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The KBOX projects

KBOX logo 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 (see here; 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 dpkg utility. At present, major packages provided by KBOX include Perl, Dropbear (ssh support), gcc, Vim (full version), and rsync (client 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) Project index The original, now obsolete KBOX, retained for historical reasons.
KBOX2 Project index 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.
KBOX3 Project index 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.

Copyright © 1994-2015 Kevin Boone. Updated Jul 07 2015