Improving the mainline kernel testing process

Brad Figg brad.figg at
Mon Apr 25 20:46:58 UTC 2011

On 04/25/2011 01:38 PM, Tim Gardner wrote:
> On 04/22/2011 02:01 PM, komputes wrote:
>> Hi Kernel Team,
>> It has been some time that I have been talking to JFo about improving
>> instructions or simplifying the process of testing the mainline kernel.
>> We use the response "can you test the mainline kernel" so much that we
>> should make it much simpler to test. The problem is that the current
>> instructions [1] are complicated for average user to understand. We have
>> to remember that we have experience doing this, average users (like my
>> parents) do not.
>> Why is this a problem? What happens to most bugs, they get reported
>> against linux. Triager asks for the user to test mainline. At this point
>> many users give up and do not follow up causing expired bugs.
>> Here are some suggestions I propose:
>> - Rewrite instructions [1] to be more use friendly (dated and could use
>> some love)
>> - Create a simpler process for testing the mainline build
>> - Generate a LiveCD with the mainline kernel to simplify testing (not
>> ideal for bandwidth, but very user friendly). Simply boot, test and
>> report back.
>> - Place a "mainline" metapackage in the repos for testing purposes
>> What does the kernel team think of this proposal? Should it be something
>> to discuss at UDS or do we think we can correct this simply?
>> Cheers,
>> -komputes
>> (]( -. .- )[)
>> [1]
>> PS. Thanks to bjf and JFo for providing assistance and guiding me in
>> this proposal.
> While the directions for installing a kernel are a bit technical, I don't think they are particularly complicated. If someone isn't comfortable following these directions, then they probably shouldn't be installing kernels. It _is_ a wiki, so feel to make
> improvements where you see fit.
> I've long lusted after an easy customized Live CD build script. I think Brad has done something with customized kernels in Live CDs for suspend/resume testing, but it takes a lot of space and bandwidth (and time).
> rtg

I think the issue is that we basically spam every new bug that comes in with
a request for upstream testing. We assume that if you are technical enough
to file a bug you can install a kernel. And if you don't do the testing we
won't look at your bug.

The main problem I have with the use of Live CDs is that to test a kernel we
ask that you download a 700+ MB image. This seems like a lot to ask.

Something like a meta package which would let people just download and install
the current mainline kernel would be a lower barrier.

Brad Figg brad.figg at

More information about the kernel-team mailing list