This project started in 2006, got mothballed in 2009 for various reasons (during which time I contributed some toybox code and design ideas to busybox but retained the copyrights to my work), then relaunched under a 2-clause BSD license in 2011. The following news entries predate that relaunch:
December 1, 2009 - toybox-0.1.0 is out.
This release is a couple build fixes and another bugfix to patch.
April 17, 2009 - Another bugfix release, toybox-0.0.9.2, off by one allocation error in patch.
(Darn fiddly command, innit?)
March 29, 2009 - Released toybox 0.0.9.1 which is a bugfix release for issues with the patch command.
The project is currently on hold while the developers learn Lua and decide whether or not to port the whole thing to that language. (Also note: the mailing list moved. See the links on the left. You'll have to resubscribe.)
January 29, 2009 - Released toybox 0.0.9.tar.bz2 which is a minor packaging fix for 0.0.8. (The previous release tarball contained a prebuilt x86-64 kconfig/conf file, because the release script ran defconfig to pregenerate help.h, and didn't run make clean afterwards.) The actual source code is identical to the previous release.
January 20, 2009 - toybox 0.0.8 adds the uname, cksum, and mkswapfs commands.
This uname implementation is cross compile friendly: when built as a 32 bit binary on an x86_64 host, it reports "i686" to confuse autoconf less.
This cksum has several extra command line options which can be used to produce different cksum variants based on the same crc32 algorithm. For example, the broadcom "trx" image packaging uses a little endian crc, pre-inverted instead of post-inverted, and does not include the length. (Without these arguments, it produces the normal SUSv4 cksum output.)
It also upgrades netcat with a server mode (-l option) and fixes several netcat bugs. It also fixed multiple bugs in "patch", works around a reiserfs bug in cp, and oneit can reboot on exit more reliably.
November 12, 2008 - toybox 0.0.7 adds sort and tee commands, upgrades the internal option parsing logic and the test suite, and numerous bugfixes (bunzip, chroot, cat, patch).
May 26, 2008 - toybox 0.0.6 adds cat, rmdir, and seq. Bugfixes to cp and a new -v option. Updates mdev to work with the 2.6.25 kernel. Updates patch to knows that a file dated 1969-12-31 means it doesn't exist, and to fail if a file it needs to create already exists. Command line option parsing can now handle things like "echo -nex" vs "echo -ne". Several updates to the test suite (run scripts/test.sh), and some build fixes.
March 29, 2008 - Time to release toybox 0.0.5, with new commands cp and chvt and several bugfixes.
More makefile targets: "make test" runs the test suite (which needs more test scripts), and make install/install_flat/uninstall/uninstall_flat calls make/install.sh (with options --long --symlink --force --uninstall depending on the context).
Most of the work has been behind the scenes, namely a significant rewrite of the build logic so adding each new command consists of adding a single C file to the "toys" directory, eliminating the need to touch any other files. There are specially formatted comments at the top of the C file to generate the other files, see toys/hello.c for an example. (See generated/README.txt and code.html for details.)
January 2, 2008 - And toybox-0.0.4.tar.bz2 is out. The new applets this time around include basename, chroot, dirname, dmesg, help, mkfifo, netcat, patch, sha1sum, touch, and tty.
Note that this "touch" includes -l to set the length, which can truncate a file or create a commpletely sparse file, good for filesystem images.
Expect the next release in about 6 months.
June 18, 2007 - Put out toybox-0.0.3.tar.bz2 since it's been too long since I did something like that. This one implements catv, count, df, echo, false, oneit, pwd, sleep, sync, toysh, true, which, and yes (which is what "make defconfig" enables). There are several other commands not enabled by defconfig, because they don't really work yet.
Most of the general infrastructure's there now, although lots of tweaking and optimizing is still needed. The test suite is skeletal and not entirely checked in yet, but I'm working on that.
I don't have nearly as much time to work on this as I'd like, but I'm making a little progress.
January 31, 2007 - Toybox 0.0.2 release. Implements count, yes, pwd, echo, bzcat, catv, oneit, and an unfinished skeleton of mke2fs. Adds argument parsing logic and bunzip code to library. Now configured with menuconfig. Adds "make baseline" and "make bloatcheck" using Matt Mackall's bloat-o-meter, and scripts/showasm.
Screwing up the web page a bit, adding an index bar along the side which doesn't properly connect up to anything yet. (Busy implementing mke2fs and gene2fs.)
October 30, 2006 - Toybox 0.0.1 release. Implements df, a skeletal toysh, and some library functions. Proof of concept, really.
September 7, 2006 - Project launched, first commit to mercurial archive.