IPFire 2.x - Build Howto


This howto covers building IPFire from source code to create new packages and make changes.

When building a development environment, you should be aware that:

  • This will require some patience and may take some time
  • Ideally you should have a powerful PC, with a lot of RAM
    • A two core CPU may take a long time to build
    • although this procedure will work on any modern PC
  • You will need to dedicate a significant chunk of disk space
  • The instructions below assume always working as "normal" unprivileged user and you'll see sudo commands below.

Make sure the IPFire 2.x - Build Environment Setup steps are complete.

How To Build IPFire

This process may take several hours...

Step 1: Create a project folder

Make a new project folder and change to that directory:

mkdir myProject
cd myProject

Step 2: Grab the source

Check out the Source Code by picking which branch you'll be working on (pick stable or next or IPFire 3.x)

git clone git://git.ipfire.org/ipfire-2.x.git

Note - this will download in 1 to 2 minutes depending on download speed

Step 3: Configure sendemail.to destination

When sharing your efforts with IPFire you'll be sending git email to the same destination. And if you submit git code to other sites it does not make sense to set this globally. So we set sendemail.to per each project. Go to the ipfire-2.x directory for your project and run these commands:

cd ~/myProject/ipfire-2.x
git config sendemail.to development@lists.ipfire.org

Step 4: Grab the source code

Download the source code tarballs of every upstream package.

cd ~/myProject/ipfire-2.x
sudo ./make.sh downloadsrc

Note - the make.sh downloadsrc will download in 10 to 15 minutes depending on download speed

Step 5: Download precompiled toolchain

In order to speed up compilation download the first stage of the toolchain. This is recommended.

sudo ./make.sh gettoolchain

Note - the first stage of the toolchain make.sh gettoolchain will download in about 10 seconds.

Step 6: First build

The build process automatically uses all available CPUs on the system to speed up the build as much as possible.

Start the build with:

sudo ./make.sh build

Note - the build stage will take 5 to 20 hours depending on your system.

Now just wait until it's finished. This is a important test for your development environment. Make sure this step completes with no errors before continuing to next step.

Step 7: Clean up before making new changes

sudo ./make.sh clean

Step 8: Create project branch

Create new branch and switch to that branch. It will be based on the "next" branch.

git checkout -b <yourBranchName> -t origin/next 

Step 9: Double check - are we at the right branch?

List all of the branches in repository. Asterisk <- we are here

git branch  

Step 10: Make needed changes

Create new packages, create new IPFire 2.x - Building Addons and/or make changes.

Step 11: Second build with changes

sudo ./make.sh build

Note - the second build stage will take 2 to 5 hours depending on your system.

Results of Build

Go to the cd ~/myProject/ipfire-2.x directory. You'll find built .iso and .img.xz files with their md5 checksum files. This is your own customized IPFire with your changes installed.

$ cd ~/myProject/ipfire-2.x
$ ls -hl ipfire*
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 385M Mar  2 17:52 ipfire-2.27.2gb-ext4.x86_64-full-core123.img.xz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   82 Mar  2 18:00 ipfire-2.27.2gb-ext4.x86_64-full-core123.img.xz.md5
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 441M Mar  2 17:49 ipfire-2.27.x86_64-full-core123.iso
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   70 Mar  2 18:00 ipfire-2.27.x86_64-full-core123.iso.md5

Log files

Go to the cd ~/myProject/ipfire-2.x/log directory. All log files are located here including the build log files:

$ cd ~/myProject/ipfire-2.x/log
$ ls -hl *.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  28M Mar 10 18:47 _build.base.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 431K Mar 10 18:49 _build.installer.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  67M Mar 10 18:48 _build.ipfire.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 809K Mar 10 19:04 _build.packages.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   83 Mar 10 12:26 _build.preparation.log

Benchmarks of building step

Ran the command sudo ./make.sh build and took note of the Build time.

CPU System Version - Core Update 1st Build 2nd Build 1
Intel Core i5 6400
32GB of RAM
Kali 2019.4 XFCE 2.23 - 139 8h 14m 31s 3h 03m 02s
Intel Core i5 6400
32GB of RAM
Kali 2020.1 XFCE 2.25 - 142 8h 06m 44s 2h 57m 05s
Intel Core i5-3470
3.20GHz, SSD & 8 GB RAM
4 core
Debian 11 (bullseye) 2.27 - 163 5h 52m 04s 2h 12m 39s
Intel Duo E7500
2.93GHz, SSD & 2 GB RAM
2 core
Debian 11 (bullseye) 2.27 - 165 14h 09m 27s 4h 18m 52s
Intel Xeon E5-1650 v2
3.5GHz,SSD & 16GB RAM
6 core
Debian 11 (bullseye) 2.27 - 168 4h 41m 00s 2h 09m 47s

  1. Between the first and second build we ran sudo ./make.sh clean to test cache. 

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Older Revisions • May 30 at 2:34 pm • Jon