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About the OPNsense tools

In conjunction with src.git, ports.git, core.git and plugins.git they create sets, packages and images for the OPNsense project.

Setting up a build system

Install FreeBSD 13.1-RELEASE for amd64 on a machine with at least 25GB of hard disk (UFS works better than ZFS) and at least 4GB of RAM to successfully build all standard images. All tasks require a root user. Do the following to grab the repositories (overwriting standard ports and src):

# pkg install git
# cd /usr
# git clone
# cd tools
# make update

Note that the OPNsense repositories can also be setup in a non-/usr directory by setting ROOTDIR. For example:

# mkdir -p /tmp/opnsense
# cd /tmp/opnsense
# git clone
# cd tools
# env ROOTDIR=/tmp/opnsense make update


# make dvd

If successful, a dvd image can be found under:

# make print-IMAGESDIR

Detailed build steps and options

How to specify build options on the command line

The build is broken down into individual stages: base, kernel, ports, plugins and core can be built separately and repeatedly without affecting the other stages. All stages can be reinvoked and continue building without cleaning the previous progress. A final stage assembles all five stages into a target image.

All build steps are invoked via make(1):

# make step OPTION="value"

Available early build options are:

  • SETTINGS: the name of the requested local configuration
  • CONFIGDIR: read configuration from other directory and override SETTINGS

Available build options are:

  • ABI: a custom ABI (defaults to SETTINGS)
  • ADDITIONS: a list of packages/plugins to add to images
  • ARCH: the target architecture if not native
  • COMSPEED: serial speed, e.g. "115200" (default)
  • DEBUG: build a debug kernel with additional object information
  • DEVICE: loads device-specific modifications, e.g. "A10" (default)
  • KERNEL: the kernel config to use, e.g. SMP (default)
  • MIRRORS: a list of mirrors to prefetch sets from
  • NAME: "OPNsense" (default)
  • PRIVKEY: the private key for signing sets
  • PUBKEY: the public key for signing sets
  • SUFFIX: the suffix of top package name (default is empty)
  • TYPE: the base name of the top package to be installed
  • UEFI: use amd64 hybrid images for said images, e.g. "vga vm"
  • VERSION: a version tag (if applicable)
  • ZFS: ZFS pool name to create for VM images, e.g. "zpool"

How to specify build options via configuration file

The configuration file is required at "CONFIGDIR/build.conf". Its contents can be modified to adapt a non-standard build environment and to avoid excessive Makefile arguments.

A local override exists as "CONFIGDIR/build.conf.local" and is parsed first to allow more flexible overrides. Use with care.

How to run individual or composite build steps

Kernel, base, packages and release sets are stored under:

# make print-SETSDIR

All final images are stored under:

# make print-IMAGESDIR

Build the userland binaries, bootloader and administrative files:

# make base

Build the kernel and loadable kernel modules:

# make kernel

Build all the third-party ports:

# make ports

Build additional plugins if needed:

# make plugins

Wrap up our core as a package:

# make core

A dvd live image is created using:

# make dvd

A serial memstick live image is created using:

# make serial

A vga memstick live image is created using:

# make vga

A flash card full disk image is created using:

# make nano

A virtual machine full disk image is created using:

# make vm

A special embedded device image based on vm variety:

# make factory

Release sets can be built as follows although the result is an unpredictable set of images depending on the previous build states:

# make release

However, the release target is necessary for the following target which includes sanity checks, proper clearing of the images directory and core package version alignment:

# make distribution

Cross-building for other architecures

This feature is currently experimental and requires installation of packages for cross building / user mode emulation and additional boot files to be installed as prompted by the build system.

A cross-build on the operating system sources is executed by specifying the target architecture and custom kernel:

# make base kernel DEVICE=BANANAPI

In order to speed up building of using an emulated packages build, the xtools set can be created like so:

# make xtools DEVICE=BANANAPI

The xtools set is then used during the packages build similar to the distfiles set.

# make packages DEVICE=BANANAPI

The final image is built using:

# make arm-<size> DEVICE=BANANAPI

Currently available device are: BANANAPI and RPI2.

About other scripts and tweaks

Device-specific settings

Device-specific settings can be found and added in the device/ directory. Of special interest are hooks into the build process for required non-default settings for image builds. The .conf files are shell scrips that can define hooks in the form of e.g.:

    # ${1} is the target file system root
    touch ${1}/my_custom_file

These hooks are available for all image types, namely dvd, nano, serial, vga and vm. Device-specific hooks are loaded after config-specific hooks and both of them can coexist in a given build.

Updating the code repositories

Updating all or individual repositories can be done as follows:

# make update[-<repo1>[,...]]

Available update options are: core, plugins, ports, portsref, src, tools

Regression tests and ports audit

Before building images, you can run the regression tests to check the integrity of your core.git modifications plus generate output for the style checker:

# make test

To check the binary packages from ports against the upstream vulnerability database run the following:

# make audit

Advanced package builds

Package sets ready for web server deployment are automatically generated and modified by ports, plugins and core setps. The build automatically caches temporary build dependencies to avoid spurious rebuilds. These packages are later discarded to provide a slim runtime set only.

If signing keys are available, the packages set will be signed twice, first embedded into repository metadata (inside) and then again as a flat file (outside) to ensure integrity.

For faster ports building it may be of use to cache all distribution files before running the actual build:

# make distfiles

For targeted rebuilding of already built packages the following works:

# make ports-<packagename>[,...]
# make plugins-<packagename>[,...]
# make core-<packagename>[,...]

Please note that reissuing ports builds will clear plugins and core progress. However, following option apply to PORTSENV:

  • BATCH=no Developer mode with shell after each build failure
  • DEPEND=no Do not tamper with plugins or core packages
  • PRUNE=no Do not check ports integrity prior to rebuild

The defaults for these ports options are set to "yes". A sample invoke is as follows:

# make ports-curl PORTSENV="DEPEND=no PRUNE=no"

Both ports and plugins builds allow to override the current list derived from their respective configuration files, i.e.:

# make ports PORTSLIST="security/openssl"
# make plugins PLUGINSLIST="devel/debug"

Acquiring precompiled sets from the mirrors or another local direcory

Compiled sets can be prefetched from a mirror if they exist, while removing any previously available set:

# make prefetch-<option>[,...] [VERSION=<full_version>]

If another build configuration is used locally that is compatible, the sets can be cloned from there as well:

# make clone-<option>[,...] TO=<major_version>

Available prefetch or clone options are:

  • base: select matching base set
  • distfiles: select matching distfiles set (clone only)
  • kernel: select matching kernel set
  • packages: select matching packages set

Using signatures to verify integrity

Signing for all sets can be redone or applied to a previous run that did not sign by invoking:

# make sign-base,kernel,packages

A verification of all available set signatures is done via:

# make verify

Nano image size adjustment

Nano images can be adjusted in size using an argument as follows:

# make nano-<size>

Virtual machine images

Virtual machine images come in varying disk formats and sizes. For this reason they are not included in our binary releases. The default format is vmdk with 20G and 1G swap. If you want to change that you can manually alter the invoke using:

# make vm-<format>[,<size>[,<swap>]]

Available virtual machine disk formats are:

  • qcow: Qemu, KVM (legacy format)
  • qcow2: Qemu, KVM (not backwards-compatible)
  • raw: Unformatted (sector by sector)
  • vhd: VirtualPC, Hyper-V, Xen (dynamic size)
  • vhdf: Azure, VirtualPC, Hyper-V, Xen (fixed size)
  • vmdk: VMWare, VirtualBox (dynamic size)

The swap argument is either its size or set to "off" to disable.

Clearing individual build step progress

A couple of build machine cleanup helpers are available via the clean script:

# make clean-<option>[,...]

Available clean options are:

  • arm: remove arm image
  • base: remove base set
  • distfiles: remove distfiles set
  • dvd: remove dvd image
  • core: remove core from packages set
  • images: remove all images
  • kernel: remove kernel set
  • logs: remove all logs
  • nano: remove nano image
  • obj: remove all object directories
  • packages: remove packages set
  • plugins: remove plugins from packages set
  • ports: alias for "packages" option
  • release: remove release set
  • serial: remove serial image
  • sets: remove all sets
  • src: reset kernel/base build directory
  • stage: reset main staging area
  • vga: remove vga image
  • vm: remove vm image
  • xtools: remove xtools set

How the port tree is synced with its upstream repository

The ports tree has a few of our modifications and is sometimes a bit ahead of FreeBSD. In order to keep the local changes, a skimming script is used to review and copy upstream changes:

# make skim[-<option>]

Available options are:

  • used: review and copy upstream changes
  • unused: copy unused upstream changes
  • (none): all of the above

Rebasing the file lists for the base sets

In case base files changed, the base package list and obsoleted files need to be regenerated. This is done using:

# make rebase

Switching to the build jail for inspection

Shall any debugging be needed inside the build jail, the following command will use chroot(8) to enter the active build jail:

# make chroot[-<subdir>]

Boot images in the native bhyve(8) hypervisor

There's also the posh way to boot a final image using bhyve(8):

# make boot-<image>

Please note that login is only possible via the Nano and Serial images.

Booting VM images will not work for types other than "raw".

Generating a make.conf for use in running OPNsense

A ports tree in a running OPNsense can be used to build packages not published on the mirrors. To generate the make.conf contents for standalone use on the host use:

# make make.conf

Reading and modifying version numbers of build sets and images

Normally the build scripts will pick up version numbers based on commit tags or given version tags or a date-type string. Should it not fit your needs, you can change the name using:

# make rename-<set>[,<another_set>] VERSION=<new_name>

The available targets are: base, distfiles, dvd, kernel, nano, packages, serial, vga and vm.

The current state of the associated build repositories checked out on the system can be printed using:

# make info

Repositories that have signing keys can show the current fingerprint using:

# make fingerprint

Last but not least, in case build variables needs to be inspected, they can be printed selectively using:

# make print-<variable1>[,<variable2>]

Compressing images

Images are compressed using bzip2(1) for distribution. This can be invoked manually using:

# make compress-<image1>[,<image2>]

Composite build steps

A fully contained nightly build for the system is invoked using:

# make nightly

To allow the nightly build to build both release and development packages use:

# make nightly EXTRABRANCH=master

Nightly builds are the only builds that write and archive logs under:

# make print-LOGSDIR

with ./latest containing the last nightly build run. Older logs are archived and available for a whole week for retrospective analysis.

To push sets and images to a remote location use the upload target:

# make upload-<set>[,...]

To pull sets and images from a remote location use the download target:

# make download-<set>[,...]

Logs can be downloaded as well for local inspection. Note that download like prefetch will purge all locally existing targets. Use SERVER to specify the remote end, e.g. SERVER=user@does.not.exist

Additionally, UPLOADDIR can be used to specify a remote location. At this point only "logs" upload cleares and creates directories on the fly.

If you want to script interactive prompts you may use the confirm target to operate yes or no questions before an action:

# make info confirm dvd

To add arbitrary plugins from an external location into an image you can use the following:

# make custom-<image> ADDITIONS="an-existing-plugin path/to/extra/plugin"

Last but not least, a rebuild of OPNsense core and plugins on package sets is invoked using:

# make hotfix[-<step>]

It will flush all previous packages except for ports, rebuild core and plugins and sign the sets if enabled. It can also explicity set "core" or "plugins".