FreeBSD gets experimental PowerPC little-endian support, can now be built on Linux and macOS

The FreeBSD project has published its latest quarterly report, and there’s some good changes and improvements in there. First, there’s the project to allow FreeBSD to be built on non-FreeBSD hosts – Linux and macOS specifically. This project has made major headway.

As of September 2020 it should be possible to use the buildworld and buildkernel make targets to build a fully-functional FreeBSD installation on macOS and Linux hosts. We use this in our continuous integration system to build and test CheriBSD disk images for multiple architectures. I have also committed a GitHub Actions configuration upstream that takes approximately 10 minutes to build an amd64 kernel. This will ensure that changes that break crossbuilding from Linux/macOS can be detected easily.

Another major improvement is experimental support for little-endian PowerPC. Note, however, that this does not mean big-endian support is going away or being deprecated.

As of r366063, experimental support for little-endian PowerPC64, (PowerPC64LE) is available in -CURRENT for POWER8 and POWER9 machines.

There’s a lot more stuff to cover, so head on over and read the whole report for all the details.


  1. 2020-10-23 7:09 am
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    • 2020-10-23 10:30 am