Cross compiling FreeBSD

Andrew Hotlab andrew.hotlab at
Fri Jan 16 02:24:47 PST 2009

> Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 10:32:39 +0100
> From: ck-lists at
> On Wed, 14 Jan 2009, Andrew Hotlab wrote:
>> At this time, I've tried to build RELENG_7_1 for the i386 architecture using an amd64
>> machine (running RELENG_7_0 for amd64) then, exporting /usr/src and /usr/obj via
>> NFS in read-only mode to target machines, I've experienced a lot of troubles trying to
>> install both kernel and world, which made impossible for me to install FreeBSD on
>> target i386 machines.
>> Can anyone kindly confirm that it's a supported procedure to compile FreeBSD for
>> a Tier1 architecture by using another Tier1-architecture machine? Maybe I didn't
>> understood documentation or I'm missing some essential steps in the build process?
> as you already found out this does not work as the crossbuild process
> will build the native host tools in /usr/obj and the target system
> binaries in /usr/obj/i386.
> On recent RELENG_7 or HEAD machines you should be able to build
> in an i386 chroot. This would produce a clean /usr/obj you
> can copy to your i386 machines and install from there.
Sorry for my stupid question: I'll do the right thing if I'll build an i386 jail chroot/jail on the
amd64 builder host with the following commands? (grabbed from the FreeBSD Handbook)
# cd /usr/src
# make buildworld TARGET=i386
# make installworld TARGET=i386 DESTDIR=/path-to-jail
# cd etc/
# make distribution DESTDIR=/path-to-jail
# mount -t devfs devfs /path-to-jail/dev

> The hack to enable building in an i386 chroot is to set UNAME_m
> and UNAME_p to i386. I use following in the chroots .cshrc
> setenv UNAME_m i386
> setenv UNAME_p i386
> This will avoid any crossbuild magic and you will be able to build
> as if on an i386 machine.
> This of course only works for the amd64, i386 combination.
Wonderful, I'll try this as soon as possible. Thank you!

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