Board at Desk (B at D)
LXF: Tell us more about Board at Desk
YK: B at D is a VM that provides an easy way for developers to test Linux kernels from their local workstations. We don’t create everything for this project. It uses Kernel CI and LAVA − both open source projects used by Linaro and the kernel community − which we put together on this Debian VM to create a test infrastructure.
Kernel CI is an automated system for the building of Linux kernels linked to large board farms. This enables each company to use a common test environment that can be used easily (they can test boards from their desks), and it’s quite good for us. We can share the same test cases and also share results for the CIP kernel. Shared and trusted testing is an important philosophy for us. Not everyone has access to all boards, and we needed to get away from the centrally managed nature of kernelci.org. Furthermore, Kernel CI and LAVA are both powerful tools, but they’re complicated beasts too. We hope that B at D will reduce the entry barrier to these two projects.
We released B at D v1.0 just before this conference. The main changes are that we’ve updated the VM from Debian Jessie to Stretch. Previously, we had some packages from Debian Testing in there, which led to some instabilities and inconsistencies. We have a new version of LAVA, too: 2017.7.
All of this updating work has been done by the CIP testing team at Codethink. We also support Windows as a host OS, but that probably doesn’t interest you! What might interest you is that we now build the initramfs locally. This used to happen remotely on Linaro servers, which meant that we couldn’t test without internet connectivity. Now we can, and we can do so faster.