A proven tester, also known as a critical path wrangler, verifies and reports on the stability of test updates to critical path packages. They retrieve their updates from the updates-testing repository and report their findings as karma using Bodhi. Positive karma from a proven tester is required for each critical path update before it can be pushed to the stable repository.
A proven tester is a member of the proventesters group. Individuals who wish to join this group must first be mentored and approved.
Joining the proven testers
- Sign up for the Fedora Account System (if you haven't already) and apply to join the proventesters group
- File a ticket in Fedora QA Trac, with type proventester request and component Proventester Mentor Request, asking to join the proven testers and requesting a mentor
- Wait for a mentor to accept your request, and follow the instructions they provide
To speed up the process, you can get ahead with learning to be a proven tester by following the instructions further down this page, and filing some feedback while you wait for the mentoring process. Post in your mentor request to state that you have read the instructions on this page, and that you understand how to install test updates, test them, and post feedback. You can also link to some of the feedback you post, so your mentor can check to make sure you've got it right!
Proven testers verify a basic level of stability before releasing an update to the public. They do not need to test for total correctness or ensure complete test coverage. Some tests will vary depending on the type of the package, while others must pass for all updates. Generally speaking, an update should successfully execute all applicable critical path actions. The Fedora release criteria is another useful guide for minimum testing criteria.
Proven testers verify updates by installing them from the updates-testing repository. For instructions on using this repository, see this page. To ensure rapid detection of regressions, you should perform a full system update from this repository at least once a day. You can update individual packages more quickly if the need for verification is urgent. We recommend that you have SELinux enabled and set to Enforcing mode (this is the default configuration, but many people disable SELinux after installing Fedora) for the purpose of testing.
- The system must be able to shut down and reboot.
- The user must be able to log in to the desktop.
- The user must be able to access the network.
If the package is an application, run the application and check that basic operations work.
If it is a library or other shared component, run an application which uses the component and ensure that it works.
Since a proven tester's karma determines whether an update is allowed to be promoted, they follow special procedures based on the severity of regressions they encounter. Use Fedora Easy Karma - see the page for instructions on installing and using this tool - to list all installed packages from the updates-testing repository and allow to file feedback on each one at a time. Note that you can use the parameter --critpath-only, which will cause f-e-k to list only unapproved critical path updates, if you are short on time for testing. If you do not use this parameter, pay particular attention to updates whose description notes that they are critical path updates.
Usually, you will be able to post positive feedback on an update. If you do not encounter any of the situations below, and find that the update passes the tests mentioned above and does not cause you any other problems, you should leave positive feedback and note that you were able to use the package successfully and did not notice any significant problems.
If you identified any serious problems in earlier testing and were able to identify the package responsible, post negative feedback for that package. If possible, please file a bug report on the problem and link to the bug report in your feedback message. A good feedback message quickly and clearly identifies the behavior change and the cause, if you were able to determine it.
If you identify a problem which is minor in nature and does not impede the actual critical path functionality, please do not post negative feedback. Post neutral or positive feedback with a note of the issue encountered (and a link to a bug report if appropriate).
Previously reported bugs
If your testing uncovers no problems but you see that another tester has identified a serious problem with the package, please try to replicate their problem, and post negative feedback if you are now able to confirm it. If you are not able to confirm the problem but you suspect this may be because you cannot recreate the necessary conditions, please post neutral feedback noting that you were unable to duplicate the problem. Only post positive feedback if you are sure your testing indicates the other reporter's negative feedback is a mistake.
If you are not sure what the component does or how to test it, do not post positive or negative feedback. For critical path updates, if the above general tests of booting, network functionality and update functionality identified no problems, it is fine to leave a neutral feedback message noting that you were able to boot the system and perform critical path tasks with the update installed. This is generally not useful for non-critical path updates, however: please only comment on them if you are familiar with the package and able to test it directly.
Proven tester mentoring
Proven tester mentors accept requests from prospective proven tester members, and check that the applicants have read and understood the proven tester instructions before approving their membership. This process is not intended to be onerous, and we should expect to accept all applications unless they have obviously been made in error, seem malicious in intent or the applicant fails to affirm that they have read the instructions for the process.
Becoming a mentor
Any proven tester can become a mentor. Simply let any existing mentor or group administrator - those listed as administrator or sponsor in the group member list - know you would like to become a mentor, and they will upgrade you to sponsor level, which will allow you to accept applications to the group.
You can find membership applications in Trac - they will appear under Proventester Mentor Request Release in that list. To accept an application, assign it to yourself. Now ensure that the applicant has applied to the FAS group, read the instructions on this page, and knows how to use the updates-testing repository and fedora-easy-karma. If the applicant provides links to some feedback they have already posted, read these to check that they are in line with the process. If all of this is in order, sponsor the applicant into the proventesters FAS group, and close the application ticket. You can see an example completed application ticket here.