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 distrib 2010-10-30 aslak aslak [3e5b70] For some reason this sqlite addition to makebui...
 README 2010-02-22 aslak aslak [f4df5c] TimR's typo fixes.

Read Me

SmoothWall Express Build System


The build processes consists of 3 main steps:

1. Construct a temporary "tools" environment using the hosts toolchain.  A
symlink in the host (/tools) ensures that all programs, when a "make
install" is done on them, end up in the temporary tree and not in the host
system.  This symlink is created automatically.

2. Compile all packages that will end up in the final installation
smoothwall.tgz, plus any programs and libraries that are required to compile
those programs.  This stage is done using the temporary tools environment
and is chrooted into the working build environment.  Before building the
"core" packages, such as the kernel etc, the build toolchain that will be
used in the final build is compiled up with the /tools toolchain, thus the
/tools structure is no longer needed.  Packages that are compiled and
installed are placed into the build environment (i.e. under distrib/).  Also,
each compiled package is tarred up into a tarball that is used in step 3.

3. Create the last few tools needed to create the final bootable ISO (such
as mkisofs, and syslinux).  Then build the smoothwall.tgz, by untarring the
packages compiled in step 2 into a new directory.  SmoothWall specific files
are added from the "coretree" package.  Finally build the bootdisk images
and the ISO itself.


The main working directory is expresscore/distrib.  Once an initial build
has been completed, this dir can be chrooted into and it will be possible to
work on the tree, add new packages, etc, etc.  expresscore itself can be
used to hold documentation and other files that wont be used in the build
environment itself.

expresscore/distrib/tools is the location of the temporary build
environment.  Even after a completed build, you should leave this dir alone
because some build scripts have to reference files in it because they are
normally called before step 2 is complete.  It shouldn't ever be necessary
to change how this tools dir works, so just ignore it unless you are REALLY

expresscore/distrib/build is where the "action" is.  This dir contains
the build top level makefile, scripts to build stage 1 and stage 2, and a
couple of helper scripts.

build/sources is the real heart of the build process.  Each dir is a
package, including some smoothwall-specific ones, like libsmooth+setup for
the setup program, setuids for the little C setuids, etc.  Each dir contains
a Makefile that must have specific targets, such "download".  The clever
part is it is possible to use ready made targets, by including the
Makefile.rules in the dir above.  This has targets for configuring,
compiling, installing and creating the package archive.  For gnu-compliant,
./configure compatible packages it is possible to make a makefile to build
the package in only a few lines, including the download URL.  See the
sources/sed/Makefile for a good example.

Two packages are worth extra attention: coretree is a package that builds a
tarfile tree of all the extra files needed by smoothie, such as CGIs etc. 
It does this by copying them out of sources/coretree/tree into a temp dir,
before taring up the temp dir.  So if you want to add static files to the
distrib, add them to this tree.  Symlinks and permissions are not directly
set in this tree - they are created and set by the Makefile, scripted

Finally, sources/media is where the bootdisks and ISO are created.  The
Makefile loops copying compiled packages from the target dir.  Add
additional packages to the list as needed.  This makefile also removes
unneeded stuff, such as /usr/include, from the final smoothwall.tgz, as well
as running strip on directories expected to hold binaries.  The final ISO
will end up in this build/target/iso dir.


Makefile - Top level makefile.  Really just a wrapper for makebuild1. 
Modify this file to hold DNS server IP addresses.

makebuild1 - Initial build script.  Makes the temporary build env (under
/tools) and then fires off makebuild2 chrooted.

makebuild2 - Main build script, which runs chrooted in the directory above
this one.  Uses the makefiles in sources dir to compile up main distro
components into compiled packages living under targets.  Also compiles up
smoothwall-specific code.  Finally creates boot disks using sources/media
makefiles, overlays static parts that are packaged up in sources/coretree,
and builds the final ISO.

prebuild2 - Little script that creates files needed to compile up the second
level build, such as a working /dev/null.  Needed because build2 happens

build1done - This is a touch file created when stage 1 has been completed
successfully.  The makebuild1 script checks for the existence of this file
before starting to build stage 1.  Therefore it is possible to restart "make
build" without it going though stage 1 all over again.

dlverify - "Download and verify".  This is a little helper script that wraps
wget.  The purpose of the wrapper is two-fold: to stop wget being called on
a completed download, thus causing unnecessary network traffic, and also to
verify a completed download by MD5.  The arguments are: <directory> <url>
[md5].  Directory is usually the standard d/l area.  The MD5 can be left
off, in which case no download check is done.  To cope with partial
downloads, once a d/l has completed, an additional touch file will be
created with the same name as the download file, plus ".done".  Only if this
file is present will the download be skipped over.  Note that the
Makefile.conf (in sources) defines DL_CMD for you, and it includes the
download destination dir.  So to do a download from within a makefile, you
should usually just do: $(DL_CMD) http://...  This script also has the
ability to use a local mirror.  The URL root for the mirror is set at the
top of the script.  To create a local mirror for yourself, after doing a
full build, copy the files in build/download (except the .done files) into
your mirror.

sources - "Packages" are assigned a directory in here, with a Makefile for


Currently the environment is only tested under the root user, and when it
is installed in /usr/src/expresscore.  More testing will be done, and
perhaps eventually it will be possible to compile an ISO under a different
user.  But not yet :)

Note that before starting the build process, the symlink /tools will be
first deleted and then created like this:

ln -s /usr/src/expresscore/distrib/tools

First, edit the Makefile in the distrib/build dir and check the settings for
DNS_SERVERS.  You should set at least one valid DNS server, or the build
will be aborted.

To start the build, do "make build".  Do "make" with no target to get a list
of available targets.  Interesting ones are:

predownload - Downloads all needed sources.

packageinfo.html - Spits out some crudely formatted HTML containing packages
and versions, download URLs and patch URLs.  Call with make -s to hide the
make output.


Currently it is not easily possible to restart the build and have it
continue where it left off.  This is a hard thing to implement, but we are
interested in doing so.


Red Hat 8.0-9.0
Fedora Core 1-3
SuSE Linux (9.0)
Debian Sarge (as of 07/06/2004)

Generally, the build should work on any Linux that is capable of building
GCC 3.3.2.  This unfortunately excludes systems using GCC 4.


Loosely based on Linux From Scratch ideas.


Lawrence Manning (


The SmoothWall build system and associated scripts are (c) SmoothWall Ltd,
2005 and licenced under the GNU GPL v2.