Lab Improves Linux Kernel Patch Tests

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2001-09-27 Print this article Print
The Open Source Development Lab has created a code benchmarking tool--known as the Scalable Test Platform--that it says will allow developers to easily test their Linux kernel patches from a variety of tests and server configurations. Tim Witham, the director of the OSDL--an independent, non-profit lab designed for developers who are adding enterprise capabilities to Linux--believes the STP fulfills a critical need in the open-source developer community.
"With the launch of STP, developers can easily test their Linux kernel patches selecting from a variety of tests and server configurations. This performance-testing tool is aimed at improving the quality of Linux patches and upgrades and the speed with which open-source software is developed by providing a means for performance measurement and comparison," Witham said in a media invitation to further discuss the technology.
Until now, open-source developers have had no centralized means for testing kernel patches and upgrades or for recording the results, which has made scaling Linux more difficult. "The launch of STP validates the reliability, robustness and stability of Linux and open-source developments and makes industry-standard testing easy and readily available to anyone in the Linux development community," he added. "The OSDL hopes that STP will accelerate Linux development, as well as its acceptance into the data center." Witham could not be immediately reached for additional comment. The charter of the lab, which formally opened its doors in January, does not allow it to undertake new projects, but rather to support and accelerate existing or new projects developed by the open-source community. In January, Witham told eWEEK that the labs first project would focus on scalability and would be designed to enhance the Linux operating system to support 16 64-bit processors with near-linear performance improvement. The second project, identified with open-source company, focused on increasing Linux TCP/IP concurrent connection support from 20,000 to more than 64,000. The OSDL, which operates as a single virtual lab for developers across the globe, has a number of servers that interface with high-speed Internet communication links, giving lab access to developers around the world. The OSDL has two facilities, one near Portland, Ore., and the other in Tokyo. Lab sponsors include Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp., IBM, NEC Corp., Computer Associates International Inc., Fujitsu and Hitachi.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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