4. Configuration: Installation & Setup

Download the freebsd-update-server software by installing devel/subversion and security/ca_root_nss, and execute:

% svn co https://svn.freebsd.org/base/user/cperciva/freebsd-update-build freebsd-update-server

Update scripts/build.conf appropriately. It is sourced during all build operations.

Here is the default build.conf, which should be modified to suit your environment.

# Main configuration file for FreeBSD Update builds.  The
# release-specific configuration data is lower down in
# the scripts tree.

# Location from which to fetch releases
export FTP=ftp://ftp2.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases1

# Host platform
export HOSTPLATFORM=`uname -m`

# Host name to use inside jails
export BUILDHOSTNAME=${HOSTPLATFORM}-builder.daemonology.net2

# Location of SSH key
export SSHKEY=/root/.ssh/id_dsa3

# SSH account into which files are uploaded

# Directory into which files are uploaded

Parameters for consideration would be:


This is the location where ISO images are downloaded from (by the fetchiso() subroutine of scripts/build.subr). The location configured is not limited to FTP URIs. Any URI scheme supported by standard fetch(1) utility should work fine.

Customizations to the fetchiso() code can be installed by copying the default build.subr script to the release and architecture-specific area at scripts/RELEASE/ARCHITECTURE/build.subr and applying local changes.


The name of the build host. This information will be displayed on updated systems when issuing:

% uname -v


The SSH key for uploading files to the update server. A key pair can be created by typing ssh-keygen -t dsa. This parameter is optional; standard password authentication will be used as a fallback authentication method when SSHKEY is not defined.

The ssh-keygen(1) manual page has more detailed information about SSH and the appropriate steps for creating and using one.


Account for uploading files to the update server.


Directory on the update server where files are uploaded to.

The default build.conf shipped with the freebsd-update-server sources is suitable for building i386 releases of FreeBSD. As an example of building an update server for other architectures, the following steps outline the configuration changes needed for amd64:

  1. Create a build environment for amd64:

    % mkdir -p /usr/local/freebsd-update-server/scripts/7.2-RELEASE/amd64
  2. Install a build.conf in the newly created build directory. The build configuration options for FreeBSD 7.2-RELEASE on amd64 should be similar to:

    # SHA256 hash of RELEASE disc1.iso image.
    export RELH=1ea1f6f652d7c5f5eab7ef9f8edbed50cb664b08ed761850f95f48e86cc71ef51
    # Components of the world, source, and kernels
    export WORLDPARTS="base catpages dict doc games info manpages proflibs lib32"
    export SOURCEPARTS="base bin contrib crypto etc games gnu include krb5  \
                    lib libexec release rescue sbin secure share sys tools  \
                    ubin usbin cddl"
    export KERNELPARTS="generic"
    # EOL date
    export EOL=12752892002


    The sha256(1) hash key for the desired release, is published within the respective release announcement.


    To generate the "End of Life" number for build.conf, refer to the "Estimated EOL" posted on the FreeBSD Security Website. The value of EOL can be derived from the date listed on the web site, using the date(1) utility, for example:

    % date -j -f '%Y%m%d-%H%M%S' '20090401-000000' '+%s'

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/doc/

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.org>.
Send questions about this document to <freebsd-doc@FreeBSD.org>.