Tues Sept 21, 2021

Use the source, Luke!

One of the main reasons to use a FOSS OS is that you can see the code! For me as a dev, it's been a lifechanging experience. Often it's faster to just look at the code than try to decipher Stack Overflow answers, and I always learn more that way!

Another perk of the *BSD's is that all of their source is in one repo. This can of course make SCM slow, but from a curious-developer perspective it's a dream come true.

OpenBSD uses cvs(1) to manage their source, but they publish a read-only git(1) mirror to GitHub, which I like to use for familiarity sake.

Traditionally, all the source lives in /usr/src , and OpenBSD expects you to put it there (for build purposes).

To get it:

  1. Add yourself to the wsrc and wobj groups so you can build without doas
    # usermod -G wsrc,wobj <user>
  1. Clone a bare repo to /var/git (default /usr/src not big enough for .git)
    # mkdir /var/git
    # chmod 775 /var/git
    # chown root:wsrc /var/git
    $ cd /var/git
    $ git clone --bare https://github.com/openbsd/src
  1. Check out a new worktree at /usr/src
    $ git -C /var/git/src.git worktree add /usr/src
  1. Find your favorite tool and build it
    $ cd /usr/src/bin/ed
    $ make obj  # for out of tree build, see make(1) OBJDIR
    $ make
    $ ./obj/ed

How cool is that?