Frequently asked questions

Q: How can I add a kernel branch to kernelci.org?

You can create a GitHub issue and fill the form to describe what you need. Typically, branches from individuals can get a small number of builds while large subsystems or mainline will get full build and test coverage to be able to use available resources in a sustainable way.

Q: What is KCIDB?

The KCIDB project, or Kernel CI Database, is a place where all kernel test results can be sent together and combined. One of the main goals is to be able to send a single email report on behalf of the multitude of test systems that produced the data. This should make maintainers’ lives easier and be more effective. A web dashboard is also being worked on for similar reasons, but with access to the full details with flexible data visualisation. The KCIDB dataset may also be used to compare results from various systems and generate some added value.

Q: What are “native” builds and tests?

Kernel builds and tests scheduled by kernelci.org directly are called “native”, to help differentiate with those coming from other independent systems into KCIDB.

Q: What is the relationship between KernelCI and LAVA? Does KernelCI have non-upstream changes to LAVA? Do LAVA people participate in KernelCI?

LAVA is used in many test labs that provide results to KernelCI, but KernelCI doesn’t run any labs itself. Some people do contribute to both, as KernelCI is one of the biggest public use-cases of LAVA, but they really are independent projects. The core KernelCI tools are designed to facilitate working with LAVA labs, but this is not a requirement and other test lab frameworks are also used.

Q: Is there any documentation on how to write “custom” tests and to integrate them with KernelCI?

A section of the documentation is dedicated to adding new test suites.

Each test is a bit different as they all have their own dependencies and are written in various languages. Typically, they will require a user-space image with all the required packages installed to be able to run as well as the latest versions of some test suites built from source. This is the case with v4l-utils, igt-gpu-tools or LTP. Some are plain scripts and don’t depend on anything in particular, such as bootrr.

When prototyping some new tests to run in LAVA, the easiest approach is to use nfsroot with the plain Debian Buster image provided by KernelCI and install extra packages at runtime, before starting the tests. Then when this is working well, dependencies and any data files can be baked into a fixed rootfs image for performance and reproducibility.

Last modified March 30, 2021