LibreBSD project "done" 17 aug 2016

Today I realized that I had actually fixed all outstanding tasks I had for "LibreBSD". It is likely be the default SSL library provider for HardenedBSD and TrueOS in the very near future.

LibreBSD project

Today I fixed the last of the things that needed to be improved to make LibreSSL really a drop-in replacement for FreeBSD's libcrypto and libssl. These were mostly cosmetic but still important enough

  1. Delete Non-LibreSSL libs, headers, man-pages etc with make delete-old
  2. Add WITH_LIBRESSL and WITHOUT_LIBRESSL descriptions for man(8) src.conf
  3. Install libcrypto in the same location as for OpenSSL.

Even though the solutions were ultimately very simple, they eluded me for a while. I'll explain more towards the bottom of this post. Let's first go into how you can use LibreSSL in your FreeBSD base system and do without OpenSSL altogether.

Switching to LibreSSL

There are several methods

  1. Build your own
  2. Use HardenedBSD (and the additional security features)
  3. Use TrueOS Desktop (formerly PC-BSD)

Both HardenedBSD and TrueOS supply binary distributions with LibreSSL in base.


The HardenedBSD project allows you to switch to LibreSSL in base and also has a package repo with packages linked against the libcrypto/libssl libraries in base.

To use, install HardenedBSD as you would normally do and then add the following to /etc/hbsd-update.conf


and add to the pkg configuration


TrueOS Desktop

The PC-BSD project has been providing packages that use LibreSSL for over a year now. As of 11.0-RC1 PC-BSD has renamed itself to TrueOS Desktop and uses LibreSSL in base.

Build your own

Last mile

For a short explanation of the remaining problems that were fixed.

Obsolete files

FreeBSD has a file that lists all files that were removed between your current version and all previous release versions. As LibreSSL is not a default feature but configurable, it is not proper to use this but ultimately I've discovered tools/build/mk/ which does exactly what I want.

Then all that was lacking was figuring out what needs deletion. As OpenSSL installs ca. 3000 man-page files (and symlinks). Fortunately, all the man-pages are listed in the and files in the secure/lib/libcrypto directory.

Then all that's required is add the OpenSSL libraries and headers to the list of obsolete files.

WITH_/WITHOUT_LIBRESSL in man src.conf

Actually stumbled on this whilst working on the Obsolete Files.

Added 2 files to tools/build/options


containing a one-liner describing what the feature does

Set to build LibreSSL as libcrypto/libssl provider as replacement of the OpenSSL equivalents.

Install location of libcrypto

For reasons unknown to me, installed into /usr/lib where on a vanilla system it installs in /lib. I had copied the line that would make it install in /lib yet it didn't actually do so!

SHLIBDIR?=  /lib

So why would it not be set correctly? Sometimes it just takes a bit of time, you look at the problem again (after Bryan Drewery points out that it is that that is what sets it. So what was biting me? This is the original

SHLIBDIR?=  /lib

.include <>

and this the same for LibreSSL

.include <>

SHLIBDIR?=  /lib

Suddenly it dawned on me, already defines SHLIBDIR so the subsequent ?= doesn't stick. So the simple solution is

SHLIBDIR?=   /lib

.include <>

First set the SHLIBDIR and then include, problem solved!