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Testing is split into distinct, but joined areas. The Daily Builds, the QA-testing of Milestone releases and the Milestone releases themselves.
To not get overly complicated, think of it as that we have a schedule to keep to. A few days before a Milestone is due, the daily is plucked and becomes the QA (Quality Assurance) test version for the Milestone release. Once it is confirmed that the QA version works, it then becomes the Milestone.
All release stages are tracked by ISO Tracker where you can get the latest builds, see and allocate any Bugs.
So, in order of how they happen.
These ISOs are automatically generated every 24 hours using the latest updates on the system from the developers. They are available from ISO tracker. Using the zsync (or rsync) option allows you to update your iso to any of the various dailies you choose to follow without having to re-download the entire iso. They are there to check that bugs that are resolved between the Milestone releases do not break the install. They also are used to confirm that any fix for a bug that seriously affects an initial install which is released for testing now works. Daily builds are suspended when pre-milestone testing is being carried out (see below).
When do they build?
The desktop builds are scheduled to start at 16:29 (UTC) and take approximately 90 minutes to complete.
Please note from the release team: Sure, as long as it's clear that it's subject to change - We're not intending to make any promises here. We won't change them around frivolously or anything but it's possible.
The timing of the auto build of Ubuntu GNOME can be found here. If you do notice that builds are not appearing as expected, please contact amjjawad to let him know or just drop an email to the Ubuntu GNOME Mailing List.
QA testing of Milestone releases
Cadence, Beta and Release Candidates (RC) are also tested using ISO tracker. If you want to help out in this important area of testing, please read through procedures for further details. These appear a couple of days before the actual Milestone release so that we can check they are okay to become Milestone releases.
QA testing is to ensure the actual install iso works, if you can, please get involved in the QA testing.
Rebuilding a Release Candidate
These are carried out manually, during this time the release team do update the notice panel. Please ask on #ubuntu-release if you have questions.
Once a Milestone release passes the QA testing, it becomes a Milestone Release and is listed on the Releases as such.
If you would to know more about how this all works, have a read of Stages of testing.
During the release cycle, things will get broken. You can really reduce these occurrences by taking the time to read Partial Upgrades.
All the known issues for a particular release are mentioned in the Announcement email, and are available to see at ISO Tracker.
Manual test of ISO and CD
On the help-pages of Ubuntu there is an extensive guide on how to MD5SUM.
You can do more specific tests, like ones done for the Ubuntu ISO : http://iso.qa.ubuntu.com/qatracker
Laptops never cease to have their little 'quirks'. You can help on this important area by heading over to Laptop Testing for full details.
Not everyone is a fan of New/Fresh Clean Installation. There are users who prefer to do an upgrade from a previous release to the latest one. We have to make sure the upgrade process is as smooth as it should be and that must be done during the test process of a development release.
Note: whether you’re helping Ubuntu GNOME Team with Testing or you’re a fan of running unstable releases on your machine, kindly make sure to backup your important files before anything else.
Some packages can be automatically installed, but are not wanted on a default installation. To find the package which automatically installed the package that you don't want :
run "apt-rdepends -r --show=Depends the_unwanted_package" => It will show which packages depend on the_unwanted_package.
Run "apt-rdepends -r --show=Recommends the_unwanted_package" => It will show which packages recommend the_package_unwanted (recommended packages are installed by default).
- You may have to run the commands several times to see the complete chain of depends / recommends.