Is there any way to use GNU utilities like GNU's sed, find, bash, and awk WITHOUT root? Android's utilities that are provided by toolbox and the BusyBox applets provided by one particular application I have installed lack the kind of features necessary for them to be fully functional.

One problem I have in particular is that I have no way of converting characters that hinder processing data in a Unix environment (such as linefeeds and nulls) into their respective escape codes (i.e., a linefeed becomes \n, a null becomes \x00 or \0, etc.).

I am running Android 4.4.

  • Get or compile static binaries of utilities you need. Set a custom PATH to these binaries in any Terminal app and use Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 6:53

1 Answer 1


Try out Termux! (Note: I'm not affliated with it or its author)

Termux provides a full set of common Linux CLI tools like GNU coreutils, binutils, and popular software like imagemagick, ffmpeg, as well as development environment like Clang, Python and Ruby. Other nice gadgets also include Vim, Emacs, tmux, htop, etc.

All available without root.

Image from Google Play details page

  • I cannot install it. The Play Store says it is not compatible with the available version. I did say I am running Android 4.4.
    – Melab
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 2:53
  • @Melab Then I don't know any other alternatives. Maybe get another device that runs 5.0+?
    – iBug
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 2:59

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