[vbox-dev] Extension pack for FreeBSD

Knut St. Osmundsen knut.osmundsen at oracle.com
Wed May 13 19:57:13 GMT 2020

Hi Lobo.

On 2020-05-06 21:44, Mario Lobo wrote:
> Hi;
> I wrote an e-mail during the days of Frank Mehnert with an appeal for
> the availability of an extension pack for FreeBSD.
> This was his answer:
>> Providing Extenicode for FreeBSD is not impossible but would require
>> some effort. The most important part is probably to find a compatible
>> build environment.
>> I don't say "No" in general but we need to think about this in more
>> detail.
> This was 4 years ago.
> So this is just to know if there might a chance for this to happen or
> if I should bury my dreams of it for good.
> Best regards,

The idea has been regularly bought up internally over the years. 
Initially the idea was to provide a set of platform agnostic extension
pack files that would work on most unsupported host OS (back then
FreeBSD, OS/2 and maybe NetBSD).  We've since dropped support for 32-bit
builds, which means we're down to FreeBSD (and maybe NetBSD) as
potential target host(s), however we've added a whole lot more C++ fun
to the mix, so not so confident we can pull this agnostic build off so
easily any more.

As FrankM mentioned back then, it's not a lot of work setting up a
FreeBSD build VM running the current stable version and tweak the build
to run on it.  What will happen though, is that in a year or two, it
will need updating to a newer version and we'd postpone that for a while
too long and the FreeBSD users would have to put up with installing lots
of compat libs and the stuff might not be working quite optimally even
then.  We'd also have trouble testing what we build, as we don't
currently build VBox for FreeBSD hosts internally or have any FreeBSD
test boxes.  So, we'd be relying entirely on the community for QA.

For that reason and others there may be trouble convincing the upstairs
crowd that this is a good idea. Could maybe be easier if it was an host
agnostic build though.  Will have to discuss this a little internally
again ...


Kind Regards / Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Med vennlig hilsen,
Knut St. Osmundsen

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