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DEVELOPMENT(7) FreeBSD Miscellaneous Information Manual DEVELOPMENT(7)

introduction to FreeBSD development process

FreeBSD development is split into three major suprojects: doc, ports, and src. Doc is the documentation, such as the FreeBSD Handbook. To read more, see:
Ports, described further in ports(7), are the way to build, package, and install third party software. To read more, see:
The last one, src, revolves around the source code for the base system, consisting of the kernel, and the libraries and utilities commonly called the world.
The Committer's Guide, describing topics relevant to all committers, can be found at:
FreeBSD src development takes place in the CURRENT branch in Subversion, located at:
There is also a read-only GitHub mirror at:
Changes are first committed to CURRENT and then usually merged back to STABLE. Every few years the CURRENT branch is renamed to STABLE, and a new CURRENT is branched, with an incremented major version number. Releases are then branched off STABLE and numbered with consecutive minor numbers.
Layout of the source tree is described in hier(7). Build instructions can be found in build(7) and release(7). Kernel programming interfaces (KPIs) are documented in section 9 manual pages; use ‘apropos -s 9 ''’ for a list. Regression test suite is described in tests(7). For coding conventions, see style(9).
To ask questions regarding development, use the mailing lists, such as freebsd-arch@ and freebsd-hackers@:
To get your patches integrated into the main FreeBSD repository use Phabricator; it is a code review tool that allows other developers to review the changes, suggest improvements, and, eventually, allows them to pick up the change and commit it:

Check out the CURRENT branch, build it, and install, overwriting the current system:
svnlite co src 
cd src 
make -j8 buildworld buildkernel installkernel 
After reboot:
cd src 
make -j8 installworld 

svnlite(1), witness(4), build(7), hier(7), release(7), locking(9), style(9)

The development manual page was originally written by Matthew Dillon <> and first appeared in FreeBSD 5.0, December 2002. It was since extensively modified by Eitan Adler <> to reflect the repository conversion from cvs(1) to svn(1). It was rewritten from scratch by Edward Tomasz Napierala <> for FreeBSD 12.0.
August 22, 2018 FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE

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