How to install Z-Shell, awk, lua, nano, and more on your Android device without rooting it

Want to do more than just touch, swipe, pinch and zoom on your Android smartphone or tablet? Want a powerful shell environment plus FFMpeg, ImageMagick, Sox, OggZ, GNU Awk, Sed, Grep, the LUA scripting language and a whole lot more on that Android phone or tablet without rooting it?

If your answer for both is “yes,” then you want to install ZShaolin, a console terminal from the coders at

You will get zsh, the Z SHell, a powerful command line interpreter for UNIX-like operating systems, the aforementioned applications and more.

ZShaolin’s binary is not free (cost is about a buck), but the sourcecode is open source, so you can grab it and mess with it as much as you want. And as the authors suggested, if you do not want to pay the chump change for the binary, the toolchain is available from their FTP server.

The full list of utilities that come with ZShaolin are:

  • ImageMagick-6.7.8-7
  • diffutils-3.2
  • ffmpeg-0.10
  • flac-1.2.1
  • gawk-4.0.0
  • grep-2.9
  • htop-1.0
  • libcaca-0.99.beta18
  • libogg-1.3.0
  • liboggz-1.1.1
  • libtheora-1.1.1
  • libvorbis-1.3.2
  • lua-5.2.0
  • nano-2.2.6
  • ncurses-5.9
  • netcat-0.7.1
  • sed-4.2.1
  • sl-3.03
  • sox-14.3.2
  • speex-1.2rc1
  • wipe-2.3.1
  • x264-snapshot-20120126-2245
  • zlib-1.2.5
  • zsh-4.3.15

ZShaolin is available on the Android Market. Find the link and further information about it here.

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  2. Dan Saint-Andre says:

    I fetched the app from Google® Play™ at the absurdly expensive cost of US $2.50. (grin) Whether I use it often or simply to play, this sort of effort deserves a reward.
    ~~~ 0;-Dan

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