busybox and small scripting languages on FreeBSD ? (was Re: 80 Mb / enough for 7.x? OK to delete /stand/ and /modules/ ?)

Sam Leffler sam at freebsd.org
Sat Aug 2 23:07:48 UTC 2008

Luigi Rizzo wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 02, 2008 at 11:39:20AM -0700, Sam Leffler wrote:
> ...
>> I've been looking at nanobsd for a couple of applications and working to 
>> reduce the footprint of the images without hacking special rules.  With 
> ...
>> If we're ever to consider building images for flash parts (not compact 
>> flash) then we'll need to do a lot of work to pare down the bloat--or 
>> replace current apps w/ special purpose replacements a la busybox (not 
>> something I find appealing).
> related to this thread -- does anyone have experience in trying
> to build busybox on FreeBSD ?

My last experience w/ busybox was >1 year ago and I'm not sure I was 
using anything close to up to date, but...it was utterly linux-specific. 
  Given what it does and what I saw in the code I'd be more inclined to 
write one from scratch.  But having said that I'm not really sure it's 
worthwhile; I think I'd rather put effort into putting some of the 
existing tools on a diet (possibly under #ifdefs) and then use 
crunchgen.  I'm pretty sure you'd come up with something higher quality 
and with a similar footprint.

> Also, what would you suggest as a small scripting language to be used
> in this kind of platform for implementing CGI scripts (and preferably
> able to use sockets/select) ?
> The various perl/python/php and friend are in the 10MB range once you
> pick up a little bit of libraries (sockets etc) and the tangle of
> modules they require; awk (which is present in busybox) is ok-ish for
> some things, but doing
> I/O and calling external programs with it is very unfriendly;
> javascript/spidermonkey is on the 500KB range but it doesn't have
> a library to play with sockets...

Not sure about scripting languages but what's really needed is a 
lightweight http solution that supports ssl.  This can go a long way 
before you get to php et. al.  My last project of this sort used 
tinyhttp (I think, whichever one Jeff Pozkanzer did) and php.  But we 
didn't try to fit in flash, we used compact flash parts.  I think 
tinyhttpd+php is also what m0n0wall and pfsense use but haven't looked 
in a while.


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