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COMPAT_FREEBSD(8)       OpenBSD System Manager's Manual      COMPAT_FREEBSD(8)

     compat_freebsd - setup for running FreeBSD binaries under emulation

     OpenBSD supports running FreeBSD binaries.  Most binaries should work,
     except for programs that use FreeBSD-specific features.  These include
     i386-specific calls, such as syscons utilities and audio devices.

     The FreeBSD compatibility feature is active for kernels compiled with the
     COMPAT_FREEBSD option and the kern.emul.freebsd sysctl(8) enabled.

     A lot of programs are dynamically linked.  This means that the FreeBSD
     shared libraries that the programs depend on and the runtime linker are
     also needed.  Additionally, a "shadow root" directory for FreeBSD
     binaries on the OpenBSD system will have to be created.  This directory
     is named /emul/freebsd.  Any file operations done by FreeBSD programs run
     under OpenBSD will look in this directory first.  So, if a FreeBSD
     program opens, for example, /etc/passwd, OpenBSD will first try to open
     /emul/freebsd/etc/passwd, and if that does not exist open the `real'
     /etc/passwd file.  It is recommended that FreeBSD packages that include
     configuration files, etc., be installed under /emul/freebsd, to avoid
     naming conflicts with possible OpenBSD counterparts.  Shared libraries
     should also be installed in the shadow tree.

     Generally, it will only be necessary to look for the shared libraries
     that FreeBSD binaries depend on the first few times that FreeBSD programs
     are installed on the OpenBSD system.  After a while, there will be a
     sufficient set of FreeBSD shared libraries on the system to be able to
     run newly imported FreeBSD binaries without any extra work.

   Setting up shared libraries
     How to get to know which shared libraries FreeBSD binaries need, and
     where to get them?  Basically, there are 3 possibilities.  (When
     following these instructions, root privileges are required on the OpenBSD
     system to perform the necessary installation steps).

     1.   Access to the OpenBSD ports(7) system: Install the port named
          freebsd_lib in the emulators category.  The freebsd_lib port
          contains the shared libraries, binaries, and other related files
          necessary to run FreeBSD applications.

     2.   Access to a FreeBSD system: In this case temporarily install the
          binary there, see what shared libraries it needs, and copy them to
          the OpenBSD system.  Example: ftp the FreeBSD binary of SimCity.
          Put it on the FreeBSD system, and check which shared libraries it
          needs by running `ldd sim':

                me@freebsd% ldd /usr/local/lib/SimCity/res/sim

                     -lXext.6 => /usr/X11R6/lib/libXext.so.6.0 (0x100c1000)
                     -lX11.6 => /usr/X11R6/lib/libX11.so.6.0 (0x100c9000)
                     -lc.2 => /usr/lib/libc.so.2.1 (0x10144000)
                     -lm.2 => /usr/lib/libm.so.2.0 (0x101a7000)
                     -lgcc.261 => /usr/lib/libgcc.so.261.0 (0x101bf000)

          All the files from the last column should be placed under
          /emul/freebsd.  The following files would therefore be required on
          the OpenBSD system:


          Note that if a FreeBSD shared library with a matching major revision
          number to the first column of the 'ldd' output is already present,
          it isn't necessary to copy the file named in the last column to the
          OpenBSD system; the one already there should work.  It is advisable
          to copy the shared library anyway, if it is a newer version.  The
          old one can be removed.  So, if this library exists on the system:


          and the ldd output for a new binary is:

                -lc.2 => /usr/lib/libc.so.2.1 (0x10144000)

          it isn't necessary to copy /usr/lib/libc.so.2.1 too, because the
          program should work fine with the slightly older version.  libc.so
          can be replaced anyway, and that should leave:


          Finally, the FreeBSD runtime linker and its config files must be
          present on the system.  These files should be copied from the
          FreeBSD system to their appropriate place on the OpenBSD system (in
          the /emul/freebsd tree):


     3.   No access to a FreeBSD system: In that case, get the extra files
          from various ftp sites.  Information on where to look for the
          various files is appended below.

          Retrieve the following files (from _one_ ftp site to avoid any
          version mismatches), and install them under /emul/freebsd (i.e.
          foo/bar is installed as /emul/freebsd/foo/bar):


          ldconfig and ldd don't necessarily need to be under /emul/freebsd,
          they can be installed elsewhere in the system too.  Just make sure
          they don't conflict with their OpenBSD counterparts.  A good idea
          would be to install them in /usr/local/bin as ldconfig-freebsd and

          Run the FreeBSD ldconfig program with directory arguments in which
          the FreeBSD runtime linker should look for shared libs.  /usr/lib is
          standard.  For example:

                me@openbsd% mkdir -p /emul/freebsd/var/run
                me@openbsd% touch /emul/freebsd/var/run/ld-elf.so.hints
                me@openbsd% touch /emul/freebsd/var/run/ld.so.hints
                me@openbsd% ldconfig-freebsd /usr/X11R6/lib /usr/local/lib

          Note that argument directories of ldconfig are mapped to
          /emul/freebsd/XXXX by OpenBSD's compat code, and should exist as
          such on the OpenBSD system.  Make sure
          /emul/freebsd/var/run/ld.so.hints exists when running FreeBSD's
          ldconfig; if not, OpenBSD's /var/run/ld.so.hints could be lost.

          FreeBSD ldconfig should be statically linked, so it doesn't need any
          shared libraries by itself.  It will create the file
          /emul/freebsd/var/run/ld.so.hints.  The FreeBSD version of the
          ldconfig program should be rerun each time a new shared library is

          The OpenBSD system should now be set up for FreeBSD binaries which
          only need a shared libc.  Test this by running the FreeBSD ldd on
          itself.  Suppose that it is installed as ldd-freebsd, it should
          produce something like:

                me@openbsd% ldd-freebsd `which ldd-freebsd`

                     -lc.2 => /usr/lib/libc.so.2.1 (0x1001a000)

          This being done, new FreeBSD binaries can now be installed.
          Whenever a new FreeBSD program is installed, it should be determined
          if it needs shared libraries, and if so, whether they are installed
          in the /emul/freebsd tree.  To do this, run the FreeBSD version ldd
          on the new program, and watch its output.  ldd (see also the manual
          page for ldd(1)) will print a list of shared libraries that the
          program depends on, in the form -l<majorname> => <fullname>.

          If it prints "not found" instead of <fullname> it means that an
          extra library is needed.  Which library this is, is shown in
          <majorname>, which will be of the form XXXX.<N>.  Find a
          libXXXX.so.<N>.<mm> on a FreeBSD ftp site, and install it on the
          OpenBSD system.  The XXXX (name) and <N> (major revision number)
          should match; the minor number(s) <mm> are less important, though it
          is advised to take the most recent version.

   Finding the necessary files
     Note: the information below is valid as of Feb 2003, but certain details
     such as names of ftp sites, directories and distribution names may have
     changed since then.

     FreeBSD distribution is available on a lot of ftp sites.  Sometimes the
     files are unpacked, and individual files can be retrieved, but mostly
     they are stored in distribution sets, usually consisting of
     subdirectories with gzipped tar files in them.  The primary ftp site for
     the distribution is:


     Mirror sites are described at:


     This distribution consists of a number of tar-ed and gzipped files.
     Normally, they're controlled by an install program, but the files can be
     retrieved "by hand" too.  The way to look something up is to retrieve all
     the files in the distribution, and ``tar ztvf'' through them for the
     files needed.  Here is an example of a list of files that might be

           Needed          Files

           ld.so           5.0-RELEASE/base/base.??
           ldconfig        5.0-RELEASE/base/base.??
           ldd             5.0-RELEASE/base/base.??
           libc.so.6       5.0-RELEASE/base/base.??
           libX11.so.6     5.0-RELEASE/packages/x11/XFree86-libraries-??
           libXt.so.6      5.0-RELEASE/packages/x11/XFree86-libraries-??

     The files called ``base.??'' are tar-ed, gzipped and split, so they can
     be extracted with ``cat base.?? | tar zpxf -''.

     The XFree86 libraries are compressed with bzip2 and can be extracted with
     ``bzcat <file> | tar pxf -''.  Note: The bzip2 utilities are not part of
     a base OpenBSD system.  bzip2 can be added via packages(7) or ports(7).

     Simply extract the files from these compressed tarfiles in the
     /emul/freebsd directory (possibly omitting or afterwards removing
     unnecessary files).

     The information about FreeBSD distributions may become outdated.

OpenBSD 4.9                    October 22, 2009                    OpenBSD 4.9