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FreeBSD Java™ Project: How To Help

I want to: on the port itself testing a bug
...write documentation

So you want to help, do you?

Working on the JDK™ port requires a firm grasp of C, the FreeBSD architecture, and a lot of time to spare. The changes that need to be made in the code have to do with how FreeBSD differs from Solaris™, so if you don't know these, you will not go very far in the port. We have had many people say they are willing to help, but when they see what is involved, they drop away.

Having been dutifully warned, here is what you need to do to get involved:

  1. Obtain a license from Sun for the source code
  2. Download the source code
  3. Use Patches Patches and build instructions may be downloaded from Currently open issues and test results may be found at


  4. Obtain source code "diffs" Notify Nate Williams that you have the license and arrange to gain access to the CVS tree.


  5. Begin hacking on the sources Begin your porting. Jump right in and start digging.
  6. Let the world know you have finished it!

You want to help, but do not know C or FreeBSD that well?

The absolute best thing you can do is download the latest release, install it, and try all your favorite Java applications. If they don't work, see below.

I have a bug!

If you find an application that does not work, or crashes, here are the steps you should follow before reporting it:

  1. Try it again.
  2. Check your settings for this application. Check to see if you made a mistake in starting it up.
  3. Try it on a different platform. If you have access to a reference platform, try it there. (We need to determine if it is an application error, a Java bug, or a FreeBSD specific bug.)
  4. Narrow down the problem. If it is your own code, narrow down the bug to the offending code. Otherwise, determine the steps required to reproduce the problem.
  5. Notify the JDK porting team. Send email to Be sure to include the steps you have followed.
  6. Finally, and most importantly, be willing to work with the team to fix the problem.

I can help with the web site or documentation!

Everyone can help here. If you have a suggestion to add to the documentation, write it up and send it to