Do You Do the Drupal?

The Drupal content management system is one of the most popular engines for dynamic websites — indeed, it powers the site you're visiting right now. All this powering doesn't happen by itself, though, and the developer community that does the dirty work behind the scenes is in need of a bit of Linux labor.

The Testing and Quality Assurance team at Drupal are "the plumbers who keep the community plumbing from leaking." While they once spent their time reviewing patches one-by-one to assure stability, they now employ a testing bot to automatically apply patches to test installations, freeing up tester time to tackle greater things.

All this wrangling and testing requires time and energy from the wranglers of course, and equally important, it requires resources. The test installations the testing bot utilizes are hosted on a network of donated servers specially configured for the purpose. As the law of large numbers would suggest, eventually some of these servers experience "issues." While some of these "issues" are easily resolved by a restart or reinstall, others need a bit more wrangling to beat into submission. That's where the team's call to the Linux savvy comes in.

If you're "comfortable with Linux" and have some skill in testing and debugging, the team would be extremely grateful to have you join their efforts. Besides debugging server issues, they are also in need of volunteers who can help tune the network of servers for maximum performance, including those familiar with PHP caching, MySQL in memory, and "the usual." There is also a need for — presumably Drupal savvy — volunteers to help establish the second generation of Drupal testing, including deploying test clients and resolving whatever issues may arise.

Even those who lack the time or skills to donate have a part to play, as the team is also looking for "decent" servers on which to test. Though the specifics of what qualifies as "decent" aren't spelled out, the call for help does indicate that those donated should be ones "that can run an entire battery of tests in a reasonable period of time."

We here at Linux Journal are big fans of Drupal — indeed, our lovely and talented webmistress Katherine is a master at wrangling it to her will. We hope readers will answer the call to help keep the project at the highest quality. Not only will those who lend a hand gain the satisfaction of a job well done, they might just end up testing what could be the next new feature right here on

If you have skills or servers to donate to the cause, please contact Drupal's Testing and Quality Assurance team or visit #drupal-infrastructure on (While you're there, don't forget to visit us in #linuxjournal.)

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