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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 FreeBSD source code
     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, memory stick images, and an FTP install directory.
     This command is aptly named ``make release''.

     For some users, it may be desirable to provide an absolutely clean build
     environment, with no local modifications to the source tree or to
     make.conf(5), and with clean checkouts of specific versions of the doc,
     src, and ports trees. For this purpose, a script
     (src/release/ is provided to automate these checkouts
     and then execute ``make release'' in a clean chroot(8).

     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 ``make buildworld'' and ``make buildkernel''.  This is
     necessary to provide the object files for the release or, when using, so that the object files for a complete system can
     be installed into a clean chroot(8) environment. In this second case, the
     built world must be capable of running on the build system (i.e. it must
     be for the same architecture and be compatible with the installed
     kernel).  The release procedure on some architectures may also require
     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.

     Official releases of FreeBSD are produced in a totally clean environment
     to ensure consistency between the versions of the src, ports, and doc
     trees and to avoid contamination from the host system (e.g. local
     patches, changes to make.conf(5), etc.). This is accomplished using the
     wrapper script src/release/ svn-branch scratch-dir calls ``make installworld'' to generate a chroot(8)
     environment in scratch-dir.  It then checks out the src tree specified by
     svn-branch using svn(1) and (optionally) the ports and documentation
     trees using csup(1) or cvs(1).  Once the various source trees have been
     obtained, it executes ``make release'' within the chroot(8) environment
     and places the result in $scratch-dir/R.  Note that because this uses a
     chroot, it cannot be used to cross-build FreeBSD release media.

     Environment variables:

     CVSUP_HOST      The CVSUP server to use for the doc and ports trees. One
                     of CVSUP_HOST or CVSROOT must be specified for ports and
                     documentation to be included in the release.

     CVSROOT         The location of the FreeBSD CVS repository to use for the
                     doc and ports trees. One of CVSUP_HOST or CVSROOT must be
                     specified for ports and documentation to be included in
                     the release.

     CVS_TAG         If the variable CVS_TAG is set, that tag will be used for
                     CVS checkouts (doc and ports), otherwise
            will use HEAD.

     MAKE_FLAGS      This environment variable can be set to pass flags (e.g.
                     -j) to make(1) when invoked by the script.

     SVNROOT         The location of the FreeBSD SVN source repository.
                     Defaults to svn://

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

     release            Meta-target to build all release media and
                        distributions applicable to this platform.

     install            Copy all produced release media to ${DESTDIR}.

     cdrom              Builds installation CD-ROM images. On some systems,
                        this may require that mkisofs(8) be installed
                        (sysutils/cdrtools) and possibly that the md(4)
                        (memory disk) device driver be present in the kernel
                        (either by being compiled in or available as a
                        module). This target produces files called release.iso
                        and bootonly.iso as its output.

     memstick           Builds an installation memory stick image named
                        memstick.  Not applicable on all platforms. Requires
                        that the md(4) (memory disk) device driver be present
                        in the kernel (either by being compiled in or
                        available as a module).

     ftp                Creates a directory named ftp containing the
                        distribution files used in network installations and
                        suitable for upload to an FTP mirror.

     Major subtargets called by targets above:

     packagesystem      Generates all the distribution archives (e.g. base,
                        kernel, ports, doc) applicable on this platform.

     system             Builds a bootable installation system containing all
                        the distribution files packaged by the packagesystem
                        target, and suitable for imaging by the cdrom and
                        memstick targets.

     reldoc             Builds the release documentation.  This includes the
                        release notes, hardware guide, and installation
                        instructions. Other documentation (e.g.  the Handbook)
                        is built during the base.txz target invoked by

     Optional variables:

     WORLDDIR         Location of a directory containing the src tree. By
                      default, the directory above the one containing the
                      makefile (src).

     PORTSDIR         Location of a directory containing the ports tree. By
                      default, /usr/ports.  If it is unset or cannot be found,
                      ports will not be included in the release.

     DOCDIR           Location of a directory containing the doc tree. By
                      default, /usr/doc.  If it is unset or cannot be found,
                      most documentation will not be included in the release;
                      see NODOC below.

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

     NOSRC            If set, do not include system source code in the

     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

     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
                      TARGET=pc98.  If not set, TARGET defaults to the current
                      hardware platform.

     TARGET_ARCH      The target machine processor architecture.  This is
                      analogous to the ``uname -p'' output.  Set this to
                      cross-build for a different architecture.  If not set,
                      TARGET_ARCH defaults to the current machine
                      architecture, unless TARGET is also set, in which case
                      it defaults to the appropriate value for that platform.
                      Typically, one only needs to set TARGET.


     The following sequence of commands can be used to build a ``-CURRENT

           cd /usr
           svn co svn:// src
           cd src
           make buildworld buildkernel
           cd release
           make release
           make install DESTDIR=/var/freebsd-snapshot

     After running these commands, all produced distribution files (tarballs
     for FTP, CD-ROM images, etc.) are available in the /var/freebsd-snapshot

     The following sequence of commands can be used to build a ``-CURRENT
     snapshot'' in a clean environment, including ports and documentation:

           cd /usr/src
           make buildworld
           cd release
           sh head /local3/release

     After running these commands, all prepared release files are available in
     the /local3/release/R directory.

     cc(1), cvs(1), install(1), make(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

     For the FreeBSD 9.0 release, src/release/Makefile was overhauled and the
     wrapper script src/release/ introduced to support the
     introduction of a new installer.

     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 <>.

FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE         March 18, 2011         FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE


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