Testing new releases and updates
Testing new Qubes OS releases and updates is one of the most helpful ways in which you can contribute to the Qubes OS Project. If you’re interested in helping with this, please join the testing team. There are several different types of testing, which we’ll cover below.
Warning: Software testing is intended for advanced users and developers. You should only attempt to do this if you know what you’re doing. Never rely on code that is in testing for critical work!
How to test upcoming Qubes OS releases:
- Test the latest release candidate (RC) on the downloads page, if one is currently available. (Or try an older RC from our FTP server.)
- Try the signed weekly builds. (Learn more and track their status.)
- Use qubes-builder to build the latest release yourself.
- (No support) Experiment with developer alpha ISOs found from time to time at Qubes OpenQA.
Please make sure to report any bugs you encounter.
How to test updates:
Every new update is first uploaded to the
security-testing repository if it is a security update or
current-testing if it is a normal update. The update remains in
current-testing for a minimum of one week. On occasion, an exception is made for a particularly critical security update, which is immediately pushed to the
current stable repository. In general, however, security updates remain in
security-testing for two weeks before migrating to
current. Normal updates generally remain in
current-testing until they have been sufficiently tested by the community, which can last weeks or even months, depending on the amount of feedback received (see Providing feedback).
“Sufficient testing” is, in practice, a fluid term that is up the developers’ judgment. In general, it means either that no negative feedback and at least one piece of positive feedback has been received or that the package has been in
current-testing for long enough, depending on the component and the complexity of the changes.
A limitation of the current testing setup is that it is only possible to migrate the most recent version of a package from
current. This means that, if a newer version of a package is uploaded to
current-testing, it will no longer be possible to migrate any older versions of that same package from
current, even if one of those older versions has been deemed stable enough. While this limitation can be inconvenient, the benefits outweigh the costs, since it greatly simplifies the testing and reporting process.
How to test templates:
- For official templates, enable the
qubes-templates-itl-testingrepository, then install the desired template.
- For community templates, enable the
qubes-templates-community-testingrepository, then install the desired template.
To temporarily enable any of these repos, use the
--enablerepo=<repo-name> option. Example commands:
qvm-template --enablerepo=qubes-templates-itl-testing list --available
qvm-template --enablerepo=qubes-templates-itl-testing install <template_name>
To enable any of these repos permanently, change the corresponding
enabled value to
/etc/qubes/repo-templates. To disable any of these repos permanently, change the corresponding
enabled value to
Since the whole point of testing software is to discover and fix bugs, your feedback is an essential part of this process. We use an automated build process. For every package that is uploaded to a testing repository, a GitHub issue is created in the updates-status repository for tracking purposes. We welcome any kind of feedback on any package in any testing repository. Even a simple “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” reaction on the package’s associated issue would help us to decide whether the package is ready to be migrated to a stable repository. If you report a bug in a package that is in a testing repository, please reference the appropriate issue in updates-status.