IcedTea Bootstrap Process

Greg Lewis glewis at
Mon Jan 19 09:15:12 PST 2009

G'day Gary,

On Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 09:17:45AM +0000, Gary Benson wrote:
> Kurt Miller wrote:
> > True. At some point we will get to OpenJDK6 too. For now I'm
> > following the standard practice of following current/HEAD/tip to
> > increase the likelihood of our work making it in the main tree. If
> > it turns out that Sun isn't interested in merging BSD support into
> > the main tree I would expect that we will change our focus to
> > OpenJDK6.
> How are the BSD changes split between HotSpot and the class library?

The HotSpot changes are more extensive since we need to create a whole
BSD hierarchy to mirror the Linux and Solaris ones.  However, the code
itself is often very similar if not identical to Linux or Solaris.

> I don't know if you know this, but for IcedTea6 we replace the bundled
> HotSpot with a much newer version, so we may be working closer to the
> main tip than you realise, for HotSpot at least.

Yes, I'm aware that IcedTea6 is using HS 14, which is also the version in
use in OpenJDK7.  So in that sense they should apply fairly easily.

The big sticking point here, as Kurt has already mentioned, is time.
I think it would be great to get BSD support into IcedTea, but I'm not
sure that I have time to commit to making it happen.  For me, the main
focus will probably continue to be OpenJDK7 and keeping the BSD port of
that up to date.  That is the minimum bar we need to meet to be able to
get our changes merged into mainline.

Having said that, IcedTea has some benefits, the primary one being the
Zero port which will give us support for extra architectures (all?
of which are supported by at least one BSD variant I believe).  So what
I'd really like to evaluate is how hard that would be to port to BSD.
Where do I need to look at in the IcedTea tree to get a handle on this?
Should I just look at the ppc specific directories in HotSpot?  Presumably
there is also some shared code between the different architectures that
Zero supports though?  Also, what progress has been made getting Zero into
the main OpenJDK7 sources (which is an approved project as I understand

If its not too hard to port Zero to BSD then porting to IcedTea becomes
more attractive :).

Greg Lewis                          Email   : glewis at
Eyes Beyond                         Web     :
Information Technology              FreeBSD : glewis at

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