bmake: call for developers

The clean style and beauty of the BSD makefiles inspires a lot of people to ask me if there’s an up to date, portable way of installing BSD make on systems which are not running FreeBSD, i.e. Linux or Solaris. A recent thread in the freebsd-questions mailing list was the proverbial straw which broke the back of the camel. I’ve started a port of FreeBSD make(1) which uses the GNU build tools to compile (“autoconf“, “automake” and “libtool“), and uploaded the first pre-alpha sources to the Mercurial repository collection of

The conversion to the GNU build tools seems to be going fairly well. The sources I have so far are available under a 2-clause BSD license at:

If you are a developer who is interested in helping with the “bmake” port of FreeBSD make to non-BSD platforms, please feel free to drop me an email at:

keramida at freebsd dot org

Happy hacking!


6 thoughts on “bmake: call for developers

  1. vvas

    Heh, it’d be interesting to see how this works out… especially considering that people are thinking about dropping autoconf etc. altogether and just using gmake for every part of the build process.

  2. keramida Post author

    vvas: as I mentioned in IRC earlier, thanks for the link :-)

    aggelos: I may consider a rename to “fbmake” if it turns out to be a bad choice. The fact that pkgsrc already uses the name is a weak reason, but any ideas for other names which are short, to the point, and have no conflicts are more than welcome. For now, and until I have something that is *usable* on non-FreeBSD platforms (i.e. it builds, runs and finds its own make-includes correctly on Linux and Solaris), I think I’ll stick with “bmake”.

    Thanks for the heads up about the bmake utility of pkgsrc though. I haven’t really used pkgsrc so far, so it would have easily slipped my notice.

  3. corecode

    Not sure why you insist in porting FreeBSD’s make. NetBSD’s is close, maybe even more advanced (not sure), and it already is available as tarball and autoconf/make buildable project. You should at least check it out before duplicating effort.

    I have been using bmake and its makefiles since long time on Linux, with great success.

  4. keramida Post author

    Hi Simon,

    There are a few differences between the two. I am more familiar with the way the FreeBSD make utility works, and it would be useful for me to have a FreeBSD-compatible make utility on Linux and Solaris systems.

    I don’t see this as ‘duplicating effort’, since one of the goals is to be able to build the *FreeBSD* source tree on alien platforms. Having a slightly incompatible make utility from NetBSD may be almost there but not quite either :-)

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