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<p>Toybox combines the most common Linux command line utilities together
into a single BSD-licensed executable that's simple, small, fast,
reasonably standards-compliant, and powerful enough to turn Android into
a development environment. See the links on the left for details.</p>
<a name="30-11-2021" /><a href="#30-11-2021"><hr><h2><b>November 30, 2021</b></h2></a>
Busy? We'll I've just got this bulldozer to lie in front of or otherwise it'll
knock my house down but otherwise no, not especially, why?</p>
<p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p></blockquote>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.8.6.tar.gz>Toybox 0.8.6</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out, with prebuilt <a href=downloads/binaries/0.8.6>static binaries</a> and
<a href=downloads/binaries/mkroot/0.8.6>mkroot images</a>
bootable under QEMU (using vanilla linux-5.15).</p>
<p><u>Make root</u>: The <a href=faq.html#mkroot>system builder</a> got upgraded, with better
logging and layout of the output directory, plus <a href=>scripts/</a>
should be easier to read and understand now.
(Also added basic support for the <a href=>qualcomm hexagon</a>,
although it just builds a chroot filesystem, you can't boot a hexagon kernel under qemu
<a href=>quite yet</a>.)</p>
<p><u>New commands</u>: Rob added <b>linux32</b>.
Dan Brown added <b>sha256sum</b> (and the related 224/384/512 variants).
In pending, Elliott contributed <b>strace</b> and
Moritz Röhrich contributed <b>hexdump</b>.</p>
Elliott added <b>date -s</b>, <b>pmap -p</b>, <b>tail -F -s</b>, <b>kill -0</b>,
<b>reboot/halt/poweroff -d</b>, taught <b>file</b> to
recognize Mach-o universal binaries, made Android's <b>log</b>
take input from stdin when it has no arguments, added <b>tail --bytes --lines</b>
(the --long synonyms for -c and -n),
added <b>i2cdetect -q</b>, taught <b>i2cdump</b> to write XX for
read failures, made <b>timeout</b> use the monotonic clock,
and modernized the output of <b>uptime</b>.</p>
<p>Rob added <b>find -quit -lname -ilname</b> and <b>-d</b> as a synonym for -depth,
taught <b>cut -d $'\n'</b>
to cut by line and added posix <b>cut -nb</b> (which wraps to the start of -c
utf8 characters), added <b>cpio --ignore-devno --renumber-inodes</b>,
taught <b>cal</b> to use 3 arguments (day month year), added <b>tar --selinux</b>
support and a "had errors" message at the end, made <b>uname -o</b>
say "Toybox", and fixed the <b>grep -Fw</b> combination (used by the 64 bit
powerpc kernel build).</p>
<p>Ella-0 added <b>split -n</b>. Peter Collingbourne added <b>grep -L</b>.</p>
<p><u>Outside world</u>: The 0BSD license is <a href=>now part</a> of the
<a href=>ISO-5962</a>
standard. Of the currently <a href=>38k 0BSD licensed projects on github</a> toybox
isn't even the most popular, it's fourth.</p>
<p>Elliott asked that toybox's <b>cut -DF</b> feature (a cheaper
alternative to <b>awk '{print $3}'</b> be supported by other packages so
it might someday make it into posix, so Rob
<a href=>submitted it to busybox</a>
where it was <a href=>eventually merged</a>.</p>
<p>Added a local <a href=>git mirror</a> for
those reluctant to trust Microsoft Github.</p>
<p>In the web nav bar, our <a href=>freenode</a>
channel moved to
(like <a href=>everyone else's</a>;
<a href=>there</a>
<a href=>was</a>
<a href=>a</a>
<a href=>certain</a>
<a href=>amount</a>
<a href=>of</a>
<a href=>drama</a>
<a href=>involved</a>).</p>
<p><u>Pending</u>: lots more work on <b>toysh</b>: it has basic $((math)) support
now, += assignment, the "declare" command and corresponding variable
types (declare -i, declare -u, etc), several bugfixes, greatly
improved support for background processes on NOMMU systems, and a bunch
more sh.test entries.</p>
<p>Elliott fixed <b>modprobe</b>'s parsing of short lines. Rob fixed a
division by zero error when <b>vi</b> tries to edit a zero length file.
Anqi Dong made sure that syslogd messages sent to sockets end with a
newline. Eric Molitor significantly upgrade <b>wget</b> with http 1.1,
chunked encoding, and (external library) https (TLS 1.2) support,
plus several bugfixes. Michael Hope fixed <b>tftpd</b>'s option parsing.</p>
<p><u>Documentation</u>: The roadmap.html and status.html pages
got noticeable updates. (status.html is now directly generated by
scripts/, the old status.html wrapper that server-side-included
status.gen has been removed).
The <a href=design.html>design</a>
page provides better links to the LP64 documentation, and the
<a href=code.html>code</a> page explains a corner case where the filename
and first command name expect to match (and how to work around it if they don't).
Some website files weren't in the repository: two jpegs linked from html
files, and the www/.htaccess file that triggers the server side includes
in the navigation menu is now checked in. Johannes Schmitz fixed a
typo in about.html.</p>
<p>The <b>shred</b> usage line now includes all options.
The <b>logwrapper</b> command now warns when it isn't built standalone.
The <b>help</b> command no longer shows a header line about toybox unless
it's called with no arguments. (It still shows it for command --help.)
The --help option no longer needs to be the first option, and is
checked before the "Not root" error message for restricted commands.</p>
Elliott made <b>ps</b> exit with status 1 if no processes were shown (for LTP),
fixed an off-by-one in <b>dmesg</b> and a bounds check in <b>netstat</b>,
fixed <b>pidof -s</b>, and taught <b>rmmod</b> to handle multiple arguments.
Denys Vlasenko pointed out that <b>free -t</b> is "total" not "terabytes".
Samanta Navarro pointed out a leftover 32 bit limitation in argument groups.
Mikhail Kashkarov fixed mkdir's error handling for existing directories
without -p.
Rob fixed the 32 bit <b>readelf</b> build on Android, fixed a race condition
in <b>tar</b> leading
to the occasional spurious archiver warning,
<a href=>changed cp</a>
to work around a posix violation in the kernel, made xparsedate() handle more
whitespace and ignore trailing + or - (a NOP timezone), made <b>su</b> log the
right username, switched getuid() checks to geteuid() in <b>df</b> and <b>ping</b>,
fixed a place in the test suite where do_test()
could get confused by symlinks in the $PATH (calling realpath too early
and losing the name of the command being run),
made <b>env -i</b> use the old $PATH to run its command,
and made <b>grep --color</b> highlight all matches.</p>
<p>Worked around a bug in glibc+gcc 9.3 where linking against librt.a
(for things like timer_create()) pulls in libgcc_eh.a which uses
threads, meaning you can't statically link against librt.a from
a non-threaded app. (I hadn't noticed because it works fine with the musl
and llvm/bionic toolchains, only fails statically linking on e.g. debian.)
The <a href=>kernel fix</a> for the cpio encrypted filesystem issue worked around in 0.8.5 made
it in. Similarly, the
FS_IOC_{GET,SET}{VERSION,FLAGS} ioctl family are <a href=>historically broken</a>
(taking an unsigned int argument while advertising signed long),
which <a href=>we fixed</a> and reported upstream to a long
round of bikeshedding (sadly
the result seems to have been the man page maintainer
<a href=>giving up</a>
on documenting ioctls at all.</p>
<b>cut</b> switched to FLAG() macros and no longer allows -f with -F,
<b>eject</b> uses FLAG() macros and the linux/eject.h header,
prettycool@protonmail added tabs to <b>time</b>'s output, and Rob removed
the floating point dependency from time. Minor cleanups
to lsattr, lspci, nsenter, xxd, file, insmod, modprobe, arp, bootchartd, pmap,
comm, lsof, blkid, crond, init, userdel, makedevs, and scripts/
The "int fd = fd;"
initialization hack to shut up gcc's "may be used uninitalized, but isn't" false
positive warning has been replaced by a QUIET macro that resolves
to nothing on llvm (which doesn't have the gcc bug).
Ryan Pritchard reported a bug where <b>alias ls="ls --color"</b> would prevent
--help or --version from being the first argument to the command, which was
a pain to fix without breaking things like <b>echo -- --version</b> and
<b>basename -s --help file--help</b>.
(Both toy_singleinit() in main.c _and_ get_optflags() in lib/args.c now
check for those.)</p>
xabspath() now has a more granular (flag based) control interface.</p>
<p><b>scripts/</b> now uses wait -n (available since bash 4.3 in February 2014)
to keep the processors busier during a parallel build.
Tests are now running in a subshell, which means functions and local
variables defined in one don't pollute others during "make tests".
<p>Guo Chuang reported that lsattr won't build on an 8 year old version of
<a href=>centos</a>,
which is still supported for 2 more years because Red Hat can
be paid to have a 10 year support horizon, longer than toybox's 7. Rob
fixed it (and merged a similarly ancient compilation failure fix when
building pending/ip.c against a 3.10 kernel),
but the <a href=>philosophal argument</a>
remains <a href=>unresolved</a>.</p>
<p>Standalone builds can now override the .config file location with
KCONFIG_CONFIG same as the multiplexer build. scripts/ can
now cope with a missing .config file (it uses the defconfig values
for the CONFIG_TOYBOX_* global symbols).
"make install_airlock" no longer needs host versions of sha256sum and sha512sum.</p>
<p>In the test suite, <b>VERBOSE=spam</b> now shows expands successful tests
like it would for errors.</p>
<p><b>scripts/record-commands</b> got updated and logwrapper got renamed <b>logpath</b>.</p>
<a name="19-05-2021" /><a href="#19-05-2021"><hr><h2><b>May 19, 2021</b></h2></a>
<blockquote><p>It was of course a descendant of these eccentric poets
who invented the spurious tales of impending doom which enabled the people of
Golgafrincham to rid themselves of the useless third of their population.
The other two-thirds stayed firmly at home and lived full, rich and happy lives
until they were all suddenly wiped out by a virulent disease contracted from
a dirty telephone.</p><p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p></blockquote>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.8.5.tar.gz>Toybox 0.8.5</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out, with prebuilt <a href=downloads/binaries/0.8.5>static binaries</a> and
<a href=downloads/binaries/mkroot/0.8.5>mkroot images</a>
bootable under QEMU (using vanilla linux-5.12, except that s390 needed another
<a href=>perl
removal patch</a>).</p>
<p>This development cycle had thirty commits to sh.c fixing bugs and adding
features to <b>toysh</b>. Shell functions and local variables are now implemented,
along with the "set" builtin and trace support, and job control is
about halfway in. The shell as a whole is <a href=>maybe 80% done</a>, but still
has some obvious gaps like $((math)) and interactive command line
history/editing, plus a bunch of testing.</p>
<p><u>New commands</u>:
Moritz Röhrich added <b>pwgen</b> and <b>base32</b>, and
Elliott Hughes added <b>unicode</b>. The
<b>readelf</b> command got promoted out of pending, and
<b>sha3sum</b> is now switched on in defconfig.</p>
<p>Michael Christensen added <b>chsh</b> to pending, which hasn't been promoted
yet because it's part of a group of commands (useradd, userdel, groupadd,
groupdel) that should all be promoted together at some point
(and depend on lib/passwd.c, which could use some more work).</p>
<b>cpio</b> now supports extracting multiple concatenated archives.
<b>file</b> now recognizes android's new XML binary format.
<b>devmem</b> now works on nommu, can handle 0x prefxes on the address,
and prints
hex or decimal output to match the address type.
<b>df</b> -a now shows overmounted filesystems.
<b>test</b> -k checks the sticky bit.
Added -t to <b>install</b>, <b>cp</b>, and <b>mv</b>, and -u to <b>cp</b>
and <b>cpio</b>.
<b>find</b> -executable checks that _we_ can execute them (u+x could be owned
by a different user or have selinux weirdness).</p>
<p>Elliott added several features to <b>date</b> (--iso, %:z output format, and
--utc as a synonym for -u), added a <b>sed</b> s///x option,
added units to <b>ulimit</b> output, and
made several UI changes to <b>hexedit</b> including a color
mode (which is now the default, press x to toggle between old and new
display), masked out the file type in <b>chmod</b> error messages and
taught it to handle complex modes (like u+s+s),
hardened <b>file</b> and <b>readelf</b> against invalid input,
added a portability.h workaround for macos statvfs for <b>df</b>,
enabled line buffering in <b>echo</b> and <b>yes</b>,
and significatly sped up <b>tr</b>. Rob similarly optimized <b>seq</b>
and <b>count</b>.</p>
<p><b>make tests</b> now defaults to VERBOSE=fail (and now has VERBOSE=all to
continue after failure, and VERBOSE=quiet to show FAIL: lines without
diff -u output).
Cleanups to tee, netstat, file, and df. Added "static" annotations in a
lot of commands, made more things use FLAG() macros. Ethan Sommer pointed out
an unnecessary wrapper function in chgrp.
In pending, Elliott did some cleanups and bugfixes to gettty, telnet, telnetd,
tftpd, init, modprobe, and dd, and added more features to vi.
Rob did some cleanup on modprobe.</p>
Yi-Yo Chiang fixed a <b>rm</b> bug where -f could get confused by read
only filesystems and produce an error trying to unlink a nonexistent
file, pointed out <b>install</b> -D was broken when the target file
already exists, pointed out a <b>cpio</b> interaction with certain encrypted
filesystems where readlink() wouldn't write as much payload as the header
promised (corrupting the archive) and fixed another cpio bug where -t test
mode would chown() files, and fixed quoting in mount.test.
Elliott fixed a sequencing issue in <b>setsid</b>'s system calls,
fixed some <b>sed</b> tests (sed's lie-to-autoconf --version
output was preventing toyonly tests from triggering) and
fixed <b>tar</b>'s base 256 output for very large files.
Nir Lichtman pointed out that <b>rm</b> -p shouldn't try to rmdir / at the end,
Luke Frankart pointed out a typo that broke <b>test</b> checking file modes,
Firas Khalil Khana fixed a duplicate entry in the roadmap,
Ethan Sommer fixed <b>install</b> -Dt,
Andy Hu requested that <b>mount</b> handle mixed options like
Denys Nykula reported a <b>chmod</b> regression,
asm89 pointed out a <b>netcat</b> bug writing transactions larger than
Daniel Santana fixed <b>df</b> combining -P and -k,
Robin Hsu fixed <b>grep</b> getting confused by libc setting errno when
a library function call succeeded.
Puck Meerburg taught the <b>gunzip</b> code not to be confused by FEXTRA entries
(as described in RFC 1952) and added a test suite entry for that.</p>
<p><b>find</b> handles empty arguments properly now (with test), <b>date</b>
-I with no arguments no longer segfaults, <b>grep</b> -f /dev/null no
longer adds a "" regex matching everything, -z no longer splits patterns
on \n, and -o can print zero length matches,
<b>cp</b> -t works with one argument and with --parents.
<b>readelf</b> displays properly in 80 columns and doesn't reject .bss
off end of file, and <b>sed</b> s///2 now works when there isn't more than one
<b>tar</b> now removes empty directories where it wants to put a non-directory.
<b>microcom</b> sets serial device terminal attributes correctly.</p>
<p>The prebuilt x86-64 binaries shouldn't segfault on older x86-64 processors
anymore (workaround for gcc bug).
Cross compiling was sometimes confusing because it created
a hyphenated "toybox-$TARGET" and then tried to make symlinks to just "toybox".</p>
CONFIG_TOYBOX_I18N went away: toybox builds always support utf8 now.
Ella-0 added OpenBSD support (but not a separate defconfig, try
"make freebsd_defconfig").</p>
utf8towc() is now unsigned instead of wchar_t, matching wctoutf8().
xclose() tests if fd is -1 so the caller doesn't have to.
txpect (the test suite's built-in "expect", implemented in shell) can
now do regex matches, and sh.test uses this.</p>
<p>Elliott added the failing regex to the xregcomp() error message, and
made multiple portability tweaks (header tweaks to build in more
environments, running tests on Raspberry Pi OS and under mksh,
fix utf8 locale selection on macos).</p>
<b>chmod</b>'s help text explains why o+s doesn't set +t (and has a
test for it). The <b>echo</b> help text is more compact.
Checked in a better conversion of <a href=>toycans.png</a>.</p>
<a name="24-10-2020" /><a href="#24-10-2020"><hr><h2><b>October 24, 2020</b></h2></a>
"We are now cruising at a level of two to the power of twenty-five thousand to
one against and falling, and we will be restoring normality just as soon as we
are sure what is normal anyway."</p>
<p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p>
<p>After a longer and slightly more
<a href=>turbulent</a>
development cycle than some,
<a href=downloads/toybox-0.8.4.tar.gz>Toybox 0.8.4</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out with new commands <b>sha3sum</b> and <b><a href=>watchdog</a></b>.</p>
<p>There are <a href=downloads/binaries/mkroot/0.8.4>prebuilt mkroot binaries</a>
now, tiny toybox linux systems for a dozen architectures, all bootable under
qemu. (The vmlinux in each tarball is a vanilla linux-5.9 kernel built
from the included config file.)</p>
<p>The FAQ got <a href=faq.html>noticeably larger</a>, and the README has
more links. New command features include the <b>sed -s</b> flag,
<b>cpio --no-preserve-owner</b> now affects archive creation,
Elliott added <b>tar -I</b> and multi-type
<b>find -type a,b,c</b> support, Mark Salyzyn added <b>xargs -P</b> to
run parallel jobs, the <b>ps</b> and <b>top</b> commands
now autodetect pid length, and <b>top</b> adjusts units for memory display based on
system size.</p>
<p><u>Toysh and toyroot</u>:
lots of new work on <b>toysh</b>: 29 commits to sh.c since last release, adding 1500
lines and deleting 700, plus a bunch of sh.tests entries). Since last release
we implemented wildcards, case/esac and select, brace expansion sequences
(ala {1..10..2} and {a..z}),
the remaining variable slice types ${a#y} ${a%y} ${a^y} ${a,y}
${a/search/replace}, the "<b>source</b>" shell builtin,
the start of job control, and several bugfixes.
Plus the standalone "<b>make sh</b>" build understands MAYFORK now. It's
still missing features like functions() and $((math)) but it's getting
close to usable now.</p>
Some of the README contents moved to the FAQ, and the README's "presentations"
section got some new links. Several new <a href=faq.html>FAQ</a> entries explaining things like
mkroot ("how do I build a working Linux system
with toybox"), cross compiling (how to get/setup the 2 compilers and
3 libc we regression test against), and "where does toybox fit into the
linux/android ecosystem".
The "toybox --help" output now lists the project's web page (<a href=>by request</a>).
Elliott removed
getevent (an android board bringup/hardware debugging tool built by running
a python script against kernel headers, not really in scope for toybox),
fixed xargs help formatting, and taught the toybox multiplexer's
command list output (and "kill -l") to measure the current the terminal width
when wordwrapping (previously hardwired to 80 columns).
If you're curious, I checked in my <a href=www/release.txt>release procedure
checklist</a>, and
fixed a stale link in the nav bar on the left ("statistics" changed domains).
Firas Khalil Khana fixed some issues in the roadmap, and Rob
tweaked the roadmap so status.html is slightly more current.</p>
The "make tests" target now fails if any of the tests it ran failed.
Lots of TEST_HOST tests got fixed (checking for specific error messages exposes
TEST_HOST to version skew, and scripts/ will now skip TEST_HOST
commands that aren't installed) and added toyonly annotations as necessary
(replacing most uses of SKIP_HOST).
Eric Molitor added automated github tests on MacOS and Ubuntu using their
"workflows" thing.
The clang asan plumbing slows some code down more than 10 times, so some testing timeouts were expanded.
Eric Molitor did a bunch of work on route: moved it to sbin, added xsend and
xrecv, taught display_routes() and setroute to use the rtnetlink API and
do hostname lookups, added support for mss, win, and irtt, merged ipv6 and ipv4
codepaths with autodetection of address type, implemented RTA_CACHEINFO
support, switched exit paths to perror_exit(), and removed unused code.
Ethan Sommer fixed warnings in dhcpd, removed a bunch of unnecessary
; after GLOBALS() blocks and an unnecessary return in df.
Erik Moqvist fixed dns setting in the dhcp client.
Rob did some cleanup on bootchartd, traceroute, getty...
Elliott fixed getty to reliably update utmp.
Chris Sarra added ipv6 support to wget.
Ariadne Conill submitted several small fixes from testing Alpine Linux with
toybox, and Antoni Villalonga i Noceras fixed typos in error messages.</p>
Elliott avoided sign extension in devmem, and Ethan Sommer switched it from
getpagesize() to posix sysconf(_SC_PAGESIZE).
Elliott fixed chmod -R
ignoring dangling symlinks, fixed stty <a href=>misparsing c_iflags</a>, fixed the chattr f2fs test with
compression enabled, taught blkid not to show empty tags, taught xparsedate()
to read date's default output format, fixed a recent echo -e \0 regression,
changed cpio -p parsing to match a <a href=>bug</a> in the gnu version
which an existing script <a href=>depended on</a>,
and switched hwclock back to looking
only at /dev/rtc0 for <a href=>reasons</a> involving kernel version skew and vendor bug reports.</p>
<p>David Legault pointed out that unescape2() (and thus echo -e) wasn't handling
\0 right.
Khem Raj reported that mips glibc doesn't have SIGSTKFLT, leading to
a build break if we assume glibc behaves consistently, which led to a bunch of
macos signal portability cleanups from Elliott.
William Djupström fixed tar extracting long file paths, adding hardlinks
to an archive, and reported that --exclude wasn't working.
Peter McConalogue pointed out that cp/mv -i prompt should
default N, and mv should only prompt when stdin is a tty.
Patrick Oppenlander made rtcwake and hwclock default to UTC if /dev/adjtime
isn't available, suggested watchdog catch SIGINT, and caught an
uninitialized offset in blkdiscard which gcc apparently didn't.
Ryan Pritchard reported that <b>file</b> wasn't getting gif heights right,
and Elliott added gif version output so TEST_HOST provided similar output.
Martin Stjernholm fixed <b>cp -P</b> to not follow symlinks and updated
the help text to say it's not the default.
Antoni Villalonga added more --long asiases to <b>chgrp/chown/rmdir</b>.
<p>The symlink indirection code subtly broke xexec() so it would still try to call
a builtin when given a path to a command (fixed now).
The code to trip \n off xgetline() was using the length of the allocation
instead of the length of the read.
Netcat no longer leaks sockfd into child processes.
Patch "fuzz" support was outputting context lines from the hunk, not the
file. Chrisrfq fixed i2cdetect parameter reading.
Chris Sarra taught dd not to throw an error trying to truncate device files,
added a misshing fflush() to lib/password.c, fixed a parse error in logger
preventing local facility logging from working right, taught init
to reload inittab when it receives SIGHUP, and fixed a memory leak in tar.</p>
New xvdaemon() function daemonizing on nommu systems, to wean commands
off daemon() which requires TOYBOX_FORK.
Teach sendfile_len() to use copy_file_range() when available, with compile
time probe. Fix xsignal_all_killers() to install the correct handler.
Rob switched dirtree_path() to a non-recursive implementation, and
taught dirtree that a top level entry named "" is equivalent to
"." but should not show up in dirtree_path(),
read_password() now reads from tty device rather than stdin, and handles ctrl-c and ctrl-d, and
human_readable() now has HR_NODOT so it can print single digit numbers without going "0.0".
Petri Gynther increased the vmstat column sizes so it didn't fit
in 80 columns anymore.
Elliott added UTC offset support to xparsedate().</p>
mkroot now only passes --no-preserve-owner to cpio (so initramfs files
belong to root rather than whichever user ran the build) when using toybox's
version, because the other one is brain-damaged and errors out not
understanding it. (It understands it for extract, but not create. Yes really.)
New PENDING variable you can set to enable more than just sh and route out
of pending.
The "make distclean" no longer deletes root_download (where mkroot's "extra plumbing"
file saves source code downloads it tarballs, such as dropbear).</p>
Cleanup openvt (35 lines added, 78 lines removed)
Cleanup blkdiscard so lib/args.c parses the -o and -l numbers, which means
32 bit systems are limited to 2 gigabyte sizes which is a TODO item systemwide.
oneit now uses flag macros and mentions -rn in the help. demo-utf8towc
now has main.c call setlocale for it.
Some cleanup on stty.</p>
<a name="11-05-2020" /><a href="#11-05-2020"><hr><h2><b>May 11, 2020</b></h2></a>
<p>Ford: Ah. A
<a href=>towel</a>.
Keep this and guard it with your life.</p>
<p>Arthur: Huh?</p>
<p>Ford: Listen, it's a tough universe. There's all sorts of people and things
trying to do you, kill you, rip you off, everything. If you're going to
survive out there, you've really got to know where your
<a href=towel.jpg>towel</a> is.</p>
<p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p>
<p>Despite everything <a href=downloads/toybox-0.8.3.tar.gz>Toybox 0.8.3</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is finally out, with new commands <b>rtcwake</b> from Elliott Hughes and
<b>blkdiscard</b> from Patrick Oppenlander.
The big news is "<b>make root</b>" now boots to a shell prompt,
with toysh making it all the way through toyroot's init script.
(Some people were looking forward to <b>patch --fuzz</b> support too.)</p>
<p><u>Toyroot</u>: <b>make root</b> now does what it says on the tin, it
builds a bootable toybox-based Linux system using two source
packages (toybox and linux). The trivial version is "make root && sudo chroot
root/host/fs /init". Here's
a <a href=>post with instructions</a> if you want to know how to build the
cross compilers for testing the various architectures. The self-contained
<a href=>script
that builds a simple bootable Linux system</a> is 250 lines long, and
should be easy to read if you want to know how it works.</p>
<p>It also has basic module support, meaning arguments that aren't X=Y variable
assignments are the names of scripts to run to build more
packages at the end of the build. I checked in an <a href=>example package</a>,
and there's generic "download and extract source tarballs"
<a href=>plumbing</a> available to such modules.
(The Makefile doesn't know how to pass module names through to the script,
so instead of "make root" you have to
call the script directly, ala "scripts/ CROSS=sh4 LINUX=~/linux dropbear".)</p>
<p>The resulting root filesystem now uses /root as the home
dir for UID 0, and creates /dev/fd and /dev/shm in devtmpfs. The build works
around a kernel
build bug where "make distclean" doesn't work in a "cp -sfR" symlink
directory. (The bug meant if you pointed LINUX= at unclean source, it was
unhappy, so now it distcleans the source directory before copying it. This
modifies said source directory, which is not ideal, but as usual the kernel guys
<a href=>ignored
the bug report</a>, so a workaround was required.)
The CROSS=all build announces each target in the title bar, puts
its logs into root/log, and has better trap handling to stop with one
Since last release it uses a more concise config format for the various kernel
arch targets (which shrank the script by about 50%), and merged
the old (now removed) scripts/ into the main script so
"make CROSS=armv7l LINUX=~/linux" is
literally just a call to "scripts/ CROSS=armv7l LINUX=~/linux" now.</p>
<p>As for <b>scripts/</b> building cross compilers,
of COURSE gcc 8.3 requires a different configuration to build the same
toolchain as previous versions, it's gcc. It now builds a proper
nommu libc for sh2eb without a broken fork() call in it that can never
be used but prevents compile-time probes from detecting nommu,
and checks that the cross compiler completed before trying to build
the native compiler.</p>
<p>This was all tested with a recent
<a href=>version</a>
of musl-cross-make with the top level Makefile
edited to use BINUTILS_VER = 2.32 because the newer one
<a href=>breaks the kernel
and LINUX_VER = 4.19.90 because the default musl-cross-make config uses an
out-of-tree headers package for some reason (those who forget history are
<a href=>doomed to repeat it</a>) which
breaks m68k and s390x. I won't post binaries of the resulting toolchains
because they're GPLv3, but <a href=>Thalheim might</a>.
(I've also <a href=>test built</a>
with the Android NDK, but bionic's startup code currently segfaults before
calling main() if it can't open /dev/null, and the kernel guys
<a href=>ignored my patches</a> to
make CONFIG_DEVTMPFS_MOUNT work in initramfs.)</p>
<p>At the moment toyroot cheats and uses two commands out of pending: toysh
is about 80% of the way to being useful but still missing some
obvious features like function support, job and terminal control, command
history, $((math)), wildcard expansion... plus a lot of bash features like array
variables, so it isn't out of pending yet. And route needs to be redone to use the
netlink interface that can handle multiple routing tables. For the moment
scripts/ adds both of them to defconfig if you haven't already
got a .config when you run it. (If you build and can't boot, your .config
probably hasn't got CONFIG_SH switched on. Fix it in menuconfig, or
rm .config and try gain.)</p>
<p><u>New toybox features</u>:
Elliott taught <b>patch</b> to understand [FILE [PATCH]] arguments, made
<b>cal</b> highlight the current day, added -T to <b>cp</b>/<b>mv</b>,
did a lot of work on <b>lsattr</b>/<b>chattr</b> (including adding -p
and "chattr ="), added tar --absolute-names, taught <b>id</b> to
support numeric lookup and handle unknown groups, made -G show all
groups, and removed context= from -Z.
Rob added <b>patch -F</b> (fuzz factor) support and <b>help -u</b> (usage only),
taught <b>echo -e</b> about bash extensions like \uXXXX unicode escapes,
<b>netcat -L</b> no longer automatically includes stderr (new -E
option does that),
<b>setsid</b> now uses -c (like the man page says) instead of -t, and added
-w (wait) and -d (detach from tty).
Andrew Ilijic added <b>ls -w</b>, removed trailing whitespace on output,
and added tests for -C and -x.</p>
another fix to 32 bit option parsing of long long optflag values,
remove getdirname() and just use the libc function (which modifies
its argument, but we don't have to free a malloc),
dlist_terminate() can now be called repeatedly on the same list,
new relative_path() function finds path from one directory to another,
and readfd() works like readfile() but on an already open fd.
Use MPATH macros in mkpathat(). Elliott added macOS versions of
dev_minor()/dev_major()/makedev() to portability.c,
implemented posix_fallocate() for macOS, removed a
leftover uClibc workaround in fallocate that was breaking macOS,
and moved the table of ELF architectures from file to lib/lib.c (so
readelf can share).
Park Ju Hyung pointed out the fast path of fdlength() was commented out,
and we switched it to the 64 bit API while we were there (and then Elliott
added macOS support).
Joeky taught file to recognize 7z archives.</p>
The shell got a bunch of work: standalone "make sh" now includes the
multiplexer for builtin commands like "exit" and "cd". Added MAYFORK annotation
for commands that exist in the $PATH but can also be run within the shell
process (and sometimes have different behavior within the shell):
currently applied to help, echo, false, kill, printf, pwd, test, time, and
<p>Elliott added new commands <b>getopt</b> and <b>readelf</b>.
Jarno Mäkipää taught wget how to follow http 301 and 302 redirects,
and did lots of work on vi. (Elliott also did work on vi.)
Gavin Howard fixed a comparison bug in bc.
Ethan Sommer fixed numerous small issues (including several build
warnings and FLAG() macro conversions).</p>
<b>tar</b> extract now deletes files and symlinks where it's making a directory,
<b>find -L -type -l</b> now finds dangling symlinks, extra #ifdefs in
portability.h prevent old gcc versions from barfing on __has_include(),
xgetline() now returns NULL at EOF, tee with no arguments was
writing to stdout twice, setsid works on nommu (I.E. vfork) now,
<b>netcat -L</b> no longer accumulates zombie processes,
<b>sntp</b> now uses adjtimex instead of adjtime (to build on bionic).
xcreate_stdio() was checking WARN_ONLY in the wrong field (and tar was
passing it in the wrong field, so it worked there).
Several people wrestled with the <b>xargs</b> "argument too long" problem.
Alessio Balsini fixed memory leaks in loopback_setup() and "wayling"
added a missing continue to losetup.
Elliott fixed xargs -E, various things in modinfo,
added an error check to gzip when using zlib (which copies non-gzip data to
the output verbatim for some reason),
found an case where dirtree could use
uninitialized data and silenced "Invalid argument" warnings (triggered by
Android's selinux policies making stat() and readlink() fail),
fixed locale support in macOS (both in iconv
and in main.c), taught stat to show filesystem time on macOS,
fixed a 32 bit truncation in sntp, fixed a memory access one byte outside
of its array in patch.c, removed the cpio --trailer option,
and widened the pid display fields in ps to
6 digits. Rich Felker fixed find.c assuming
time_t is a long (y2038 issue on 32 bit).
Greg Kaiser fixed a thinko in get_block_device_size().
Jarno Mäkipää fixed utf8 support in cut -C, and cp --parents.
David Legault complained that dir/.* tells rm to delete dir/.. and we'd do it.
JakeSFR pointed out a bug in file's identification of broken symlinks.
William Haddon fixed cp to treat a directory with a trailing slash
teh same as one without.
Denys Nykula fixed rm -i not to prompt for an empty "" argument.
SebiderSushi reported that chmod g+s wasn't working.
The linux kernel doesn't let an O_PATH fd work with fgetxattr(), so
Elliott switched <b>ls</b> to use the path-based functions now (which is racy,
it means you can stat() one inode and get the xattrs for a different one,
but nobody in kernel land seems to use xattrs much so they're not fully
supported by the API, and who's crazy enough to use xattrs for security
anyway). Derick Pallas pointed out an xclearenv() bug.
Atatsulo (or possibly luolongjuna) did a lot of work on the <b>ping</b>
command: pointed out min/range/max were out of order,
that we shouldn't print a summary unless we received at least one
reply packet, and implemented ttl support.</p>
<p><u>Build plumbing</u>:
The "make root CROSS=all" build announces each target in the title bar, puts
its logs into root/log, and has better trap handling to stop with one
<p>Fixed scripts/ to work when PREFIX has no trailing slash,
make silentoldconfig no longer feeds "y" to kconfig (which puts menus in a
loop) and instead just feeds in newlines to accept whatever the default is.
The non-git version number I keep forgetting to update each release moved
from main.c to toys.h.
Fixed a couple different errors in mkflags.c (one of which caused ls --color
to set all the other flags).</p>
<p>Elliott added more macos support and tests, and added
fallocate, cp, mktemp, and mv to the macOS defconfig.</p>
Rob did some cleanup on xargs, ls, md5sum, and sort, tidied up main.c a bit,
made cp, base64, dmesg, and free use FLAG macros,
and switched fallocate to new style global names.
Elliott Hughes switched rfkill from the old byte at a time get_line()
to libc getline(), made du use FLAG() macros, and mad chattr use
standard toybox argument parsing for -v and -p.
Several commands (help, cp) had sub-options removed from menuconfig.
Merged realpath into readlink.c, and use xabspath() instead of libc realpath().</p>
New roadmap section about <a href=roadmap.html#packages>other packages</a>
that toybox can (eventually) replace.</p>
<p>Update roadmap to note that posix-2008 moved to a different URL (content
at the old URL undergoes random changes), and link to the IETF RFCs.
design.html explains more of the history of environment sizes on links
and has a #bits anchor tag.</p>
<p>Update the <a href=design.html#bits>LP64 section</a> of design.html to
fish the documents out of now that is gone,
and show the actual size table locally.</p>
<p>Elliott improved the help of <b>date</b> and <b>chattr</b>, and
made the usage: lines in the posix directory more consistent.</p>
<p>Shrank the sed help from 150 lines to 90-ish.</p>
New "txpect" performs interactive tests, running through a sequence of
writes to a command's stdin and reads from stdout and stderr, when failing it
reports the first non-matching step. (This for example lets sh.test check
the shell line continuation logic prompts with $PS1 and $PS2 appropriately
with various unfinished input lines, and that "echo hello; if" doesn't
output hello before prompting for the next line of input.) Added
VERBOSE=xpect to print out each read and write successfully performed by txpect.</p>
<p> only creates an "input" file when the input argument isn't empty,
EVAL doesn't supply -- (you have to provide your own if you want that).</p>
<p>Rob added basic <b>stat</b>, <b>patch</b>, and <b>tee</b> tests.
Jarno added a bunch of <b>vi</b> tests.
Elliott fixed tests for <b>ifconfig</b>, <b>lsattr</b>, <b>chattr</b>,
and <b>date</b>, added tests for find, id, xargs, and made
the id, iconv, env, file, printf and cat tests work on macOS (and skipped
the du tests there). Rob cleaned up chmod tests.</p>
<p><u>Sheer pedantry</u>:
true and false now have usage: lines (which you have to "help false" to see
because they (intentionally!) don't support --help.
Renamed get_chunk()/dump_chunk() to read_chunk()/write_chunk() in tail.c
Elliott fixed some typos.</p>
<a name="18-10-2019" /><a href="#18-10-2019"><hr><h2><b>October 18, 2019</b></h2></a>
<p>"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real
men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri
were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri."
</p> <p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.8.2.tar.gz>Toybox 0.8.2</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is finally out (only two months late).</p>
<p>The new commands this time are minor variants of existing ones
(<b>dnsdomainname</b> is hostname -d, <b>arch</b> is uname -m), but about
1/3 of toysh got implemented in pending, <a href=>mkroot</a> got merged as a "make root" target (see Build),
and Android's <a href=>hermetic build</a>
work continued resulting in a lot of fixes.</p>
<p>The android-specific <b>getprop</b>, <b>setprop</b>, <b>start</b>, and <b>stop</b>
commands were removed from toybox because they grew dependencies on android
libraries, and since toybox tries to avoid mandatory external dependencies
they moved to another package.</p>
The new "make root" target builds a simple toybox root filesystem,
using scripts/ which is a stripped
down version of the external <a href=>mkroot</a>
project merged into toybox. (Alas, at the moment it wants sh and route out
of pending, which aren't quite load bearing yet.)</p>
<p>The new "scripts/" convenience script builds cross
compilers based on gcc+musl multiple targets (arm, x86, mips, m68k, s390,
using <a href=>musl-cross-make</a>,
and a new scripts/ to easily cross compile for one or more targets
using the resulting compilers. (This works with "make root", "make
toybox", and other builds understanding the CROSS_COMPILE environment variable.)</p>
<p>Setting the environment variable ASAN=1 enables the
llvm address sanitizer. (You may need to
export ASAN_SYMBOLIZER_PATH on debian to use it, they add the version number to
the filename in /usr/bin which confuses llvm.)</p>
<p>Patrick Oppenlander fixed make -j (our make is a wrapper around
scripts/ which was already doing a parallel build, but if you called
make with -j it wouldn't wait for to finish and the build broke).</b>
<p>Lots of fixes for the MacOS build.</p>
<p><u>New options</u>:
We upgraded <b>tar</b> to extract some older tarballs, <b>file</b> added -b and -s
options and can also recognize older tarballs,
some xz archives, .otf fonts, perf/simpleperf data files,
android boot images, and dtb files. Upgraded <b>file</b> to show the device type
for block and char devices, the target for symlinks, and it says _why_ it can't
open a file.</p>
<p>Several commands ignore some options rather than erroring on them:
<b>patch</b> ignores the -f -g# and --no-backup-if-mismatch options
(all of which we were already doing by default anyway), and <b>xargs</b>
ignores -P# (which requests parallel execution, maybe add it later but
single threading works), and Denys Nykula made <b>wget</b> ignore
--no-check-ceritificate and <b>gzip</b> ignore -n (again, we weren't doing
either anyway) to satisfy pkgsrc.</p>
<p>William Haddon taught <b>diff</b> and <b>patch</b> to support special characters in path
names (via quoting) and more timestamp formats.
Eric Molitor implemented <b>nl</b> -v (with negative and zero starting values),
and fixed a MacOS compatibility issue in the build scripts.
Tom Cherry added <b>netcat</b> -U (UNIX domain socket support).
Denys Nykula taught <b>wget</b> to call ftpget for ftp:// URLs.
Ethan Sommer added ln -t and rmdir --ignore-fail-on-non-empty.
Elliott Hughes added <b>grep</b> -R, <b>killall</b> -w, tar --mode,
fixed <b>ls</b> -Z and spacing in -lZ and --full-time,
added <b>xargs</b> --max-args and removed xargs -I (which we never actually
supported) and tweaked the size calculation to more closely match other
added xargs -o and made -p read from /dev/tty, added <b>blkid</b> -s, SEC_TYPE for ext3,
msdos, and ntfs, f2fs and ntfs LABEL, fixed vfat/ntfs UUID, and switched
the endianness for UUID of msdos/ntfs/vfat, simplified the octal mode
display in <b>lsof</b>, added <b>pidof</b> -x (thus making the default behavior _not_
be -x).</p>
<p>When readdir() succeeds but stat() fails, <b>ls</b> now prints "??? ? ? filename"
entries instead of "cannot access" errors. (Still trying to make ls / on
android work more gracefully with the SELinux weirdness they added in 9.)</p>
<p>Added %C to <b>stat</b> and made it show device type in its default output,
<b>cmp</b> now works
with 1 argument (implicit - as second argument reading from stdin).
<b>sed</b> added exit codes to the q command (q123), added Q, and fixed a
bad error message with "!".
Removed TAIL_SEEK config option (it just always does that now),
<b>find</b> grew several new options (%Z, -true, -false, and -newerXY), <b>ln</b> added -T.
The argument to <b>mktmp</b> --tmpdir is now optional.</p>
The unshare probe bit-rotted so it was impossible to build <b>unshare</b>
and <b>nsenter</b> on some distros.
Commit 771e94e2a08 broke toybox's ability to say "unknown command" when
you pointed a symlink at it that it that didn't correspond to a command,
pointing a symlink at another symlink
to make toybox run a command under a name it doesn't recognize
(ln -s toybox sh; ln -s sh ash) had an off by one error,
<b>ifconfig</b> no longer error_exits if the "read mac address" ioctl fails (Android N
and later block that for non-root users to prevent device tracking).
When the libcrypto library was disabled, md5sum was building commands it
hasn't got built-in support for yet (like sha3sum) which acted like redundant
copies of md5sum,
<b>tar</b> wasn't correctly reading or writing sparse files with a hole at
the end, and tar tzf blah.tar.xz was calling xz when it meant xzcat,
<b>xargs</b> would spuriously fail on large memory systems (due to a missing
"unsigned" in a typecast),
<b>basename</b> can now remove suffixes starting with a dash,
<b>cp</b> -r unlinks() an existing symlink before trying to
recreate the symlink (otherwise cp -r into an existing directory will
try to follow the existing symlink and create another symlink at its
destination, failing if a file already exists there, which
was confusing gentoo's package manager), <b>timeout</b> now produces the
right exit code when the timed command intercepts the exit signal,
and <b>hostname</b> -d no longer segfaults on machines with no domain name.</p>
<p>Denys Nykula fixed the <b>ftpget</b> freeze (it was sending REST instead
of RETR), made <b>mv</b> work with a trailing slash in the source,
fixed a <b>find</b> segfault,
and made <b>env</b> always exec rather than recursing to a builtin
(on the theory #!/usr/bin/env is expected to search the $PATH).</p>
<p>Elliott improved <b>killall</b>'s handling of long filenames, made <b>kill</b> work
when killall5 is disabled (missing FORCE_FLAGS), fixed error reporting in
<b>hostname</b>, fixed several things in <b>xargs</b>,
made <b>printf</b> \c and \0 octal escapes work, fixed a <b>find</b> -name corner
case (find src/*.c -name file.c) and find dangling symlink behavior,
made some <b>rm</b> error messages consistent, fixed \x behavior in echo and
printf, fixed linestack.c's buffer length for utf8 U+XXXX escape printing,
fixed a race in <b>losetup</b>, fixed <b>grep</b> -F with multiple matches on the same
line and an -I failure in the existing grep tests, made <b>readlink</b> notice
when it has more than one argument, and made various
fixes to <b>modinfo</b>.</p>
<p>Ethan Sommer reported that <b>stat</b> of an suid/sticky file output 5 digits of
octal stat date instead of 4.
Rob fixed an unaligned access in <b>grep</b>. Alessio Balsini removed an incorrect
null termination in <b>losetup</b>.
Jarno Mäkipää fixed <b>hexedit</b>
scrolling up and down on older terminals, and fixed <b>ls</b> segfaulting with a broken
(non-UTF8) locale (didn't expect wcrtomb to return -1).
Andrew Ilijic made ls put 2 spaces between columns like other implementations
(which helps when terminals get confused and apply UTF8 combining characters
to the space after a filename).
Added dlist_lpop() to use a dlist as a stack (it removes the last entry
instead of the first), and dlist_pop() now works on a dlist_terminate()d list.
DIRTREE_STATLESS returns entries we couldn't stat() (with a zeroed ->st
field, and ->again |= 2), but filling in the file type from readdir().
Coversions between signal names and numbers now include all the Linux signals,
not just posix ones. The functions sig_to_num() and num_to_sig() moved into
lib/portability.h, because MacOS has different signals.
TOYFLAG_MAYFORK allows commands to run in toysh's process without forking,
but also makes them accessable from the toybox multiplexer or standalone.
A MAYFORK command has to clean up after itself (even in error paths) and
can't discard anything we need to keep (such as closing stdout).</p>
<p>Elliott did a big xbind/xconnect cleanup (adding xbindany and xconnectany),
taught xregcomp that an empty regex matches the whole line
(because FreeBSD, and thus MacOS, doesn't already do that), and
replaced several uses of get_line() (which does single byte reads)
with getline() (which doesn't).</p>
"make clean" doesn't produce a screenful of unnecessary output now,
rm, ln, cp, kill, and netcat use the FLAG() macros now, makedevs uses the new
GLOBALS naming format, timeout now uses xwaitpid(), and we fixed an
off by one error in xwaitpid().</p>
<p>Elliott removed a workaround for old NDK versions from getconf and
moved sort off of get_rawline() (which let us remove it).
Rob undid some loop unrolling in md5sum/sha1sum (we have libcrypto if you want
an assembly optimized version instead of an understandable version).</p>
<p>Android ndk-r20 doesn't define the __ANDROID_NDK__ symbol, so we switched
to using clang's __has_include() (which is an undefined macro and thus a NOP
resolving to false on gcc).</p>
Rob did a lot of work on toysh: continuation support works (it knows when to ask
for another line of text and when to run what it's got), as do
nested if/else/elif statements, and while and for loops (supporting "for i"
and "for i in", but not for ((;;)) yet).
It parses pipes and redirections but doesn't perform them yet.
The next big todo chunk is environment variable resolution.
<p>Gavin Howard fixed some bugs in bc, such as not returning error when raising
zero to a negative power.
Jarno Mäkipää continues to extend vi, adding yank and push, support for tabs,
rewriting delete, changing the drawing code, etc. Elliott also added several
fixes and features to vi,
fixed host to cope with large DNS responses, switched crontab to
use getline(), did work on man, fixed fixed several things in dd,
implemented diff --strip-trailing-cr and made diff not need /tmp.
Mike Bennett added extended attribute support to ip.c's route change.</p>
<p><u>Test suite</u>: The killall and pgrep tests were having occasional
spurious failures due to a race condition (the test script would fork()
to call sleep and for just a moment there were two instances of the test
script, reporting an extra process if killall or pgrep ran then).
<p>Elliott Hughes did a lot of work on the test suite: add kill -l tests,
make losetup.test notice (and skip) if loopback
devices area already in use, blkid.test can TEST_HOST e2fsprogs blkid now,
modinfo.test notices (and skips) if there's no /proc/modules or modules
directory, ifconfig.test skips if "dummy0 up" fails and disabled the
pointtopoint tests entirely (the kernel never supported it?),
truncate.test is less
confused by SELinux, hostname.test can run some tests as non-root,
addressed a race condition in killall.test on slow systems,
made chgrp.test, chown.test, and tar.test handle an empty /etc/passwd or /etc/group
(we were checking whether they were _there_ but some android devics have
empty ones),
fixed a couple things in env.test, extended killall.test to explicitly cover
long and short names (and not assume the shell is /bin/sh), taught split.test not to rely on bash process substitution,
added missing TZ=utc to touch.test, fixed cp.test to pass for root
or with a restrictive umask, and fixed the FAILCOUNT arithmetic to use more portable
$(()). Elliott also made some tests more flexible (find.test can handle any
error message about symlink loops, etc), and disabled others (such as du)
when SELinux is enabled.</p>
<p>Rob taught testcmd not to use the shell builtin for TEST_HOST unless there
isn't one in the $PATH, work if $PWD has a space in it,
and make kill.test stop testing the shell builtin
insead of the command, quieted tests that were producing output
other than their PASS/FAIL line, and made NOSPACE tests ignore the
presence/absence of leading/trailing whitespace as well as differences
in the amount of space.</p>
The <a href=roadmap.html>roadmap</a> got freshened up a bit, with updates
for android from Elliott.
In <a href=design.html>the design page</a> the Features section starts with
4 new paragraphs about the scope of toybox, and a new License section talks
about 0BSD.
The "./toybox --help" output now explains how to do install_flat by hand.</p>
<p><u>Sheer pedantry</u>:
Elliott fixed a double close in loopfiles_lines() so strace doesn't
have an EBADF in it, and added a missing "static" in lib/net.c.</p>
<a name="21-05-2019" /><a href="#21-05-2019"><hr><h2><b>May 21, 2019</b></h2></a>
<p>"I like the cover," he said. "'Don't Panic.' It's the first helpful or intelligible thing anybody's said to me all day."</p> <p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.8.1.tar.gz>Toybox 0.8.1</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out.</p>
<p>Android is now using toybox as part of a <a href=>"hermetic" build</a>
(meaning Android is building under toybox, which is halfway to Android
building under Android). See Android's <a href=>build-tools</a> and <a href=>soong</a> repositories to follow along with development, or check the list for the <a href=>current status</a>.</p>
<p><u>New commands</u>: Isaac Dunham added <b>mcookie</b>, which is used by
X11. Elliott Hughes added <b>devmem</b>, which replaces toolbox's "r".</p>
<p><u>Promoted</u>: <b>tar</b>, <b>gunzip</b>, and <b>zcat</b> were cleaned
up and moved out of pending.
Tar is a near-rewrite with support for --owner --group and --sparse,
capable of autodetecting "wget blah.tar.bz2 -O - | tar xv", a --restrict option
that only allows files to extract into a single subdirectory, and so on.</p>
<p><u>Added to pending</u>:
Jarno Mäkipää contributed a new <b>vi</b> implementation. Makepost added
<p><u>Updates</u>: Elliott added <b>find</b> -wholename/-iwholename, -printf,
and -context, <b>grep</b> --exclude-dir, and <b>echo</b> -E.
Rob added <b>blkid</b> -U and -L, <b>mount</b> now has UUID= support via blkid -U,
you can now specify TZ="blah" in the <b>date</b> -d input string (although
why the double quotes are required is an open question), and <b>sed</b> now
understands ,+N relative ranges. Makepost added <b>rm</b> -v.
The human_readable fields in <b>ps</b>/<b>top</b>/<b>iotop</b> now use all
available space to show more precision, <b>iotop</b> displays swap bandwidth
properly (it was showing a signed field as unsigned), and
<b>touch</b> -t and -d autodetect the time format.</p>
<p><u>Cleanups</u>: In pending Rob did some bc cleanup,
Colin Davidson did some arp cleanup,
Uros Prestor fixed route argument parsing, and
in bc Daniel Rosenberg fixed bc_vec_concat()'s allocation and
Gavin Howard fixed an overflow bug in bc_num_ulong().</p>
<p>Elliott made scan_key() detect cursor keys and such with several more
terminal types, made more better about directories and non-tty output,
cleaned up inconsistent uses of ARRAY_LEN(), taught file
to recognize a c-sky ELF machine, and fixed timezone and daylight
savings time issues in date and its tests.
Rob simplified netcat and ping using new lib/net.c infrastructure.
When run as non-PID 1 (for a chroot) oneit's exit code now indicates
which signal it's exiting due to.
Hadrian Węgrzynowski #defined constants for mkpathat.
Date now uses the current time for unspecified fields (instead of zeroing
them), and should set the weekday properly.
Sort's -k2.3,4.5 syntax is now documented and behaves more closely to
other implementations (silly as that behavior is).
Significant speedup to sed s/a/b/g on a megabyte long line (it was
O(n^2) and now it's quite snappy).</p>
<p>Several cases of warning about stdout failing to write were silenced
because things like piping the output to head means stdout is a special
case: its output is often discarded and that's fine. And xprintf()
and friends only checks stdout for errors so it can exit early ("yes | head"
should not spin endlessly) without actually flushing anything.
There's an ongoing design debate about line buffering stdin and stdout
that'll have to be resolved next dev cycle.</p>
Elliott sent in a lot of fixes for building AOSP with toybox:
support for more date formats, sed substitution of empty capture groups
and an endless loop with -EPIPE, fixed find -path/-ipath, made loggit()
only feed LOG_AUTH to syslog when we have a tty, gave grep a bunch
of --longname synonyms for short options, added getfattr --only-values,
and timeout --foreground --preserve-status and --signal.</p>
<p>Top got a lot of tweaks: it no longer collates thread's CPU usage into the
parent thread (in -H mode), hides the cursor in interactive mode, updates the
display properly in batch mode, and accepts ENTER
as a synonym for SPACE when refreshing the display. The header lines
now abbreviate long numbers with units (via human_readable()),
more reliably spans the terminal width, and says "Thread" instead
of "Task" when it's showing threads. The task/thread count now adds up
(understanding more kernel states and treating unknown ones as "sleeping").
Top now treats -o "" as an error (previously it displayed an empty screen).</p>
<p>William Djupström pointed out login needs to chown() the tty, and made it
clear the environment when -p is absent.
Vidar Holen fixed inverted find -exec exit status.
Rob made chgrp() stop relying on libc's printf("%s", NULL) printing "(null)"
because a <a href=>newly added gcc bug</a> turns that into a build break, and
fixed an outright embarassing xstrndup() bug.
Liwugang fixed a segfault when stat's format string had a trailing %.
A missing else in grep meant -x was sometimes ignored.</p>
in the build scripts/ now tests that the compiler it's trying
to use exists up front. We no longer link against librt because on glibc that's
pulling in libpthread for some unknown reason.</p>
<p>TOYFLAG_ARGFAIL() lets commands return custom exit values when option parsing
fails (because AOSP build scripts cared), so timeout --unknown returns 125
and so on: chroot, diff, cmp, env, grep, nohup, and sort also use it now with
various values.</p>
<p>New FLAG() macros: FLAG(x) expands to (toys.optflags&FLAG_x) and returns
zero if the command line argument's bit isn't set and nonzero if it is
(meaning -x was or wasn't encountered on the command line this time by
lib/args.c). Lots of commands got converted to use them.</p>
<p>New lib/env.c with reset_env(), xsetenv(), and xunsetenv() which frees
the old environment variable when it wasn't inherited from exec(). This
lets long-running loops reset environment variables without memory leaks.</p>
<p>New xnotify() plumbing in lib/portability.c with Linux and Mac versions
(which should also work on BSD).</p>
<p>New xparsedate() and xvali_date() functions allow date, tar --mtime, and
touch to understand the same date formats,
xpopen_both() now knows how to use existing filehandles for the child's
stdin/stdout, and no longer redirects stderr (which hides errors),
new nanomove(), nanodiff(), union socksaddr, xrecvwait(),
and human_readable_long() to show more than 3 digits of output.</p>
<p>Taught xgetaddrinfo() to return a wildcard address for a NULL host,
xconnbind() sets SO_REUSEADDR by default,
fileunderdir() returns the abspath to the file now (since we had to work
it out anyway), and
xabspath() uses O_PATH now (because Android's SELinux rules got more aggressive).</p>
<p>Several new xsendfile() variants, including sendfile_len() to copy
a specific amount of data and xsendfile_pad() to append zeroes to the
output when there isn't enough input.</p>
<p>regexec0() is now using libc's REG_STARTEND supported by every libc out
there _except_ musl. (It originated in BSD and was adopted by glibc, bionic,
and uClibc 15 years ago, and is also supported in macosx. Musl's maintainer
<a href=>turned down</a>
the feature request as an invalid use case he didn't think they should
be trying to do.)</p>
the <a href=license.html>license page</a> now has an SPDX identifier, and links to more
history/context. The actual LICENSE file had its title line removed
so <a href=>github could recognize it</a> as 0BSD. (We're still waiting for
"<a href=>a while</a>" to pass before github actually does, though.)</p>
<p>A new www/doc/mount.txt file describes how mount works under the covers.</p>
<p>Rob consistently misspelled "canonical" and "millisecond", mountpoint
has a synopsis now,
Kevin van der Kamp fixed a typo in netstat's help text, and Elliott
Hughes fixed typos everywhere and made the tense, capitalization, and
punctuation of help text more consistent.</p>
<p>New paragraph in the code style part of design.html explaining that
"char* a, b;" is not how C works, and since you wind up with "char *a, b;"
anyway you might as well say that.</p>
<p>Given dreamhost's tendency to repeatedly delete the mailing list
archive, the nav bar on the left links to a backup web archive now too.</p>
<p>The FAQ now says why we do time based releases.</p>
<p><u>Testing</u>: Added VERBOSE=nopass to not show passing tests.
The test suite now does an rm -rf on testdir between each command so
debris files don't accumulate.
New skipnot function skips the next test if a command line fails, and
toyonly function only runs command when we're testing the toybox version
of command. (This isn't the same as TEST_HOST, the host version could be
The find -newer test calls "sleep .1" to avoid intermittently failing with an
identical timestamp.
Elliott added the start of a file.test rogues gallery.
No longer call lsattr in "make tests" because the behavior differs by
filesystem and it needs fixing somehow.</p>
<a name="08-02-2019" /><a href="#08-02-2019"><hr><h2><b>February 8, 2019</b></h2></a>
<p>"Most readers get as far as the Future Semiconditionally Modified
Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional before giving up; and
in fact in later editions of the book all pages beyond this point have
been left blank to save on printing costs."</p>
<p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.8.0.tar.gz>Toybox 0.8.0</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out.</p>
<p>Toybox now builds on MacOS and FreeBSD, thanks to the efforts of Elliott
Hughes and Ed Maste respectively. Use the "make macos_defconfig" and "make
freebsd_defconfig" targets to enable the set of commands that compile on
each so far.</p>
<p><u>New commands</u>: Added an <b>sntp</b> client/server (RFC 4330 Simple Network Time
Protocol, a compatible subset of ntp). The <b>test</b> command was rewritten
and promoted out of pending.</p>
<p><u>New options</u>: <b>grep</b> now has --color, supports embedded NUL bytes in its input,
recognizes binary files, and passes all of grep.test (in case you
needed the middle numerical field of -bB, etc).
Josh Gao added ipv6 and UDP support to <b>netcat</b>.
Volodymyr Medvid reported that install -d doesn't honor -o or -g.
Elliott Hughes did a lot of work to support hermetic Android/AOSP builds:
<b>mkdir</b> accepts both --parent and --parents as synonyms for -p, <b>touch</b> ignores -f,
<b>basename</b> added -s to remove a trailing suffix, <b>dirname</b> now supports multiple
arguments, <b>cmp</b> accepts --quiet and --silent as synonyms for -s, <b>hostname</b>
added -sfd, <b>head</b> added --bytes as a synonym for -c and --lines as a synonym
for -n, <b>mktemp</b> added -t and fixed -u, <b>sed</b> added -z and -iEXT to keep backup files,
<b>md5sum</b> and sha1sum added --status and --check as synonyms -s and -c,
<b>readlink</b> added --canonicalize as a synonym for -f, <b>sort</b> grew -V,
<b>patch</b> added -s its synonym --quiet, <b>stat</b> added --format as
a synonym for -c, <b>xargs</b> added -p -t -r,
Eduardas Meile asked
that <b>umount</b> ignore -c. Reverend Homer added a small optimization to file.c,
and Elliott taught <b>file</b> to recognize riscv ELF binaries. Peter Collingbourne
taught <b>ls</b> -t to use the nanoseconds field.
<b>patch</b> has better support for patching a file with a tab in the name.</p>
<b>cp</b> --preserve was segfaulting when you didn't specify _what_ to
preserve (it now correctly defaults to "mot") and didn't get the permissions
right when copying a symlink's contents as a regular file,
<b>sort</b> -x didn't work when
attached to a key, <b>host</b> didn't allocate a big enough buffer for worst
case ipv6 address size, <b>sed</b> needed a ; between b and } when other
implementations don't (we're already well past what posix says but a script
out in the field broke...),
and several fixes to <b>hostname</b> in a container, <b>ps</b>/<b>top</b> were
misreading the VIRT and SHM fields.</p>
<p><u>Pending</u>: Gavin Howard updated <b>bc</b> and added more tests,
Marius Adaskevicius pointed out <b>mdev</b> -s should follow symlinks,
Yangchun Fu reported a <b>dhcp</b> checksum bug, <b>modprobe</b> needed errno reset
to avoid reporting spurious errors in verbose mode and no longer
exits with status 1 if it can't find /etc/modprobe.conf, the <b>more</b> command
wasn't always flushing stdout when it exited.</p>
<b>chrt</b> no longer #warns about the musl sched_get_priority_min() bug, but
instead works around it.
We were mixing setjmp/siglongjmp (harmless in some contexts but it kind
of annoyed FreeBSD), and
make install_airlock now adds sha256sum (because the Linux 4.20 build now
needs that for the s390x target).</p>
<p><u>Coding style</u>:
Rob converted the rest of the option GLOBALS() to the new single letter
coding style, and the new FLAG(x) macro is a slightly tidier way to say
Removed CFG_SORT_BIG (the sort command always
has the full functionality now. The general future direction or toybox
is to either have a command or not have it; multiple versions of the
same command aren't worth the complexity in testing, documentation,
or system adminstration).</p>
<p><u>Library code</u>:
The mkflags plumbing can now support arbitrary punctuation as option
names via an escape syntax (because mkfs.vfat specifies an offset with -@),
and lib/args.c now only sets FLAGS_NODASH when the first argument
didn't have a dash (allowing "ps ax" and "ps -ax" to behave differently).</p>
<p>Added an xrename() function,
xchdir() has better error reporting, xconnect()/xbind() had their
implementations merged, xsendto() moved from ping to lib, xpoll() now
measures elapsed time and only waits for the remaining period when restarted,
and Eduardas Meile converted several error_exit() to error_exit_raw() (because
yocto 2.6 buils with -Werror=format-security by default).</p>
<p>There's a scripts/ now which lets the build use gsed and gmake
(when available) in more places to avoid broken host versions on MacOS and FreeBSD.
The syntax of the "noreturn" attribute
changed slightly, some calls to strnstr() were replaced with strcasestr(),
we work around MacOS' lack of features.h, portability.h can now do Apple's
endianness macros, and so on.</p>
<p>Following the <a href=faq.html#support_horizon>seven year rule</a>
Elliott removed support or glibc 2.10, and also
reformatted a lot of --help text for consistency (removing trailing
periods and such).</p>
<p><u>Test suite</u>:
The test suite now has its own version of "pending", specifically "make tests"
skips test files without the executable bit set (unless you export $TEST_ALL).
This eliminates "expected failures" (I.E. files with unresolved todo items)
from the global regression test. Additional tests can be added to the global
regression test with chmod +x as the todo items they document get resolved.</p>
<p>Several places the test suite got fluffed out, including guards to skip
root-only tests when run as a normal user. The testcmd function prints the
short name instead of the full path to the command.
The tests for the test command
("test.test") no longer test the shell builtin but correctly test the
toybox command. (Now say that ten times fast.)</p>
<p>Bash version skew required replacing "continue" with "return" to stop
tests early in bash 4.4 (for VERBOSE=fail).</p>
<a name="31-10-2018" /><a href="#31-10-2018"><hr><h2><b>October 31, 2018</b></h2></a>
"In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."</p><p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.7.8.tar.gz>Toybox 0.7.8</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out (a month late).</p>
<p>Toybox <a href=>now builds</a> with the Android NDK (r18 release), almost out of the box.
You have to add an "llvm-cc" symlink to "clang", then use CROSS_COMPILE=llvm-
with the appropriate $PATH (or absolute path in CROSS_COMPILE) for the
target you want to build for. (To run it on a non-android host, you probably
want "LDFLAGS=--static" too.)</p>
<p><u>New commands</u>: <b>i2cdetect</b>, <b>i2cdump</b>, <b>i2cget</b>, and <b>i2cset</b>
courtesy of Elliott/Android. The <b>watch</b> command got a complete (tty-aware)
rewrite, and was promoted out of pending. The <b>prlimit</b> command is back
(a configuration bug was always disabling it), and <b>ascii</b> now defaults y
in defconfig (an oversight).</p>
<p><u>New options</u>:
The <b>ifconfig</b> command added -S (short view) giving one line of
information per interface, in "name ipv4/mask macaddr [ipv6/mask@type...]"
format. <b>grep</b> grew binary file detection, with -I and -a options to
ignore them or force treating them as ascii (really utf8).
Zach Van Rijn asked for <b>find -empty</b>.
In the <b>file</b> command, Elliott improved java
.class support and added .wav, .bmp, and android .dex.
Elliott also added "getconf -a" and a lot of missing getconf symbols the
AOSP build uses, including support for pathconf(3) symbols requiring two
arguments. This means getconf's arguments work more like ubuntu's
now (one or two arguments, not iterating through the supplied list and
processing each like last release), and -l grew section identifiers (so
the "getconf -l" output is no longer a directly consumable list of symbols
it takes).
Command line options specifying durations (like top -d or ping -i) can
now use fractions and units, like "1.5" and ".1m". See "toybox --help" for
Toybox now dereferences one layer of symlinks if it doesn't recognize the
name it's called under (so if you "ln -s $(which sleep) blah" and then
"./blah 30", it should figure out you mean sleep 30).</p>
Gavin Howard contributed a large new <b>bc</b> implementation to pending,
which covers everything the kernel build needs (and more) but is going to
take a while to review.
In <b>diff</b> the android guys added --color and timestamps on the
+++/--- lines. In <b>mdev</b> Faustas Azuolas Bagdonas added support
for mdev.conf's fourth field. Reverend Homer suggested an error message
improvement in <b>wget</b>, Kevin Spiteri did a cleanup pass on test.c,
and there was a cleanup pass on the passwd command.</p>
Elliott responded to a bug in <b>getconf</b>'s sed-based header generation by
replacing it with a more conventional array of #defined symbols, with #ifdefs
for missing symbols on the three libc implementations (glibc, bionic, musl)
we've tested so far. (This requires portability.h work to add new supported
build environments, but at least it works on bionic now.)
The <b>file</b> command now fails gracefully when reading pathologically
broken ELF files (the tests for integer overflow missed one), and
<b>date</b> no longer shows a meaningless errno when it can't parse the
date format.
Several fixes in <b>ping</b> (-w and -W didn't work, -c kept sending packets
while waiting for replies, and when no reply packets were received the summary
data was printed twice).
Elliott fixed <b>wc</b> column widths (traditional reality doesn't match
posix), fixed <b>modprobe</b>'s error handling (reported by Wen Xie), and
also fixed the units on blockdev --blkraget (reported by Martijn Coenen).
Several small fixes to the <b>stat</b> command's output (help text, quoting
style, leading zeroes, switch -f from %t to %T), <b>oneit</b> no longer
reboots the system when it's not called as PID 1.
Last release's commit letting $STRIP be redefined had a typo.
Nick Kralevich added an istty() check before calling TIOCGWINSZ (which
triggered Android's strict ioctl filtering on non-filesystem fifos).
An unstripped build (where the "strip" command fails for a given
CROSS_COMPILE) will now overwrite the (read-only) output file instead of
failing a rebuild. The dirtree plumbing no longer prints a "No" on front
of the filename in error messages (such as "permission denied").</p>
Elliott updated the roadmap with Android AOSP status, towards turning that
into a hermetic build (hopefully with an eventual self-hosting option, work
is <a href=b33d37d6f735>already underway</a> on the airlock step).
Rob added a little more context for LSB and described the move from Aboriginal
Linux to mkroot.
The <b>ps</b> help text changed: now "ps -o help" shows the fields and the normal
--help is much more manageable. Ifconfig's --help text also got tidied up.
Our LICENSE file has the SPDX identifier (0BSD) now, and the note about
the kconfig/ subdirectory still having (build only, non-shipping) GPL code
in it moved into the kconfig subdirectory.</p>
<p><u>Coding style change:</u>
GLOBALS() now uses the argument letter as the variable
name for variables automatically set by command line arguments via lib/args.c,
and no longer requires they be one per line.
Removed use of the gcc
\e extension in string constants, replacing it with \033.</p>
<p><u>Library code:</u>
lib/interestingtimes.c was renamed to lib/tty.c.
The deflate code from toys/pending/compress.c moved to lib/deflate.c,
which gunzip.c now uses when it's not configured to use zlib. (This reduces
the bootstrap dependencies for the "airlock" step of a hermetic build.)
The compression side remains a todo item.
Added "%" to lib/args.c reading seconds (including fractions/units) into a
long milliseconds argument. Redid xparsetime() to not need floating point,
added xparsemillitime() for milliseconds common case, and
parsetime() now treats leading garbage as an error instead of returning zero.
The bufgetpwuid()/pufgetgrgid() functons can now handle more than 4k of group
data. The set_terminal() function can now set serial speed, and microcom.c
uses it. Added xsignal_flags(), and more consistently use xsignal() (which wraps
sigaction()) instead of signal().
A new xgetrandom() function calls the new getrandom() system call, falling
back to /dev/urandom on older kernel/libc (made to actually _work_ by
Patrick Oppenlander).</p>
<p><u>Build infrastructure:</u>
Updated dependency detection so "make distclean defconfig toybox" now works
all on the same command line. (This is nice when $CROSS_COMPILE changes).
scripts/config2help.c no longer includes parts of lib/ and just copies what
it needs into itself, improving build portability.
The build now checks the specified cross compiler exists, hopefully providing
a more informative error message when it doesn't. Similarly, when .config is
missing the error message suggests running make defconfig.</p>
<a name="23-06-2018" /><a href="#23-06-2018"><hr><h2><b>June 23, 2018</b></h2></a>
<p>There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what
the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be
replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another
theory which states that this has already happened.</p>
<p> - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.7.7.tar.gz>Toybox 0.7.7</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out.</p>
<p><u>New commands</u>: Rob Landley added <b>getconf</b>, Elliott Hughes added
<b>uuidgen</b>, and <b>ping</b> and <b>fmt</b> were promoted out of pending.</p>
<p><u>New options</u>: The <b>cp</b> command added the --parents option,
<b>readlink</b> now has -m to show where a missing path would be,
<b>netstat</b> got some updates (better nommu support, it can use /etc/services
names, more command line options are bounds checked),
Ng Zhi An added --getra and --setra (get/set readahead) to <b>blockdev</b>,
Elliott Hughes added <b>xxd</b> -o and made <b>top</b> -d understand fractional
sections (because the Linux Test Project uses that), and
Minghui Liu added <b>watch</b> -b.</p>
<p><u>Bugfixes</u>: Several fixes to <b>vmstat</b>: Elliott Hughes made it work on a
48-core machine
and fixed a glitch with -n, Haroon Maqsood pointed out "vmstat 1 1" didn't
stop and "vmstat -n" didn't print the first theader line.
Minghui Liu fixed a bug where <b>cp</b> -p didn't preserve
timestamps, and pointed out the b, c, and d suffixes on numbers weren't
working. Ryan Pritchard pointed out that <b>du</b> -d0 should act like du -s.
Filip Perich made an RFC2347 OACK compliance fix to <b>tftp</b> in pending.
Zach van Rijn fixed a bug in <b>xxd</b> causing incorrect translation of
uppercase characters.
Elliott fixed several things in <b>top</b> (removed spurious '\r' characters from -b
output, removed interactive flicker, made running processes bold), and
pushed Rob to make <b>file</b> work better recognizing things on stdin
("cat /bin/ls | file -" still won't work but "file - < /bin/ls" should).
Rob fixed a bug in <b>netstat</b> on 64 bit big endian systems,
and fixed <b>cut</b> -DF
(a posix compliance fix broke its ability to act as a decent awk replacment
because outputting all delimiterless lines isn't what you want there, -D
now disables that too).</p>
<p><u>Documentation</u>: Rob added a buildroot section to the roadmap with the
prequisites that needs to run, and reformatted more of the ps --help text
to two columns.</p>
FLAGS_NODASH is now set in toys.optargs when an optstring starting
with & has no dash in its first argument. (This lets "ps -ax" and "ps ax"
behave differently.) Factored out xtestfile() into lib/.
The comma-separated-list parsing infrastructure moved to lib/commas.c.
Added mkpath() for the common case of mkpathat() and #defined MKPATHAT_*
constants for the uncommon cases. Elliott added better error checking
to xparsetime() and fixed a bug in names_to_pid() (used in <b>pidof</b>
and <b>killall</b> and such).
Rob inlined the old toys/e2fs.h into pending's mke2fs,
and removed a rogue semicolon from the WOULD_EXIT() macro that screwed
up if() statement levels. The do_lines() semantics changed adding a
callback(0,0) at the end of each file.</p>
The test_* commands under toys/example were all renamed demo_* so
they don't share a namespace with running a standalone command
through the test suite (ala "make test_sed"), then
demo_human_readable became demo_number so it can also test atolx()
suffixes. The readlink.test was getting confused by a
behavior difference between toybox and ubuntu (Ubuntu's ln -sf wouldn't
replace a symlink that pointed to itself, toybox's would), now there's
an explicit rm so it works on ubuntu too. The test suite plumbing's
error message for a test with the wrong number of arguments now
correctly identifies which test it's complaining about, and it can now
run a test on a command name beginning with "-" (none yet but it
comes up in toysh).</p>
<p><u>Building</u>: You can now override strip with $STRIP. The set of
"make install_airlock" commands got tweaked for the 4.17 kernel (which
needs bison and flex because the new kconfig plumbing doesn't have _shipped
versions of those generated files like the old kconfig did), and for
the new release (remove ping, toybox provides it now).
$LDFLAGS now applies to library probing (the android NDK provides
dynamic libraries without corresponding --static versions).
Elliott took a CFG_TOYBOX_DEBUG check out of an error_exit() to make
clang stop complaining about an error that should never happen.</p>
<a name="24-02-2018" /><a href="#24-02-2018"><hr><h2><b>February 24, 2018</b></h2></a>
"Arthur," said Ford.<br />
"Hello? Yes?" said Arthur.<br />
"Just believe everything I tell you, and it will all be very, very simple."<br />
"Ah, well, I'm not sure I believe that."<br />
<p> - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.7.6.tar.gz>Toybox 0.7.6</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out, a month and change late.</p>
<p>This release adds a <b>crc32</b> command and
cleans up and promotes <b>iconv</b>, <b>logger</b>, and <b>setfattr</b>.
Pending added <b>stty</b> and <b>fmt</b>, the other half of <b>ping</b>,
and got a lot of cleanup on <b>gzip</b>/<b>gunzip</b>/<b>zcat</b>.</p>
<p>The <b>cut</b> command got a complete rewrite adding support for multiple
ranges, utf8/unicode characters, and new -CDFO options. Use -C to measure
columns rather than characters (for double width chars), and "cut -DF 3-5"
selects words (like "awk '{print $3 $4 $5}'").</p>
<p>This release adds <b>top -m</b> and <b>iotop -H</b> (and fixed top width truncating for narrow terminal windows),
added <b>iconv -c</b>, fixed <b>ps -T 1234</b> to show threads belonging to
that PID, improved <b>file</b>'s executable identification (properly recognizing
both endiannesses and adding sh/frv fdpic, bpf, and new microblaze
identifiers), and <b>blkid</b> now only shows LABEL= when it isn't blank.</p>
<p>Running ./configure now does "make defconfig", help_exit() now shows the
"See %s --help" message on the same line, and several web pages
(about, code, roadmap, cleanup) got updates.</p>
<p>Elliott and the Android devs added <b>df -i</b>, <b>uptime -p</b>,
<b>time -v</b>, and <b>xxd -i -ri</b>,
fixed <b>id -G</b> to only output the group IDs, fixed the <b>xargs -0 -n</b>
combination, made <b>find -exec +</b> obey ARG_MAX (just like xargs), made
<b>killall</b> kill scripts too, fixed an off by one error in <b>pidof</b>
that could cause false positive matches in 15 character names, added
gzip/gunzip/zcat tests, and taught <b>file</b> to identify more stuff
(ogg, TrueType font, LLVM bitcode, PEM certs, and PE executables), and
for some reason needed TOYBOX_VENDOR in the version stuff.
Android <b>getprop</b>/<b>setprop</b> now allows ro. properties to have
arbitrary lengths, <b>losetup</b> can now find loop devices under /dev/block (where android puts
them for historical reasons), and Andreas Gampe pointed out a thinko in
<b>top</b> that triggered llvm's address sanitizer checks.</p>
<p>Gael PORTAY asked for mdev to work when Linux has the
block layer configured out, Patrick Oppenlander pointed out a problem
with make bloatcheck's build dependencies, and
xuphung on github fixed config2help building on MacOS X.</p>
<p>Commands with locale support now setlocale(LC_TYPE, "C.UTF-8") for more
targeted locale support (enable character parsing with
utf8 support, use "C" semantics otherwise). The toys/example/test_*.c
commands got renamed demo_*.c.</p>
<p>In lib.c the millitime() function returns current unix time in milliseconds
(which as a 64 bit number is good for + or - 292 million years from
midnight Jan 1 1970), and the old xgetty() function became tty_fd() returning
-1 instead of erroring out.</p>
<p>The "make help" text moved from the Makefile to scripts/help.txt,
ls.c now lists some of its deviations from posix, and work is underway
to make ps.c more intelligible (and figure out how to break it up into
multiple files).</p>
<a name="12-10-2017" /><a href="#12-10-2017"><hr><h2><b>October 12, 2017</b></h2></a>
<blockquote><p>Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went
mad now?</p>
<p> - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.7.5.tar.gz>Toybox 0.7.5</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out.</p>
<p>This is another <b>mostly bugfix release</b>. I delayed it a bit trying to get some
of the many half-finished projects (dd, ping, lsof, iconv, cut, sysconf,
the cp --parents option...) finished/promoted/tested, but decided adding big
things at the end of the dev cycle would be too destabilizing.</p>
<p>A couple <b>new features</b> slipped in anyway. Ilya Kuzmich added head -c
and strings -t (and corrected strings' output in a couple places). Elliott
Hughes taught file to recognize Macintosh (Mach-O) binaries.</p>
<p><b>NOTE</b>: the chrt command is broken when built against musl-libc
because that project's maintainer decided he didn't like the system calls
it depends on, so he
<a href=>removed
them from his libc</a>. The prebuilt binaries are built against musl,
so the chrt command there will always say -ENOSYS. (It works fine built against
glibc, and presumably bionic or uClibc.)</p>
<p><b>Bugfixes</b>: Remounting (mount -o remount,rw) should work properly now,
and we fixed another place ps was segfaulting when /proc
entries vanished out from under us (a hard to hit race condition
mostly noticeable in long-running "top" exiting; error value was treated
as a pointer). Elliott Hughes fixed a -Wformat warning in expr.c,
and made xargs split the command
line at ARG_MAX (which is 1/4 the stack size ulimit, which normal users
can arbitrarily increase but execve() will complain if they don't).
Josh Gao made netcat -l exit after handling a request, and reported a
seq bug (seq "1000000 10000001" output 1e+06, fixed now). Zach Riggle fixed a
broken URL in the README. Rob fixed env -0 checking the flag wrong so
it didn't work in combination with other flags (typo).</p>
Replaced mbrtowc() with a new utf8towc() that doesn't have a context
struct or care about locale. A bugfix in comma_scan() (wasn't removing an entry at the end
of the list) is why remount _sometimes_ worked (depending on argument
order), xgetaddrinfo() is now separate from xconnect(),
atolx_range() learned the w (word=2) suffix, and b is now (block=512) instead
of (byte=1).</p>
<p><b>Build</b>: Patrick Oppenlander added a workaround for a bug in config2help.c
that resulted in segfaults on newer toolchains. (It was actually a use
after free error; the build infrastructure isn't nearly as heavily audited as
code that gets installed on the target; oops.) A new GITHASH
environment variable can force the build version from
the command line, and the build checks for .git in the top directory
before asking git what our version is (so it isn't confused by ../../.git
in an enclosing directory). Added a build #warning about musl intentionally
breaking chrt (as with nommu fork() musl now provides a broken
stub function so compile-time probes for its existence think it's there, and
you can't run the result to test behavior when cross compiling).</p>
<a name="19-06-2017" /><a href="#19-06-2017"><hr><h2><b>June 19, 2017</b></h2></a>
<blockquote><p>It is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.</p>
<p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.7.4.tar.gz>Toybox 0.7.4</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out. No new commands this time, but
<b>chrt</b> and <b>dmesg</b> got promoted out of pending.</p>
<p><u>New features</u>:
Rob rewrote paste, which should work much better now, and added grep
-M and -S to match and skip wildcards respectively (useful with -r).
Elliott's updated dmesg has -T and --color. The file
command can recognize gzip now, uptime grew -s, date grew %N, env knows - as a first argument
means -i (posix!) and grew -0, ls defaults to -b
instead of -q now when there's a tty, and ls has a new -ll option (with
--full-time as a compatibility synonym) showing nanoseconds and (for some
reason) timezone. (Why do individual files have timezones?) Elliott added
"uudecode -o -" support. Illya Kuzmich taught head -v and -q. The cpio
code no longer adds the "TRAILER!!!" entry by default (initramfs extractor
doesn't care) without which you can concatenate cpio archives with "cat".
(Use the new --trailer option if you want the legacy behavior.)
In pending, fdisk compiles now and tar understands bzip2.</p>
The "make install_airlock" target now symlinks bc from the host because
the kernel <a href=>inexplicably</a>
needs that to build. This was motivated by
<a href=>mkroot</a>, which builds under
a toybox airlock directory.</p>
<p>Lots of work on the test suite, mostly from the Android guys who are now
running it under Android. This fixed several existing tests that didn't
pass, made more tests run on a toybox-only system, and so on. The test suite
infrastructure now has a second testing function,
"testcmd", which supplies the command name being tested (bypassing
shell builtins).</p>
<p>Various android build and config fixes, getting closer to being able
to let android someday use scripts/ instead of generated/* snapshots.
Also more work into building under android's NDK; not quite there yet
but much closer.
Use nproc in scripts/ detect available processors (so you can control the SMP level with taskset).
Removed the old uClibc compatibility glue, it's been 5 years since their
<a href=>last release</a>.</p>
<p>The new config option TOYBOX_PEDANTIC_ARGS checks arguments when there
are no arguments, so things like "uptime" no longer silently ignore arguments
you pass but instead refuse to run.</p>
The FAQ now has more than one entry. Commands no longer output the full
help text for argument errors but instead just say "See %s --help" with the
command name (in addition to the actual error message).
Elliott did a big period-ectomy on all the --help text, and
we cleaned up some tab/space inconsistency. The
non-html help -a output now has separators with the command name.
The top/iotop and pkill/pgrep help text now describe a lot more of what
the commands can do. Twitter's code of conduct page went down so we
mirrored the text locally.</p>
Fixed a race condition in ps/top where a process that exited right as we
read its data returned a different error value than we were expecting (which
was causing long-running top instances to occasionally exit),
mount now gives an error if it can't autodetect the filesystem
type, ps no longer queries the terminal size when output isn't to a tty
(so "ps -A | cat" doesn't vary), date's chkmktime() was replaced with
simple range checks for fields (to avoid false positives from things like
timezones and daylight savings time), removed %s from date's help (we
didn't implement it, we have @seconds[.nanoseconds] instead), fixed
zcat's buffer flush logic (which was always failing on files larger
than 32k), and factor now detects requests for numbers >64 bits and fails
loudly instead of producing incorrect answers.
Elliott fixed touch -a/-m (they were backwards), and allowed ':' in
setprop's property names. Grep now exits with 2 for errors (so -q can
distinguish "didn't find" from "didn't work"), doesn't stop on symlinks
that point nowhere (there was an error_exit() that should just be a warning),
and provides error messages for files we could open but not read.</p>
New library functions: strend() complements strstart(), minof()/maxof()
are min/max macros that evalute arguments once and autodetect type (why
isn't this in libc?), xmmap() checks MAP_FAILED (which is not NULL).</p>
<a name="21-02-2017" /><a href="#21-02-2017"><hr><h2><b>February 21, 2017</b></h2></a>
<blockquote><p>Only six people in the Galaxy knew that the job of the
Galactic President was not to wield power but to attract attention
away from it. Zaphod Beeblebrox was amazingly good at his job.</p>
<p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p></blockquote>
<p>Despite everything, <a href=downloads/toybox-0.7.3.tar.gz>Toybox 0.7.3</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out. The <u>new commands</u> this time are <b>ftpget</b>, <b>ftpput</b>, <b>microcom</b>, and <b>ascii</b>.<p>
<p>We also had two command _demotions_ out of defconfig:
<b>hostid</b> got moved to toys/example and
switched to "default n" because despite <a href=>still being in posix</a>
the concept of a unique 32 bit number identifying a system is something
Linux outgrew about the time Pauline Middelink wrote the first IP
Masquerading code. And Elliott did a complete rewrite of <b>dmesg</b> introducing
two codepaths that I didn't get a chance to unify and didn't want to
hold up the release for, so that's back in pending.</p>
<p><u>New features</u>: Rob added units to <b>find</b> -atime and friends
(with the legacy -amin alias). Elliott added color and -w to dmesg, fallocate
-o, and improved file's ELF parsing. Steve Muckle added -d and finit_module
support to modprobe. Rob and Elliott tweaked the
ps/top display format a bit more (extending the USER field from 8 to 18 chars
and putting + at the end of string fields that got truncated).
df -a isn't entirely new, but wasn't documented and needed a bugfix.</p>
Last release broke oneit because -c didn't get moved to xopen_stdio() (oops).
Rob and Elliott simultaneously spotted ps padding each line to 99999
chars when there's no tty (serial console or adb); now it pads to 80 in
that case but also switches on -w to avoid field truncation. The "tty"
field also sometimes had trailing debris (that's fixed now). And "top" was
endlessly redrawing with out tty because receipt of the ANSI size probe
results would set SIGWINCH, and handling that sent another ansi probe. (Sigh.)
And while we're there, replace "ADDR" with "BIT" in ps -l so there are
more than 4 chars left for the "CMD" field on 64 bit systems.</p>
<p>Izabera pointed out that split -b and -l can't mix, and suggested seq should
multiply to avoid accumulating rounding errors from repeated fractional
increments. Wang Xiao Jian fixed a bug in sort -k.
Elliott let getprop use the @ character in property names, and
Dimitry Ivanov removed the name length limit for system properties.
Elliott also improved some error reporting and improved top -H's display
of thread names.
<p>Josh Gao pointed out that recursive operations on . and .. could be ignored
in chmod -R (and the resulting generic fix to dirtree_notdotdot() fixed
it in several other places).</p>
<p>Justin Cormack caught tar producing a warning to stdout that screwed up
"tar c" to stdout.
Rob fixed an option parsing bug (where switching off a --longopt in menuconfig
confused the parser), and another one where an option excluding itself
(ala "abc[-ab][!abc]" with "command -a -b") would segfault.</p>
<p>There's some sort of gcc stack over-optimization bug where musl-libc's
version of vfork() doesn't get marked with attribute(returns_twice) so
stack varabiles in the same function after that get semi-randomly overwritten
when the optimizer decides to reclaim the space. So add the attribute
to the function the XVFORK() wrapper macro calls. (It's a nommu thing.)</p>
<p>Fixed a couple variable size mismatch bugs that were only tested on 64 bit
(printf %x 64) or only tested on 32 bit (modprobe), removed some
unnecessary casts in stat.</p>
<p>Continuing attempts to build under Android NDK brought up that posix
defines the global 'stdout' as a macro, which older versions of bionic
turned into an array member, but a function was using it as an argument
name. (This worked in the AOSP build because it only builds against current
bionic, where there's a global 'stdout'.)</p>
<p>Several commits argued with clang's warning generation, eventually
settling on a variant of __attribute__((__shut_up__)).</p>
<p>Android should no longer give spurious error messages
when you "ps -A | head" about EPIPE on output. (Older versions of bionic
set an error handler on SIGPIPE, but it shouldn't do that now. More recent
versions of adb set the SIGPIPE handler to SIGIGN instead of SIGDFL,
leading to write returning an error message instead of silently killing
the program. So we set it back to the default.)</p>
Removed website link to the gmane archive (which didn't survive gmane's
change of ownership). The FAQ now answers a _second_ question. (Woo!)
Some roadmap updates.</p>
<p><u>Build tweaks</u>:
Upgraded "make install_airlock" target to only warn about missing
commands (unless $PEDANTIC is set) when it sets up the hermetic build
path. (The plan is still to implement everything but the toolchain
binaries in toybox, but in the meantime we're symlinking other stuff from
the $HOST that isn't ready yet. See
<a href=>mkroot</a> for an example using
<p>Elliott and Rob continue to poke at building toybox with Android's NDK,
but it's a work in progress (<a href=>thread</a>). Various changes
removing libcutils dependencies and adding an selinux dependency to getprop
are fallout from this.</p>
<p>Cross-compiling from Macs needs to use "gsed" instead of apple's
version, so teach the build to use that name if it exists in the $PATH.
If you try to build without running config first, you should get better
error reporting now. Added a workaround for Centos' broken "which" command
producing output when it _can't_ find a name in the $PATH.</p>
The new dirtree flag DIRTREE_PROC skips non-numeric entries so things
like ps and top can scan /proc more efficiently.</p>
<a name="21-10-2016" /><a href="#21-10-2016"><hr><h2><b>October 21, 2016</b></h2></a>
<blockquote><p>Probability factor of one to one. We have normality. I repeat,
we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your
own problem.</p><p> - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p></blockquote>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.7.2.tar.gz>Toybox 0.7.2</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out.</p>
<p>During this development cycle, Elliott Hughes <a href=>got interviewed
on the ADB podcast</a>
and Rob Landley <a href=>got interviewed on Linux Luddites</a> (<a href=>again</a>).
Both talk about toybox and many other things.
The web page also grew a new <a href=faq.html>FAQ page</a>, currently with
just the one.</p>
<p>New comands added to defconfig are <b>tunctl</b>,
<b>log</b>, <b>start</b>, <b>stop</b>, and <b>sendevent</b>.
The commands <b>file</b> and <b>netstat</b> got promoted out of pending.
Pending added <b>chrt</b>, <b>setfattr</b>, and <b>getfattr</b>, and saw
a lot of cleanups to diffstat and dd but not enough to promote them to
defconfig yet. A new toys/net directory was added, moving ifconfig, netcat,
netstat, rfkill, and tunctl there so far.</p>
<p><b>Upgrades</b>: All commands now parse --version when they understand
--help, but "true" and "false" should now ignore their arguments entirely.
We taught stat to handle "%12x" and "%.12x" printf-style escapes, which
apparently other versions do. The ifconfig output now shows the interface's
device driver. Added patch -d and --dry-run, wc can now do -cm together,
find has a NOP -noleaf so scripts that use that don't break, add -c to md5sum
and sha1sum. Elliott taught ps to treat extra aguments as additional -p
pids, implemented xxd -s, did a number of upgrades to file (added -HL,
support for ar files, improved ELF support to report android API level
and stripped/not stripped and it no longer prints a guessed build ID type).
Elliott also added optional build-time support for using openssl's
assembly-optimized md5sum/sha1sum implementations (leading to a new
<a href=design.html>design</a> policy on shared libraries).</p>
<p><b>Bugfixes</b>: Too many fixes to "ps" and "touch" to list, from both
Elliott and Rob. Rob taught sed to handle s/[[:space:]/]// type sequences
properly, switched grep to a better
workaround for <a href=>glibc bug 17829</a>, made sed -i preserve ownership when run as root,
made du max out at 2 terabytes instead of 2 gigabytes on 32-bit systems
(it was always designed to, but was missing a typecast),
fixed the option parsing infrastructure (config options that remove command
line options got the placeholders wrong), fix to printf for printing
octal digits and handling the (posix-mandated) difference between %b and
non-%b octal output, reading from "-" no longer closes stdin when done,
netcat -L works with nommu (although it may need more portability work),
and you can now "make test_scankey" if you want to. Several commands
(stat, makedeves, chgrp, cp, find) handled user name lookup failure badly
(stat was segfaulting if you interrogated a file belonging to a nonexistent
user, "chown 12345 file" errored out if you didn't have that user
in /etc/passwd... now they should all print/accept the number when
appropriate). "LC_ALL=C ls -Cs --color" produces the same output
as other versions (two spaces padding, -k hardwired on).<p>
<p>Kyungsik Lee fixed a bug
in cp (readlink() doesn't actually null terminate the string it reads in),
Elliott Hughes made pgrep/pkill return success/failure, fixed trailing
whitespace in netstat, fixed a SMACK symbol conflict due to linux/xattr.h
changing, fixed ls -sh, and added a lot of
stuff to the <a href=roadmap.html>roadmap page</a>.
Izabera pointed out cmp -l and -s can't be selected at the same time,
that timeout was never actually checking -v, that ls should default to -q
when output is to a tty, and that "file -" would sometimes try to open "-"
instead of stdin.
Usischev Yury pointed out a use after free error, and that id shouldn't
call exit() directly. Matthias Urhahn pointed out that stat(2) returns
hardwired 512-byte units, so stat.c was wrong. David Hedges pointed out
that route could only handle 10 character interface names when the kernel
can do 15 (it's still in pending for a reason, but fixed). Evgenii
Stepanov found and helped diagnose one of the more subtle ps bugs fixed
this time around.</p>
<p>Calling "make test_blah" no longer causes make to error out if the last
test fails (and thus returns a nonzero error code).
Building single commands and the multiplexer used to require a "make clean"
between them (because they had different config files both of which were older
than generated/config.h so it didn't get rebuilt; now it just always
rebuilds it).</p>
<p>The defconfig build is now slightly less broken on older centos versions
(although <a href=>the consensus</a> is that Centos is just generally broken).<p>
<p>Several commands were over-using xprintf(), which flushes its output
to check for error (something you only need to do maybe once per line,
and even then maybe only in loops because xexit() flushes and checks
ferror() for you and adjusts the exit code if we wrote stuff to stdout
that couldn't be printed). Lots of little flushes are inefficient,
so most things can use normal printf(). (Retransmission
of short writes is presumably libc's problem since it's buffering the
output and all.)</p>
New library functions readlink0() and readlinkat0() which properly null
terminates the symlink value (which the stock libc function inexplicably
The new do_lines() function interates reading lines from a filehandle
and calling a function on each line.
New function pollinate() factoring out netcat's poll() loop so things
like telnet can use it.
New functions getusername() and getgroupname() return a
char * given a uid/gid (and return a string representation of the number
if the lookup fails), and xgetpwnamid/xgetgrnamid were renamed to
xgetuid/xgetgid and now return an integer instead of a struct (also helping
handle lookup failures, you can still return the uid/get for "12345").</p>
<p>Switched atolx() to use long long internally.
Renamed xopen() to xopen_stdio() and made a new xopen() that never returns
stdin, stdout, or stderr (duping /dev/null into the filehandles as necessary).
New function xopenro() opens a file read only with one less argument, and
understands that "-" means stdin. New flag WARN_ONLY tells these functions
to just print a warning on failure, and return -1 instead of exiting.
Misc new functions like openro() which defaults to the WARN_ONLY behavior
and notstdio() which dup()s a filehandle up beyond stdin/out/err backfilling
with /dev/null as necessary. The WARN_ONLY flag let us remove the failok
argument from loopfiles().</p>
<p>New TOYFLAG_NOHELP disables --help processing (which "true" and "false"
should not do).</b>
<p>The test suite now has NOSPACE=1 to ignore whitespace (using diff -b to
check results), which helps TEST_HOST pass the same tests as toybox.
Fixes to chattr and date tests. It also has a new variable $C with the
absolute path to the command being tested (bypassing shell builtins),
and a function testcmd() which is just like testing() except it prepends
the command name ($C) to the test command line as well as the test
<a name="02-06-2016" /><a href="#02-06-2016"><hr><h2><b>June 2, 2016</b></h2></a>
<blockquote><p>When the 'Drink' button is pressed it makes an instant but
highly detailed examination of the subject's taste buds, a spectroscopic
analysis of the subject's metabolism, and then sends tiny experimental
signals down the neural pathways to the taste centres of the subject's
brain to see what is likely to be well received. However, no-one knows
quite why it does this because it then invariably delivers a cupful of
liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.</p>
<p> - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p></blockquote>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.7.1.tar.gz>Toybox 0.7.1</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out. (Yes, I forgot to update the --version string, but I already
uploaded the <a href=downloads/binaries/0.7.1>binaries</a>.)</p>
<p>The website has https support now, you can "make cat ps ls"
to get standalone commands (and "make list list_pending" to see what's
available), and a whole lot of bugfixes and new options to existing
<h2>New Commands</h2>
<p>Rob implemented <b>ulimit</b>. In pending, Elliott Hughes implemented
file. and Lipi Lee implemented a simple wget. (Pending also had minor
cleanups to more and lsof, but no promotions this time around.)</p>
<h2>New Options</h2>
<p>Izabera implemented env -u, suggested adding seq -w, made factor
use full unsigned 64 bit math even on 32 bit platforms, pointed out base64
-w0 should disable wrapping, and sped up wc -c.
Elliott Hughes added mount -o relatime, xxd -p -r, and od -w.
Sameer Pradhan (or possibly Bilal Qureshi) suggested adding stat -tL -c %m%t%T.
Tom Cherry added getprop -Z. Paul Barker added hostname -b and -F.
Rob added ls -b, made ls -q work with utf8,
made sed -f - read from stdin, and added top -O (like ps -O).</p>
<p>Elliott and Rob <b>added Thread support to ps and top</b>,
with -o TID, TNAME. We also added -o PCY (android scheduling policy),
-o BIT (process is 32 or 64 bit), and -o TNAME now shows the parent
command name for threads.</p>
<p>Rob added the sed invocations to convert tabs/spaces and back to
design.html. Isaac Dunham updated hexedit's help text.
Jakob Flierl pointed out a broken URL in the README.</p>
<p>Rob also redid the naming scheme of sed's pattern manipulation code to
remove the gratuitous references to Roger Zelazny's "Amber" series, since it
was confusing people.</p>
<p>Grep -H and -n should now work properly with -ABC. Andy Chu pointed out an
out of bounds access for zero length lines in rev, fixed a buffer overflow
in diff -r, and fixed operator precedence in expr (although Rob is rewriting
chunks of expr so toysh can use its plumbing for $(( )) ).
Patrick Ohly fixed the too-aggressive suid permission dropping logic.
Josh Gao fixed a segfault when find -iname got no argument, and
made tail -f work right with just one file argument.
Tom Marshall cleaned up tar's long filename support and improved
the tar tests, and reported another find bug (with -iname -o -iname not
tracking copy lifetimes properly) that got fixed.</p>
<p>Elliott Hughes fixed wc -c to not trust zero length files to actually be
zero length (/proc does that), fixed "mount -o rw,remount /system" on
Android, removed trailing spaces on ps -o cmdline, fixed pkill -9 and
the corresponding tests, made "insmod -" work, fixed top -b and tail -NUM,
pointed out that ps shouldn't trim numeric fields for display size limits,
and added some more
explicit "sort" calls to make pipelines so build tempfiles are easier to cache.
Rob <a href=>fixed an insane sed thing</a> the perl 5.22 build was doing.
Fixed mount -o to properly pass in leftover string data, and
<a href=>documented how to use toybox to mount nfs</a> (warning: kernel patch
to fix some bitrot in the kernel NFS driver's string parsing attached
to that message).</p>
<p>George Burgess IV corrected some variable types in traceroute.
Base64 now wraps == properly. Fixed two bzcat segfaults reported by
John Regehr. Andy Chu found a segfault in "sed -e 'c\'" with no trailing
line, and implemented mv -n and cp -n. The cyanogenmod guys pointed out that
cp -a shouldn't complain if a non-root user can't chown, and we added
the output path to cp -r error messages while we were there (before was just
the filename).</p>
<p>Samuel Holland fixed blkid's handling of vfat labels, and
fixed a segfault when basename was passed an empty string and an empty
suffix. Davis Mosenkovs fixed touch -t seconds parsing.
Rob fixed a bunzip bug reported by John Regehr (the bad CRC
error message was printing a NUL argument).</p>
<p>Not all of the commands build standalone, but more of them do now;
scripts/ can now build a "mv" that isn't actually "cp".
The dependencies are more granualr, so "make top; make ps" no longer
produces a broken ps that ignores -A (because ps.o wasn't getting rebuilt
even though top had the FLAG macros for -A zeroed).</p>
<p>Rob added a <b>warning when building commands out of
pending</b>. (The pending directory is full of code that hasn't been
properly vetted. Use at your own risk.)</p>
<p><b>New build targets let you build individual commands by name</b>, ala
"make ls cat ps", and you can run the test suite for each standalone
command with "make test_ls" and such.
"make list" shows all such standalone commands in defconfig, and
"make list_pending" shows unfinished commands from toys/pending
("make list list_pending" shows both together). "make clean" now deletes
these filenames at the top level, and the corresponding unstripped files
live in the directory generated/unstripped.</p>
<p>Nicholas Boichat suggested switching to use $! for process
enumeration during parallel builds (which is both more efficient and more
portable), and suggested shell builtin replacements for wc/awk/sed so the
build loop has fewer forks now.</p>
<p>Lots of work on the test suite, much of it due to Andy Chu. It now
consistently prints the name of the command being tested at the start of each
test (and the common infrastructure does that, not each individual test), and
"make tests" actually runs all the available tests now.
Seperated pgrep and pkill tests, split lsattr/chattr, added fstype and base64
tests. The "tests/files" directory now collects files for tests to
use, with blkid, bzcat, and utf8 subdirectories: the $FILES variable
gives a path to it, so "$FILES/blkid/ext2.bz2" and so on.
The testsuite now has test files with 3 different types of "not utf8 output"
sequences that require escaping, plus some combining character torture
tests, direction reversals, and so on.</p>
<p>Added dependencies on TOYBOX_FORK to various pending commands that need
nommu conversion (which should fix the allyesconfig build).</p>
<p>Static builds with selinux should work again.</p>
<p>New bufgetgrgid() and bufgetpwuid() functions cache previous lookup info
rather than repeatedly traversing /etc/passwd and /etc/group (which is slow).
Added xpipe() to lib to catch pipe creation failure.
The HELP_ macros generated by config2help.c now use a capital prefix
to avoid collicing with help_exit() and such.</p>
<p>The dirtree infrastructure got a cleanup pass in preparation for adding
infinite recursion depth support (needed by rm -r), updated the
<a href=code.html#ib_dirtree>documentation</a> to describe the new
semantics (removing dirtree_start() and adding dirtree_flagread()).
Now dirtree_recurse() takes the new dirfd as an argument.</p>
<p>Split out _xexit() from xexit() and let sigatexit() set multiple
<p>For years the man pages have said to #include <sys/types.h> to get
major/minor/makedev but now that glibc
<a href=>has vowed
to break existing programs</a> and replace it with another nonstandard header
not in posix or lsb, we added our own functions to lib/ to do the transform
ourselves (based on what the kernel actually expects).</p>
<p>Debian unstable started needing an extra header #include for some reason, and
although printf("%.*s", INT_MAX, s) worked fine on Ubuntu 12.04 it
didn't on 14.04, so added a workaround for that. Typecast a printf because
wchar_t isn't a rigidly defined size. RLIMIT_RTTIME was
added to the kernel in 2008 but you can't expect uClibc to have noticed yet,
nor did it #define MS_RELATIME (added in 2006), or prlimit (2010)...
(Given the improvements in musl and bionic, uClibc support may be dropped
in a future release.) Given that the xattr functions were added during
linux 2.5, we can #include its header unconditionally.</p>
<p>Renamed basename_r() to something else to avoid conflicting with freebsd's
libc, and both scripts/install.h and scripts/config2help.c no longer include
toys.h (to make cross-compiling from systems we don't run on easier).</p>
<p>Debian bug 635570 did something unspeakably nonportable, depending on
"sed -e 'a\'" (with no next line of the pattern, so an unterminated
continuation) to add a newline to the last line of input if and only if
that last line of the input didn't have a newline, and to take no other
action. This is well into "depending on a bug" territory, but we implemented
it because otherwise Debian's install broke. (Of course this behavior
is undocumented, non-obvious, and doesn't really make logical sense.)</p>
<p>CONFIG_TOYBOX_NORECURSE now disables the stack measuring logic (which
was giving some "security" code fits). Also we typecast pointers to (long)
before comparing them to avoid spurious compiler "optimizations" that
break the code.</p>
<a name="02-02-2016" /><a href="#02-02-2016"><hr><h2><b>February 2, 2016</b></h2></a>
<blockquote><p>"I checked it very thoroughly," said the computer, "and that
quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with
you, is that you've never actually known what the question is."
</p><p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p></blockquote>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.7.0.tar.gz>Toybox 0.7.0</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out.</p>
<p>The new commands in defconfig are <b>iotop</b>, <b>top</b>, <b>pgrep</b>,
and <b>pkill</b>
(most replacing corresponding versions from pending). Added grep -ABC,
swapon -d (discard), mkswap -L (label) and UUID support, and find -delete.
Izabera added free -h and unshare -f. Josh Gao implemented tail -f.
Jose Bollo submitted cp --preserve=context,attr. Kylie McClain added
mktemp -u.</p>
<p>In pending there's the start of a vi command, and Sameer Pradhan contributed
a new dhcp6. This cycle saw several rounds of route cleanup and a little dhcp
cleanup, but neither are complete yet. Lipi Lee did some cleanup to netstat.c
and Elliott Hughes removed warnings from traceroute.</p>
<p>Lots of updates to ps: several new -o options, -k (--sort) -O and -M,
improved compatibility with Android's historical behavior, and
extensive internal code cleanup (including the removal of all
the magic constants).</p>
<p>Dreamhost restored the <a href="#12-21-2015">missing 11 months</a>
to the mailing list archive, in the process deleting the month after
that. Now they've asked if I have mbox files archiving the new
gap (between December 20, 2015 to January 21, 2016, and presumably they
could also fill in the gap from December 14, 2014 to January 3, 2015 that's
been there since the last time they did this),
but due to some gmail filtering I've
<a href=>never
been able to disable</a>, my copy of those files is spread among 3 different
mbox files I'd have to sort/filter/collate. (It's on the todo list.)</p>
<p>Added a code of conduct to the README (we're
<a href=>borrowing twitter's</a>) because somebody
made it necessary.</p>
<p>Fixed another sed bug where any ] right after [ was skipped (not just the
first one in the range, so [[] didn't terminate). Fixed sort -f and added test cases.
Assume 80 columns in "ls -m | cat", ls -L is no longer backwards,
and ls of files with no paths no longer uses an uninitialized (zero) dirfd.
Several bugfixes
to find (Gilad Arnold fixed -perm, Daniel K. Levy fixed "find . -exec echo {}",
and while we're there I fixed find --prune, made "find . -execdir
echo {} + -execdir ls {} +" work, and ripped out the environment size
measuring code that checked for a 128k limit removed back in linux 2.6.22).
Elliott Hughes fixed the date command's parsing of 4 digit
years and documented the %s escape, fixed hwclock -u, and pointed out
that runcon needs to exec to do its job (not recursively call another
command_main() in the same process). Tom Marshall reported that blkid was
handling ext2 wrong. Mike Moreton corrected cpio extraction's uid and gid
values, and added a --no-preserve-owner option. Fixed the SUID permission
dropping logic (which was a bit over-zealous, preventing some commands from
running at all).</p>
<p>I'm told that debian-testing broke its libc so the nsenter build breaks,
but my attempts to install the debian-testing network cd image under
qemu keep breaking. Maybe someday they'll fix it enough I can actually
reproduce the problem. (Debootstrap under unbuntu builds an ubuntu-flavored
chroot in which toybox builds fine.)</p>
<p>Rewrite of the about.html page, tweaks to design.html, and a re-triage of
sbase in roadmap.html. Update to to collate multiple span
tags with the same id, resulting in a larger status.html page (which
was previously ignoring some commands in the roadmap).</p>
<p>Expanded the defconfig/allyesconfig/allnoconfighelp text in "make help"
to explain what they're for.</p>
<li><p>Expanded toys.optargs to 64 bits so a command can have more than 32 options.</p></li>
<li><p>Added NOEXIT() wrapper to turn xwrap() functions into warning versions
using the existing longjump(toys.rebound) infrastructure.</p></li>
<li><p>Renamed dirtree->data to dirfd and stopped storing symlink length
into it (this fixed a bug where following symlinks to directories
didn't give a valid directory filehandle, noticeable with ls -Z).</p></li>
<li><p>New TAGGED_ARRAY() infrastructure generates index and bitmask macros
for arrays of structures starting with a name string.</p></li>
<li><p>New lib/linestack.c for utf8 fontmetrics (draw_str() and utf8len()
and so on), and for tracking multiple lines of text
(vi, less, shell history) that need wordwrapping and scrolling up/down.</p></li>
<li><p>Upgrades to lib/interestingtimes.c: scan_key() now has a timeout
in milliseconds and recognizes more sequences including ANSI
window size probes. New utf8 test files in tests/files/utf8 including
sequence reversing, stacked combining chars, and all three types of
unprintable sequences (low ascii <32 ala ^X, invalid utf8 sequences ala
<AB><CD>, and invalid unicode code points ala U+1234).</p></li>
<li><p>More comma handling code in lib.c: comma_args()</p></li>
<li><p>Added error_msg_raw() to shut up fortify's endless static checking false
<li><p>readfileat() can now realloc() in a loop to read long files
("zcat | insmod" needed it).</p></li>
<p>We're getting close to having a self-hosting development environment
using toybox for the command line. The remaining busybox commands in
<a href=>Aboriginal Linux</a> are:</p>
awk bunzip2 bzcat bzip2 dd diff expr fdisk ftpd ftpget ftpput gunzip gzip
less ping route sh sha512sum tar test tr unxz vi wget xzcat zcat
<p>And the remaining non-busybox commands in Aboriginal Linux's build/host
directory (from the distcc, genext2fs, e2fsprogs, zlib, and squashfs packagesi)
mke2fs fsck.ext2 resize2fs distcc genext2fs unsquashfs distccd mksquashfs tune2fs
<p>Squashfs and distcc are probably out of scope for toybox, but mke2fs,
fsck.ext2, resize2fs, genext2fs, and tune2fs should all be added to the
above "busybox" replacement list.</p>
<p>Remind me to include this countdown in future releases. Once they've all
been replaced, the next goal is <a href=>building AOSP under itself</a>.</p>
<p>See the full <a href=roadmap.html>roadmap</a> and <a href=status.html>status</a>
pages for more details.</p>
<a name="12-21-2015" /><a href="#12-21-2015"><hr><h2><b>December 21, 2015</b></h2></a>
<p>Yes, 11 months have gone missing from the mailing list web archive.</p>
<p>Yesterday evening Dreamhost's mailman server went down (timing out trying
to connect). I poked them about it, they
<a href=>blamed
DNS</a>, I explained that the hang was _after_ the DNS lookup and
entered the dig info into the trouble ticket showing the IPs the DNS
queries were returning, they reinstalled the server at that IP from what I
assume was their most recent backup, and that's how 11 months of messages
vanished out of the archive.</p>
<p>I've <a href=>continued to poke them about it</a> but I honestly believe that's the best they
can do. <a href=>Last time</a>
this sort of thing <a href=>happened</a>
we went back and forth for months, so I added a link to a backup web
archive (in the nav bar on the left) that isn't controlled by dreamhost,
and thus doesn't gratuitously lose data on a regular basis. (I note
the earlier hole in Dreamhost's archive was never fixed either. That
was data never getting archived, this is a year's worth of data that
was in the archive until yesterday vanishing after the fact.)</p>
<p>If you're wondering why the <a href=>top level</a>
list page has been "temporarily disabled" for multiple years now... you'd have
to ask Dreamhost. I know I have. More than a dozen times.</p>
<a name="03-11-2015" /><a href="#03-11-2015"><hr><h2><b>November 3, 2015</b></h2></a>
<blockquote><p>"Alright," said Ford. "How would you react if I said that I'm
not from Guildford after all, but from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity
of Betelgeuse?" Arthur shrugged in a so-so sort of way. "I don't know," he
said, taking a pull of beer. "Why - do you think it's the sort of thing you're
likely to say?"</p><p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p></blockquote>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.6.1.tar.gz>Toybox 0.6.1</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out.</p>
<p>We have a new <b>ps</b> command with all the -o fields posix wants (although
it doesn't accept BSD non-dash option syntax yet), and <b>bunzip2</b> (not just
bzcat but the proper extract-in-place command).
Sameer Pradhan added <b>hostid</b> and <b>fsync</b>.
Elliott Hughes added <b>flock</b>.
<p>The people waiting for <b>human readable number support</b> (du -hH, ls -h,
and so on) can thank Elliott Hughes for implementing it. (Our output doesn't
exactly match others' because we our "binary" mode will say 1.0G instead of
1024M, which is a bug in the other one we didn't emulate.)</p>
<p>The other big news is <b>nommu support</b>, tested on the new
<a href=>jcore</a> processor but presumaby working
on any nommu system. A few commands don't support nommu yet, but those
are disabled by dependencies on TOYBOX_FORK in menuconfig when building
for nommu. The roadmap now has a large section analyzing the uClinux
project (note that <a href=></a> is slowly replacing
<a href=></a> as the standard repository of
all knowledge and wisdom about nommu. The old site <a href=#12-02-2012>contains
much that is apocryphal</a>, or at least wildly inaccurate, and the new one
is trying to improve on that).</p>
<p>Both "make change" and scripts/ (for building standalone commands
without the multiplexer logic) now use the top level .config
for toybox global settings such as Linux Security Blanket Module selection,
(so make defconfig before change now).</p>
<p>Documentation updates to the <a href=code.html>code</a> and
<a href=roadmap.html>roadmap</a> pages.</p>
<p>In the pending directory Sameer Pradhan added tftp,
and Elliott Hughes sent lsof. Isaac Dunham upgraded mdev,
reboot, init, login, and modprobe, and fixed a distro-specific build break in
scripts/mkflags.h. Elliott Hughes and Lipi Lee made netstat -p handle
command lines longer than 21 characters, and Elliott fixed netstat -e and
some build warnings. Yeongdeok Suh fixed a warning in dhcpd.
I started cleanup on pgrep/pkill.</p>
<h3>Command updates, bugfixes, and infrastructure</h3>
<p>The multiplexer's "command not found" error exit is now 127, so now you can't
distinguish between a command not being found in the multiplexer and
the multiplexer itself not being found by the shell, because people wanted
that for some reason.</p>
<p>Elliott Hughes made date reject invalid dates rather
than set the clock to something weird (setting the clock 100 years into the
future makes most Linux desktops surprisingly unhappy, and ntpdate won't fix it
either), fixed several ls -l display issues (user/group field ordering,
make user/group/lsmcontext left aligned), did the aforementioned
extensive work on human readable number output, fixed ionice's default
class, fixed a mv overwrite bug, made df's columns auto-size, added
--ppid and -Z to ps, and teamed up with Daniel K. Levy to fix
a segfault in find's handling of -newer -group or -user.</p>
<p>Hyejin Kim added stat -c %T support. Colin Cross worked
on vmstat fixing
a header printing bug and calculating the bi and bo columns in the right
units. Isabella Parakiss reported that sed -e "/x/c\" -e "y" added an extra
newline and that grep -w '\(x\)\1' didn't work, both now fixed.
Alistair Strachan fixed several problems with switch_root. Kylie McClain
pointed out env should be able to clear variables via NAME= syntax.
Dima Krasner added support for running blkid without a partition (so it shows
all partitions). Hyejin Kim sent in a bunch of static analysis bug reports.</p>
<p>Isabella Parakiss reported that sed -e "/x/c\" -e "y" added an extra
newline and that grep -w '\(x\)\1' didn't work, both now fixed.
Alistair Strachan fixed several problems with switch_root. Kylie McClain
pointed out env should be able to clear variables via NAME= syntax.
Dima Krasner added support for running blkid without a partition (so it shows
all partitions). Hyejin Kim sent in a bunch of static analysis bug reports.</p>
<p>Two large thinko fixes in oneit: -3 was always enabled (which would
eventually block if the child never read the exiting PID numbers from its file
descriptor #3 until the pipe filled up), and the signal handlers weren't
set up right (for requesting semi-graceful halt/poweroff/reboot).
Calling install without a mode is now 0755, and install -g 0 no longer clashes
with cp --preserve. Better error message for ls -r on unreadable
directories, and ls -Z now uses O_PATH (with the /proc/self/fd/%d
workaround for kernel stupidity as necessary).</p>
<p>Date now understands @unixtime[.fraction] and uses -D for
the set-side format (matching busybox's extension for this). The seq -f
string now checks that it's got exactly one %f escape with the correct
attributes (and a whole bunch of test cases for it). Fixed a bug
in od that screwed up the position indicator on arm and mips.
In stat the d/h units moved from %d %D to the default string.
And patch can now correctly apply hunks with trailing context to the start of
the file.</p>
<p>The prompt argument moved out of yesno() (the caller can print the prompt
themselves). Replaced toys.exithelp with help_exit(). Added new
XVFORK() macro, and xpopen_both() calls /proc/self/exe when passed
a NULL argv (see cpio -p for example usage). Replaced toys.recurse
with toys.stacktop so the recurse or re-exec decision is now based
on bytes of stack space used. Marked a bunch of command-local functions
<p>New additions to lib/ include strlower(), xconnect(), and the
aforementioned help_exit().
The testsuite now has some infrastructure tests based on "example"
commands such as toys/examples/test_human_readable.c.
The login command finally got a long-overdue cleanup (it's one of the
commands that predate the "pending" directory but were part of the reason
for it). Hexedit had an
uninitialized variable (of course gcc didn't spot it, it was too busy
warning about "may be used uninitialized but never actually is" variables).</p>
<p>Tweaked makefile so
"make CROSS_COMPILE=prefix-" (as well as "CROSS_COMPILE=prefix- make",
which still works). Toybox is now installed chmod -w so broken installers
(like the bunzip2 package's) that try to overwrite existing binaries won't
knock out the whole of toybox.
GCC 5.2.0 stopped being able to compile Linux 2.6.12's kconfig, but
we added a workaround. You can now build uptime without utmpx.h.
Alejandro Joya pointed out that enabling smack required smack on the host
as well as target when cross compiling, which is now fixed.</p>
<p>Note: toybox can autodetect nommu support when building with a uClibc
toolchain such as <a href=>the one from Aboriginal Linux</a>,
but <a href=>with musl-libc</a>
you'll have to enable CONFIG_TOYBOX_MUSL_NOMMU_IS_BROKEN to work around the
fact they provide a non-functional fork() implementation that always returns
-ENOSYS, to prevent you from compile-time probing for nommu support when
cross-compiling. Unfortunately "preventing you from probing" seems to be
an explicit policy with musl, they also don't provide an "#ifdef __MUSL__"
because their library is perfect and you're only ever allowed to work around
other people's bugs, not theirs. So we have to use menuconfig to manually
enable musl-specific bug workarounds.</p>
<a name="23-07-2015" /><a href="#23-07-2015"><hr><h2><b>July 23, 2015</b></h2></a>
<p>I recreated the <a href=downloads/toybox-0.6.0.tar.gz>0.6.0 source tarball</a>
(new sha1sum 08fb1c23f520c25a15f262a8a95ea5b676a98d54)
because I forgot to add --prefix to the git archive command when I updated
my release script from mercurial, so the files weren't in an enclosing
directory. (Ooops.)</p>
<a name="19-07-2015" /><a href="#19-07-2015"><hr><h2><b>July 19, 2015</b></h2></a>
The reason why it was published in the form of a micro sub meson electronic
component is that if it were printed in normal book form, an interstellar
hitchhiker would require several inconveniently large buildings to carry it
around in.</p><p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p></blockquote>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.6.0.tar.gz>Toybox 0.6.0</a>
(<a href=>git commit</a>)
is out. (Yes, git. See the <a href=#05-04-2015>previous news entry</a>.)</p>
<p>Sorry for the unusually long gap between releases. Since last release Ye
Olde Project Maintainer traveled to japan twice and had two more "once
a century" floods at home. (Probably a coincidence.) Still catching up.</p>
<h3><b>CELF/ELC talk and Wikipedia[citation needed] article</b></h3>
<p>I gave another State Of The Toybox talk
(<a href=>video</a>
<a href=>outline</a>), in which I
repeat my <a href=>perennial</a>
<a href=>complaint</a>
that Wikipedia[citation needed]
<a href=>still</a>
<a href=>says</a>
toybox was relicensed before its hiatus, when relicensing was why
the hiatus ended.</p>
<p>Since Wikipedia[citation needed] seems unable to do the
<a href=#15-11-2011>most</a>
<a href=>basic</a>
<a href=>research</a> on
this point, and has stuck to an incorrect sequence of events for years,
I've been gradually escalating my attempts to correct them. Toybox
came out of mothballs in November 2011 <b>because</b> it could be
relicensed. That's what opened up a new niche busybox wasn't already
filling with a 10 year headstart.</p>
<a name="asterisk_back" />
<p>The article has plenty of smaller issues<a href=#asterisk>*</a>, but
given that I gave an entire talk at Ohio LinuxFest in 2013
(<a href=>outline</a>,
<a href=>audio</a>) on why I switched away from GPL for
my projects, that one bugs me.</p>
<h3><b>New stuff this release</b></h3>
<p>There's a new android menu in menuconfig, and rather a lot of Linux
Security Module support (Smack for Tizen from Xavier Roche and José Bollo,
and SELinux for Android from Elliott Hughes; see
the Security Blanket menu under global settings in menuconfig) has
trickled in, although there's still more to come.</p>
<p><b>New commands:</b> Added reset, nproc, ionice, and iorenice.
Elliott Hughes contributed xxd, runcon,
restorecon, load_policy, getenforce, setenforce, getprop, and setprop.
Promoted shred, nsenter, and hwclock.</p>
<p>You can once again build catv now the flag infrastructure's been updated to
let it coexist with cat -v.
And on a long plane flight I wrote
hexedit, an interactive hex editor that implements the start of
cursor control infrastructure (for eventual use by less and vi and shell
command history and so on).</p>
<p><b>New options:</b> Added sed -E as a BSD-compatible synonym for -r.
Upgraded oneit with -r (restart), -3 (send exiting PID values to child),
and signal handling. Added -v option to timeout, -m to mknod, -u to shred,
-t to dmesg, and -123 to head and tail. Added implicit "." to grep -r without
any files to work on. Hyejin Kim requested prefix support for truncate -s.
Greg Hackman added -inum to find.
Jan Cybulski added the smack side of ls -Z support. Various patches also
added -Z to mkdir, mknod, and mkfifo.
Basic cp --preserve support went in, but not yet the xattr/LSM parts.</p>
<p>The toybox command now has a --version option,
which uses "git describe" if available.</p>
<p><b>Build infrastructure:</b>
The "make change" target now saves the output of each failed standalone
command build in a .bad file, and "make defconfig" is quieter now.</p>
<p>Paul Barker submitted a large patch changing command install paths so
"toybox can be installed alongside busybox without confusing
update-alternatives". (There's some argument over
what the right paths should be, and I'm waiting for
people to tell me what else needs fixing because I have no idea. I've
been symlinking /bin to /usr/bin since 2002
<a href=>for
historical reasons</a>.)</p>
<p><b>Docs:</b> The repository link now goes to github, with another link
to the commit rss feed.</p>
<p>Elliott Hughes updated the Android section of the roadmap
(and he would know). Redid bits of scripts/ to make updating
status.html easier, and the README is larger.</p>
<p>More description of option parsing in code.html, which now describes the
FLAG_x macros, switching flag macro sets with FOR_newcommand, how
configuration zeroes flag macros and using FORCE_FLAGS to suppress the
zeroing of options shared between commands. Also added description of ";"
to make --longopts take an optional =value part, and more about TOYBOX_DEBUG
to check NEWTOY() option strings (otherwise a bad option string makes
lib/args.c obviously segfault, but doesn't explain why).</p>
<p>Added a "Why 0BSD?" section to license.html when submitting zero clause bsd
to SPDX (according to the pending license spreadsheet, it's been approved for
SPDX 2.2).</p>
<p>The old list of commands needing cleanup but not in pending was
removed from toys/pending/README and instead the issues were added
as TODO comments in the individual commands.</p>
Fixed mount -a segfaulting without -O (reported by Janus Troelsen),
and made it try a "become rw" ioctl() on the block device before falling
back to mounting read only (because Android expects that).
Fixed printf -- and printf ---. Lots of tweaks to ls -l spacing with
different options. Make touch -d and -t actually set time when you don't
specify nanoseconds.
Fixed a subtle bug where recursive calls (toybox commands that run other
toybox commands) weren't resetting all their state. (This manifested as
a "no }" error from "find | xargs sed", but could cause other problems.)
And David Halls reported another sed bug trying to compile libiconv (which
left extra \ at the start of lines in a generated shell script, breaking
the build). Output an error message for "cat /mnt".</p>
<p>Kylie McClain reported that mktemp broke when $TMPDIR was set to an empty
string (which is not the same as unset), that install/find didn't support
numeric uid/gids, and that sort -z affects both input and output.
Isabella Parakiss fixed a printf.c bug.
David Halls fixed bugs in install -D and find -exec. Samuel Holland
fixed unshare -r. Hyejin Kim fixed makedevs with a count of 1, fold -w
range checking, an error path in scripts/mkflags.c, added -i to dhcpd,
and stopped su from prompting the root user for the new user's password.
Jan Cybulski spotted wrong indentation when combining ls -s and -i with -C and
-x. José Bollo fixed stat %G. Sameer Pradhan fixed a bug in mkfifo -Z.</p>
<p>Elliott Hughes asked for a default SIGPIPE handler to disable
the signal handler bionic's dynamic loader installs (yes really). Still not
100% sure what the correct behavior is there. (Posix is
(<a href=>actively unhelpful</a>, but at least they're taking
<a href=>years to
make up their mind</a>. Elliott also sent patches to fix a typo in
useradd.test, add missing arguments to error_exit() calls and clean up
printf() format strings, fix an off by one error in human_readable(),
fix dmesg -c error reporting, fix a segfault in comma_scan where the option
was the last item in optlist (triggered by mount -o ro,remount), fix
hwclock -w, made ifconfig print lowercase MAC addresses (it was bothering
him), and make terminal_size() read the right environment variable
(LINES, not ROWS). And he suggested the test suite notice high command exit
values (corresponding to segfault or other signals).</p>
<p>People are apparently using toys/pending commands, despite the police tape
and flashing lights, so added louder warnings to toys/pending/README.
Elliott Hughes fixed various problems with tar, dd, more, and top.
Hyejin Kim cleaned up syslogd and dumpleases. Isaac Dunham added hotplug
support to mdev. Yeongdeok Suh added RFC-3315 ipv6 support to dhcpd.</p>
<p>I rewrote ps.c from scratch (in pending), but it's not ready for real use
On the portability front Bernhard Rosenkranzer fixed a problem where the
menuconfig code wouldn't compile in C99 mode. (This led to me documenting
the craptacular nature of kconfig in a README, and the plan to replace it
sometime before 1.0.) Some extra flags to shut up overzealous llvm warnings
were added (and have to be probed for because gcc complains about
arguments it doesn't recognize even when they switch stuff _off_ using
a standard syntax). Don't depend on malloc(0) to return non-null in ls.
David Halls fixed some mac/ios portability issues,
implying somebody's built at least part of toybox on a mac.</p>
<p>Added basename_r() to lib/lib.c because the posix semantics for basename()
are stupid but what the gnu guys did to it was appalling.
Turns out bionic already had a basename_r(), but posix still doesn't.
Fixed it up in portability.h, but this
could break more stuff in future. (Correct fix is to lobby posix to add it,
which would probably take about 15 years...)</p>
The build now checks $LDFLAGS for linker-only flags, and allows the strip
command to fail (binflt toolchains provide a strip that doesn't work).
Since time.c uses floating point, added TOYBOX_FLOAT dependency in config.</p>
<p>There's a lib/lsm.h defining varous inline functions for linux
security modules stuff, if (lsm_enabled()) should turn into a compile-time
constant 0 and let code drop out when TOYBOX_LSM_NONE selected, but
testing against CFG_TOYBOX_LSM_NONE or derived symbols is still useful
becuase when it _is_ enabled the probe turns into a system call you
don't want to repeat too much.</p>
<p>Switched a bunch of commands from signal() to xsignal(). Factored out
xgetgrnamid() and xgetpwnamid() into xwrap.c. Make time.c depend on
TOYBOX_FLOAT (since it always uses float so shouldn't be available on
build targets without even software float). Added readfileat() to lib/lib.c.</p>
<p>The dirtree infrastructure now passes in full flags for the old symlink
field, and the new DIRTREE_SHUTUP flag disables warnings if a file vanishes
out from under you during traverse. New dirtree_start() wrapper to
create dirtree root with only two arguments.</p>
<p>The not-curses infrastructure introduced by hexedit mostly moved to
<a name="asterisk" />
<a href="#asterisk_back" />Asterisk:</a> such when
Tim contacted me (my blog says a couple days before nov 13, 2011, I.E.
11/11/11 not some specific day 2 months later) to ask if I wanted to work
on a new project he was proposing called
<a href=>BentoBox</a>
(because I used to do busybox, he'd forgotten toybox existed
until I brought it up). And don't ask me what "focuses not on compatibility
with its GNU counterparts" means when CP_MORE adds 7 non-posix options
and toys/other has 84 commands in neither posix nor LSB. I think they're
struggling to explain the difference having dismissed "licensing" as being
the reason it started up again after a long hiatus? The reason I don't think
GNU is special is there are a half-dozen other independent
implementations of the same unix command tools out there (AT&amp;T,
BSD, Coherent, Minix, plan 9, busybox, toybox, and several more analyzed in
the <a href=roadmap.html>roadmap</a>, and that's ignoring the implementations
written for DOS or in assembly over the years). But I do care what
Linux From Scratch expects, and if it's
<a href=>calling mv -v</a>
then I impelement mv -v
even if <a href=>posix hasn't got
it</a>. And I don't know why "gnu counterparts" would describe this when
util-linux isn't a gnu package, nor are info-zip, e2fsprogs, kmod, less,
procps, shadow, sysklogd, vim, zlib, sudo, dhcpcd...</p>
<a name="05-04-2015" /><a href="#05-04-2015"><hr><h2><b>April 5, 2015</b></h2></a>
<p>Since <a href=>android</a> and
<a href=>tizen</a>
and <a href=>openembedded</a>
and <a href=>gentoo</a>
and so on have all been using Georgi Chorbadzhiyski's git mirror rather
than the mercurial repository, I bit the bullet and switched the project's repo
<a href=>to git</a>. Georgi's
<a href=>mirror</a> is now pulling from that.</p>
<a name="25-02-2015" /><a href="#25-02-2015"><hr><h2><b>February 25, 2015</b></h2></a>
<blockquote><p>"A common mistake that people make when trying to design
something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of
complete fools."</p><p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p></blockquote>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.5.2.tar.gz>Toybox 0.5.2</a>
(<a href=/hg/toybox/shortlog/1702>commit 1702</a>) is out.</p>
<p>New promoted commands: sed (finally fixed enough it builds Linux From
Scratch), printf (cleaned up and promoted), shred and
base64 (the Tizen guys wanted them), getenforce, setenforce, and chcon (android),
mix (promoted with fixes from Isaac Dunham), nsenter (from
Andy Lutomirski, merged into unshare).</p>
<p>Elliott Hughes submited a bunch of patches to support Android (to
both toybox and Bionic libc, which he maintains). On toybox's end this
involved a lot of fixups to portability.[ch] and fixes to over a dozen
commands, plus several new ones. Other portability fixes included working
with buildroot's uclibc fork and building for nommu targets.</p>
<p>The new "make change" target builds each toybox command as a standalone
binary. Rather a lot of commands that didn't build by themselves (mv depending
on cp and so on) were hit with a large rock until they built standalone.
This involved rewriting bits of option parsing, more elaborate dependency
generation, making each command have its own config
symbol and main() function (even when it's just a wrapper calling another
command's main()), and so on. Also, some commands can't be built standalone
at a conceptual level: "help" describes other enabled commands and "sh"
has a number of bulitin commands (cd, exit, set) that require the
multiplexer infrastructure, so "make change" filters them out.</p>
<p>The mailing list's web archive is still screwed up. Dreamhost has
been trying to fix it since approximately September. There are
<a href=>two</a>
<a href=>other</a> less broken
archives, but neither has quite the same UI as mailman.</p>
<h3>Bugfixes and tweaks</h3>
<p>Cynt Rynt sent in tests for ifconfig,
Robert Thompson taught factor to accept whitespace separated arguments,
Hyejin Kim pointed out that some of mktemp's longopts were attached to
the wrong short options,
Luis Felipe Strano Moraes fixed a wrong free() call in bootchartd in pending.
Patches from Ashwini Sharma to make "df /dev/node" work, prevent du from
looping endlessly following symlinks, and to make expr.c
(in pending) understand == and regex matches. (Speaking of expr, it gets
priority groupings wrong but the bug was actually in the posix spec's
HTML conversion. They fixed the posix spec upstream for us. Still need
to fix the expr code, but it's in pending for a reason...)</p>
<p>Some commands grew new option flags, such as cp --remove-destination
and touch -h.</p>
<p>The parallel build has better error reporting now. When toybox needs to
re-exec itself to regain suid root permissions and hasn't got the suid bit,
it now gives the right error message ("not root" instead of "no such command").
<p>Added a test to "mount" to not mount the same device/directory combination
over itself (the OS catches this for block devices, but not for tmpfs).
Make blkid distinguish ext3 from ext4. Added catv back into cat (because
the Android guys wanted it, and they have historical usage on their side,
so...). Handle nanoseconds in touch.</p>
<p>Fixed a segfault when CP_MORE was disabled (the resulting option flag list
no longer defined -d but still had it in option groups at the end).
Workaround for glibc redefining dirname() and basename() to random non-posix
semantics because gnu. (They could have created dirname_r() but didn't want
<p>Fix an ifconfig test that was preventing assigning an ipv4 address to
interface aliases. Several cleanup passes on hwclock but not quite
promoted out of pending yet.<p>
<p>Fixed a wrong error message in rm (if you had a chmod 000 directory and
did rm -r on it without -f, after the prompt it would complain it was a
directory, which was not the problem).</p>
<p>The gzip compression code now does "store only" output to stdout, for
what that's worth.</p>
<p>Cleanup mountpoint and expand, and remove them from toys/pending/README
(a list of commands that predate the toys/pending directory but needed
another pass).</p>
<h3>Library and infrastructure:</h3>
<p>Reworked the option parsing infrastructure so more commands build
standalone (via scripts/ or "make change"). The option flag bit
values are no longer packed, it leaves spaces where currently disabled
flags go, and you can #define FORCE_FLAGS so disabled flags aren't zeroed.
This allows multiple commands to more easily share infrastructure, even if
your current flag context is for a disabled command (switched off in config),
you can force them to stay on and as long as the flags read the same right
to left they'll have the same values.</p>
<p>We've started removing use of strncpy() because it's a hugely broken
standard C function: the length is the maximum length to _append_, not
the size of the destination buffer. It memsets the remaining space it didn't
copy ala "memset(dest+strlen(dest), 0, len);" so
if you think len is the size of dest you're guaranteed to stomp memory off the
end). And if it runs out of space it won't null terminate because reasons.
(Meanwhile sprintf("%*s", len, str) is counting wide characters in your current
locale, so if you set a locale other than "C" it will also go past your
allocated buffer size. Whoever is maintining the C library standards is really
bad at strings.)
Instead we have xstrncat() which will error_exit() if src+dest+1 doesn't
fit in the buffer. (Because randomly truncating input data isn't necessarily
an improvement.) And there's always xmprintf().</p>
<p>Similarly, strtol() doesn't return an error indicator on overflow,
you have to clear and then check errno. So new xstrtol() that cares
about overflow.</p>
<p>The bionic and musl guys agree faccessat(AT_SYMLINK_NOFOLLOW) is not
supported, so stop using it.</p>
<p>Fixed toy_exec() to detect when argc is in optargs, so we don't
need a separate xexec_optargs().</p>
<a name="18-02-2015" /><a href="#18-02-2015"><hr><h2><b>February 18, 2015</b></h2></a>
<p>Dreamhost continues to be unable to make mailing list archives work, so
here's <a href=>another
list archive</a> with a less awkward interface than gmane.</p>
<p>(Neither gives you the convenient historical monthly views of mailman,
but I still have hopes dreamhost will someday figure out what they're doing
wrong. They've only been trying since October. Last month they did a
<a href=>hardware upgrade to fix a software problem</a>, and the stale
data loads much faster now, so that's something.)</p>
<p>Update (Feb 19): the archive started updating again, by discarding
all the pending data. So there are now _two_ giant holes in Dreamhost's
web archive, from Dec 15-Jan 3, and then another hole from Jan 16-Feb 18.
The relevant messages are in both of the other archives. Here's hoping
the chronic archive constipation problem won't happen a sixth time.</p>
<a name="30-12-2014" /><a href="#30-12-2014"><hr><h2><b>December 30, 2014</b></h2></a>
<p>Due to Dreamhost's <a href=>ongoing</a>
<a href=>inability</a> to make mailman
work reliably, I've added a link to a backup web archive at
<a href=>gmane</a> to the nav bar
on the left.</p>
<p>You still subscribe to the list through
<a href=>the first link</a>.</p>
<p>Update (January 27, 2015): they're <a href=>still working on it</a>.</p>
<a name="19-11-2014" /><a href="#19-11-2014"><hr><h2><b>November 19, 2014</b></h2></a>
<blockquote><p>"This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything."</p><p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy</p></blockquote>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.5.1.tar.bz2>Toybox 0.5.1</a>
(<a href=/hg/toybox/shortlog/1566>commit 1566</a>) is out.</p>
<p>It's an interim release, mostly bugfixes. There are several new commands,
but they're all in pending.</p>
<p>Finally implemented sed, which is still in pending because although
it's feature complete according to posix, and even passes the parts of
Busybox's sed test suite that aren't explicitly testing for gnu bugs we
don't want to copy, it's not yet good enough to build Linux From Scratch.
(The ./configure stages use very long sed scripts. 20 commits worth of
implementation and debugging, just under 1000 lines of code, and there's
still more to do. We're definitely up to some of the "fiddly" commands now.
Did you know "echo hello | sed p - -" segfaults gnu sed in Ubuntu 12.04?
<p>Talked with the Tizen developers to follow up on their desire to
make toybox a part of the base Tizen system, and got a list of commands
to add to the roadmap. The tizen todo list is:</p>
wget, sha256*, gzip, gunzip, bunzip2, rsync, zdiff*,
less, ar, arch, base64, csplit, dir, fmt, join,
nproc, shred, shuf, stdbuf, stty, test, tr, unexpand,
users, vdir, diff3, sdiff, dosfsck (fsck.vfat), awk, fdisk
<p>(Most of which was already on the todo list, but it helps prioritize.)</p>
<p>Fixed md5sum and sha1sum on big endian systems (reported by James McMechan).
Andy Lutomirski fixed unshare's help text and option parsing,
and submitted nsenter (a tool to use setns(2)) to pending.
Isaac Dunham implemented acpi -ctV options, and spotted the bug that ls -d
was inappropraitely following command line symlinks without -H or -L (it
should act like ls -l does), and ls -F handles symlinks wrong too.
Lukasz Szpakowski sent in two bugfixes to tail.c. Cynt Rynt spotted an
unnecessary assignment in lib/password.c.</p>
<p>Ashwini Sharma's team was as busy as usual, submitting tr, crontab, and
ipcrm, and hwclock to pending, more features to the pending ip.c, and a
pile of bugfixes (to chgrp, killall, ifconfig, insmod,
losetup, comm, cp, id, xwrap, netcat, modprobe, nohup...) mostly found by
static analysis. (These fixes are mostly to seldom-used codepaths like the
TOYBOX_FREE config option, but test coverage is always appreciated.) Ashwini
also suggested upgrading ln -f to leave the original target alone if link
creation fails, and reported that mv -f and -i weren't implemented (now fixed).</p>
<p>New config option: TOYBOX_NORECURSE prevents xexec() from making internal
function calls (for nommu systems with a finite stack).</p>
<p>The "toybox" multiplexer command no longer adds a trailing space to each
line of command names, so things like "./toybox | tr ' \n' '|'" to create
a grep pattern snippet are easier to do. (Why you'd want to is your business,
but the output is tidier now.)</p>
<p>Isaac Dunham added Android support to portability.h, including compile
probes for functions missing from bionic-libc, and annotated the commands that
use those functions. We haven't really tested building against bionic,
but in theory it's possible now.</p>
<p>Running the test suite now color codes the PASS/SKIP/FAIL notifications
if output is to a tty. (And in case you missed it last time, VERBOSE=fail
to stop at the first failure is really useful.)</p>
<p>In loopfiles_rw() use O_CLOEXEC instead of O_RDONLY to request the loop
function close filehandles for us. (Otherwise the callback function must
close each supplied filehandle itself.)</p>
<p>The printf-style escape parsing ("\n" and friends) got factored out into
a new unescape() function.</p>
<a name="02-10-2014" /><a href="#02-10-2014"><hr><h2><b>October 2, 2014</b></h2></a>
<blockquote><p>"There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying.
The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss...
Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, which presents the
difficulties."</p><p>- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy<p></blockquote>
<p><a href=downloads/toybox-0.5.0.tar.bz2>Toybox 0.5.0</a>
(<a href=/hg/toybox/shortlog/1512>commit 1512</a>) is out.</p>
<h3>New commands</h3>
<p>The new commands are find, install, factor, and mount. Promoted commands
(cleaned up and moved out of "pending") are lspci, inotifyd, and blockdev.</p>
<p>cp now implements -HL and -F to force delete of pending files, cpio now
ignores -m and implements -p, ls -C now has utf8 support (using wcwidth
instead of strlen), and umount got a number of upgrades involving
looking things up in /proc/mounts. Other minor cleanups happend to
cut, touch, free, and id.</p>
<p>In pending: Bradley Controy submitted mix (adjusts OSS sound volume). Ashwini
Sharma submitted diff, userdel, blockdev, ipcs, and crond, upgraded
fdisk, fsck, and ftpget, and ran a static analyzer on a lot of other code.
Partial cleanup was done to useradd, userdel, groupadd, and groupdel.</p>
<h3>Build infrastructure</h3>
<p><b>Parallel builds</b></p>
<p>The build now takes advantage of SMP, autodetecting the number of
processors. (Export the environment variable CPUS to pick a specific number.)
Other build changes: split out $LDOPTIMIZE because old compilers complain
about linker options passed with -c, and the entire "generated" directory now
gets deleted by clean (the README that was in there got merged into code.html).</p>
<p><b>Standalone builds</b></p>
<p>The standalone build infrastructure (scripts/ got upgraded to
build more commands as standalone executables. In the source file
selection uses a regex to find the source files with the NEWTOY/OLDTOY macro
for the command. It enables each command's
sub-options (so CP has CP_MORE), enables I18N and FLOAT support to build
full-featured commands, and includes --help text (at least when
the command doesn't use another command's help). The OLDTOY() macro
now produces (redundant) function prototypes so you can build an OLDTOY
without the NEWTOY</p>
<p>It doesn't quite have complete coverage yet, the defconfig entries that
aren't building standalone yet are:</p>
<blockquote><p>chown, egrep, fgrep, fstype, halt, mv, nc, poweroff, unix2dos,
<p>The main reason for standalone build failures is NEWTOY() or OLDTOY()
entries that don't have their own config symbol. Another problem is entries
that depend on another entry in kconfig, usually because common infrastructure
is using one command's flags (which the other commands copy): if that command
is disabled, the FLAG macros become 0 so dead code elimination can remove the
code. It's <a href=>possible
to untangle</a> this, but a bit awkward. (It boils down to conflicting
design goals in the two contexts.)</p>
<p>Standalone builds are used by the test suite when testing individual
<p><b>Snapshot builds</b></p>
<p>A new addition to the "generated" directory is generated/
containing a single compiler command line to build toybox in its current
configuration. Combined with the generated/*.{h,sh} files from an
exisiting build, this may let you build on a new system that hasn't quite
got enough OS bits working to run a full configureand make.</p>
<p>Library code: xcreate/xopen now O_CLOEXEC by default to avoid leaking
filehandles to child processes. DIRTREE_COMEAGAIN's second callback is now