OSDL Bolsters Linux Kernel Testing

Posted by dave on Aug 19, 2004 4:52 AM EDT
PR Newswire; By Press release
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Premier Linux Advocacy Organization Expands Testing Services for Open Source Development Community

BEAVERTON, Ore., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a global consortium of leading technology companies dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux, today announced a major upgrade of its Scalable Test Platform (STP) enterprise-grade testing services for the Linux kernel.

"Linux is increasingly seen running critical applications," said Dan Kusnetzky, vice president of system software research at industry analyst firm IDC. "As these workloads become more complex, tools, such as STP, could be a valuable addition to an organization's test environment."

Introduced in 2001, STP is available online and free-of-charge to qualified developers through the OSDL Web site at http://www.osdl.org. STP provides a set of test suites on a wide range of hardware platforms for validating changes to code in the Linux kernel, automatically tracking performance and quantifying stability. For example, STP makes it possible for enterprises to test patches and company-specific Linux systems for stability and performance prior to production deployment.

The latest release of STP, version 3.0, broadens the range of features to help developers simulate real-world data center environments on the Linux kernel and the impact of different workloads on the most widely-used open source databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL and SAPDb.

"A mandate from our members and the development community is to make OSDL a leader in Linux testing," said Timothy Witham, CTO of OSDL. "That's why we created STP and why we invested more than $15 million in our data center testing systems and make them available to developers around the world."

To ensure stability in Linux, developers and OSDL Lab experts used STP during the transition development phase of the kernel from 2.5 to the production 2.6 release at the end of 2003, performing more than 1,000 kernel tests on average each month. Since then the Lab has run more than 10,000 additional tests on the 2.6 production kernel. Each kernel release is tested automatically and the test results are available at http://www.osdl.org/projects/26lnxstblztn/results/ .

"The STP was helpful to us in delivering a stable 2.6 kernel at the first release," said Andrew Morton, lead maintainer of the production Linux kernel. "Any developer or organization working around the kernel will find this a useful tool."

Developers and testers use STP in two ways. They can automatically test the main kernel tree and critical sub-trees using tests such as LTP, reaim, tiobench, iozone, dbt2, dt3, and more. They can also test for specific changes to the kernel by uploading patches to a specific kernel tree, and requesting a test or suite of tests to be run across a variety of server configurations, from simple single processor systems to large, 8-way SMP servers. All test data are archived and posted publicly on the OSDL website.

STP has added many critical test suites since its inception, including Kernbench, contest, reaim, and the Open POSIX Testsuite. Test result summary pages are also available for tiobench, reaim, and iozone. With the 3.0 release, STP can now test applications such as Postgres and sysstat with the kernel. In addition, testing new process architectures is now possible. support. New cross-compile filters add support for testing against the PPC, PPC64, Sparc, Sparc64, x86_64, and Alpha chip architectures. A new advanced search tool makes it much faster and easier to research and retrieve archived test results.

To participate on mailing lists and access STP source code, or to get more information, developers and testers interested in STP can go the STP SourceForge Web site at http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/stp/ . About Open Source Development Labs (OSDL)

OSDL -- home to Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux -- is dedicated to accelerating the growth and adoption of Linux. Founded in 2000 by CA, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Intel and NEC, OSDL is a non-profit organization at the center of Linux supported by a global consortium of more than 40 of the world's largest Linux customers and IT industry leaders. OSDL sponsors industry-wide initiatives around Linux in telecommunications, in the enterprise data center and on corporate desktops. The Lab also provides Linux expertise and computing and test facilities in the United States and Japan available to developers around the world. Visit OSDL on the Web at http://www.osdl.org/ . NOTE: OSDL is a trademark of Open Source Development Labs, Inc. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Third party marks and brands are the property of their respective holders

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