Last week was Flock 2017 in Hyannis, MA. I was there!
I ran a session on kernel process for Fedora. This was
designed to be an open session for discussion of whatever topics people wanted.
We spent quite a lot of time on the future of Fedora kernel testing. Fedora
has been discussing continuous integration
across the project as a way to
improve overall quality. The kernel has a set
of tests that get run on every kernel build. There’s interest from within
Red Hat (my employer) to expand on this further. Red Hat
recently publicly released one of their basic
test suites for kernel testing. The ultimate goal is to use this plus other
tests cases to run a service similar to the Intel 0-day
testing for upstream kernels. This way, bugs can be found and hopefully fixed
There was some discussion about a potential increase in bugs with a move to CI.
There are only two people full time on the Fedora kernel vs. a lot more bugs and
reporters. How do we make additional reports scale? This has been a problem
with Fedora for a long time and there still isn’t a good answer. Trying to
turn all contributors into kernel developers isn’t very practical. What is
practical is supporting contributors who do have the time and skills to bisect
and report bugs to the upstream community. The hope is also that bugs which do
get reported from the CI effort will be of high enough quality to reliably
solve, or at least report.
The kernel session was very productive. One of the items that came out of it
was the idea for a kernel test day. Details about this will be coming as soon
as they are arranged.
Apart from my own session, I went to a couple of talks about ARM given by
Peter Robinson and Robert Wolff. Peter gave his usual “State of Fedora on ARM”
talk. The state is pretty great, thanks to his hard work. More and more boards
are enabled with each release and hardware features continue to be added.
There’s an ongoing project to make installation more ‘boring’ by adding support
to uBoot. Robert Wolff talked about supporting Fedora on
96boards based devices. As more and more devices
get hardware support upstream, it gets more plausible to support them in
Fedora. I expect support will only continue to improve as newer versions of
the hardware specification come out.
I spent most of the rest of my time in the hallway track. Highlights there:
- Chatting about Outreachy. The next round is coming up shortly so look for
the CFP soon.
- i686 kernels. The i686 SIG is slowly getting started. Justin and I gave some
suggestions on what it might take for them to be successful.
- Syncing up on a couple of ongoing bug reports.
- Stories about hardware older than me.
Thanks to all the organizers for putting together a great conference and giving
me an excuse to eat delicious Cape Cod food.