We are now entering into an intensive period of testing, and this is where we really need your help!

For the Alpha (Herd) releases we were mainly interested in checking that the ISO images were OK and find obvious bugs. Only a few distro team developers spent much time release testing the Alphas. For beta and beyond the distro team has traditionally spent a great deal of time doing testing, which could of course be better spent fixing bugs.

This time we have a chance to lighten that pressure through community-based testing, because of the great work we have already done in getting ourselves organised. However to get this right, the community testing effort must be tightly focused and coordinated so that it can be a reliable component of the test plan. This means focusing as a group on a few ISO images and tests.

Specifically we must consider:

1. Reliability - Planned tests have to get done. We can only release when we can confirm that all the test cases on all ISOs have been covered. And we want to release on time!
2. Turnaround time - After one or more bugs in an ISO candidate has been fixed, that ISO must be built again and tested. The turn-around time on that can get quite tight as we get close to release, often just hours.
3. Depth (quality of testing)
- Assigned test cases must be known to get a certain level of testing (ideally the Long test program). When a test has been submitted, we must be reasonably sure that any serious bugs will indeed have been found.

The chance of getting these right with the community based testing is improved by focusing our efforts on a small number of ISOs and tests. With 5 or more testers signed up for a single test there is a good chance that it will get some testing fairly quickly. It also helps with the quality because each tester can spend more time on that one test.

Based on what I've seen of testing in the forums, I suggest we aim for the following 6 tests:

 * i386, Ubuntu erase disk
 * i386, Ubuntu manual partitioning
 * i386, Ubuntu auto-resize
 * i386, Kubuntu erase disk
 * i386, Kubuntu manual partitioning
 * i386, Kubuntu auto-resize
While doing any of these tests you should also do the CD check and live CD session. In addition, it would be good to test the WinFOSS on as many ISOs as possible because few core developers actually have Windows installs available.

If you want to participate in this test run, please email iso.testing AT gmail.com with the following information:

 * Forum and/or IRC nick
 * Launchpad ID (last part of URL)
 * Your primary test case [just one]
 * Secondary test cases
 * Whether you can do WinFOSS testing
This address will be read by pochu and myself. We will try to coordinate so that we get the best possible coverage. We will likely ask people to adjust primary and secondary test priorities. It would also be good if you could give us a rough idea of known constraints on your time (like you'll be away on Monday, whatever).

I hope we can get good coverage on these so I can focus the distro team testing effort better as well (I happen to also be the person who assigns test cases to core developers). If we can prove that we are able to provide good test cover on these few tests for beta we can consider expanding the community contribution for the Release Candidate and Final (in fact, that would be a fantastic result!).

ps. Please also do Edubuntu, Xubuntu and PowerPC testing, but coordinate that separately to this effort, which needs a tight focus. Thanks.