniq unlink wc who whoami yes
1321[expr] [fold] [join] [numfmt] [runcon] [sha224sum] [sha256sum] [sha384sum]
1322[sha512sum] [stty] [b2sum] [tr] [unexpand]
1323(not: basenc chcon csplit dir dircolors pathchk
1324pinky pr ptx shuf stdbuf sum tsort users vdir, see also libstdbuf)</li>
1325<li><b>util-linux</b>: blkid blockdev cal chrt dmesg eject fallocate flock hwclock
1326ionice kill logger losetup mcookie mkswap more mount mountpoint nsenter
1327pivot_root prlimit rename renice rev setsid swapoff swapon switch_root taskset
1328umount unshare uuidgen
1329[addpart] [fdisk] [findfs] [findmnt] [fsck] [fsfreeze] [fstrim] [getopt]
1330[hexdump] [linux32] [linux64] [lsblk] [lscpu] [lsns] [setarch]
1331(not: agetty blkdiscard blkzone cfdisk chcpu chmem choom col
1332colcrt colrm column ctrlaltdel delpart fdformat fincore fsck.cramfs
1333fsck.minix ipcmk ipcrm ipcs isosize last lastb ldattach look lsipc
1334lslocks lslogins lsmem mesg mkfs mkfs.bfs mkfs.cramfs mkfs.minix namei partx
1335raw readprofile resizepart rfkill rtcwake script scriptreplay
1336setterm sfdisk sulogin swaplabel ul
1337uname26 utmpdump uuidd uuidparse wall wdctl whereis wipefs
1338i386 x86_64 zramctl)</li>
1341<p>Commentary: toybox init doesn't do runlevels, man and vim are just the
1342relevant commands without the piles of strange overgrowth, and if you want
1343to call a toybox binary by another name you can create a symlink to a
1344symlink. If somebody really wants to argue for "gzexe" or similar, be
1345my guest, but there's a lot of obsolete crap in shadow, coreutils,
1348<p>No idea why LFS is installing inetutils instead of net-tools
1349(which contains arp route ifconfig mii-tool nameif netstat and rarp that
1350toybox does or might implement, and plipconfig slattach that it probably won't.)</p>
1352<h3>Packages toybox plans to provide partial replacements for:</h3>
1354<p>Toybox provides replacements for some binaries from these packages,
1355but there are other useful binaries which this package provides that toybox
1356currently considers out of scope for the project:</p>
1359<li><b>binutils</b>: strings [ar] [nm] [readelf] [size] [objcopy] [strip]
1360(not c++filt, dwp, elfedit, gprof. The following commands belong
1361in <a href=/code/qcc>qcc</a>: addr2line as ld objdump ranlib)</li>
1362<li><b>bzip2</b>: bunzip2 bzcat [bzcmp] [bzdiff] [bzegrep] [bzfgrep] [bzgrep] [bzless]
1363[bzmore] (not: bzip2, bzip2recover, see also libbz2)</li>
1364<li><b>xz</b>: [xzcat] [lzcat] [lzcmp] [lzdiff] [lzegrep] [lzfgrep] [lzgrep]
1365[lzless] [lzmadec, lzmainfo] [lzmore] [unlzma] [unxz] [xzcat]
1366[xzcmp] [xzdec] [xzdiff] [xzegrep] [xzfgrep] [xzgrep] [xzless] [xzmore]
1367(not: compression side, see also: liblzma)</li>
1368<li><b>ncurses</b>: clear reset (not: everything else, see also: libcurses)</li>
1369<li><b>e2fsprogs</b>: chattr lsattr [e2fsck] [mkfs.ext2] [mkfs.ext3]
1370[fsck.ext2] [fsck.ext3] [e2label] [resize2fs] [tune2fs]
1371(not badblocks compile_et debugfs dumpe2fse2freefrag e2image
1372e2mmpstatus e2scrub e2scrub_all e2undo e4crypt e4defrag filefrag
1373fsck.ext4 logsave mk_cmds mkfs.ext4 mklost+found)</li>
1376<p>Toybox provides several decompressors but compresses to a single format
1377(deflate, ala gzip/zlib). Our e2fsprogs doesn't currently plan to support
1378ext4 or defrag. The "qcc" reference is because someday an external project to glue
1379QEMU's <a href=;a=blob;f=tcg/README;h=bfa2e4ed246c;hb=HEAD>Tiny Code Generator</a>
1380to Fabrice Bellard's old <a href=>Tiny C Compiler</a>
1381making a multicall binary that does cc/ld/as for all the targets QEMU
1382supports (then use the
1383<a href=>LLVM C Backend</a>
1384to compile LLVM itself to C for use as a modern replacement for
1385<a href=>cfront</a> to bootstrap
1386C++ code) is under consideration
1387as a successor project to toybox. Until then things like objdump -d
1388(requiring target-specific disassembly for an unbounded number of architectures)
1389are out of scope for toybox. (This means drawing the line somewhere between
1390architecture-specific support in file and strace, and including a full
1391assembler for each architecture.)</p>
1394<h3>Packages from LFS ch6 toybox does NOT plan to replace:</h3>
1398<li><b>man-pages glibc</b></li>
1434<p>That said, we do implement our own zlib and readline replacements, and
1435presumably _could_ export them as library bindings. Plus we provide
1436our own version of a bunch of the section 1 man pages (as command help).
1437Possibly libcap and acl are interesting?</p>
1441<p>The kbd package has over a dozen commands, we only implement chvt. The
1442iproute2 package implements over a dozen commands, there's an "ip" in
1443pending but I'm not a fan (ifconfig and route and such should be extended
1444to work properly). We don't implement eudev, but toybox's maintainer
1445created busybox mdev way back when (which replaces it) and plans to do a
1446new one for toybox as soon as we work out what subset is still needed now that
1447devtmpfs is available.</p>
1449<!-- #include "footer.html" -->