[ This article was written by Kent Baxley, Canonical Field Engineer ]

The Dell Linux Engineering team works closely with Canonical to test and certify Ubuntu Server LTS releases on PowerEdge and PowerEdge-C servers. Here are details of the different components and tests that we run:

Before running the certification test suite, the server must be able to automatically enlist, commission, and deploy the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Server operating system via a Metal-As-A-Service (MAAS) server.

In addition to being compatible with MAAS, the following subsystems are tested:

Hard disks (RAID and non-RAID)

  • Storage devices (HDDs, RAID LUNs) are I/O Load tested using Open Source tools such as bonnie++.
  • Verify system storage performs at or above baseline performance.
  • Test the hard disk's SMART Capabilities, if applicable.
  • Detect and display disks attached to the system.
  • Run hdparm timing of cache reads as a benchmark.
  • Run hdparm timing of device (non-cache) reads as a benchmark.
  • Checks disk stats, generate some activity and recheck stats to verify they've changed. 

CPU

  • Test for clock jitter.
  • Test that the CPU can run at its max frequency using Ubuntu's Firmware Test Suite (fwts cpufreq).
  • Test offlining CPUs in a multicore system.
  • Test the CPU scaling capabilities using Ubuntu's Firmware Test Suite (fwts cpufreq).
  • Check CPU topology for accuracy
  • A general stress test is performed for to verify that the system can handle a
  • Sustained high load for a period of time. This utilizes the test tool “stress”, available in the Ubuntu Universe repository.

Memory

  • Check the amount of memory reported in meminfo against the size of the memory modules detected by DMI.
  • A general stress test is performed to verify that the system can handle a sustained high load for a period of time. This utilizes the test tool “stress” available in the Ubuntu Universe repository.

Network

  • Detect available network controllers.
  • Run network bandwidth testing on all detected Ethernet devices.

Floppy Drives

  • Detect any installed drives and test inserted media.

Optical Drives (CD/DVD)

  • Detect any installed drives and run read tests against inserted optical media.

USB

  • Detect and show any USB devices attached to the system
  • Automated testing of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports by performing file read/write and compare operations on inserted USB media.

Power Management

  • Verify that the Real-time clock (RTC) device functions properly, if present.
  • Check to see if CONFIG_NO_HZ is set in the kernel (simple regression check).

Virtualization

  • Test to ensure that a cloud image boots and works properly with the Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor on CPUs that support Virtualization.

Miscellaneous Tests

  • Run Ubuntu's Firmware Test Suite (fwts) automated tests to ensure there are no potential firmware or BIOS bugs that could interfere with proper system function.
  • Run basic in-band connectivity tests against a BMC / iDRAC using ipmi, verifying that IPMI works.

More details on Canonical’s certification testing program can be found at https://certification.canonical.com

For a detailed list of Dell servers that have been certified with Ubuntu Server,

visit https://certification.ubuntu.com/server/models/?vendors=Dell%20EMC