Joshua Powers (powersj)


Washington, USA

Time Zone

Pacific Standard (UTC-0800) or Daylight (UTC-0700) Time

Launchpad Page


Email Address

josh dot powers at canonical dot com

IRC Nick

powersj on freenode & OFTC

Personal Website






About Me

I work on the Canonical Server team as the QA engineer. I swap my time between the cloud-init and curtin development team where I work on the testing and quality of those projects and the Server team where I work on bug triage, SRUs, git-ubuntu, and general distribution test efforts.

I have an MSc. in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology where I did work in artificial intelligence and data science. I completed my undergraduate work at Colorado State University in Economics and Computer Science.

Before joining Canonical in 2016, I spent 9 years at HP, where I lead a team developing a small Debian derivative, enabled and tested Linux I/O (network, SAS, fibre channel, and infiniband) on x86_64 and IA64 based-servers, and completed network performance work on scale-up x86_64 systems. My experience with Linux began in high school when I helped to convert my school to a 100% Linux-based network.


Bugs Work and Meetings

Ubuntu Server ISO Testing

  • I am responsible for the automated Ubuntu Server ISO testing for amd64, i386, and ppc64el
  • I maintain the automated ISO tests that we use to gate the promotion of new daily ISOs, test before any new release or point release, report results to the ISO tracker, monitor ISO size, and report defects as necessary


  • Related Packages page + completed various MIR and seed changes

  • Investigated dep8 status on server packages

  • Setting up automated proposed testing of server packages (in progress)
  • Archive rebuild of supported releases for FTBFS (in progress)


  • Made the Ubuntu Server Jenkins publicly available and added additional slaves: an s390x LPAR, bare metal ppc64el Power8, an arm64 development board, and Xeon-based amd64 system. Also have an i386 virtual machine to be able to simulate the 32-bit environment

  • All jobs, tests, and deployment scripts are kept in a public repo, organized for re-use and inspection

  • Working on getting individual server-specific package level testing. Worked with cpaelzer to get virtualization and live-migration related tests added to our infrastructure.


  • Design and implemented CI and integration test suite with KVM and LXD, working on cloud-based testing
  • Participating in daily new bug responses and triage

Future Goals

  • More packaging work to expand my experience with different types of source packages and learn additional cases for packaging
  • Continue to share knowledge learned via blog posts (e.g. commands, processes, etc.)
  • Get more automated tests (via dep8) in place for specific packages with high importance and impact
  • Help users to restore system when they reach specific error messages. For example, if a package is badly misconfigured and should be reconfigured before doing anything else, help them do that. If a bug gets reported enough, even if it ends up due to user error, have a set of commands ready to go to recover from that. Looking at the community forums or other internet forums for the most often visited results may assist with this. Adding additional bug patterns would be good here.
  • Availability of some features is not always clear. The best example I can give is the availability of the HWE kernels. I can see how many enterprise customers might have more interest in this, however, providing a better list to new users, or reminders to get those getting interested for the first time a list of relatively new things or a list of “Have you tried these cool things in Ubuntu yet?”. ZFS and LXD are other examples.
  • There is a lot of institutional knowledge as well as decision tree paths to making the best decision sometimes. There are many different wiki pages for knowing how to get started with packaging, some of it with details from long-ago supported releases that is irrelevant now and some that has expired content. For new users, this can be frustrating. As we continue to grow new users do not want to push them away or turn them off with bad documents.


Note: If you have anything nice to say about this person, please do add it below along with @ SIG @ (no spaces). The @ SIG @ command will sign your name and date/time it after you "Save Changes".

  • I have no hesitation at all in recommending Josh for Ubuntu membership. He probably has more experience working on Ubuntu than 99% of all those who apply for membership. He is both passionate and careful in his work, and very pleasant to work with. -- smoser 2017-10-24 01:00:52

  • All of my interactions with Josh reflect a thoughtful, professional approach to his work, and a broad understanding of the factors that affect work on Ubuntu. I would certainly recommend him for Ubuntu membership. -- daniel-thewatkins 2017-11-06 18:25:00

  • Josh's summary of his contributions above is accurate. I particularly appreciate that his attention doesn't wane in the increasing number of things he looks after, even after a period of months. I think his contributions to the Ubuntu Server team have been positively transformative, and that they more than exceed the necessary bar for Ubuntu membership. -- racb 2017-12-01 13:09:28

  • Josh is professional, thorough and has a lot of knowledge about Linux and Ubuntu in particular. He is definitely helping to make Ubuntu a better operating system and I fully endorse this application. -- ahasenack 2017-12-01 16:36:52

  • Josh is the role-model of a Ubuntu membership applicant. From his high experience to the quality of his contributions they all outclass the common Ubuntu membership applicant. Thereby I really can't find anything holding me back to endorse his application. -- paelzer 2017-12-01 16:47:38

powersj (last edited 2017-12-07 20:41:58 by powersj)