Virtualization, docker, automated tests and more!

This summer I am interning with the QE team at Redhat for Pulp Project. To do the work of re-creating bugs and writing tests, I will need to install various versions and builds of Pulp. To enable me to do this repeatedly and without endangering my local system or generating a difficult to duplicate state of the application, this week I was trained on the various tools the Pulp QE team use to automate their work flow. This included setting up virtual machines on my local system using libvirt, as well as scripting the cloning of these VM’s and using Ansible to install various builds of pulp on each VM. Additionally I got introduced to beaker, an internal tool for provisioning machines, and was shown how to use a Jenkins job the pulp team uses to install various versions of pulp.

Controlling the pulp-server remotely

Pulp can be installed in a distributed fashion, as well as be controlled remotely by the pulp-admin client. I used pulp to both pull in existing RPM repositories as well and create a new RPM repo with a few RPM files, and enable a system to install the package via dnf from the repository hosted on the pulp server.

Docker demo

Midway through the week I took a brief break from working on Pulp while one of the Satellite6 (downstream project of Katello) QE team, came over and led us through a demo of docker and how he uses it to run an automated test suite against Satellite6 (which uses Pulp).

At one point I had ten containers running this test suite all hammering a Satellite6 instance! Watching my system monitor was quite entertaining as the many thousands of tests ran. Then I walked through a demo of how Satellite6 works from a user perspective. This gave me a better idea of what role Pulp plays in Satellite6. Customizing the content provided to different machines or groups of machines is a powerful tool for system administrators using Satellite6, and Pulp is the workhorse behind this functionality!


Finally, I got into working with pulp-smash, which is the test suite for pulp. After setting up a python virtual environment and installing the developer requirements, I did some exploration of the project in ipython. Armed with this knowledge and our different pulp VM’s, I wrote a test that ensured, if the pulp version being tested was of a sufficient version, a command could be executed and that it returned with a successful exit code. By the end of the day Friday I had one pull request updating the documentation to Pulp, and another adding a test to Pulp-Smash. I had a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to all I have to learn and the opportunity to contribute to such an active open source project.