reference platforms?

Brad Bishop bradleyb at
Fri Apr 13 23:05:47 AEST 2018

> On Apr 12, 2018, at 5:31 PM, Sai Dasari <sdasari at> wrote:
>> On 4/12/18, 10:41 AM, "Brad Bishop" <bradleyb at> wrote:
>>    I think in the not-too-distant-future we are going to need a concept of reference
>>    platforms.
> To understand more, is the proposal to remove the bsp/machines
> layers i.e. meta-openbmc-bsp and meta-openbmc-machines?

Yes and no.  I’m focused on what you get when you clone openbmc/openbmc
and what is automatically regression tested by the project CI when it is
changed.  What is specifically added/removed depends on the implementation.
Here is one possibility:

I’m trying to show that when you clone openbmc/openbmc you get a collection
of other upstreams.  Where those upstreams are hosted doesn’t matter (to me
anyway).  I’m also trying to show that we can host things on the openbmc Github
organization that aren’t included when you clone openbmc/openbmc.

>  I wonder how to find the real BSP/machines that are supported by OpenBMC.

IMHO for the project to scale we can’t think of it in this way.  I would flip
the question around as:

How to find the machines/BSPs that work with OpenBMC?

In my mind OpenBMC doesn’t elevate or depend on some machines.  Its the other
way around… machines are elevated by their dependency on OpenBMC.  I hope that
makes sense…having trouble articulating what is in my head here.

What does that mean exactly?  Something like you can do this and it works:
  git clone
  cd openbmc
  git clone<awesome-company>/my-obmc-machine-layer
  bitbake obmc-phosphor-image

And if you ask the question in this way, I’m not sure what the answer is.
How do you find all the layers that work with Poky?  Can you elaborate on
why the answer might be important to someone?  It is a fair question but I
can tell you that it isn't one that IBM for example needs answered in order
for the project meet its product development needs.

Put another way, we _could_ build the answer to the question into the
core of the project, but why (and at what cost to the project’s ability
to scale)?  Someone could also just host a list somewhere, or maybe a
layer-index like OE has?

> Does each openbmc adopter encouraged to maintains independent github repo with recipes needed to bring in the openbmc code and build for their supported machines? 

I think so.  The specifics of what the adopter does/maintains are up to
the adopter.  What are some pros/cons of a model like that?  This is what
most everyone is doing already.  They fork some part of the project (or
all of it), build on it (mostly in a machine layer?  hopefully?)  and then
maybe/maybe not contribute something of what they did back to the upstream
project.  It is my guess that this is the usual way in which product
development teams use FLOSS.

>>    Go ahead and throw crazy ideas out there.  Pay money to the project?  Most
>>    days without a compile failure?  There are about a million things we could
>>    do here - but what does everyone find fair?
> With the nature of OpenBMC supporting features needed for divergent/heterogeneous hardware, it might be hard to define the reference platform(s).

Agreed it will be tough.  Although for the heterogeneous aspect of it
could it be as simple as we just have some references per class of

> One (crazy) idea would be to come up with a minimum acceptance test suite (which can be automated) that validates all the core features and use this for accepting new platforms as reference platforms from community.

This is the opposite of crazy Sai :-)

I like it, with a tweak/clarification.  Remember that one of the points of
a reference platform is to enable regression testing for the project.  So
when someone changes the common code in phosphor-hwmon for instance, we need
a way to test that it isn’t going to break as many OpenBMC users as we can,
without needing to test all their platforms for them.

So my clarification is that the acceptance test would not measure how well
a machine meets end-user requirements, but rather how well a machine makes
use of the project’s common code.  Maybe a metric measured by the test could
be something like least number of deviations from the defaults?

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