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RELEASE(7)	   FreeBSD Miscellaneous Information Manual	    RELEASE(7)

     release --	release	building infrastructure

     FreeBSD provides a	complete build environment suitable for	users to make
     full releases of the FreeBSD operating system.  All of the	tools neces-
     sary to build a release are available from	the CVS	repository in
     src/release.  A complete release can actually be built with only a	single
     command, including	the creation of	ISO images suitable for	burning	to CD-
     ROM, installation floppies, and an	FTP install directory.	This command
     is	aptly named ``make release''.

     Before attempting to build	a release, the user is expected	to be familiar
     with the contents of build(7), and	should have experience upgrading sys-
     tems from source.	The release build process requires that	/usr/obj be
     populated with the	output of a native ``make buildworld'' compiled	from
     sources matching the currently running kernel.  This is necessary so that
     the object	files for a complete system can	be installed into a clean
     chroot(8) environment.  The release procedure also	requires that the
     vn(4) (vnode disk)	device driver be present in the	kernel (either by
     being compiled in or loaded as a module).

     This document does	not cover source code management, quality assurance,
     or	other aspects of the release engineering process.

     The release makefile (src/release/Makefile) is fairly abstruse.  Most
     developers	will only be concerned with the	release	target.

     release	Uses ``make installworld'' to install a	clean system into a
		chroot(8) environment on the file system.  Checks out the
		specified version of the source	code and then rebuilds the
		entire system in the clean environment with ``make
		buildworld''.  The detailed steps that follow are then exe-
		cuted to package up the	different distributions, build the
		installation floppy disks, build release documentation,	and so

		This target must be built as root with the kern.securelevel
		sysctl set to -1 (the default).

     rerelease	Assumes	that the output	of a release build has been manually
		modified, and performs the minimal number of steps to rebuild
		the release using the intermediate output of the previous
		``make release''.

     floppies	Generate a new set of boot and fixit floppies.	This will call
		the release.5, release.9, and release.10 targets to re-gener-
		ate the	floppy images of a previous ``make release''.  This is
		most often used	to build custom	boot floppies.

     Targets called by ``make release'':

     release.1	 Cleans	out the	${CHROOTDIR}/R directory and uses mtree(8) to
		 build the directory hierarchy for the system.

     release.2	 Installs the system into the distribution directories.

     release.3	 Builds	and installs ``crypto'', ``krb4'' and ``krb5'' distri-

     release.4	 Makes and installs the	GENERIC	kernel as well as any other
		 kernels listed	in KERNELS.

     release.5	 Uses crunchgen(1) to build ``crunched'' binaries to live on
		 the installation floppies.

     release.6	 Builds	synthetic distributions, and cleans up the previously
		 built distribution trees.

     release.7	 Creates tarballs of the assembled distribution	trees.

     release.8	 Makes source distributions.

     release.9	 Creates the boot and MFS root floppies.

     release.10	 Creates the fixit floppy.

     ftp.1	 Sets up a suitable area for FTP installations in

     cdrom.1	 Sets up a suitable area to build CD-ROM images	in

     iso.1	 Builds	two ISO	images (installation and ``live'' file system)
		 from the CD-ROM release area (disabled	by default, see
		 MAKE_ISOS below).

     doc.1	 Builds	all of the necessary tools to turn the FreeBSD Docu-
		 mentation Project source documents (SGML, XML)	into HTML and
		 text documents	that will accompany the	release.  Also,	builds
		 and installs the actual user documentation.  This includes
		 the Handbook, FAQ, articles, and so on.

     doc.2	 Builds	the release documentation.  This includes the release
		 notes,	hardware guide,	and installation instructions.

     Variables that must be specified:

     BUILDNAME	The name of the	release	to be built.  This is used to set the
		RELEASE	value in sys/conf/, which affects the	output
		of uname(1).

     CHROOTDIR	The directory to be used as the	chroot(8) environment for the
		entire release build.  This file system	should have at least
		2.3 gigabytes of free space on the i386	architecture.

     CVSROOT	The location of	the FreeBSD CVS	repository.  This path name is
		in reference to	the real system	root, not the root of the
		chroot(8) directory tree.

     Optional variables:

     CVSCMDARGS	       Additional arguments for	cvs(1) checkout	and update
		       commands.  For example, setting this variable to	``-D
		       '01/01/2002 00:00:00 GMT''' for ``make release''	or
		       ``make rerelease'' will ask cvs(1) to check out or
		       update sources as of 00:00:00 GMT, January 1 2002,

     DOC_LANG	       The list	of languages and encodings the SGML-based doc-
		       umentation should be built for.	If not set, the	docu-
		       mentation is built for all available languages.

     DOCRELEASETAG     The CVS tag to use when checking	out the	documentation
		       tree.  Usually, the head	of the documentation tree is
		       used by default.	 If RELEASETAG specifies a release
		       tag, then the associated	release	version	is used	as the
		       default instead.

     KERNEL_FLAGS      The contents of this variable are passed	to make(1)
		       when building kernels during the	release	build.	For
		       example,	setting	this variable to ``-j 4'' will
		       instruct	make(1)	to execute up to four processes	at a

     KERNELS	       Specifies a list	of additional kernel configurations to
		       compile and install into	the ``bin'' distribution.
		       Each kernel is installed	into /boot/kernel._config_ so
		       that it can be booted from the loader via ``boot

     LOCAL_PATCHES     A patch file against /usr/src that will be applied in
		       the chroot(8) environment before	the release build

     PATCH_FLAGS       Arguments for the patch(1) command used to apply
		       LOCAL_PATCHES patch file.

     LOCAL_SCRIPT      A script	that will be run in the	chroot(8) environment
		       immediately after any local patches are applied.

     MAKE_ISOS	       If defined, bootable ISO	CD-ROM images will be created
		       from the	contents of the	CD-ROM stage directory.

     DISC1_LABEL       The label used for the CD-ROM created from the disc1
		       contents, the default label will	be ``fbsd_miniinst''.

     DISC1_NAME	       The name	used as	part of	the ISO	file name for the CD-
		       ROM created from	the disc1 contents, the	default	will
		       be ``miniinst''.

     DISC2_LABEL       The label used for the CD-ROM created from the disc2
		       contents, the default label will	be ``fbsd_livefs''.

     DISC2_NAME	       The name	used as	part of	the ISO	file name for the CD-
		       ROM created from	the disc2 contents, the	default	will
		       be ``disc2''.

     NOCDROM	       If defined, the CD-ROM stage directories	will not be

     NODOC	       If defined, the SGML-based documentation	from the
		       FreeBSD Documentation Project will not be built.	 How-
		       ever, the ``doc'' distribution will still be created
		       with the	minimal	documentation set provided in

     NOPORTS	       If defined, the Ports Collection	will be	omitted	from
		       the release.

     NOPORTREADMES     If defined, readme files	will not be created for	each
		       individual port in the Ports Collection.	 The default
		       behavior	is for ``make release''	to run ``make
		       readmes'' from ${CHROOTDIR}/usr/ports, which can	be a
		       very time consuming operation.

     PORTSRELEASETAG   The CVS tag to use when checking	out the	ports tree.
		       Usually,	the head of the	ports tree is used by default.
		       If RELEASETAG specifies a release tag, then the associ-
		       ated release version is used as the default instead.

     RELEASEDISTFILES  The directory where the distribution files for ports
		       required	by the release build can be found.  This may
		       save a significant amount of time over downloading the
		       distfiles through a slow	link.

     RELEASENOUPDATE   If this variable	is defined for ``make rerelease'', the
		       source code will	not be updated with ``cvs update''.

     RELEASETAG	       The CVS tag corresponding to the	release	that is	to be
		       built.  If undefined, the release will be built from
		       the HEAD	of the CVS tree	(a ``-CURRENT snapshot'').

     TARGET_ARCH       The target machine processor architecture.  This	is
		       analogous to the	``uname	-p'' output.  Set this to
		       cross-build for a different architecture.

     TARGET	       The target hardware platform.  This is analogous	to the
		       ``uname -m'' output.  This is necessary to cross-build
		       some target architectures.  For example,	cross-building
		       for PC98	machines requires TARGET_ARCH=i386 and

     WORLD_FLAGS       The contents of this variable are passed	to make(1)
		       when building world during the release build.  For
		       example,	setting	this variable to ``-j 4'' will
		       instruct	make(1)	to execute up to four processes	at a


     The following sequence of commands	was used to build the FreeBSD 4.9

	   cd /usr
	   cvs co -rRELENG_4_9_0_RELEASE src
	   cd src
	   make	buildworld
	   cd release
	   make	release	CHROOTDIR=/local3/release BUILDNAME=4.9-RELEASE	\
	     CVSROOT=/host/cvs/usr/home/ncvs RELEASETAG=RELENG_4_9_0_RELEASE

     After running these commands, a complete system suitable for FTP or CD-
     ROM distribution is available in the /local3/release/R directory.

     The following sequence of commands	can be used to build a ``-CURRENT
     snapshot''	of a locally modified source tree:

	   cd /usr/src
	   cvs diff -u > /path/to/local.patch
	   make	buildworld
	   cd release
	   make	release	CHROOTDIR=/local3/release BUILDNAME=5.0-CURRENT	\
	     CVSROOT=/host/cvs/usr/home/ncvs LOCAL_PATCHES=/path/to/local.patch

     cc(1), crunchgen(1), cvs(1), install(1), make(1), patch(1), uname(1),
     vn(4), drivers.conf(5), make.conf(5), build(7), ports(7), chroot(8),
     mtree(8), sysctl(8)

     FreeBSD Release Engineering,

     FreeBSD Release Engineering of Third Party	Packages,

     FreeBSD Developers' Handbook,

     FreeBSD 1.x used a	manual checklist, compiled by Rod Grimes, to produce a
     release.  Apart from being	incomplete, the	list put a lot of specific
     demands on	available file systems and was quite torturous to execute.

     As	part of	the FreeBSD 2.0	release	engineering effort, significant	effort
     was spent getting src/release/Makefile into a shape where it could	at
     least automate most of the	tediousness of building	a release in a sterile

     With its almost 1000 revisions spread over	multiple branches, the cvs(1)
     log of src/release/Makefile contains a vivid historical record of some of
     the hardships release engineers go	through.

     src/release/Makefile was originally written by Rod	Grimes,	Jordan
     Hubbard, and Poul-Henning Kamp.  This manual page was written by Murray
     Stokely <>.

     Infrastructure changes are	occasionally made to the FreeBSD documentation
     set in such a way that release builds on security branches	can fail.  To
     work around this, release builds can be made to checkout the documenta-
     tion from the last	fully supported	release	of FreeBSD.  For example:


FreeBSD	11.1			August 10, 2004			  FreeBSD 11.1


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