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Proposal: TEST kernel config files

The problem as I see it: it would be useful to have extra kernel options available by default when performing automated testing* on various platforms, but in most cases none of the available kernel configurations have the desired options** enabled (on the assumption that a developer who desires these options can build a custom configuration with relatively little bother). In some of the automated-testing cases, it would be convenient and arguably beneficial to be able to use the already-existing autobuilds*** for testing purposes. Since the kernels aren't available by default, to achieve the goal of testing with non-default options, it would be necessary to configure the test platform with a custom kernel configuration file.

Given the push for automated testing that we're currently making (very successfully, I might add), it seems to me that having these configurations _available by default_ makes it easier to maintain a uniform testing strategy. However, various people have rightly pointed out that it's quite a burden to make everyone building NetBSD build extra kernels they don't use unless they customize their own builds.

What I propose is a compromise: let's create a kernel configuration file for each arch which is intended for testing, but NOT have it be part of the default build. If the file is there already, and named consistently, it's a simple matter to make sure it's built when needed as part of the standard release build mechanism. The releng autobuild cluster could be configured to build the kernel for those platforms with regular testing occurring, and make it available in the snapshots; but not built for releases.

For most platforms (this is obviously up to the portmaster and whomever is running the primary test rig), the TEST**** kernel would be something like this:

include "arch/macppc/conf/GENERIC"

...where GENERIC can be any kernel suitable for a starting point, and the options are ones generally decided upon. Anyone doing continuous build-and-test would build this kernel and use it for at least some testing; anyone testing against the autobuilds would be able to request the kernel be built as part of the autobuilds. Any arch where it makes sense would have a config file added.


Thanks for reading this far,

* See
**** The name is up for bikeshedding. The name TEST is not in currently in use by any platform under -current.

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