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Commands for the Zaurus

To save space on portable devices such as the Zaurus, the BusyBox versions of many basic commands are used instead of more fully-featured versions, and many other standard Linux commands are totally eliminated. That would be fine if none of us wrote our own scripts, and if the Zaurus was a perfect GUI device, with no quirks or bugs, but it is definitely not a bug-free, user-friendly PDA.

If you want to quickly skip the rest of this guided introduction to how-to's and tutorials for some of these commands, and just see the list, then click here.

This section just links to articles I have been inspired to write, when I want to share information about a specific Linux command for the Zaurus. It is obviously not a complete list. So, for excellent how-to's and tutorials about how to use many more standard kernel commands, check out the resources I have listed on my Newbie Resources page.

You may not be a power user, but if you need help debugging problems, or want to try to figure them out yourself, then upgrading to a fully-featured version of ps is an absolute must if you don't have the full-featured version that Sharp was smart enough to include in it's ROMs. To figure out what version of ps you have, to find out how to upgrade to a better version or, if you write your own scripts, to see how much more efficiency a full-featured version can add to your code, click here.

To help with debugging application problems and tracking down what files are accessed by active processes, then you may want to look at a listing of the open files on your system, so then just install the lsof command.

If you don't remember which file on your Zaurus contains a keyword string, need a list of files on a certain topic, or want a list of all the files in a specified directory that contain a string, here

If you want to learn how to install and how to use the rgrep command to search your entire file system for a string, or search for it in all subdirectories in a specified directory then see this page.

Why use a spreadsheet to do simple math when awk can do it on your raw data file? Why struggle with complex sed code for switching columns when awk can switch columns quickly and easily? Is that just because it wasn't included with your ROM? Well, that's not a good enough reason, because it is easily available and also easy to use, a whole lot easier than working with spreadsheets or switching columns by hand in a text editor. To find learn more about awk, and where to download it, click here.

The qcop command is built in to Qtopia systems, but on the early ROMs, such as 2.38, qcop needs to be upgraded if you want to issue Qtopia commands to applications, or run my Networking scripts. For more information about upgrading qcop, and links to Trolltech's qcop documentation, click here.

This page is still under construction. Information about other missing commands, and detailed installation instructions, and comments comparing Sharp's to BusyBox's versions of various other kernel commands, will follow as I am inspired to take the time to write them up.

Featured Commands

awk: manipulate strings or columns of data
grep: search for file containing string
ldd: check dependencies
less: view file with ability to search and scroll
lsof: list of open files
ps: information about current processes
qcop: send commands to Qtopia
rgrep: recursively search for file containing string