OSDL unveils improved Linux kernel development tool

Open Source Development Lab (OSDL) has upgraded a key Linux kernel development tool, the Scalable Test Platform (STP), with new features to improve simulations of enterprise data centers on the Linux kernel.

In an announcement Thursday, the OSDL said Version 3 of the STP will help developers simulate the effect of different workloads on the most widely used open-source databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL and SAP's database.

STP, which is available for free to qualified developers through OSDL Web site, provides a series of test suites on a range of hardware platforms that can be used by developers to validate changes to code in the Linux kernel, automatically tracking performance and quantifying stability. For example, STP makes it possible for enterprises to test patches and company-specific Linux systems for stability and performance prior to production deployment, according to the organization.

"A mandate from our members and the development community is to make OSDL a leader in Linux testing," Timothy Witham, chief technology officer at OSDL, said in a statement. "That's why we created STP and why we invested more than US$15 million in our data center testing systems and make them available to developers around the world."

STP, created by OSDL three years ago, was also used to ensure stability in Linux during the transition from development Kernel 2.5 to the production 2.6 release at the end of 2003, performing more than 1,000 kernel tests on average each month. Since then, OSDL has run more than 10,000 additional tests on the 2.6 production kernel. Each kernel release is tested automatically, and the test results are available for developers to review.

"The STP was helpful to us in delivering a stable 2.6 kernel at the first release," Andrew Morton, lead maintainer of the production Linux kernel, said in a statement.

Founded in 2000, OSDL is a global consortium working toward increased adoption of Linux around the world. The group has more than 40 members, including Cisco Systems, Computer Associates International, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, NEC, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, SUSE Linux and Unilever.

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