It is never too late to catch up with an old and genuine friend – Fedora

I know it has been a while since I wrote my last post. That is mostly due to my really very busy schedule with testing RHEL7.1/ nss-nspr/ RHDS releases but yeah, I missed my passion of writing.

Never mind, it is never too late. Specially, when it comes to catching up with a true friend like Fedora.

It is such a fantastic thing about Fedora that no matter how much time you have to be away from it, It welcomes you back open heatedly without any complains. Just like a cute girl friend and not like a stubborn wife who ends up asking you so many whats, whys and where etc etc.

So, it took me mostly two half days (which turns out to be in total one day)  to catch up with the things which is currently happening in Fedora. Kudos goes to our Fedora Project leader  Matthew Miller who never forget to write his awesome post “Five Things in Fedora” in fedora magazine  . I did read my most favorite mailing list i.e. fedora testing mailing list and oh my my… how fast fedora world is. I think 7 days of a non-fedora life is equal to 2 days of fedora life!!! I ended up reading nearly about 200 mails, honestly I did skip some. But overall it gave me a clear picture of what is happening in fedora QA. I read logs of some irc channels like #fedora-qa, #fedora-blocker-review etc

So, all of this gave me a nice insight to what is currently happening in fedora and specifically more about fedora qa, well for me that is most important and favorite part .. :)

So far, current Hottest news is RC5 is out for fedora21 and up for testing. Details are here on the test mailing list .Here is the list of the blocker bugs https://qa.fedoraproject.org/blockerbugs/milestone/21/final/buglist which reveals what were the accepted blockers and fixed. It was little unclear which RC has which bug fixed and reverted, still I will try bifurcate..

RC1 – 11/28/2014 07:04 PM – https://fedorahosted.org/rel-eng/ticket/6031#comment:21

RC2 – 12/03/2014 01:15 AM – https://fedorahosted.org/rel-eng/ticket/6031#comment:24

RC3 – Never Released    –   This never made it out of the compose process –        releng  made a small mistake so they started over, and it was easier to call the retry ‘RC4′ than clean up the failed attempt and call the retry ‘RC3′.

RC4 – 12/03/2014 03:50 PM – RC4 and RC2 should be that the live images have correct fontconfig caches. Otherwise RC4 and RC2 should be  effectively identical.
RC5 – 12/04/2014 08:03 AM – The difference between RC5 and RC4 is that the changes to python-blivet and pyparted that were introduced in RC1 to fix bug #1166598 have been reverted, as they were found to cause more serious problems than they fixed.

So, if you see within 24 hours, we had 3 releases. So Fedora is running really very fast to meet its Final Release which is scheduled at December 9th.
Com’on, let’s contribute to achieve a biggest milestone in fedora history where you will have bright new awesome threesome Workstation, Server and Cloud!!

Join #fedora-qa now – irc://irc.freenode.net/fedora-qa and don’t miss the fun!!

How it feels when you participate in a test day :: Testing Jenkins

There are many posts everywhere which invites you to participate in a test day, ofcourse I have also written some in past. But this is about a real experience when you put your efforts in testing every bit of a component. Today it was a Jenkins test day and I did my best to test this beautiful open-source continuous integration tool. Here I share my experience in detail.

I had a fedora 21 virtual machine 3.16.1-301.fc21.x86_64, which was not updated with latest alpha release. I faced some weird issues, while doing yum update. I took help of Kamil to update my system, thanks to him. Without wasting more time, I directly jumped to test day wiki page :: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Test_Day:2014-09-30_Jenkins . This is a real bliss if you keep an eye on FedoraQA Calendar. This was the source of information for me today. you can’t miss anything if you occasionally look at it. So yeah, coming back to test day..I configured my test VM with

su -c 'yum update --enablerepo=updates-testing jenkins-javadoc-plugin-1.2-1.fc21 jenkins-junit-plugin-1.1-1.fc21 jenkins-external-monitor-job-plugin-1.2-1.fc21 jenkins-ant-plugin-1.2-1.fc21 jenkins-executable-war-1.29-3.fc21 jenkins-mailer-plugin-1.11-1.fc21 js-yui2-2.9.0-6.fc21 stapler-adjunct-timeline-1.4-3.fc21 jenkins-1.581-2.fc21'

But it yelled back saying that “Madam, first install then update!”. I mean, clearly, I did not have these packages by default. I have installed all these listed packages with yum install. I love yum for pulling all dependencies itself. Now next step was to execute all listed test cases one by one with an evil intention that I should break it somehow and manage to log lots of bugs :P . But true, when you start things with wrong intentions, chances are good that you fall back. I could not access my Jenkins instance at http://localhost:8080 for a half an hour. Thank God, we have IRC#fedora-test-day. Thanks to people there who suggested number of things. Generally, when you have a test day for a component, you can find developer, testers, users on #fedora-test-day on free node and they all are there to help out. So, it is really easy dude!

Solution that worked for me was simple, first I needed to turn my iptables (firewall) off then I cleared by browser cache and bingo, I got my Jenkins instance page loaded. I could see a man with curved mustache, closed eyes, a red bow and a big smile on his face,i.e. on top right corner of my screen. Jenkins uncle was smiling.

That was time to start some real testing. I tested whole bunch of test cases given on test day page. As expected, I faced few failures but overall it worked pretty nicely. Big thanks to msrb. He was really helpful. He organized test day first time but he made everything in place. Success of a test day depends on its organizer too. He publicized it well, he created test page very user friendly. Test cases were written so nicely and he was available on IRC though out the day and helping for every query. Well Done sir :)

Finally, I have updated test page with my testing results. I have logged 3 bugs and mentioned them in test results section of test page. It is really simple to log one, you need to do following ::

1. Ask on #fedora-test-day if the issue you are facing is actually bug or if that is not already logged in. Sample ::

amita> msrb, for test case 6
<amita> any one faced java.io.IOException: Plugin installation failed. No manifest at /var/lib/jenkins/plugins/jenkins-icon-shim.jpi/META-INF/MANIFEST.MF
<amita> mizdebsk, ^^
<msrb> amita, yes, it’s a known bug in jenkins-icon-shim pkg: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1147821
<amita> oh ok
<msrb> it should be really a problem

2. If it is valid one and then go to Red Hat Bugzilla and open a new bug against right component and version. Sample ::

<amita> msrb, I am facing http://fpaste.org/137753/82125141/ for slave configuration
<amita> do we need jenkins rpms installed on slave machine too?
<amita> or is it a bug? msrb
<amita> known bug?
<msrb> amita, nope, that shouldn’t be necessary. it’s probably a bug. could you please report it in bugzilla?
<amita> sure
<msrb> thanks, good job!
<amita> msrb, https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1147978

3. Don’t forget to put all bugs in test results section of test day page. Sample ::

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Test_Day:2014-09-30_Jenkins#Test_Results

So all in all it was a win win for me and Jenkins pkg owners. I learned about Jenkin and they have got some bugs to fix now :) It is really a big satisfaction to learn something new while doing your favorite job i.e. testing. Some one rightly said that learning something new often keep you feeling young. So if you now want to stay young, keep testing, participate more, enjoy test days, report bugs and don’t forget to update test results :)

CVE-2014-7169 – $shock

Shellshock is the hot news which is shockingly spreading all over the world. To check if you are effected (which has got very high probability) or not just execute ::

env x='() { :;}; echo anything’ bash -c :

and if you get anything echoed it means your bash has got something for you and i.e. vulnerability. Time to update your system with patches. This vulnerability is affecting all versions of the bash package shipped till date, so everyone has to update this patch in order to fix it. Fixed versions for fedora are ::

Fedora 21: bash-4.3.25-2.fc21
Fedora 20: bash-4.2.48-2.fc20
Fedora 19: bash-4.2.48-2.fc19

Ryan Lerch talks about it in his article in fedora magazine in detail. This is interesting to understand how just declaring a single variable can be malicious. In the statement above where we have declared environment varible x, is assigned a value containing function definition. Issue is that when we export this variable, this just does not execute the function defined in variable, but also load and execute the content, we put after the function closure.

Hackers can put anything in place of echo statement. you can extend your experiment by replacing echo statement with reboot like this ::  env x='() { :;}; reboot’ bash -c : and you will see your system get rebooted. So you can think of the severity now!

you can actually read the detailed stuff at Red Hat’s information article and make sure to be get the updated version of bash to be safe.

GNOME/Wayland Test Day – 2014-08-28

Heya Friends, So here comes another opportunity to contribute in Fedora QA.
We have a test day coming up for GNOME / Wayland which is scheduled for 2014-08-28, that is, this Thursday.
You really don’t need to sweat blood to be part of this test day. It is really very simple.

gnome

We have each and every information included in our wiki page . Vladimír Beneš is big cheese for this test day, who is burning the candle at both ends trying to get everything done and in place for all of the contributors.
So you really don’t need to worry about almost anything. Just make your self available to execute test cases for GNOME/Wayland.

There are some very attractive features to test for example captive portal support in gnome-shell and better rdp support in vinagre. If you have problems with any of the tests, try and report a bug. Bugs clearly related to GNOME Shell and it’s browser integration as well as to extensions.gnome.org should be reported to GNOME Bugzilla. Bugs that are clearly issues in Fedora GNOME integration should be reported to Fedora Bugzilla. If you are unsure, please report into Fedora Bugzilla or ask on #fedora-test-day or #fedora-qa. You will need an account to report bugs, but creating one is easy, and we will help you do this if you ask in IRC.

If you are not sure of the appropriate component, please check in IRC before filing, there are many possibilities. If you are unsure about exactly how to file the report or what other information to include, just ask on IRC and we will help you. Once you have completed the tests, don’t forget to add your results to the results table available on wiki.

I am trying to get updates on test day participation badge. So if we are lucky, we will be able to earn some badges for participation. So be ready to roll. Happy Testing :)

Synonym of Fedora QA – Adam Williamson

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A very famous name in Fedora QA “Adam Williamson“, we all know him
more as “Community Monkey”.
I was already quite impressed the amount of work he has been putting in Fedora QA since quite a long time and I am sure it is not just me. I got a golden opportunity to meet him in person at flock and it was really nice to know about him more as a person.

My first meeting with him was a big surprise for me. I was about to start my talk on Fedora QA and with in five minutes after I started giving talk, just a another boy with shorts came running with a big smile on his face in to my talk room and I actually stopped my talk to mention that people are so happy to get registered in the flock. But,he was smiling all the time as I was giving my talk (may be because, there were lot many things I included in my slides created/managed/initiated by Adam). I was quite confused what making this guy so happy. At the end of my talk he was helping me out in giving answers quite confidently. I was wondering who is this guy, then I read his name on his flock badge – I was almost dead with shock because it was none other than “Adam Williamson”

There are lot many contributors in Fedora QA who definitely want to know more about him as a person, So I used this opportunity to interview him. I did not had a set of questions ready for him for this interview because I don’t want it to be boring one but more natural and interesting one. So I am going to put the conversation I had with him
during this interview.

Ami :: your geographical location?
Adam :: Vancouver, BC (Canada).

Ami :: What is the secret behind this name “community monkey”, any story?
Adam :: Nothing in particular – I just didn’t like the term ‘community manager’ as it seems to imply a particular relationship which I don’t think is quite right for a project like Fedora. I can’t recall quite where the monkey thing originated, it’s lost in the mists of time, but it was back when I was working at Mandriva. The cartoon monkey icon I use often was very kindly drawn for me by a Mandriva community member.

Ami :: What do you like and dislike most about yourself?
Adam :: I’m not the most introspective of people, but I guess I like being relaxed and positive and I dislike when I get angry and/or sarcastic, or let people down.

Ami :: I want to know about the kind of upbringing you had which made this “community monkey” so efficient. So, tell me something about your childhood?
Adam ::  I was a normal kid, who used to love playing video games on computer. But eventually I noticed that it is more cool to play games on open source operation systems. I used to read PCW magazine. I got a open source OS CD with this magazine and I felt it was better. It offers you lot more interesting things in games and I used to experiment with things to make them work my way.

Ami :: It sounds more like a super kid than a normal one you must have technical studies background?
Adam :: No, It is academic. But I was part of Linux group in my university. I used to write about Linux.

Ami :: With academic background, how you made it to open source, computing, testing so successfully.
Adam :: Well, it is more about interest. I found open source, testing much more interesting than doing PHD and being a teaching.

Ami :: What was your first job and when you started doing Fedora QA.
Adam :: I did a lot of different jobs here and there. I worked in supermarket then in UK government agency, also worked for Shaw Cable – a cable TV / internet company in Canada for some time. But nothing interesting / technical, just phone stuff and data entry. My technical carrier started with Mandriva initially but then eventually I moved out. Later, I used to help people via community forum, answering their technical issues. I actually had to make money by posting ads on my blog.
It was 5 years back, when I started with Fedora QA. James Laska was my first mentor and manager who was quite helpful.

Ami :: What kind of work did you start with for QA and what all things you do now.
Adam :: It started with managing fedora QA wiki pages with Roshi, which made me learn a lot many things in QA. I used to read every document on wiki to update them. It helped me a lot and I do it even now when I found something is not right.
Now, I do almost all kind of things in Fedora QA : Test days co-ordinator,Testing various releases on different archs, Bugs, meetings, play with different testing tools, helping people.. so all the interesting stuff in QA.

Ami:: What is your inspiration which keeps your zeal so high day and night?
Adam :: Having interesting and useful work to do is really all I need!

Ami :: How do you manage to be online up and running 24*7?
Adam:: Bots! Well, I’m kidding, but using an IRC proxy certainly contributes to the impression: I use Bip – https://bip.milkypond.org/ . Other than that, it’s mostly just that I check my email and IRC pings regularly when I’m awake, as I work from home (but try not to take too much time for work in the evenings).

Ami :: Most memorable or challenging and interesting issue/bug which you want to share with us?
Adam :: There have been a lot and I’m probably forgetting many, but I enjoy ones
I have to trace out a long way and learn new stuff from. One example is https://github.com/openid/php-openid/issues/108 , where I figured out why OpenID wasn’t working on my WordPress install any more; probably trivial for an experienced PHP developer, but I learned a lot in following the trail. Another example is a bug I found in OwnCloud 7.0 which prevented the types for contact information (“Home”, “Work” etc) being displayed correctly in the web UI, https://github.com/owncloud/contacts/issues/536 – it turned out to be as simple as a check being “is this thing false?” when it should have been “is this thing true?”, but the tricky part is working all the way through the code to find that point, when your starting knowledge is
simply what you see on the screen.

Ami :: what were the significant hurdles during these 5 years long journey as community monkey and how did you beat them?
Adam :: I guess I don’t see things in that context – the way I see things is just that there is always more work to do, always some way to make Fedora better, and every day I do as many of those as I can without becoming a shut-in or going insane! So I don’t really tend to see hurdles in the way of some finishing line I could reach, I just wake up every day and think about what I could do to make things a little better
than they were the day before.

Ami :: What is your favorite pass time or hobby,  Other than Fedora QA  ?
Adam :: I have quite a few – my regular routine involves swimming all year round, which I like for the exercise and the different way you think when you’re constantly moving in a very repetitive environment, playing tennis and golf in summer, and snowboarding in winter. I like to read, watch bad American and Japanese TV, and eat out at all kinds of different places.

Ami :: If you were not a QA, what do you think what you should be doing?
Adam :: Anything useful that someone would let me do! Ideally in F/OSS. But it’s
something I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about, I tend to take the world one day at a time.

Ami :: What are your future plans, some more interesting stuff in Fedora  QA or it will be some other area?
Adam:: Nothing specific – as long as my job is interesting I’m happy to keep doing it as long as anyone will let me do it.

Ami :: Would you like to mention any name behind your glorified journey as community monkey?
Adam :: Ha! The Mandriva community was always incredibly kind and generous to me, and so has the Fedora community been; I’d hate to mention individual names as I feel I’d always leave someone out unintentionally. But I have to give a special mention to James Laska, former Red Hat Fedora QA team manager, whose friendliness, consideration, technical capabilities and attention to detail I’ve always tried (very poorly) to imitate.

Ami :: Best thing about Fedora community? What makes it outstanding?
Adam :: I like most positive-minded, productive F/OSS communities. I think the
best quality of Fedora specifically is its commitment to long-term thinking, which is evident in various ways but mainly in its commitment to approaching development from the perspective of ‘how do we fix this forever, for everyone?’ – not just ‘how do we fix it right now, for us?’

Ami:: What do you suggest for a new contributor in QA, what should be the starting point?
Adam :: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/QA/Join is meant to be the starting point for new contributors – it should walk you through getting involved with QA. You can always ask on the mailing list or IRC channel if you have questions about the steps on that page.

Ami :: Any message for other contributors, beginners ?
Adam :: Contributing to Fedora (or any F/OSS project) is fun, rewarding, and probably easier than you think. There’s always something you can do, and with most things, there’s no penalty for getting it wrong – and you’ll probably learn something when you do. So don’t be afraid, and give it a try.

Invitation for Saturday Party – FAD at RH, Pune

fad

This post is a call for action. It is to spread the word about fedora event FAD (one day) at Red Hat Pune . For those, who wants to know what FAD is, can read FAD wiki . This FAD is mostly dedicated to testing for Fedora 21 Alpha. We will test different components on Fedora 21 Alpha. If you want to be part of fun, you are most welcome. You can pick up your favorite among these components to test and you will get help if required.

You really don’t need to be an expert in testing or any of these components and we are not at all restricted to only the listed components. If you want to test some other components, feel free to add that in this list.

Many people has shown their interest in Fedora activities and expressed that they want to be active contributor but don’t know exactly from where to start. Specially, after my talk at flock 2014. So this is a very nice opportunity for all of you. You can still do it, just update list of Attendees with your name and come join Saturday party. :)

Thanks to all of you who have already done it.

We also have some swags for you, which are very limited and will be distributed on first come first serve basis, So if you want to get one, be sure to come on time. And yes, you’ll need to get in touch with Siddhesh in advance so that passes can be arranged for your entry into office.

Flock 2014

I visited Prague, the beautiful city of Czech Republic for Flock. This was my first conference ever and it was a life time experience. I will make sure that I can attend many more in coming years. I presented a talk on Fedora QA. My talk was first talk after the keynote. It went pretty well. Many in the audience asked questions and during the discussion we talked about reviving the bug triaging project. As there are many bugs in Fedora Bugzilla which are currently in zombie state and we really want to get rid of them. People agreed to the fact that Fedora QA team is doing hard work to test every bit of Fedora. But certainly we need more hands to contribute. if you want to be part of it, please join us here -> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/QA/Join.

There were so many awesome people at Flock. I met Mathew Miller, who is the Fedora project leader currently. He is so down to earth person, it was pleasure to meet him. I talked about getting involved in fedora magazine. There is one more name to highlight for fedora magazine ie. Chris Roberts. He is again very nice, fun loving person, who is always happy to help.

Obviously, I wanted to meet fedora QA team and I met this fabulous person Adam Williamson. We talked about fedora QA in depth. We discussed about wiki test plans, tcms, bug triaging. He also showed me Mozilla tcms which he was trying to play with. So maybe Fedora test plans will be migrated to Mozilla tcms in future. It was nice meeting him. Later I met Tim Flink who is handling taskotorn. I got to know about the features and how he is planning to make it better than AutoQA. I got a chance to meet Ben Levenson too. It was a privilege to meet him.

I attended many talks during conference. Here are the videos of all the talks. I attended the keynote, Taskotron and Me, Life of a remotee, Predictive Input Methods, UX 101: Practical usability methods that everyone can use, Release Engineering and You, Fedora Badges & Badge Design, The Problem with Unit Testing, Systemd daemon integration, next step to world domination, Secure Programming Practices, Security Code Audit 101, You can write kernel tests too! during the conference.

It was awesome experience to get to know so many fantastic people and to learn about new things in Fedora. It was little hard to digest all the information though. But we have to make sure that we can utilize every single second while in the conference.

Apart from work, we had fun too. Boat party was nice. I loved to be there on boat. Prague looks more beautiful in evening. I could feel zephyr. River water was sparkling in lights. Thanks to Flock organizers for doing it. We have a badge too for attending this party :)