A Busybox binary that is ready to be integrated into your Android project
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Busybox for Android the Easy Way (just a quick hack)

This little package is designed to make your life easier if you are using the shell under an Android device. It includes a full-fledged Busybox environment that should make a fair replacement for the poor toolbox that comes with Android by default.

You can install it in two ways: if you are compiling Android yourself, then you can add this package to your repository and Busybox will replace the default Toolbox whenever possible. If you already have a deployed (and rooted!) Android device, you can deploy busybox on it.

Installing in your Android source tree

Simply add a 'local_manifest.xml' file (or edit the existing one) in the .repo directory located at the root of your Android source tree with the following lines:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<remote name="busybox-android"
<project path="busybox-android"

Then run "repo sync" and build your images normally.

Installing on an already-deployed Android device

Run the 'android-install.sh' script while your device is connected. This will remount the system partition read-write, copy busybox, and make the appropriate symlinks on your device. You will need adb in your path for this to work.


The files busybox-android.patch and busybox-android.config are a patch that allows ash history to work on Android and the configuration used to build Busybox, respectively. The busybox binary has been built statically against glibc - unfortunately, it seems impossible to build it against Android NDK.

Non-executable .sh scripts are not meant to be run directly by the user.

Compiling yourself

It should be pretty easy to recompile the binary yourself by following these steps:

  1. Get and install the latest GNU/Linux toolchain from [here] (http://www.codesourcery.com/sgpp/lite/arm/portal/subscription?@template=lite) (unless you already have a working toolchain installed). Make sure the binaries directory is in your PATH.
  2. Get and unpack the latest source for Busybox.
  3. Apply busybox-android.patch from the git repo to Busybox source if you want to be able to use the profile and history under Android.
  4. Copy busybox-android.config from the git into Busybox's source root and rename it to .config. Edit it and make sure CONFIG_CROSS_COMPILER_PREFIX is correctly set to your compiler's name.
  5. Run make and you should obtain the busybox binary.


Cleanup, proper configuration options and upstream integration, maybe?

Feedback & contact

Alexandre Courbot acourbot@nvidia.com