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FreeBSD bleeding edge notes

This page is mainly a scratchpad where I will try to keep FreeBSD specific issues noted. Some of them may apply to NetBSD/OpenBSD, too. Darwin is also sharing a lot of the generic BSD.

FreeBSD is the most mature of the BSD ports, though Darwin is rapidly catching up.

Supported FreeBSD versions (10.x..11.x)

FreeBSD is currently targeted at versions 10.x .. 11.x.

Ports tree

FPC is currently available as 3.0.2 in the ports tree, maintained by Alonso Cárdenas Márquez (

Official FPC Installer

Although the ports collection is brilliant, there are alternative methods of installing FPC too - installing from the official *.tar release packages.

  1. Downloading the official *.tar release from
  2. Unpack the .tar package into a temporary directory
    tar xvf fpc-3.0.0.x86_64-freebsd10.tar
  3. Run the setup program
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts

Building FPC Trunk

  1. Get the Trunk source code from SubVersion or the Git mirrors.
  2. Make sure you have a fully working latest released FPC version installed. It is this compiler that will initially compile the Trunk FPC.
  3. gmake build OPT="-Fl/usr/local/lib"
  4. gmake install INSTALL_PREFIX=/data/devel/fpc-3.1.0/x86_64-freebsd FPC=/data/devel/fpc-3.1.0/src/compiler/ppcx64

Note: In the last command you reference the newly built compiler via the FPC= parameter.


  • gdb. After installing FreeBSD 10 and FPC, I found gdb version was 6.1.1. This will be found by Lazarus on first run as /usr/bin/gdb and it will make debugging impossible (at least with Lazarus 1.2.x and 1.3). The fix is to Install the latests gdb version by doing pkg install devel/gdb (mine complained that the latest gdb version (7.7.1) was already installed), the remedy is modifying the used debugger in Lazarus menu Tools->Options->Debugger, select from the list /usr/local/bin/gdb
  • make. On the first run Lazarus will find /usr/bin/make or simply make as the 'make' command. It will not work, install gmake (pkg install gmake) and change it in Lazarus menu Tools->Options->Environment->Files->Make path.
  • Remember that under FreeBSD, /home is a link to /usr/home, it is relevant when installing lazarus using pkg install lazarus, by default it will use a primary config path in /home/user/.lazarus but then at some point it starts mixing it as /usr/home/user/.lazarus which appears to cause problems on installing packages and rebuilding lazarus as a normal user, although this needs to be confirmed.

Older versions of FPC and FreeBSD

Support for older versions

4.x is formally no longer supported, but the old code pretty much stayed put, the defaults just changed. The differences are pretty much startup code, threading, and some code under ifdef FREEBSD5: (note, the best chance for this to work is with the code of 2.2.2)

  • 4.x has other startup code than 7.x, get the old .as files from 2.0.0 or 2.0.2 (or from similar versions svn). (I don't really remember what was different about them. It could only be the ABI number in the ELF ident), assemble them, and copy them over the existing ones.
  • Now bootstrap the compiler using OPT="-dFREEBSD4 -Xf"
  • copy sources + bootstrapped (static) compiler to 4.x
  • Bootstrap system (again with patched startup code and OPT="-Xf -dFREEBSD4"

Write your experiences here under this paragraph since this is all just theory till now. I do not have a fbsd4 to actually try anymore.

COMPAT_ requirement of the port

I haven't really researched the issue, but somehow the port maintainers added a dependancy to COMPAT_5, probably because the source default puts the .note in to 504000 or so. This can be easily remedied by patching the file before building, and put the output of

elfdump -n `which elfdump` |awk '/FreeBSD/{print $2}'

in the .long line AFTER a .string "FreeBSD" line in

A script has been added to -trunk (fpc/rtl/freebsd/i386/ that does this. If you have improvements, please communicate them back (to where?).

Note: The COMPAT_ dependency was removed with version 2.2.4 of freepascal, and the value of .long line into file is changed to ${OSVERSION} automatically.

See about ${OSVERSION} at:


Since jan 2004, most Unix ports of FPC can be recompiled with FPC_USE_LIBC, and in those cases the RTL will use libc functions as much as possible. This was mainly introduced for the Darwin port, and may also be used for e.g. Lazarus distributions. (Lazarus links its apps to libc anyway, because of gtk)

Unix RTL, 1.0.x/1.9.x RTL compability

The 1.0.x rtl was essentially a linux only hackish rtl. The rtl was rewritten in version 1.9.x/2.x (and this still continues), and unfortunately, compatibility had to be broken.

For reasons and discussion, see Unix Rtl Doc

See also

FreeBSD specific Release Engineering