Building FreeBSD on Linux

Chuck Robey chuckr at
Mon Dec 3 11:16:36 PST 2007

Benjamin M. A'Lee wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 03, 2007 at 01:15:22AM +0200, Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
>> On 2007-11-30 16:06, "Saravanan Shanmugham (sarvi)" <sarvi at> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I am trying to build all of FreeBSD from a Linux Machine and seem to
>>> be running into problems.  We have farm of build machines that we use
>>> to build many other things and my team would look like to use it going
>>> forward for our FreeBSD development.
>>> Has anyone tried this before? 
>>> I have tried GNU Make 3.80 as well as pmake. And I can't seem to find
>>> bmake for Linux.
>> I don't know of any port of BSD make(1) to Linux, or if that would be
>> sufficient to cross-build FreeBSD.  I'm trying to build a snapshot of
>> FreeBSD make(1) which builds with autoconf, for other stuff, but it
>> may take a while before I have a fully autoconf-ified version and that
>> may still not be adequate.
> Debian has a package 'freebsd5-buildutils', which includes a version of
> make that runs on GNU/Linux. I used it for a while when I was too lazy
> to port some makefiles to GNU make. I don't know, however, if it'll
> build more recent versions of FreeBSD than 5.x.

Besides FreeBSD, I run Gentoo Linux also, so I ssh'ed over to that 
system (to june) and asked 'emerge' is make existed.  I got 2 hits (that 
were BSD makes, I actually got abouot 30 hits of various kinds), they were:

sys-devel/make     NetBSD's make
sys-devel/pmake    from NetBSD also

pmake, that's the root name for our own make.  There's nothing in our 
make that is intrinsically non-portable, but over thje years, step by 
step (and I mouned everyone, I felt them to be distinct mistakes) 
various of make's routines were reorganized into libraries that had 
non-portable parts.  This has made out make distinctly non-portable, 
even though there isn't one single item in it that is iin itself 

Once, for an employer, I ripped all the mini-pieces of code from all 
those single libs, and constructed one single, portable library, which 
made our make portable to anything, even Windows.  There's no reason is 
couldn't happen, except that a lot of folks don't care a whit about 
portability, and like their idea of elegance more.  Me, I like standards 

You could still assemble a libmake, it takes time, but it's in itself 
not all that difficult to do.

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