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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
     necessary 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
     systems from source with ``make world''.  The release build process
     requires that /usr/obj be populated with the output of ``make
     buildworld''.  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 md(4) (memory disk) device driver be
     present in the kernel (either by being compiled in or available as a

     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
                    world''.  The detailed steps that follow are then executed
                    to package up the different distributions, build the
                    installation floppy disks, build release documentation,
                    and so on.

                    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-generate the floppy images of a previous ``make
                    release''.  This is most often used to build custom boot

     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 into the ``base'' distribution non-
                     crypto versions of some tools.

     release.4       Makes and installs the GENERIC kernel.

     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 MFS root file systems.

     release.10      Creates the boot, MFS root, and fixit floppies.

     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).

                     Fetches distfiles needed during the release build that
                     are not already in RELEASEDISTFILES.

     doc.1           Builds all of the necessary tools to turn the FreeBSD
                     Documentation 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

     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

     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, respectively.

     DOC_LANG                  The list of languages and encodings the SGML-
                               based documentation should be built for.  If
                               not set, the documentation 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.

     EXTLOCALDIR               The directory that will be copied to

     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 time.

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

     LOCAL_PATCHES             Patch files against /usr/src that will be
                               applied in the chroot(8) environment before the
                               release build begins.

     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

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

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

     NO_FLOPPIES               If defined, no boot and fixit floppy disk
                               images will be created.

     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 associated release
                               version is used as the default instead.

     NO_PREFETCHDISTFILES      If this variable is defined, then distfiles
                               needed during the release build will not be
                               downloaded prior to entering the chroot(8)
                               environment.  Note that if NO_PREFETCHDISTFILES
                               is not set, the fetching is done after any
                               distfiles are obtained via RELEASEDISTFILES.

     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

     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

     WORLDDIR                  The directory where ``make buildworld'' was
                               run; defaults to ${.CURDIR}/.. which usually
                               points to /usr/src.

     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 time.


     The following sequence of commands was used to build the FreeBSD 4.5

           cd /usr
           cvs co -rRELENG_4_5_0_RELEASE src
           cd src
           make buildworld
           cd release
           make release CHROOTDIR=/local3/release BUILDNAME=4.5-RELEASE \
             CVSROOT=/host/cvs/usr/home/ncvs RELEASETAG=RELENG_4_5_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),
     md(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 occassionally 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 documentation from the last fully supported release of FreeBSD.  For

           make release RELEASETAG=RELENG_4_5 DOCRELEASETAG=RELEASE_4_5_0 ...

FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE         March 12, 2002         FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE


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