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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.  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
     md(4) (memory disk) device driver be present in the kernel (either by
     being compiled in or available 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 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.4, release.8, floppies.1,
                        floppies.2, and floppies.3 targets to re-generate the
                        floppy images of a previous ``make release''.  This is
                        most often used to build custom boot floppies.

     package-split      Generates the portions of the disc 1 and disc 2 images
                        related to packages.  It uses the list of desired
                        packages from the src/release/scripts/
                        script to pull packages out of a package build
                        provided by the ports team and organize them
                        appropriately.  The resulting directory can then be
                        passed to ``make release'' via the CD_PACKAGE_TREE
                        variable to populate the ISO images built by the iso.1
                        target with the correct package related bits.

     Targets called by ``make release'':

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

     release.2            Installs the system into the distribution

     release.3            Makes and installs the GENERIC kernel as well as any
                          other kernels listed in KERNELS.

     release.4            Uses crunchgen(1) to build ``crunched'' binaries to
                          live on the installation floppies.

     release.5            Builds synthetic distributions, and cleans up the
                          previously built distribution trees.

     release.6            Creates tarballs of the assembled distribution

     release.7            Makes source distributions.

     release.8            Creates the MFS root file systems.

     floppies.1           Creates the boot and kernel floppies.

     floppies.2           Creates the fixit floppy.

     floppies.3           Finalizes the ${CHROOTDIR}/R/ftp/stage/floppies
                          staging directory.

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

     cdrom.1              Create the layout for the live file system CD-ROM
                          image in ${CHROOTDIR}/R/cdrom.

     cdrom.2              Create the layout for the first and second CD-ROM

     cdrom.3              Create the layout for the boot-only CD-ROM image and
                          the boot-only UFS miniroot image.

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

     fetch-distfiles      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:

     CHROOTDIR      The directory to be used as the chroot(8) environment for
                    the entire release build.  This file system should have at
                    least 3.2 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:

     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).  If not set, a name with the
                               timestamp and the ``-SNAP'' suffix will be

     CD_PACKAGE_TREE           A directory containing extra bits for the first
                               and second CD-ROM images.  The extra files for
                               the first disc should be in
                               ${CD_PACKAGE_TREE}/disc1 and the extra files
                               for the second disc should be in
                               ${CD_PACKAGE_TREE}/disc2.  Typically, this
                               variable will be set to the output directory of
                               an earlier invocation of the package-split

     CVSARGS                   Additional arguments for cvs(1) that come
                               before the subcommands such as ``-qR''.

     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

     EXTSRCDIR                 The directory specified by this variable will
                               be copied into ${CHROOTDIR}/usr/src instead of
                               that directory being populated by a CVS
                               checkout.  For ``rerelease'', this will NOT be
                               copied; cvs update will be used instead.

     EXTDOCDIR                 The directory specified by this variable will
                               be copied into ${CHROOTDIR}/usr/doc.  For
                               ``rerelease'', this will NOT be copied again.

     EXTPORTSDIR               The directory specified by this variable will
                               be copied into ${CHROOTDIR}/usr/ports.  For
                               ``rerelease'', this will do NOTHING.

     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_DVD                  If defined, build a bootable ISO DVD image in
                               the CD-ROM stage directory.  This option may
                               not be available for all architectures.

     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 (for those platforms
                               supporting them).

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

     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'').

     SEPARATE_LIVEFS           Store the live file system on its own CD-ROM
                               image rather than placing it on the first disc.

     SVNCMDARGS                Additional arguments for svn checkout and
                               switch commands.

     SVNROOT                   The location of the FreeBSD SVN source
                               repository.  If this variable is set, then the
                               source tree will be extracted using Subversion
                               rather than CVS.

     SVNBRANCH                 The branch to check out from a SVN source
                               repository.  It is specified as a path such as
                               head or stable/7.  If this variable is not set,
                               then the branch that corresponds to the current
                               value of RELEASETAG will be used.  If neither
                               SVNBRANCH nor RELEASETAG are set, then the head
                               branch will be used.

     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 4.9

           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=6.0-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), svn(1)
     (ports/devel/subversion-freebsd), uname(1), md(4), 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

     At near 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
     documentation from the last fully supported release of FreeBSD.  For

           make release RELEASETAG=RELENG_4_9 DOCRELEASETAG=RELEASE_4_9_0 ...

FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE         August 17, 2009        FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE


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