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GoBox v0.3.1

GoBox is supposed to be something like BusyBox. I.e. a single, preferably small executable which bundles all important shell tools. A swiss army knife for the command line, if you will. It is being developed with a focus on Amazon EC2 or as a small footprint basis for an OpenVZ template.

In order to keep the source code and executable small, I have cut a lot of options you might be used to from GNU Coreutils or similar. I might even have less options than BusyBox itself. I certainly have fewer applets right now, and probably ever will. But I consider that a good thing.


  • The shell is not a bash, sh or zsh. It is something original, written by me and is fairly limited. It does the job of acting as a shell, it‘s hardly adequate for scripting, though.
  • Telnetd has no authentication mechanism right now. It’s noting more than a network-capable pipe.


GoBox is now go get-able.

Developing applets

  • Copy applets/template and name the copy like your applet
  • Rename template.go and edit its contents to fit your applet
  • Add your applet to cmd/gobox/applets.go

The template provides the basic framework you should stick to.

Why is there not real shell?

I got this question a lot and I have 2 main reasons:

  • I seriously did not want to implement the broken and god-awful syntax of bash or any other currently used shell!
  • You have Go. Do you need anything more lightweight? The philosohpy behind this project is that it is cheap to (re)build and deploy. You don’t really use scripting anymore. If you need to automate some process, write an applet in Go and integrate it with GoBox and push it.




If you have ideas for missing applets, found a bug or have a suggestion, use this project’s issues. If you want to participate, just fork and code away. For questions contact me:



(c) 2011-2014 Alexander "Surma" Surma


Something like busybox in pure Go



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