Con­tin­u­ous in­te­gra­tion Mark Fil­ion

Linux Format - - NEWSDESK -

At Col­lab­ora, the ma­jor­ity of our cus­tomers use the Linux ker­nel di­rectly within their prod­ucts. How­ever, a lot of our cus­tomers are mod­i­fy­ing the ker­nel to adapt it to their spe­cific needs.

While this high­lights the flex­i­ble na­ture of Linux, it also cre­ates a prob­lem for th­ese com­pa­nies be­cause they end up work­ing with an out­dated ker­nel that’s no longer re­ceiv­ing vi­tal se­cu­rity up­dates. The ker­nel that shipped with its prod­uct has be­come so heav­ily mod­i­fied com­pared to up­stream ver­sions that re­bas­ing it on top of newer, main­line re­leases be­comes too ex­pen­sive and dif­fi­cult to plan for.

Stay­ing close to up­stream as much as pos­si­ble , by reg­u­larly re­bas­ing on top of new re­leases (typ­i­cally LTS re­leases) is the best so­lu­tion. How­ever, for this work to be fea­si­ble, the amount of dif­fer­ences be­tween main­line and down­stream sources needs to be man­age­able. That’s why we rec­om­mend con­tribut­ing back any changes that aren’t spe­cific to their prod­ucts. Nev­er­the­less, while some com­pa­nies have up­stream­ing pro­cesses, keep­ing up with the main­line can take time.

Col­lab­ora has been work­ing on con­tin­u­ous in­te­gra­tion of soft­ware com­po­nents across a range of hard­ware. This in­cludes spon­sor­ing one of the ma­jor ef­forts to in­te­grate the main­line Linux ker­nel code­base: which builds sev­eral con­fig­u­ra­tions of dif­fer­ent trees and sub­mits boot jobs to sev­eral labs around the world, and col­lates the re­sults. This plays a key role in de­tect­ing any changes that ei­ther break the builds, or pre­vent a piece of hard­ware from com­plet­ing the boot stage.

Along with help­ing you keep pace with the Linux ker­nel, hav­ing con­tin­u­ous in­te­gra­tion of changes in main­line re­duces the risk of in­tro­duc­ing re­gres­sions to your ker­nel and makes it eas­ier, and faster, for your con­tri­bu­tions to be ac­cepted.

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