Linux Test Project

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The Future of LTP

Most of the future plans for the Linux Test Project focus on expanding test coverage. The majority of test cases in the LTP today test system calls. This is, of course, a very important part of testing Linux, but not the only thing that should be addressed. Some tests have already been added for things such as networking, memory management, scheduling, commands, floating point math, and databases but the breadth of test coverage should continue to expand. As the variety of tests increases, it may one day become necessary to modularize the LTP tests into separate suites that can be executed and even downloaded separately. The LTP was reorganized to make this easier if and when it becomes desirable to do so.

The completeness of current test cases should also be analyzed and improved upon if necessary. We are currently looking at code coverage analysis tools to determine how much of the target kernel code is being executed by test cases in the LTP. As we find areas of kernel code that are not adequately covered by test cases in the LTP, test cases are written or modified to expand coverage to these areas.

Additional tests are of course critical to the test suite, but for the Linux Test Project to truly be effective, people must use it. It would be nice to see the LTP test suite run as part of the exit criteria for releasing new kernels in the stable and development trees. In addition to this, it would be useful for kernel developers to execute the test suite against patches before submitting them. The LTP test suite will not find all problems but it could reduce the number of errors in new code if used properly. If kernel developers and testers diligently submit tests for defects as they are found, the test suite could even help reduce the number of regressed defects found in Linux.


Paul Larson 2002-09-11

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