At present, we are using the wiki to organize community laptop and server hardware testing (LaptopTesting and ServerTesting, respectively). We want to move away from the wiki and to a specialized web catalog that includes information both about Ubuntu-certified hardware, and about community testing.


  • A wiki is non-ideal for maintaining and presenting a hardware database.
  • Hordes of potential community laptop testers want a more convenient interface to our testing database.
  • Users want to be able to drill down to testing results for particular hardware without manually making sense of potentially conflicting information relating to hardware support on different Ubuntu releases.
  • A quick reference is required for people who want to buy hardware and want to check whether is is supported by Ubuntu.

Use cases

  • Jack wants to buy a laptop to run the latest Ubuntu release. He wants wobbly windows. Which ones have hardware supported by Ubuntu?
  • Miles works for a laptop reseller and is interested is seeing what laptops are well supported by Ubuntu. He wants to be able to see the best supported laptops that are supported under Ubuntu.
  • Jim owns a laptop that isn't completely supported in Ubuntu. He wants to be able to help the developers on making the laptop just work.
  • Dan administers a number of servers that aren't certified for Ubuntu. He wants to know if there are problems with running Ubuntu on them, but can't afford to hose any of them by trying it out himself. He looks at the community testing database.
  • Julia is migrating a bunch of her exotic servers to Ubuntu, and wants to help others who are curious if Ubuntu installs and runs properly on them. She wants to run the burn-in test suite and follow it by a full installation, reporting how both went to the community testing database.


The hardware catalog will replace the current sets of hardware testing wiki pages.


The catalog provides two clearly separate databases: the certified hardware database, and the community-tested hardware database.

For servers, after running the on-CD burn-in test suite, the suite UI asks for a short server hardware ID (e.g. "Proliant DL380G3"), the user's Launchpad username and password (authenticated via Launchpad AuthServer), and posts the burn-in results via HTTPS to that account's "pending" queue in the catalog.

When logged into the catalog, a user can access test runs in his pending queue and supply complete details for the server, such as:

  • Manufacturer
  • Model
  • Make
  • Link to manufacturer's page for this server model
  • Hardware specifics (HDD, processor, memory, video, network, etc)
  • Installation test results

When satisfied, the user can post the complete server profile to the live catalog, which removes it from his pending queue. One week after posting a profile to the live catalog, the user loses the ability to make changes to it.

Additionally, pending profiles can be associated as "alternates" to existing profiles, to allow for different experiences with the same hardware by multiple users. Alternates are listed on every profile along with a summary, e.g. "17 succeeded installations, 3 failed".

A "create new profile" function exists for users performing no burn-in tests, only installation tests.

Remote compatibility test

It would be great to be able to connect to the website with a PC which could run (javascript or whatever sorry I am not sure about the details) an application collecting all the relevant information to see what will run or not with the current Ubuntu. In case of Laptops for example this could just look up for the model itself and then have an answer using the database, but for more "generic" PC it could check each component to give an answer for each of them (well at least with some degree of confidence). Just an idea...


The catalog will be a Python web application.


We will have the catalog ready for public use no later than Dapper+1.


HardwareTestingCatalog (last edited 2008-08-06 16:40:57 by localhost)