Linux community often tapped for beta testing

It is common for the open source community to be called upon by vendors--including proprietary vendors--as beta testers, says industry player.

It is common for the open source community to be called upon by vendors--including proprietary vendors--to be beta testers for Linux releases, according to an industry player.

Peter Cheng, open source evangelist and founder of an open source services provider company in China, told ZDNet Asia the practice of recruiting Linux testers is common among Web 2.0 companies.

He added that the process of testing open source software ought to be similar to that of testing closed-source software, but noted that testing the open source version may be more of a "white-box test", referring to the tester requiring some programming skills to identify the internal workings of the software.

"But for commercial and closed-source platforms, it's just a black-box test," he said. "Black-box testing" takes an external view of the software and the results are based on output.

Online backup service, Memopal, is looking for 100 beta testers for the Linux version of its software products, which are still under development.

The Italy-based start-up announced the hunt last week, and is offering full user licenses as rewards for its beta testers.

Memopal's Linux beta release does not have a graphical user interface (GUI), and testers will need command line knowledge to install and test the software.

According to Memopal CTO Gianluca Granero, the company currently supports Ubuntu and Debian-based Linux distributions, but are looking to release versions on other distributions. "We feel that Linux is a key platform," he said, in a statement.

Memopal's service offers automatic mirroring of the user's PC "in the cloud", for back-up and remote access purposes.

As of Aug. 15, 95 beta testers have signed up to be on Memopal's list. Submissions close on Aug. 20.

It is unclear whether the final, paid version will be open source.