[CentOS-devel] Balancing the needs around the RHEL platform

Thu Dec 31 17:39:14 UTC 2020
redbaronbrowser <redbaronbrowser at protonmail.com>

On Thursday, December 31, 2020 6:49 AM, Nico Kadel-Garcia <nkadel at gmail.com> wrote:

> Back to CentOS Stream. One of the CentOS kernel advantages was that
> Red Hat apparently did test suites across a wide variety of hardware
> before considering a kernel for release. I'm afraid CentOS Stream
> kernels won't have that regression testing done.

I am not sure that is true.

Stef Walter has given the closest to technical insight driving this decision here:


The blog post is broken into four parts.  The fourth part comes the closest to talking about the need for better *automated* hardware testing.  There are two key components that talks directly to the hardware that you never want to fail, GRUB and the kernel.  The blog post talks about how an issue with GRUB cause systems not to boot, but given regressions with the kernel can have the same impact, I think they see it just as important to test that as well.

Rather than the problem being if hardware testing will take place, I believe the problem will be if regression tests will be complete.  Reading between the lines (hopefully Stef Walter can correct me if I'm wrong), Red Hat seems to be "asking" for feedback on what areas they need to add regression tests.

The problem shouldn't be seen as if Stream will add value to the CentOS community.  I am sure it can add value.  Adding CD/CI is a worthy goal.

The problem is if CD/CI can be improved under a cathedral model that has no respect for the community.

Keep in mind, the meeting to renege on the CentOS 8 commitment of 10 years was back on November 11th.  It has already been 7 weeks since then.

Things we should have seen if there is a two way street when interacting with the CentOS community:

(1) There was Red Hat employees on the governance meeting that have not been active members of the CentOS community.  They have had plenty of time to introduce themselves to the mailing list and talk about their own thoughts regarding this "hard" decision.  Instead they seem to be operating from an ivory tower.

(2) If Red Hat wants to be believed that Stream with have a life span of 5 years, they should have cut CentOS 8 to 5 years.  Cutting it to a life span of 2 years does two things:

(2)(a) Red Hat has sent the message that CentOS 7 is the preferable version to stay on and CentOS 8 (and by extention Stream) are not worth adopting

(2)(b) Red Hat has sent the message that the community should not have confidence in the life span of Stream and it is just one more governance meeting it being terminated at anytime

(3) Red Hat is rubber stamping this change with "openness" over and over while still providing no promises about their policy of obfuscating the kernel patches for Stream

There is also the issue of being able to perform rollbacks when the Stream repository has no previous versions of the packages.  It is enough incentive to keep future packages from having a regression for me to file a bug.  They don't need to make it hard for me to address the regression myself by making it hard for me to roll it back.  That again is just going to hurt adoption.

While the messaging has been pathetic for the last 7 weeks, I hope we can be careful about claiming Stream will go untested.  Testing seems to be the whole point.