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Refactoring, no code change.
author Rob Landley <>
date Tue, 31 Jul 2012 06:01:12 -0500
parents ce60e407829f
children ba40e1852ce8
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<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><b>December 1, 2009</b> - <a href=downloads/toybox-0.1.0.tar.bz2>toybox-0.1.0</a> is out.</p>

<p>This release is a couple build fixes and another bugfix to patch.</p>

<p><b>April 17, 2009</b> - Another bugfix release,
<a href=downloads/toybox->toybox-</a>, off by one allocation error in patch.</p>

<p>(Darn fiddly command, innit?)</p>

<p><b>March 29, 2009</b> - Released
<a href=downloads/toybox->toybox</a> which is a bugfix
release for issues with the patch command.</p>

<p>The project is currently on hold while the developers learn Lua and
decide whether or not to port the whole thing to that language.
(Also note: the mailing list moved.  See the links on the left.  You'll
have to resubscribe.)</p>

<p><b>January 29, 2009</b> - Released
<a href=downloads/toybox-0.0.9.tar.bz2>toybox 0.0.9.tar.bz2</a> which is a minor packaging
fix for 0.0.8.  (The previous release tarball contained a prebuilt x86-64
kconfig/conf file, because the release script ran defconfig to
pregenerate help.h, and didn't run make clean afterwards.)  The actual source
code is identical to the previous release.</p>

<p><b>January 20, 2009</b> - <a href=downloads/toybox-0.0.8.tar.bz2>toybox 0.0.8</a>
adds the uname, cksum, and mkswapfs commands.</p>

<p>This uname implementation is cross compile friendly: when built as a 32 bit
binary on an x86_64 host, it reports "i686" to confuse autoconf less.</p>

<p>This cksum has several extra command line options which can be used to
produce different cksum variants based on the same crc32 algorithm.  For
example, the broadcom "trx" image packaging uses a little endian crc,
pre-inverted instead of post-inverted, and does not include the length.
(Without these arguments, it produces the normal SUSv4 cksum output.)</p>

<p>It also upgrades netcat with a server mode (-l option) and fixes several
netcat bugs.  It also fixed multiple bugs in "patch", works around a
reiserfs bug in cp, and oneit can reboot on exit more reliably.</p>

<p><b>November 12, 2008</b> -
<a href=downloads/toybox-0.0.7.tar.bz2>toybox 0.0.7</a>
adds sort and tee commands, upgrades the internal option parsing logic and the
test suite, and numerous bugfixes (bunzip, chroot, cat, patch).</p>

<p><b>May 26, 2008</b> - <a href=downloads/toybox-0.0.6.tar.bz2>toybox 0.0.6</a>
adds cat, rmdir, and seq.  Bugfixes to cp and a new -v option.  Updates mdev to
work with the 2.6.25 kernel.  Updates patch to knows that a file dated
1969-12-31 means it doesn't exist, and to fail if a file it needs to create
already exists.  Command line option parsing can now handle things like "echo
-nex" vs "echo -ne".  Several updates to the test suite (run scripts/,
and some build fixes.</p>

<p><b>March 29, 2008</b> -
Time to release <a href=downloads/toybox-0.0.5.tar.bz2>toybox 0.0.5</a>, with
new commands cp and chvt and several bugfixes.</p>

<p>More makefile targets: "make test" runs the test suite (which needs more test
scripts), and make install/install_flat/uninstall/uninstall_flat calls
make/ (with options --long --symlink --force --uninstall depending
on the context).</p>

<p>Most of the work has been behind the scenes, namely a significant rewrite of
the build logic so adding each new command consists of adding a single C file to
the "toys" directory, eliminating the need to touch any other files.
There are specially formatted comments at the top of the C file to generate
the other files, see toys/hello.c for an example.  (See generated/README.txt
and <a href=code.html>code.html</a> for details.)</p>

<p><b>January 2, 2008</b> - And <a href=downloads/toybox-0.0.4.tar.bz2>toybox-0.0.4.tar.bz2</a> is out.
The new applets this time around include basename, chroot, dirname, dmesg,
help, mkfifo, netcat, patch, sha1sum, touch, and tty.</p>

<p>Note that this "touch" includes -l to set the length, which can truncate
a file or create a commpletely sparse file, good for filesystem images.</p>

<p>Expect the next release in about 6 months.</p>

<p><b>December 12, 2007</b> - Updated the list of implemented applications,
put up a <a href=todo.txt>todo list</a> and <a href=code.html>infrastructure
documentation</a>.  Expect another release towards the end of the month.</p>

<p><b>June 18, 2007</b> - Put out
<a href=downloads/toybox-0.0.3.tar.bz2>toybox-0.0.3.tar.bz2</a> since it's
been too long since I did something like that.  This one implements
catv, count, df, echo, false, oneit, pwd, sleep, sync, toysh, true, which,
and yes (which is what "make defconfig" enables).  There are several other
commands not enabled by defconfig, because they don't really work yet.</p>

<p>Most of the general infrastructure's there now, although lots of tweaking
and optimizing is still needed.  The test suite is skeletal and not entirely
checked in yet, but I'm working on that.</p>

<p>I don't have nearly as much time to work on this as I'd like, but I'm making
a little progress.</p>

<p><b>January 31, 2007</b> -
Toybox <a href=downloads/toybox-0.0.2.tar.bz2>0.0.2 release</a>.
Implements count, yes, pwd, echo, bzcat, catv, oneit, and an unfinished
skeleton of mke2fs.  Adds argument parsing logic and bunzip code to library.
Now configured with menuconfig.  Adds "make baseline" and "make bloatcheck"
using Matt Mackall's bloat-o-meter, and scripts/showasm.</p>

<p>Screwing up the web page a bit, adding an index bar along the side
which doesn't properly connect up to anything yet.  (Busy implementing
mke2fs and gene2fs.)</p>

<p><b>October 30, 2006</b> -
Toybox <a href=downloads/toybox-0.0.1.tar.bz2>0.0.1 release</a>.  Implements
df, a skeletal toysh, and some library functions.  Proof of concept, really.</p>

<p><b>September 7, 2006</b> -
Project launched, first commit to mercurial archive.</p>

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