testing email patches

Fengguang Wu lkp at intel.com
Sun Oct 11 07:19:17 PDT 2015

Hi Christoph,

On Thu, Oct 08, 2015 at 12:46:16AM -0700, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> Hi Fengguang,
> I think this proactive testing does a little more harm than good in
> it's current form.  While offering testing for patches that aren't in
> git trees and or by people that don't even have a git tree that the
> build bots known about does seem useful, blindly doing it for every
> patch against something that most likely isn't the right base seems
> counter intertuitive.  We'll probaby need some annotation in the O/n
> mail that asks for a test and sets a base tree to actually make it
> useful.  With those few tweaks it should be really useful!
> Maybe we should have a discussion about this at kernel summit?

Yes that may be a good topic for gathering feedbacks and ideas for
improving this useful but messy testing feature.

The best option could be to define a way to annotate the base tree's
branch/commit of a patchset and possibly automate the annotation in
the git/quilt email clients. Currently git does generate

        index c933675..a2aa0cd

for each diff files, however I find it far from enough -- there are
~50000 files in the kernel tree, knowing hash numbers for the typical
1-100 files a patchset may touch is pretty helpless in narrowing down
the search space of possible base trees.

It may also be useful to specify whether or not a patchset needs such
kind of testing. That'd be an easier task -- the robot can detect some
magic words in the email and take action accordingly. And it can auto
skip testing in some cases -- for example, Peter Zijlstra offered a
good point to skip testing patches without "Signed-off-by:" in a "Re:"
email. The patches already tested as git tree commits in the 500+ git
trees the 0day robot monitors will be auto skipped, too.

Also we could test against both mainline and linux-next -- an
excellent suggestion from Dan Carpenter, which is just implemented,

Not knowing the exact base tree leads to inherent messiness, and the
possible solutions/workarounds are

1) annotations to tell the base tree (best option)
2) annotations & heuristics to skip tests
3) guess the suitable tree the maintainer would apply patches to
4) test on mainline & linux-next to filter out unstable build errors

(3) is kind of dirty work and enlightenments from subsystem
maintainers are highly welcome -- typically the suggestions can be
offered when you find a bug report to be unsuitable.

As for now I'm trying to teach 0day robot to apply patches to the
matching subsystem's "for-next" branch based on information in the


> On Thu, Oct 08, 2015 at 09:16:09AM +0800, Fengguang Wu wrote:
> > And of course linux-kernel. More lists could be added in future.
> > 
> > Thanks,
> > Fengguang
> ---end quoted text---
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