• The KBOX project
• The KBOX2 project
• The KBOX3 project
The KBOX projects
KBOX is a port of Busybox and a number of other Linux
utilities, packaged up in such a way as to be useable on a stock,
non-rooted Android device. It works in conjunction with a terminal
emulator, for example Jack Palevich's Android Terminal Emulator
also available from Google Play). KBOX provides a
'virtual root filesystem'; that is, under the KBOX shell users
see what appears to be a conventional Linux filesystem, all of which
is editable, despite the lack of root access. This technique is
conceptually the same as that used by Cygwin to provide a Linux-like
environment on Windows. This virtualization of the filesystem makes it
much easier to port utilities to KBOX than to the stock Android Linux console,
because developers typically assume a conventional Unix-like filesystem,
and adapting an application to a very unconventional one is troublesome.
KBOX consists of a base distribution, and a number of optional
packages. Packages can be downloaded to the device, and then
installed at the command prompt using the
At present, major packages provided by KBOX include Perl,
Dropbear (ssh support), gcc, Vim (full version), and
and server). Many smaller packages are also available, and more
continue to be added.
KBOX exists in three versions, one of which is completely obsolete,
one of which (KBOX2) is at the end of its development life, and
one (KBOX3) is actively developed.
KBOX (a.k.a KBOX1)
The original, now obsolete KBOX, retained for historical reasons.
The active version until February 2015, and still the most
widely used. Most
likely this is the version you want unless you have an Android 5
device — KBOX2 does not run at all on Android 5.
This is the active development version, intended for Android 5 and very
modern Android 4 devices. There are a few things that don't work
on KBOX3 that did work on KBOX2,
but work is underway to remedy that.