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Toybox: all-in-one Linux command line. --- Getting started You can download static binaries for various targets from: http://landley.net/toybox/bin The special name "." indicates the current directory (just like ".." means the parent directory), and you can run a program that isn't in the $PATH by specifying a path to it, so this should work: wget http://landley.net/toybox/bin/toybox-x86_64 chmod +x toybox-x86_64 ./toybox-x86_64 echo hello world --- Building toybox Type "make help" for build instructions. Toybox uses the "make menuconfig; make; make install" idiom same as the Linux kernel. Usually you want something like: make defconfig make make install Or maybe: LDFLAGS="--static" CROSS_COMPILE=armv5l- make defconfig toybox PREFIX=/path/to/root/filesystem/bin make install_flat The file "configure" defines default values for many environment variables that control the toybox build; if you export any of these variables into your environment, your value is used instead of the default in that file. The CROSS_COMPILE argument above is optional, the default builds a version of toybox to run on the current machine. Cross compiling requires an appropriately prefixed cross compiler toolchain, several example toolchains (built using the file "scripts/mcm-buildall.sh" in the toybox source) are available at: https://mkroot.musl.cc/latest/ For the "CROSS_COMPILE=armv5l-" example above, download cross-compiler-armv5l.tar.bz2, extract it, and add its "bin" subdirectory to your $PATH. (And yes, the trailing - is significant, because the prefix includes a dash.) For more about cross compiling, see: https://landley.net/toybox/faq.html#cross http://landley.net/writing/docs/cross-compiling.html http://landley.net/aboriginal/architectures.html For a more thorough description of the toybox build process, see: http://landley.net/toybox/code.html#building --- Using toybox The toybox build produces a multicall binary, a "swiss-army-knife" program that acts differently depending on the name it was called by (cp, mv, cat...). Installing toybox adds symlinks for each command name to the $PATH. The special "toybox" command treats its first argument as the command to run. With no arguments, it lists available commands. This allows you to use toybox without installing it, and is the only command that can have an arbitrary suffix (hence "toybox-armv5l"). The "help" command provides information about each command (ala "help cat"), and "help toybox" provides general information about toybox. --- Configuring toybox It works like the Linux kernel: allnoconfig, defconfig, and menuconfig edit a ".config" file that selects which features to include in the resulting binary. You can save and re-use your .config file, but may want to run "make oldconfig" to re-run the dependency resolver when migrating to new versions. The maximum sane configuration is "make defconfig": allyesconfig isn't recommended as a starting point for toybox because it enables unfinished commands, debug code, and optional dependencies your build environment may not provide. --- Creating a Toybox-based Linux system Toybox has a built-in simple system builder (scripts/mkroot.sh) with a Makefile target: make root sudo chroot root/host/fs /init Type "exit" to get back out. If you install appropriate cross compilers and point it at Linux source code, it can build simple three-package systems that boot to a shell prompt under qemu: make root CROSS_COMPILE=sh4-linux-musl- LINUX=~/linux cd root/sh4 ./qemu-sh4.sh By calling scripts/mkroot.sh directly you can add additional packages to the build, see scripts/root/dropbear as an example. The FAQ explains this in a lot more detail: https://landley.net/toybox/faq.html#system https://landley.net/toybox/faq.html#mkroot --- Presentations 1) "Why Toybox?" talk at the Embedded Linux Conference in 2013 outline: http://landley.net/talks/celf-2013.txt video: http://youtu.be/SGmtP5Lg_t0 The https://landley.net/toybox/about.html page has nav links breaking that talk down into sections. 2) "Why Public Domain?" The rise and fall of copyleft, Ohio LinuxFest 2013 outline: http://landley.net/talks/ohio-2013.txt audio: https://archive.org/download/OhioLinuxfest2013/24-Rob_Landley-The_Rise_and_Fall_of_Copyleft.mp3 3) Why did I do Aboriginal Linux (which led me here) 260 slide presentation: https://speakerdeck.com/landley/developing-for-non-x86-targets-using-qemu How and why to make android self-hosting: http://landley.net/aboriginal/about.html#selfhost More backstory than strictly necessary: https://landley.net/aboriginal/history.html 4) What's new with toybox (ELC 2015 status update): video: http://elinux.org/ELC_2015_Presentations outline: http://landley.net/talks/celf-2015.txt 5) Toybox vs BusyBox (2019 ELC talk): outline: http://landley.net/talks/elc-2019.txt video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkJkyMuBm3g --- Contributing The three important URLs for communicating with the toybox project are: web page: http://landley.net/toybox mailing list: http://lists.landley.net/listinfo.cgi/toybox-landley.net git repo: http://github.com/landley/toybox The maintainer prefers patches be sent to the mailing list. If you use git, the easy thing to do is: git format-patch -1 $HASH Then send a file attachment. The list holds messages from non-subscribers for moderation, but I usually get to them in a day or two. I download github pull requests as patches and apply them with "git am" (which avoids gratuitous merge commits). Sometimes I even remember to close the pull request. If I haven't responded to your patch after one week, feel free to remind me of it. Android's policy for toybox patches is that non-build patches should go upstream first (into vanilla toybox, with discussion on the toybox mailing list) and then be pulled into android's toybox repo from there. (They generally resync on fridays). The exception is patches to their build scripts (Android.mk and the checked-in generated/* files) which go directly to AOSP. (As for the other meaning of "contributing", https://patreon.com/landley is always welcome but I warn you up front I'm terrible about updating it.)