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Changes to the source tree should not knowingly break the build of a Tier 1 platform.
Tier 1 architectures must have a mature, healthy ecosystem of users and active developers.
Developers should be able to build packages on commonly available, non-embedded Tier 1 systems. This can mean either native builds if non-embedded systems are commonly available for the platform in question, or it can mean cross-builds hosted on some other Tier 1 architecture.
Changes cannot break the userland ABI. If an ABI change is required, ABI compatibility for existing binaries should be provided via use of symbol versioning or shared library version bumps.
Changes merged to stable branches cannot break the protected portions of the kernel ABI. If a kernel ABI change is required, the change should be modified to preserve functionality of existing kernel modules.
Tier 2: Developmental and Niche Architectures
Tier 2 platforms are functional, but less mature FreeBSD platforms. They are not supported by the security officer, release engineering, and port management teams.
Tier 2 platforms may be Tier 1 platform candidates that are still under active development. Architectures reaching end of life may also be moved from Tier 1 status to Tier 2 status as the availability of resources to continue to maintain the system in a Production Quality state diminishes. Well-supported niche architectures may also be Tier 2.
The FreeBSD Project provides the following guarantees to consumers of Tier 2 platforms:
The ports infrastructure should include basic support for Tier 2 architectures sufficient to support building ports and packages. This includes support for basic packages such as ports-mgmt/pkg, but there is no guarantee that arbitrary ports will be buildable or functional.
New features which are not inherently platform-specific should be feasible on all Tier 2 architectures if not implemented.
Tier 2 platforms will be included in the source tree.
Tier 2 platforms should be self-hosting either via the in-tree toolchain or an external toolchain. If an external toolchain is required, official binary packages for an external toolchain will be provided.
Tier 2 platforms should provide functional kernels and userlands even if an official release distribution is not provided.
To maintain maturity of Tier 2 platforms, the FreeBSD Project will maintain the following resources to support development:
Collectively, developers are required to provide the following to maintain the Tier 2 status of a platform:
Changes to the source tree should not knowingly break the build of a Tier 2 platform.
Tier 2 architectures must have an active ecosystem of users and developers.
While changes are permitted to break the userland ABI, the ABI should not be broken gratuitously. Significant userland ABI changes should be restricted to major versions.
New features that are not yet implemented on Tier 2 architectures should provide a means of disabling them on those architectures.
Tier 3: Experimental Architectures
Tier 3 platforms have at least partial FreeBSD support. They are <emphasis>not</emphasis> supported by the security officer, release engineering, and port management teams.
Tier 3 platforms are architectures in the early stages of development, for non-mainstream hardware platforms, or which are considered legacy systems unlikely to see broad future use. Initial support for Tier 3 platforms may exist in a separate repository rather than the main source repository.
The FreeBSD Project provides no guarantees to consumers of Tier 3 platforms and is not committed to maintaining resources to support development. Tier 3 platforms may not always be buildable, nor are any kernel or userland ABIs considered stable.
Tier 4: Unsupported Architectures
Tier 4 platforms are not supported in any form by the project.
All systems not otherwise classified are Tier 4 systems. When a platform transitions to Tier 4, all support for the platform is removed from the source and ports trees. Note that ports support should remain as long as the platform is supported in a branch supported by ports.
Policy on Changing the Tier of an Architecture
Systems may only be moved from one tier to another by approval of the FreeBSD Core Team, which shall make that decision in collaboration with the Security Officer, Release Engineering, and ports management teams. For a platform to be promoted to a higher tier, any missing support guarantees must be satisfied before the promotion is completed.
Ports Specific FAQ
Adding a New Port


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(itstool) path: sect2/para
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a year ago
Source string age
a year ago
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articles/committers-guide.pot, string 769