Contribution to Fedora comes in many forms. Here’s a common misconception about contributing: “I’m not a developer, so what do they need me for?” However, there are many ways for non-developers to contribute to Fedora. One way is package testing. Before a new version of a package lands in the updates repository, it passes through a staging area. This article tells you how to help an update get through that process.
Testing a package with Bodhi
Bodhi is Fedora’s package update system. It acts as a gatekeeper between new package releases and the stable repositories. Fedora packagers stage new releases of their packages in an “update.” They then submit the update to a testing repository and request feedback about the stability of the package.
Feedback consists of comments, and either a positive or negative “karma” vote. Once a package gets enough positive karma, the package submitter can push the package to the stable repositories.
Here’s one way you can test a specific package
- Sign in with a FAS account (you may need to create one first).
- Find a package to test by browsing packages for Fedora 28 that await testing.
- Install or upgrade the package from the updates-testing repository.
dnf upgrade --enablerepo=updates-testing geary
- Run the packaged software. If the packager asked for tests of a specific bug, try to reproduce that bug. If you can’t, give the package a “+1”! In case the package doesn’t work as expected, leave a helpful comment, explaining what went wrong.
- After testing, restore the stable versions with distro-sync.
Giving feedback with fedora-easy-karma
The fedora-easy-karma package helps you give karma to any testing update currently installed. Run it with a pattern to match only specific packages. Or run it without a pattern to match all packages.
The following example scans the computer for all testing updates that begin with gnome-.
$ fedora-easy-karma gnome-* ...
Follow the interactive steps to give karma and comment on each package.
Test some packages today!
Get started by helping to test some packages today, such as these currently in testing: