A free all-in-one Unix package
BusyBox is a free development program that allows you to use a variety of UNIX tools within one location. Originally written by Bruce Perens and currently maintained by Denys Vlasenko, this software suite combines tiny versions of many common UNIX utilities into a single small executable file. Take note that while this tool offers almost all utilities you may need, they usually don’t have their full features available due to the nature of BusyBox.
What is BusyBox used for?
Aptly dubbed “The Swiss Army Knife of Embedded Linux,” BusyBox is a convenient toolset containing stripped-down versions of several Unix utilities. This program provides replacements for most of the utilities in GNU FileUtils, ShellUtils, and the like—opting for a more streamlined user experience, with size optimization and limited resources in mind. While this may mean that the tools have fewer options compared to their original versions, they still work as originally intended and behave the same way.
This program can run in a variety of POSIX environments—such as Linux, Android, and FreeBSD. Many of its utilities are designed to work with Linux kernel interfaces, though. Nevertheless, you can easily include and exclude commands for customizing embedded systems. The tool’s official website has extensive online documentation to help out anyone who’s new at using it. You can pretty much customize it to provide you over 100 lightweight utilities with just one file.
However, these do not come with an intuitive interface that can be manned by any type of user. It mainly shows a menu that looks similar to a black command-line function box, displaying all the current functions it hosts. Again, it focuses more on being a lightweight package so any users new to programming or even the Linux system may find it tricky to start using this tool.
The ultimate tool
Nevertheless, BusyBox is a trusted and beloved software suite for many good reasons. It can look overwhelming at first glance but over time, its simplistic design and emphasis on functionality over fashion will make things easier for you whenever you need one of its utilities. Its website has a dedicated FAQ and you can also reach out to its community to see how to customize your copy of this free toolset.