does Linux development include regression tests?

In October I announced that starting with 3.6 kernel it was eventually safe to unplug Zenbook.
Then in bugreport I was told that Sentelic touchpad driver was included in 3.8 kernel.
And guess what… I don’t have to patch kernel to have working touchpad using 3.8 kernels but I have to worry about unplugging laptop cause with 3.8.x kernel it’s quite common that it turns laptop off again.
So the question is… do we have any regression tests in kernel?
Should I test every kernel release between 3.8.5 and 3.6.0 to find the one that incorporated that bug again?

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7 thoughts on “does Linux development include regression tests?

  1. Ben Hutchings

    So the question is… do we have any regression tests in kernel?

    Yes, though quite limited. But how would you regression-test hardware support, without having all the hardware available? No-one has all the supported hardware in a big lab.

    Should I test every kernel release between 3.8.5 and 3.6.0 to find the one that incorporated that bug again?

    man git bisect

    Reply
    1. fEnIo Post author

      Testing hardware would be the last thing I would like to test. Bugs are in software that is inside hardware.
      There is no need to have that hardware to do the tests.
      I can’t imagine broken hardware that couldn’t be fixed by its designers before software starts to drive it.

      Reply
  2. Jon

    FWIW kernel developers take regressions seriously, at least. But sadly they happen more than they (or I, or you) would like. Also old-ish hardware gets very little attention simply because people focus on making sure the new stuff works.

    Reply
      1. rc

        “Old crap” you say?

        Hmmm… one of the reasons I use Linux generally, and Debian specifically, is because I can run it on my iBook G4.

        Ben, is there any way we can get the Radeon/KMS issue sorted on PowerPC?

        Reply

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