With thanks to Iain Learmonth for the hardware, there is now a Debian instance of LAVA available for use and the Debian wiki page has been updated.

LAVA is a continuous integration system for deploying operating systems onto physical and virtual hardware for running tests. Tests can be simple boot testing, bootloader testing and system level testing. Extra hardware may be required for some system tests. Results are tracked over time and data can be exported for further analysis.

LAVA has a long history of supporting continuous integration of the Linux kernel on ARM devices (ARMv7 & ARMv8). So if you are testing a Linux kernel image on armhf or arm64 devices, you will find a lot of similar tests already running on the other LAVA instances. The Debian LAVA instance seeks to widen that testing in a couple of ways:

  • A wider range of tests including use of Debian artifacts as well as mainline Linux builds
  • A wider range of devices by allowing developers to offer devices for testing from their own desks.
  • Letting developers share local test results easily with the community without losing the benefits of having the board on your desk.

This instance relies on the latest changes in lava-server and lava-dispatcher. The 2016.2 release has now deprecated the old, complex dispatcher and a whole new pipeline design is available. The Debian LAVA instance is running 2015.12 at the moment, I’ll upgrade to 2016.2 once the packages migrate into testing in a few days and I can do a backport to jessie.

What can LAVA do for Debian?

ARMMP kernel testing

Unreleased builds, experimental initramfs testing – this is the core of what LAVA is already doing behind the scenes of sites like http://kernelci.org/.

U-Boot ARM testing

This is what fully automated LAVA labs have not been able to deliver in the past, at least without a usable SD Mux

What’s next

LOTS. This post actually got published early (distracted by the rugby) – I’ll update things more in a later post. Contact me if you want to get involved, I’ll provide more information on how to use the instance and how to contribute to the testing in due course.