gce-xfstests: Testing Kernels in the Cloud

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Refereed Presentation
Scheduled: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 from 11:00 – 11:45am in Sweeney F

One Line Summary

Testing kernels in GCE using a test appliance containing xfstests


The ext4 file system is now being developed using a regression test system which uses a Google Compute Engine (GCE) Virtual Machine (VM) to run xfstests in a test appliance. This talk will:

  • Explore the advantages of using cloud-based VM’s for kernel testing and development, and how this has improved the development process in the ext4 development community.
  • Describe how to create bootable GCE images which are used as the test appliance in an automated and reproducible procedure, by scripting the GCE commands necessary to start with a Debian image, and customize it by installing the regression test suite.
  • Demonstrate the techniques used to run a test kernel in a cloud VM by using a front-end script which uploads the test kernel from the developer’s build tree, and then uses kexec to transition from the standard Debian kernel to the kernel to be tested.

Slides can be found at http://thunk.org/gce-xfstests


  • Tytso-alaska-face

    Theodore Ts'o



    Theodore Ts’o is the first North American Linux Kernel Developer, and started working with Linux in September, 1991. He previously served as CTO for the Linux Foundation, and is currently employed at Google. Theodore is a Debian Developer, and is the maintainer of the ext4 file system in the Linux kernel. He is the maintainer and original author of the e2fsprogs userspace utilities for the ext2, ext3, and ext4 file systems.

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