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Re: Kernel 2.6.16-1.2107_FC5 - unstabilities



Petr Fischer wrote:
> What sort of testing is usually done on kernel before it is published to
> users?
> Are there available any automatic tests (something like JUnit tests) for
> kernel development?
> 
> Sorry Dave, but this is very unstable behaviour - I have read on Fedora
> FAQ that Fedora is stable distribution. This sort of frequent, unstable
> and not really tested updates (not only kernel) is a pain for end users.

Normally, proposed updates are pushed to the updates-testing repository
for interested parties to try them.

(Run
yum --enablerepo=updates-testing check-update
to see what's currently available there).

This would have caught the problems for this kernel -- except that it
was a security update.

The problem with security updates is that once they've been made
available, Evil CyberTerrorists(TM), rootkit writers, spammers, crackers
and the like can work out which vulnerability they fix, and can then
start writing code to exploit it on unfixed boxes. So it's a very good
idea that once the vulnerability or the security fix has been made
available, a fixed version is pushed to as many users as possible, as
quickly as possible.

And that's *all* this kernel was meant to be.

As for automatic tests -- yes, there are such things. But it's *very*
difficult on a kernel -- it's designed to work with all sorts of weird
and wacky hardware, much of which Red Hat doesn't have, and have
interactions with the entire rest of the system. A meaningful test of
the kernel would have to be a test of the entire system, doing a
reasonable cross-section of everything one might want to do on a Fedora
system. And repeated on a wide array of hardware.

In short -- not really possible.

If you have a computer that you can risk being destabilised, and you're
interested in preventing this sort of thing reoccurring, please use
updates-testing for either selected or all packages. You'll be a
guinea-pig for Fedora, but you will help improve the distribution.

Thanks,

James.

-- 
E-mail address: james | Am I alone in receiving so much junk mail? Can these
@westexe.demon.co.uk  | people not get it into their thick heads that I do not
                      | *want* a Chinese boat?
                      | Yours sincerely, Mrs Trellis.   -- ISIHAC, BBC Radio 4


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