Busybox Little But Powerful Linux Shell And Tools In Single Executable

Linux have a lot of tools and bash alternatives to use. These tools varias from a little to to a complete application suite. But if we have less resources in our Linux system or if it is a embedded system we have to use compact all in one tools and libraries.

Here the solution is Busybox. Busybox is a project developed to merge popular tools and a simple shell into a single executable file.


  • Only single executable file
  • Low disk space usage
  • No dependency problems
  • Low memory usage
  • Practical installation and deployment


  • Not cover all tools
  • Less features for tools
  • No independent tool update
  • Some uncommon behaivour


Busybox can be install for different distributions with related package managers.

Fedora, CentOS, RedHat:

$ sudo yum install busybox

Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Kali:

$ sudo apt install busybox
Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Kali:
Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Kali:


Help can be get like below. This command also lists available commands.

$ busybox --help


Following commands are currently supported by busybox

[, [[, acpid, adjtimex, ar, arp, arping, ash, awk, basename, blockdev, brctl, bunzip2, bzcat, bzip2, cal, 
        cat, chgrp, chmod, chown, chpasswd, chroot, chvt, clear, cmp, cp, cpio, cttyhack, cut, date, dc, dd, 
        deallocvt, depmod, devmem, df, diff, dirname, dmesg, dnsdomainname, dos2unix, du, dumpkmap, dumpleases, 
        echo, egrep, env, expand, expr, false, fgrep, find, fold, free, freeramdisk, fstrim, ftpget, ftpput, 
        getopt, getty, grep, groups, gunzip, gzip, halt, head, hexdump, hostid, hostname, httpd, hwclock, id, 
        ifconfig, init, insmod, ionice, ip, ipcalc, kill, killall, klogd, last, less, ln, loadfont, loadkmap, 
        logger, login, logname, logread, losetup, ls, lsmod, lzcat, lzma, lzop, lzopcat, md5sum, mdev, microcom, 
        mkdir, mkfifo, mknod, mkswap, mktemp, modinfo, modprobe, more, mount, mt, mv, nameif, nc, netstat, 
        nslookup, od, openvt, patch, pidof, ping, ping6, pivot_root, poweroff, printf, ps, pwd, rdate, readlink, 
        realpath, reboot, renice, reset, rev, rm, rmdir, rmmod, route, rpm, rpm2cpio, run-parts, sed, seq, 
        setkeycodes, setsid, sh, sha1sum, sha256sum, sha512sum, sleep, sort, start-stop-daemon, stat, strings, 
        stty, swapoff, swapon, switch_root, sync, sysctl, syslogd, tac, tail, tar, taskset, tee, telnet, test, 
        tftp, time, timeout, top, touch, tr, traceroute, traceroute6, true, tty, udhcpc, udhcpd, umount, uname, 
        uncompress, unexpand, uniq, unix2dos, unlzma, unlzop, unxz, unzip, uptime, usleep, uudecode, uuencode, 
        vconfig, vi, watch, watchdog, wc, wget, which, who, whoami, xargs, xz, xzcat, yes, zcat

Running Commands

Busybox commands can be used by executing busy box and the command name as argument. There is other ways like soft link or configuring busybox as default command provider.

$ /bin/busybox ls
Use Commands
Use Commands

Root Permission

Some commands may need root privileges. For example ping command provided by busybox needs these root privileges. In this example we provide with sudo command.

$ sudo /bin/busybox ping google.com
Root Permission
Root Permission

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