Resource list for alternative libraries and programs that are lightweight, not bloated, efficient or have other useful design characteristics and may be usable with musl.

Alternative Libraries and Programs


Large Text Compression Benchmark





X11 alternatives


Scripting languages


Regular Expressions

Musl’s regular expressions pattern matching routines are based on the TRE library. The Musl version of the code contains at least two bug fixes that were never fixed in the original code. For file pattern matching (fnmatch), musl uses an implementation based on the “Sea of Stars” algorithm.

Comparing Perl regular expressions implementations to Regex implementations shows pattern matching performance for various cases, but it can be like comparing apples to oranges. Perl regular expression pattern matching is not equivalent to a regular language which can be solved by a finite state automata. Some regex extensions also may not be compliant with the definition of a formal regular language.

Code Collections and Basic Libraries/Programs

General Suggestions/Recommendations