CheckBoxNG can be installed from a PPA (recommended) or pypi on Ubuntu Precise (12.04) or newer.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:checkbox-dev/ppa && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install checkbox-ng


CheckBoxNG has special support for running stable release updates tests in an automated manner. This runs all the jobs from the sru.whitelist and sends the results to the certification website.

To run SRU tests you will need to know the so-called Secure ID of the device you are testing. Once you know that all you need to do is run:

$ checkbox sru $secure_id submission.xml

The second argument, submission.xml, is a name of the fallback file that is only created when sending the data to the certification website fails to work for any reason.


Test 'scripts' are small programs which are used to aid in implementing tests.


This script tests the brightness of the systems backlight can be changed by using the kernel interfaces in /sys/class/backlight. There may be more than one interface to choose from, so the correct interface to use is selected by using the heuristic prescribed in The brightness is manipulated by updating the brightness file of the interface and the actual_brightness file is checked to see if the value was modified to the brightness selected.


This page describes the necessary steps for releasing versions of CheckBox and CheckBox Certification to the stable PPA belonging to the Hardware Certification team, on a regular basis. Throughout this document the term 'CheckBox' is used as a catch-all term to cover all versions of CheckBox owned by the Hardware Certification team, currently CheckBox itself and the CheckBox Certification extensions.


Currently the process runs on a bi-weekly cadence, with a new release of Checkbox every two weeks. This covers ten working days, and the tasks carried out on each day or group of days is described below:

  • Days 1-4: Time allowed for new changes to be introduced into trunk.

  • Day 5: Changes are merged from the trunk of lp:checkbox and lp:checkbox-certification to their respective release branches. The changelogs for both are bumped at this point and revisions are tagged. At this stage it may also be necessary to copy the package 'fwts' from the FWTS Stable PPA to the Checkbox Release Testing PPA.

  • Days 6-9: Testing is performed by the release manager for the Hardware Certification team, and a representative of the CE QA team (the main customer for CheckBox within Canonical)

  • Day 9: A release meeting is held between the release manager for the Hardware Certification team and the representative of the CE QA team. Potential issues with the release are identified and plans made to address them.

  • Day 10: The tested version of CheckBox is copied to the stable PPA.

Launchpad Branches

The release process requires separate branches in Launchpad containing a semi-frozen version of the code that was in trunk on day 5 of the process. This is so that development can continue on trunk without jeopardising the stability of the to-be released version of CheckBox. The relationship between all branches involved in the process is as shown below:

  • lp:checkbox/release <- lp:checkbox

  • lp:checkbox-certification/release <- lp:checkbox-certification

  • lp:~checkbox-dev/checkbox/checkbox-packaging-release <- lp:~checkbox-dev/checkbox/checkbox-packaging

Auditing milestoned bugs

Prior to creating the release candidate the release manager should review the list of bugs milestoned for the next release of CheckBox. They should visit checkbox milestones and locate the milestone dated with the release date.

  • For bugs that are set to In Progress with a branch associated - liase with the branch owner to see if the merge can be completed before the deadline.

  • For bugs that are in any other non-closed status (except Fix Commited) - re-milestone them to the following milestone.

Cutting the release

In order to cut the release, we have to merge the changes from trunk into the release branch, commit them with a suitable message and update the changelog in trunk so that future changes go under the correct version. For each combination of branches shown above, do the following (the example uses lp:checkbox and lp:checkbox/release):

bzr branch lp:checkbox/release checkbox-release
bzr branch lp:checkbox checkbox-trunk
cd checkbox-release
current_stable=\(gahead -n1 $(find . -name 'changelog') | grep -oP '(?<=\().*(?=\))'\(ga
bzr merge lp:checkbox

at this point if no changes (other than one to debian/changelog) get merged in then we do not perform a release of the package in question. In practice this often happens with checkbox-certification but never with checkbox:

bzr commit -m "Merged in changes from rev$(bzr revno -r tag:$current_stable lp:checkbox) to rev$(bzr revno lp:checkbox) from lp:checkbox"
bzr push lp:checkbox/release
cd \(gafind . -name 'debian'\(ga; cd ..
bzr tag \(gahead -n1 debian/changelog | grep -oP '(?<=\().*(?=\))'\(ga
dch -r (save modified changelog)
dch -i -U 'Incremented changelog'
bzr push lp:checkbox

The last step in the process is to perform a build of the packages in the ppa:checkbox-dev/testing PPA. To do this we need to go to the recipe pages for the checkbox and/or checkbox-certification release branches.

  • checkbox-testing recipe

  • checkbox-certification-testing recipe

    The Build Now option should be available on the page. Click it to start a build.

Copying Firmware Test Suite to the Testing PPA

The Firmware Test Suite tool is a test tool for system firmware that is naturally heavily utilised by Checkbox. To make sure the latest version which contains fixes and new tests/features needed by Checkbox is available and also doesn't break anything in Checkbox, we need to release it alongside Checkbox. After cutting the release if the Firmware Testing team have notified that a new version is available and that this version should be used for certification, we need to copy it to the Testing PPA. To do this we need to go to the Copy packages view of the Firmware Test Suite (Stable) PPA and select the 'fwts' packages for all releases back to Precise. We need to set the 'Destination PPA' as 'Checkbox Release Testing [~checkbox-dev/testing]' and the 'Copy options' field to 'Copy existing binaries', then click 'Copy packages'. This step then needs to be repeated but set the 'Destination PPA' field to 'PPA for Checkbox Developers [~checkbox-dev/ppa]'.

Next Release of Checkbox e-mail

So that everyone has the opportunity to perform whatever testing is required in a timely manner, after the PPA builds have been completed an email should be sent to the following mailing lists:

  • [email protected]

  • [email protected]

    The content is typically something like this:

    Subject: Next Release of CheckBox (18/11/2013)
    The next release of CheckBox is available in the PPA.
    Please test it at your convenience. CheckBox is based on revision 2484 of
    lp:checkbox and CheckBox Certification is based on revision 586 of

    If one or the other of CheckBox and CheckBox Certification have not been updated then there is no need to mention that package

Testing the release

Now that the release has been cut, testing should take place prior to the release meeting. From the point of view of the certification team, what needs to be tested is checkbox-certification-client and checkbox-certification-server which form the basis for CE QAs OEM specific versions of CheckBox. CheckBox certification server is tested in the CI loop CheckBox certification client needs to be tested manually.

Release Meeting

On the Thursday before the release is made, a meeting is held between a representative of the Certification team and a representative of the Commercial Engineering QA team. The meeting is held at 7:30 UTC as shown in this calendar invite. An agenda for the meeting is included in the invite.

Publishing the release

To publish the release we simply need to copy a number of packages from the Checkbox Release Testing PPA to the Hardware Certification Public PPA. To do this we go to the Copy packages view of the Checkbox Release Testing PPA and select all versions of the following list of packages: checkbox, checkbox-certification, fwts. Make sure that the 'Destination PPA' field is set to 'Public PPA for Hardware Certification [~hardware-certification/public]' and that the 'Copy options' field is set to 'Copy existing binaries', then click 'Copy Packages'.

After that is done an announcement email should be sent to [email protected]. A template for the announcement in included below:


A new release of checkbox has been uploaded to the Hardware
Certification Public PPA
( The
release is based on revision 2294 of lp:checkbox


Please attach the most recent part of the changelog as release notes

  • genindex

  • modindex

  • search


Zygmunt Krynicki


2013, Zygmunt Krynicki