How tightly is build host version and pfSense build environment coupled together



  • I know that I need to run a FreeBSD point release of the same version as the "to-be-built" version of pfSense.
    Does that mean that I'd need to run 8-STABLE to to build a (potential) pfSense from scratch when telling it to use 8-STABLE source instead of RELENG_8_3?

    I'm interested in playing around with this a bit since release engineering for 8.4 seems to have started. - No panic, that doesn't mean that switching the point release would be of any priority for pfSense now, it's just to investigate a little. :-) (8.4 will ship with a load of new driver support, especially server NICs and other server hardware…)


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    The builder OS needs to be very close, it's best to match the build OS with the target OS, but it's not always 100% necessary to have them be absolutely identical. The same base version is OK even if they are different patchlevels, but there are some things in the builder that get applied to the host OS itself and not just the build environment, and those may fail if things don't line up.



  • Thanks Jim -  so yes, the build host should run the same code - but one may be lucky. ;-)


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Yes, if memory serves, pfPorts are more susceptible to break because they are built on the host OS and not inside the target directory after an image build.

    It could be done the other way to improve cross-compiling, but it would make each build much, much, much slower.



  • @MatSim:

    I'm interested in playing around with this a bit since release engineering for 8.4 seems to have started. - No panic, that doesn't mean that switching the point release would be of any priority for pfSense now, it's just to investigate a little. :-) (8.4 will ship with a load of new driver support, especially server NICs and other server hardware…)

    In addition to new drivers for server NICs and hardware, 8.4 will have updated virtio support (MFC'ed from HEAD according to http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/svn-src-stable-8/2013-March/008575.html ) which might be of interest to all those running pfsense virtualised.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Yeah it might be an interesting experiment for 8.4, but we won't be switching pfSense to it officially.

    And good luck getting all of the patches to apply and work ;-)

    Once we ship 2.1, we'll likely be targeting FreeBSD 10.x for pfSense 2.2 at this point.



  • @jimp:

    Once we ship 2.1, we'll likely be targeting FreeBSD 10.x for pfSense 2.2 at this point.

    I guess it's more of a FreeBSD developers' decision, but are there any thoughts/plans of pfsense sponsoring the porting of (parts of whole) the latest OpenBSD 5.2 pf into the FreeBSD SMP-pf which was committed to FreeBSD HEAD a few months ago ?

    If the FreeBSD 10 pf syntax remains at the pf-4.5 era, it will effectively have become a fork … since it'll take years (i.e. FreeBSD 11) before there is an chance to sync the pf between OpenBSD and FreeBSD.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    That's been asked/answered on the FreeBSD lists, Ermal wants to move forward with the newer pf, but the SMP-capable pf work broke some chances of that happening easily. I'm not sure where that all stands now. There was a large/heated discussion there that's beyond the scope of this thread.



  • No hard feeling, let's try to get 2.1 polished to the maximum and out of the door before tinkering around with switching the base OS.
    Experimenting with 8.4 was just for my very own interest (more to see how much things have been backported to 8-STABLE  ;-)

    @dhatz: Yes, I've actually had some issues with the virtio SCSI drivers that looked similar to what I've seen.
    Hope we can get it before 2.1 ships it would be like adding 2 patches from 8-STABLE and test things.

    – Mathieu


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