FreeBSD support

Hi. How much would it cost to sponsor native support for FreeBSD 12+?

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I’m not sure freeBSD (Unix) is a popular enough OS to get native Zcashd support.

Have you tried just running it with a Linux OS in Virtualbox? That seems to be the quickest way to get there at the moment.

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I figured it wasn’t a high priority, which is why I was proposing sponsoring it.

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The zcashd full node has had “informal” FreeBSD support for a bit over a year now (since https://github.com/zcash/zcash/pull/4030). It was possible to compile zcashd on FreeBSD at some points, but it’s not a platform that ECC has explicitly supported, and we haven’t spent time on keep it building (we currently don’t have a CI builder that checks it). In particular, we recently migrated to pinned Clang, and only made cursory changes that are likely insufficient:

There are two parts here:

  • Getting FreeBSD builds working again. You’re correct that it is not a high priority, and sponsoring someone to work on this would be the fastest route. Reviewing these PRs should be manageable (I don’t imagine it would require any changes to the main codebase, just the build system).
  • Ongoing maintenance. There is not currently a strong motivation (e.g. a large third party wanting support) for ECC to keep FreeBSD builds working. If a PR causes FreeBSD to stop building or passing tests, we would make fixes as time allows, but we wouldn’t block PRs on FreeBSD passing. It’s more likely that we would open FreeBSD-tagged issues for these breaks.

Both of these would likely be helped by having a FreeBSD CI builder, which we could add again (as an “unsupported” builder that tests PRs but doesn’t block merges) if someone would be using that output to help get FreeBSD working again, and/or maintain it (keeping track of the FreeBSD-tagged issues).

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I wonder if the code that gitcoin wrote for supporting zcash-denominated grants could be adapted to support zcash-denominated bounties? https://gitcoin.co/bounty/new doesn’t list zcash yet, but it would be cool if you were to let the gitcoin folks know that you’d like it to be supported.

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Well that was fast! Nice work! :clap: You may get me to finally make the leap to BSD.

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