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Today, we started running some Android 2.3 Opt tests on tbpl:

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“Android 2.3 Opt” tests run on emulators running Android 2.3. The emulator is simply the Android arm emulator, taken from the Android SDK (version 18). The emulator runs a special build of Gingerbread (2.3.7), patched and built specifically to support our Android tests. The emulator is running on an aws ec2 host. Android 2.3 Opt runs one emulator at a time on a host (unlike the Android x86 emulator tests, which run up to 4 emulators concurrently on one ix host).

Android 2.3 Opt tests generally run slower than tests run on devices. We have found that tests will run faster on faster hosts; for instance, if we run the emulator on an aws m3.large instance (more memory, more cpu), mochitests run in about 1/3 of the time that they do currently, on m1.medium instances.

Reftests – plain reftests, js reftests, and crashtests – run particularly slowly. In fact, they take so long that we cannot run them to completion with a reasonable number of test chunks. We are investigating more and also considering the simple solution: running on different hosts.

We have no plans to run Talos tests on Android 2.3 Opt; we think there is limited value in running performance tests on emulators.

Android 2.3 Opt tests are supported on try — “try: -b o -p android …” You can also request that a slave be loaned to you for debugging more intense problems: https://wiki.mozilla.org/ReleaseEngineering/How_To/Request_a_slave. In my experience, these methods – try and slave loans – are more effective at reproducing test results than running an emulator locally: The host seems to affect the emulator’s behavior in significant and unpredictable ways.

Once the Android 2.3 Opt tests are running reliably, we hope to stop the corresponding tests on Android 2.2 Opt, reducing the burden on our old and limited population of Tegra boards.

As with any new test platform, we had to disable some tests to get a clean run suitable for tbpl. These are tracked in bug 979921.

There are also a few unresolved issues causing infrequent problems in active tests. These are tracked in bug 967704.

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