Kernel/World/Ports compilation within jails; targeting many platforms.

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Sat Oct 26 21:41:48 UTC 2013

On 26/10/2013 11:53, Jason Birch wrote:
> As a concrete example, my 'main' system is a FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE amd64
> system, and I would like to compile FreeBSD 11-CURRENT for my BeagleBone
> Black (ARMv7). Does it make more sense to create a jail environment on my
> 9.1-RELEASE machine to do all compilation and 'staging' for the BeagleBlack?

I don't know about 'good form' but using jails to compile for different
FreeBSD versions is a well established practice.  It's how the official
pkg_tools and now pkgng packages are generated, for example.

However, be aware there are some pretty major limitations to using jails
this way.

   * You can have an older jail on a newer host system, but not the
     converse.  So building in an 11-CURRENT jail on a 9.1-RELEASE
     system won't work.

   * You don't get cross-architecture builds -- jails generally have to
     be the same architecture as the host system.  With one possible
     exception.  It may be possible to use an i386 jail on an amd64
     host.  Dunno if that actually works for building serious
     quantities of ports.

For your case, 11-CURRENT/armv7 isn't going to work on
9.1-RELEASE/amd64.  Your best bet would be some sort of VM where you
could emulate an armv7 CPU, if such a thing exists and is usable for
your intended purpose.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.

JID: matthew at

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