Friends in testing
Current test image: 11.3.1
OLPC's software releases are tested almost entirely by volunteers. This page explains, step by step, what you need to do to get involved.
- Read the potential risks below to decide if testing is right for you.
- Get a developer key for your XO laptop
- Backup your XO (optional -- you decide).
- Clean-install or upgrade your XO to the Template:Official-jffs2-link test build.
- Install activities with your favorite activity installation method.
- Help explore the OS and activities as described below or run some formal test cases.
- Should you need them, recovery instructions are available.
- Known issues are recorded in the release notes for a release; check both the current stable release's notes and/or the in-progress release notes for the development release you're testing.
- Sometimes people enumerate problems in Test group release notes.
- People report problems on the testing mailing list
Test 1: Wifi Testing
Can Current test image: 11.3.1 associate with your (encrypted?) access point?
If not, let us know!
Test 2: Explore the Smoke Test
Try out parts of the release's smoke test that appeal to you.
(Older tests are available.)
In addition to our freeform exploratory testing effort, we also engage in systematic testing efforts designed to achieve the test coverage necessary to make release decisions around future releases, much like past releases.
Systematic testing consists of several basic tasks:
- Reviewing a test plan.
- Writing the test cases, if needed.
- Executing the test cases and recording test results.
- To record results on a particular test case page, click on the "Edit with form" button in the top of the page, and use the "Add Another" button just above the "Add New Results" section (i.e. at the bottom of the page).
- Contributing patches to the Tinderbox or Sugarbot automated testing platforms.
Test 1: Multiple Key Support
This procedure asks you to install alpha software. You may lose all your data. Please back up personal files to another source if you would like to keep them.
In more detail:
- Your XO's software may look and feel "weird." The new build you are testing may behave differently from what you're used to (that's the point - it's a new build). Before beginning to test, you can find out the build you're running (need link), and you can reinstall your original build afterwards (need link).
- Your Journal will be erased. However, you can backup and restore your Journal afterwards.
- Your Activities will be erased. However, as with your Journal, you can make a customization stick with the Activities you want to keep, and restore your Activity set afterwards.
- You may brick your machine. (That is, leave it "useful only as a brick" - break it so badly you can't fix it.) We've made every effort possible to make sure that the builds that we release for Friends in Testing will not harm your XO, and to provide you with instructions on how to restore your XO to its pre-testing state, but there is a very slim chance that something might go awry and that you won't be able to restore your XO to its pre-testing state. It's never happened before to our knowledge, but we cannot guarantee it won't ever happen. We'll do our best to be honest with you each week about the risks you might be taking. We hope that, after reading this, you'll still want to participate; we do, however, want to make sure that if you're going to help us out, you know what you might be getting yourself into.
- If your machine becomes unbootable after a clean-install, you can recover by clean-installing an official build.
- If your machine becomes unbootable after an upgrade, you can recover by holding the 'O' gamepad key during your next boot.
Thanks very much for your help!
Finally, if you have questions about how to participate, please leave them in Talk:Friends in testing.