[PC-BSD Dev] Building a test system from source

Kris Moore kris at pcbsd.com
Fri Oct 17 11:59:10 PDT 2008

Robert Swain wrote:
> Developers,
> I am new to BSD and programming in general, so this may contain some 
> silly questions. While inexperienced, I am motivated to learn by 
> actually participating in a development project. Having tried many 
> Windows alternatives, I found that I like PC-BSD the best, and have been 
> using it regularly since the release of 1.4 (first tried it back at the 
> original release). I am interested in eventually contributing to the 
> project. I am too busy for the rest of October to be able to devote any 
> significant time to it, but would like to start dabbling when I have a 
> moment. On that note, I would like to know how to build a system using 
> the current source code rather than waiting for a new release. How to 
> contribute back anything more than feedback on bugs to the Testing list 
> will have to wait until November.
> Some areas I would be interested in eventually contributing to would be 
> easy management of servers (by PBI development, which I've started 
> playing with, and by something more integrated with the system like the 
> Services menu or allowing a setting for user webspace in System 
> Settings), multimedia and control programs for home-theater use (HTPC 
> oriented usage like MythTV or Freevo while maintaining the PC-BSD base 
> for normal computer usage), mass distribution/installation/management 
> solutions to enable IT departments to easily use PC-BSD on all of their 
> institution's workstations (for schools, companies, and government 
> agencies), and possibly finding a way for PBIs to work better with 
> programs installed via Ports.
> Sincerely,
> Robert Swain


We would love to have your participation in PC-BSD :)

As for building from source, we don't have a public build which allows 
you to build PC-BSD ISO's directly on FreeBSD, since right now it 
requires a lot of manual tweaking and we make mods to our build process 
constantly. (And a pretty powerful system which may take 24-48 hours to 
build). However, you can easily build any of our tools, or apply current 
data from our subversion repo to a PC-BSD system anytime you want.

For example, you can see our source all here in SVN:


Say you wanted to write a enhancement to the Services tool, you would 
simply grab the "ServiceManager" directory / source, and run these 
commands to compile and install:

# qmake-qt4 *.pro
# make

If you then make changes to the source, you can send the patches in via 
this mailing list for comments, and we'll commit them for you, or even 
get you a SVN commit account.

In the same way, if you need to make a change to the base system for 
PC-BSD, you can look in the "system-overlay" directory in the ~trunk/ 
folder, to see what we are including on the system to make PC-BSD.


Kris Moore
PC-BSD Software

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