This morning when I saw the call for test days e’mail I had an idea that I want to get some feedback on before I propose it as a test day.
I manage multiple systems and for each new release of Fedora Workstation, I do installs (clean storage) rather that updates. This gets rid of the trash in the system space and users get a chance to clean the trash out of their home directory before it’s copied to their new home directory. The automation (script) I use for configuring these systems after the base Anaconda install not only installs and removes software packages, but also does setting of desktop preferences, service settings, and user setting such as groups. I start using the script with what I call As Deployed Testing which typically starts a little before branching of the new version. This happens for pre-release drops as testing is called for or for other drops as something peaks my interest. Good things can be discovered about the readiness of the new release for deployment with this as deployed configuration. For instance:
Unreported bugs can sometimes show up. Besides reporting the bug I can understand the impact of the bug and plan for a workaround or other measure given that the bug may not be a priority. An application may be retired or have a new version that is delayed. Such situations can lead to the deployment being delayed or working with users to decide on a new application.
A Gnome setting (gsettings) may work differently or no longer be available. Their may be new settings available
I would guess that most folks that deploy new Fedora Workstation releases for a group of users do something similar. So why then have a test day for this? I see the following benefits:
On the test day results pages each tester can report the number of users they support and list by number any new bugs or issues they found that were seen after their as deployed configuration, but not with with the base anaconda installed configuration. This provides an indication of the impact of the bugzilla bugs and Gnome issues that were found.
They can be encouraged to post on Fedora Discussion about any new or different gsettings or service configurations they found. This will raise visibility of new, changed, and removed settings. They can tell about replacement application(s) they are using in place of ones that are retired or otherwise not available.