Distribution Autotesting

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To assist in automated quality assurance for distributions, the LSB supports running most of the distribution test suite in an automated fashion, either at the command line or via cron. The basis of that support is the LSB DTK Manager, which supports a command-line tool for running the tests. You can read more about that tool at the Nightly Run HOWTO.

We have also created a small wrapper around DTK Manager which does several things:

  • Prevents multiple runs, so the test run can be run out of cron without fear.
  • Saves additional result output for inclusion with the official results.
  • Provides an easy interface for emailing summary reports.
  • Uploads the data to the Linux Foundation (or, optionally, to your own site) so the LSB workgroup can use your results in its own planning and development of the LSB.

Here are simple instructions for preparing automatic test runs.

Set Up The Distribution

You first have to set up a system to test. This may be a native system, or a virtual machine using virtualization software. The system should be LSB-compliant; make sure, if your distribution needs special treatment to install LSB support, that the support is installed.

It's important to note that several of the LSB tests are not secure, and thus the tests should never be run on a system doing anything important. Ideally, native boxes running the tests will run nothing else, and will be shut off when not being tested. Virtual machines should not be kept running when not doing a test run.

Install Prerequisites

In addition to an LSB-compliant system, the automated tests will need the following:

  • The "expect" tool, which is distributed with nearly all Linux distributions, or can be found on the expect web site.
  • The "rsync" tool, which is also distributed with nearly all Linux distributions, or can be found on the rsync web site.