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Box is full of boxes

I just know I have a Debian box somewhere…

Box in action

Do you have more than π boxes? Are you constantly forgetting about them?

With Box you can easily:

  • Keep inventory of your boxes:

    $ box ls
  • Check if they're up:

    $ box uptime | 15:29:49 up 24 days, 3:07, 2 users, load average: 0.00, 0.01, 0.05 | 3:29PM up 17 days, 3:31, 1 user, load averages: 0.20, 0.14, 0.09 | 3:29PM up 42 days, 1:44, 15 users, load averages: 1.30, 1.94, 1.88
  • Remind yourself what you put in those boxes:

    $ box id | Linux foo 3.5.0-17-generic i686 | NetBSD bar 6.0.1 amd64 | Linux quux 2.6.34-generic amd64

All this and more, for the low price of nothing! Get Box today!


Box is a remote command execution program. Box allows you to run commands on all of your servers and presents the produced results in a readable format.

Box is liberally licensed with the ISC license.

In the future, Box will likely morph into a minimal configuration management system.

Who Box is for

Box is designed for managing at most twentyish boxes. If you have a larger deployment, we recommend that you use tools like Ansible, Salt Stack, Chef or Puppet (in roughly increasing order of complexity).


  • A POSIX /bin/sh implementation on boxes and on the controlling machine.
  • Access to boxes with an SSH key.
  • Box runs commands in parallel on each box if GNU Parallel is installed.

Getting started

Box doesn't have a an installation method yet. You can run it easily from a Git clone, though:

git clone
cd box
echo >> etc/hosts
echo >> etc/hosts
box tasks
box id


I can't enter my server password

Box requires that you use SSH keys for authentication.

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