BusyBox is a single binary that contains many common Unix tools. It's often found in embedded Linux systems like routers, in Android smartphones, in Linux containers and anywhere else it would be handy to have a compact set of Unix command line tools.
busybox-w32 is a port of BusyBox to the Microsoft Windows WIN32 API. It brings a subset of the functionality of BusyBox to Windows in a single self-contained native executable. Source is available in a GitHub repository: busybox-w32
This version of BusyBox implements well over a hundred Unix-style commands. Some of the more significant are:
Other staples of Unix shell programming, such as
grep are also
available. Most of the commands have a
that displays a brief description and documents the available options.
If you need the full power of bash or the other GNU utilities busybox-w32 may not be what you want: Cygwin , Gow or UnxUtils may be more suitable. However, if you need to ship some shell scripts with your software or if you need to run a Unix build script busybox-w32 may be a compact alternative. The full executable is less than half the size of the Cygwin setup program!
You can run individual BusyBox commands from a Command Prompt window:
C:\Users\rmy>busybox uname -a Window_NT win81 6.2 9200 i686 MS/WindowsHowever, for the best experience I recommend using the BusyBox shell. This has been configured to run BusyBox commands without having to link each of them into your path. Set up a shortcut on your desktop to run the shell in a Command Prompt window using a command like this:
C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /c C:\path\to\busybox.exe sh -l
The last character there is a lowercase 'L' (for login).
Though I don't recommend it, it's possible to create links to each of the BusyBox applets using the command:
busybox --install C:\path\to\directory
Omitting the directory will result in the links being made in the same
directory as the busybox.exe executable you're running. The
--install option creates 'hard' links which are
available on NTFS filesystems but not FAT.
If you plan on using BusyBox from the Windows command prompt you should note that the binaries provided here are configured with wildcard expansion disabled. This is the preferred option when the BusyBox shell is being used. There is a build-time setting to enable wildcard expansion but it isn't the default. More...
If you want to install a 32-bit build of BusyBox in a system
directory on a 64-bit Windows system you should put it in
C:\Windows\SysWOW64, which is the correct location for
32-bit binaries on 64-bit Windows.
Putting it in
C:\Windows\System32 will result in mysterious
From time to time binary builds and source tarballs will be made available. The latest version is always busybox.exe (currently this is an alias for busybox-w32-FRP-1709-g65e9c0ad9.exe).
The latest executable is 441,856 bytes in size. Its sha256sum is:
0971ba4b29e1dfee282878ce9c8afb90b55d14872096dd9ed90f964e859056a7This key has been used to generate the PGP signature file busybox.exe.sig. (This applies to the FRP series of binaries; the earlier TIG series was signed with this key.)
There have been reports that the standard binary doesn't work on Windows 10, though I haven't been able to reproduce this. If you have trouble with the version above you might want to try busybox_safe.exe instead.
A 64-bit binary, busybox64.exe, is also available.
Older binaries and the source corresponding to each binary can be found here. Really old versions will be deleted after about three years.
Sometimes stupid antivirus software complains about busybox.exe. If this is a problem you can try downloading a different version.
Recent and notable changes include:
rpmapplet is enabled by default
xxdfrom upstream have been enabled
whoisapplet is enabled by default
bbconfigapplet is no longer enabled by default
functionkeyword, for bash compatibility
lnapplet is enabled by default, though it only supports hard links
lessapplet has been ported and is enabled by default
The binaries are built using the MinGW toolchain on Fedora and are tested on Microsoft Windows 8.1 and 10. busybox.exe should work on Windows XP and busybox_safe.exe should work (to some extent) on ReactOS.