Installing a Better Busybox? The EASY way

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Hacking' started by yann2, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

    Jan 24, 2012
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    Ontario, Canada
    Tablet / Device:
    Le Pan TC970, Archos 101, Palm Pre2 webOS, HP Touchpad
    Just wanted to report and consolidate all the info on this, a project I have entered into following lepanero's awesome, super detailed guide(registration required, as it's on the Development forum) on how to install Busybox into your /system/bin and /system/xbin directories.

    The rationale for this installation? Busybox offers a HUGE number of Unix command line utilities, many of which will be missing into a system that doesn't have Busybox installed. A lot of tweaking and advanced apps depend on Busybox to work, and some come with their onw, bundled in. Example, Titanium Backup. ;)

    lepanero wrote the guide to do that via command line, and using a couple of scripts to simplify parts of the job. It's harder than I thought at first, and I spent hours working on a Terminal screen, with the less than optimal on-screen keyboard on the tablet; not my idea of fun, but I learned on the process.

    I wrote replies on his thread, reporting my experience. Later, came across some Busybox installer utility on the Play Store, and tried that. The first one I used was not good (busybox installer, by jrummy apps). :(

    Reading at XDA, I found a recommendation for a BETTER busybox installer, this one made by stericson:

    Used stericson's BusyBox Installer, and it is much better and nicer than jrummy's. Way better - this one WORKS.

    I tested it installing busybox (which comes with the program, in a number of versions - you can select what you prefer).

    My tablet is an LP1, currently running CM7 Beta 6.1, fresh install for testing purposes. It CAME with a version of Busybox, made by the CM7 team. Version number was 1.20.2, as reported in this screen output :

    There was NO Busybox in the /system/bin directory. I installed the new version (stericson's) on both /system/xbin and /system/bin.

    With the CM7 busybox, an ls -ls command on the xbin directory already showed a number of symlinks, commands that were really executed by busybox :


    ...and I saved a full directory listing for both the bin and xbin directories, before and after doing th installations via stericson's installer. I thought lepanero would like to llok at those, and verify how the installer handled the system/bin directory in special, as it had a number of symlinks tied to the toolbox binary. (will attach an archive with all 4 directory listings, before and after the new installation)

    For the bin directory, I used the Advanced install option, and it allows you to disable any particular part of it to be installed; supposed you preferred the ls command via toolbox? you can keep it that way; just disable stericson's installer for the ls command; done.

    It recommended NOT replacing some binaries, consistent with lepanero's advice too. Here's a partial screenshot - note the date and dd commands, which the installer left alone (handled by toolbox as previously).


    The screenshot below was taken from my computer, and shows the output of an ls -la (directory with a lot of details, file permissions, owner, etc listed), as well as the colourized directory listing.


    Which is very pretty, and reminds me of all the time I worked with 4dos, a great command line replacement for MS's DOS command interpreter. I had the same colour dirs, and loved it.

    I am finished testing, this is the second time I run an install test, and truly recommend it.

    This is a well made, well thought application, which makes what could turn out to be a long command line session into a few clicks, without breaking anything.

    stericson's BusyBox Installer, FREE at the Play Store.

    Two Thumbs Up.
    5 Stars Rating by Yann2.

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012

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