Some 800,000 copies of “Mon pays c'est l'amour” (My Country is Love) went on sale at midnight.
Warner studios said they expect Hallyday's 51st studio album to go platinum (100,000 sales) within minutes.
A hundred fans were waiting outside a store on the Champs-Elysees in Paris for the much-awaited record.
The musician's widow Laeticia Hallyday posted a message online to mark the event, signing off with “to the freedom of thinking, to your music, I love you
The cover features a black-and-white picture of France's answer to Elvis Presley, with a hand on one hip, staring off into the distance.
Hallyday, who had been a star since the 1960s, died from lung cancer at 74.
His death sparked a bitter inheritance feud between his two biological children, Laura Smet and David Hallyday, and his widow Laeticia.
His last album — a mix of rock, rockabilly and blues — was caught up in the battle, with the two children demanding a right of review.
A court dismissed their request.