Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jaunty Kernel Bits

It has been a long few weeks, with that said I'll try and recap some of the more interesting things that have been going on with Ubuntu, specifically the kernel happenings in the Jaunty Jackalope release.

The Platform Team met in Berlin for the Jaunty Platform Sprint for the week of 2-6 Feb. This was an incredible event with the vast majority of the Canonical Engineering teams. We had both cross team and individual sub-team tracks. The kernel track covered all of the release roadmap items and administrative topics.

I'll talk about some of the roadmap items and the most interesting highlights...

Kernel Version

The Jaunty Kernel version will be 2.6.28. We considered 2.6.29, it was not selected however due to all of the major changes. The primary reasons were due to the large number new features that are scheduled to land in it. Regression of functionality is a large concern and there would be a good chance of that happening given when estimated date that Linus will declare it baked. Unfortunately it just doesn't line up with the Jaunty release cycle. On the bright side... for Jaunty+1 we will have time to shake out any issues and are looking towards 2.6.30 or .31

Suspend & Resume

We are making the suspend & resume one of our top priorities for this cycle. We ran a suspend and resume workshop with every notebook at the sprint.

Surprisingly we had a small number of failures. Most of them were on resume with NVidia video. We did not test the priority divers only the free ones. Out of 65 machines tested (various models) there were 12 failures.

We will be issuing a Call For Testing at the Beta release, however for those of you that want to play along at home early you can visit the Suspend/Resume wiki here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KernelTeam/SuspendResumeTesting and some more of the background material is here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KernelTeam/SuspendResume

Some other notable suspend and resume news for Jaunty...
  • There is a new testing script to test (and stress test) suspend resume.
  • Suspend/Resume script will also be integrated into checkbox (aka System->Administration->System Testing) for ease of testing.
  • If a suspend/resume cycle fails it is detected by apport and the user will have the option of filing a bug
Vanilla Kernel Builds

Starting with Alpha 5 we will have available .deb packaged pure upstream vanilla kernels available.

The primary intent for doing this is to allow our community to test kernels without the Ubuntu "sauce", that is things that we add to the kernel to support the Ubuntu distribution. The goal is to help get wider testing of the upstream kernel source by leveraging interesting Ubuntu Community members.

In addition to Jaunty we are doing this for Hardy, Intrepid and the current active kernel development branch. The planned update schedule for each of these is:
  • Hardy, Intrepid - Upon a stable upstream point release i.e. 2.6.27.3
  • Jaunty - Every RC until release final is declared. Then it will fall into the same cycle as Hardy & Intrepid
  • Current active devel branch - Currently 2.6.29 updated on every RC release
The plan is to have them available in the Ubuntu-Kernel-Team PPA, until them you can find them at: http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~apw

There is a lot more and I'll talk more about them later. As usual I'm on a plane back from Europe and my battery is beginning to run low, so thats prob about enough for this post.

~pete