The Free Pascal team releases at intervals a completely prepared package, with compiler and units all ready to use, the so-called releases. After a release, work on the compiler continues, bugs are fixed and features are added. The Free Pascal team doesn’t make a new release whenever they change something in the compiler, instead the sources are available for anyone to use and compile. There is an automated process that creates compiled versions of RTL and compiler are also made daily, and put on the web (if the build succeeds). Zip files with the sources are also created daily.
There are, nevertheless, circumstances when the compiler must be recompiled manually. When changes are made to compiler code, or when the compiler is downloaded through Subversion.
There are essentially 2 ways of recompiling the compiler: by hand, or using the makefiles. Each of these methods will be discussed.