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author Rob Landley <>
date Sun, 26 Aug 2012 16:33:06 -0500
parents ba40e1852ce8
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<hr><b>July 23, 2012</b>
<blockquote><p>"Ford", Arthur said. "There's an infinite number of monkeys
out here who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked
out." - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.</p></blockquote>

<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.4.0.tar.bz2>Toybox 0.4.0</a> is based on commit
<a href=>commit 640</a>.

<p>The new <a href=status.html>status page</a> is calculated from
the roadmap info, and should be easier to keep up to date in future.</p>

<p>Andre Renaud contributed od and modinfo. Elie De Brauwer contributed
taskset, bugfixes to cmp and tail, and tests for sort and tail. Kyungwan Han
contributed passwd. Gaurang Shastri contributed w. Ashwini Sharma spotted a
case where dirtree was adding extra slashes to a path.</p>

<p>I rewrote od, cleaned up comm, documented the
<a href=code.html#lib_llist>llist</a> and
<a href=code.html#lib_dirtree>dirtree</a> infrastructure, added an -r option
to date (and fixed a bug where -u wouldn't override /etc/localtime),
fixed bugs in chmod +stw, fixed ls to show suid bits properly when the
corresponding executable bit wasn't set, and worked around a longstanding
glibc bug where static linking prevents stdout from automatically flushing
pending output on exit.</p>

<hr><b>June 25, 2012</b>
<blockquote><p>"For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen." - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.</p></blockquote>

<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.3.1.tar.bz2>Toybox 0.3.1</a> is based on commit
<a href=>commit 607</a>. It's
mostly a bugfix release for ls -l (which was unhappy on targets other than
x86-64), plus a new "date" from Andre Renaud and rewritten chgrp/chown which
now support the full set of posix flags, plus a little work on the test
suite and some more header tweaks towards eventual compatability with the
musl libc.</p>

<p>The todo list runneth over, but "release early, release often", so here
it is. The roadmap and documentation are a bit behind, and I've got ~40
pending submissions to review. I need to catch up...</p>

<hr><b>June 12, 2012</b>
<blockquote><p>"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that
he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the
wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was
muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had
always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely
the same reasons." - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.</p></blockquote>

<p>It's well past time for <a href=downloads/toybox-0.3.0.tar.bz2>toybox 0.3.0</a>,
so here it is, based
on <a href=>commit 595</a>, and the
statically linked <a href=downloads/binaries>prebuilt binaries</a> should
actually be statically linked this time (thanks Ashwini Sharma for spotting

<p>It's hard to figure out where to cut a release, because development
doesn't stop. "Long before now" is the obviuos answer, of course.
The project's maintainer also moved house during this development cycle, which
threw things off for a bit (so many boxes). Releases should hopefully be a bit
more frequent from here on.</p>

<p>The big things Rob worked on this time were the new dirtree (directory
tree traversal) infrastructure, and a complete rewrite of ls using that
which should now implement all 26 posix options.</p>

<p>Georgi Chorbadzhiyski added printenv, whoami, mkdir, mkfifo, chmod, chown,
chgrp, and uniq. He also added fraction and extension support to sleep (so if
you need a quarter-second sleep, it can do that now), and fixed a build bug
on slackware.</p>

<p>Daniel Walter contributed a string to mode_t parser (in use by chmod and
mkdir -m).  Ilya Kuzmich contributed comm. Elie De Brauwer added mountpoint,
vmstat, logname, login, and mktemp. Kevin Chase did some portability cleanups.
Pere Orga fixed some documentation.</p>

<p>The "tac" and "clear" commands are now normal commands instead of shell
wrappers, and the header #includes have been cleaned up a bit to remove
deprecated functions and attempt to increase compatability with the bionic and
musl C libraries, "tail" should now use lseek() for large files, and "id" got
some cleanups and bugfixes.</p>

<p>The new TOYBOX_FLOAT configuration option selects whether or not
to include floating point support (for embedded targets where that's

<p>Several random bugfixes: unshare() might actually build portably now,
yes 'n' | cp -i should no longer bypass stdin and prompt via the tty, the
SUID support no longer drops permissions going through the toybox
multiplexer command, and a bugfix to xargs -0 means it should no longer
segfault. (I have a pending bug report about xargs not doing the full
posix whitespace handling that -0 obsoleted, but I'll deal with that next

<p>The build infrastructure is now automatically generating FLAG_ macros
for the options, but currently with the wrong names. Some more macro glue
is necessary, which I haven't quite figured out how to do yet.</p>

<p>A defconfig toybox at the start of the $PATH has successfully built
Linux From Scratch (in my Aboriginal Linux project). The commands that
'default n' in the config are often still broken, cleanup is ongoing.
(The new dirtree stuff broke several of them that haven't been converted
yet, but if I wait until everything works we won't have a release before
1.0, so here's a checkpoint.)</p>

<hr><b>March 3, 2012</b>

<blockquote><p>"They went unnoticed at Goonhilly, passed over Cape Canaveral
without a blip, and Woomera and Jodrell Bank looked straight through them.
Which was a pity, because it was exactly the sort of thing they'd been looking
for all these years."</p></p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.</p>

<p>Here's <a href=downloads/toybox-0.2.1.tar.bz2>toybox 0.2.1</a> based
on <a href=>commit 512</a>.  This
time around, there are statically linked <a href=downloads/binaries>prebuilt
binaries</a> for various embedded targets.</p>

<p>It's been a busy few weeks, almost entirely due to new contributors. (I
have not quite been keeping up.)</p>

<p>Elie De Brauwer contributed free, uptime, swapon, swapoff, lsmod, mknod,
insmod, rmmod, and fixed a bug in basename.  Andre Renaud contributed ls, ln,
realpath, and hostname. Andres Heck contributed pidof and killall.  Daniel
Walter wrote kill and extended id. Timothy Elliott contributed tail and tests
for cmp. Frank Bergmann sent a warning fix. Bryce Fricke added -i to cp.
Nathan McSween pointed out an optimization. Georgi Chorbadzhiyski fixed
cross compiling to work more reliably.</p>

<p>(My own contribution this time around was just tightening up other people's
code, a build fix to unshare, some random bugfixes, and so on. My only new
code this time around was writing a bash replacement for the existing python

<p>Last time (the 0.2.0 release) included the first pass at an id command from
Tim Bird, env and basename from Tryn Mirell, cmp and head from Timothy Elliott,
more bugfixes from Nathan McSween and Elie De Brauwer, and Luis Felipe Strano
Moraes did a first pass at the who command plus other bugfixes and

<p>(For that release I did xargs, cal, truncate, unlink, nohup, tty, wc, link,
dirname, unshare, and various infrastructure tweaks, but it took me 3 months
and those guys did their stuff in a week or so.)</p>

<hr><b>February 12, 2012</b>
"for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at
least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two
important respects..."</p>
<p> - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p></blockquote>

<p>Here's the first BSD licensed release,
<a href=downloads/toybox-0.2.0.tar.bz2>toybox-0.2.0</a>, more a synchronization
point than anything particularly useful.  47 commands in a reasonably
ready-to-use state (what "make defconfig" builds), another ten or so partially
finished stubs ("make allyesconfig"), and several
patches pending on the mailing list I need to review and merge.</p>

<p>More to come...</p>

<p><b>November 15, 2011</b> - Back from the dead, Toybox is now under a 2
clause BSD license, and aiming to become the default command line
implementation of Android systems everywhere.</p>

<p>More to come...</p>


<p><a href=oldnews.html>Old news</a> from before the relaunch.</p>

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