API & Pipeline

KernelCI API and Pipeline

API Overview

The KernelCI API is a server-side service which provides two main features: a database abstraction and a publisher / subscriber interface. Another important concept is the fact that users own the data they send to the API. Let’s have a quick look at how this all fits together.

Database Abstraction

All the data managed by KernelCI is stored in a MongoDB database using node objects. These can contain data about any part of the testing hierarchy such as a kernel revision, a build, static test results, runtime functional tests, regressions etc. Each node has a parent so they form a simple tree. There is typically one root node for each kernel revision with lots of child nodes containing all the test data that relates to it.

Each node object also has a state which can be used when orchestrating the pipeline. For example, a node will be in the Running state while awaiting some results. There’s also a result value, to tell whether the related pipeline step that produced the node passed or failed. Finally there’s a list of artifacts with URLs to know where to find all the related files (binaries, logs, generated results etc.).

Note: The API doesn’t manage storage, the only requirement is to provide publicly-available HTTP(S) URLs for each artifact.

Publisher / Subscriber Interface

Every time some data changes in the database, basically every time a node has been added or updated, an event is sent on the Publisher / Subscriber interface (Pub/Sub). For example, when a new kernel revision is found and a new node is created for it, an event will be sent to tell subscribers about it with something like “A checkout node has been created for kernel revision v6.2-rc4”. The actual event is a CloudEvents object with some JSON data containing a subset of the corresponding node database entry.

Any client code can subscribe to receive events with an API token and implement features based on how to handle these events. The API generates events automatically whenever nodes are changing but clients may also use the interface to publish their own events and coordinate other parts of the pipeline too.

User Ownership

Interacting with the API requires a token which is associated with a particular user. Whenever a user sends some data such as a new node, it is owned by that user. While all nodes are publicly readable, only the owner of the node can update it. Users can also belong to groups to share data with other users.

While the main KernelCI pipeline will be creating nodes with users from a particular kernelci.org group, all the other users can create their own data which will coexist in the database. Then your own nodes can have parents created by users. For example, you may submit test results that relate to a kernel build provided by KernelCI.


The Pipeline is made up of all the client-side services that run the actual workloads that produces data and artifacts. It’s orchestrated based on events from the Pub/Sub interface and all the data is managed via the API. For example, the pipeline is responsible for detecting new kernel revision, scheduling builds and tests, sending email reports and detecting regressions. However, any other service which has an API token is in fact part of the extended pipeline too.

Pipeline services are also responsible for uploading various kinds of artifacts to some independent storage services and provide public URLs to access them. Artifacts typically include kernel source code tarballs, build artifacts, logs and test results in some raw format before they were submitted to the API.



An instance has been set up on staging.kernelci.org for testing all pending changes. The Docker logs are available in real-time via a web interface for both the API and the pipeline. It also provides some interactive API documentation. This instance is not stable, it’s redeployed periodically with all open pull requests from GitHub merged together on a test integration branch.

Early Access

In preparation for a full production roll-out, an Early Access instance has been deployed in the Cloud (AKS) on kernelci-api.westus3.cloudapp.azure.com. This is stable enough to let users give it a try as some form of beta-testing and is used as a candidate solution for an initial production deployment in the coming months. Like staging, it has an auto-generated interactive API documentation.


KernelCI API


KernelCI Pipeline

Last modified May 29, 2024