RHEL Beta-test SIG ?

Submitted by dag on Thu, 2008/06/12 - 02:17

I have been playing with (and talking about) this before, so why not take it to the next level and share it with the larger CentOS and RHEL community ?

The CentOS community is pretty limited in what we can do to the core OS. Since our mantra is "aiming to be 100% compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux" we cannot fix bugs or improve the CentOS core without waiting for RHEL to make those modifications first. We have limited leverage and a 6-month release cycle against us.

But that is not the complete truth, Red Hat usually has an internal, a 3rd party and a public beta period and everything that is found within that period might get fixed before it is being shipped (and frozen) for the next 6 months.

So if we can improve the testing during the RHEL beta program, everyone in the CentOS community directly benefits from that as well. Therefor it makes a lot of sense to encourage the large CentOS community to take part in the RHEL beta program and help with improving the next CentOS releases. (You don't need my backpatting, start already !)

At the moment there is a RHEL 4.7 Beta release that runs until July 10 and probably could use your involvement as well. Unfortunately the beta releases require Red Hat Network access and therefor are not readily available. That leaves its mark on the RHEL4 beta mailinglist (lacking activity). Most people undoubtedly use Red Hat's bugzilla directly. But still, more involvement in the beta releases improves the next official release so we should encourage it.

So my proposal consists of a multitude of actions:

  • bring together interested and committed people to promote beta-testing within the CentOS community (how about another Special Interest Group ?)
  • set up a wiki-page to encourage beta-testing and list the relevant beta's, mailinglists and procedures for testing and reporting problems
  • forward the beta release announcements on the CentOS mailinglist as well (or have it send by Red Hat directly ?)
  • make the RHEL beta releases available to a wider audience (without having people confuse the beta for the real thing)
  • go over the CentOS bugs and test against the newer beta release and update ticket in Red Hat's bugzilla

Are you in charge of doing beta-testing within your company ? Or have you been doing that at home for yourself ? Are you interested in leading or helping a CentOS project in that area ? Let me know and let us start discussing on the centos-devel mailinglist.

PS If you are looking for the RHEL 4.7 Beta ISO images, go to Red Hat Network, log in, click on Downloads, expand the RHEL4 channel and go to the RHEL4 Beta channel. There you can find the RHEL 4.7 Beta ISO images.