The Truth About ATI/AMD & Linux
In addition to the beta testers, AMD relies upon a series of manual and automated tests for each driver. This testing begins in the validation cycle and continues with the beta, but AMD only tests each driver on their supported Linux distributions. Currently Novell's SuSE, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Red Flag are the only AMD supported Linux distributions. With the AMD beta program are testers that verify the support and provide packaging scripts for Debian, Fedora, Mandriva, Slackware, and Ubuntu. Outside of those that provide packaging scripts there are approximately thirteen distribution vendors that are involved with the closed beta program. If you are a distribution vendor and would like to join the closed beta program, please contact us and we can forward the information on to the appropriate representatives at AMD.
During the testing stage, AMD primarily tests the driver on the market requirements for their direct consumers that have made requests for Linux support, which are generally workstations and consumer desktops. While the number of actual developers working on the Linux driver is confidential, there are over 100 people involved with the closed beta program.
We had asked what makes up the automated testing process that the driver goes through during the development cycle and validation, and the response we had received by Matthew Tippett was: "We try to bring automation as much as possible into the testing, if it can be automated, it eventually will. At different stages through our test cycle, we focus testing differently to manage particular risks of that part of the development cycle. Likewise we balance the increased effort of manual testing with the automated testing based on the return of investment at any particular point in the development cycle."
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