About the LSB

The LSB standard is a development standard, it details things that developers need to know in order to develop applications that can be deployed on all LSB compliant systems. In order for this to work both the application and the runtime system need to be compliant with the standard. Debian, as the producer of a runtime system, is mostly concerned with the latter. While Debian provides applications as well, it is not required that Debian's applications be LSB compliant.

The LSB is also considered a "trailing edge" standard, which means that rather than "invent" new interfaces the standard only documents interfaces known to already be available on all major Linux distributions (including Debian).

In order to gauge runtime compliance, the LSB Workgroup releases runtime compliance test suites that correspond to the versions of the written specification they release. These are "assertion based" tests, meaning that they testing assertions that an implementation is behaving in the way the standard says it should. (this is different from functional testing, coverage testing, load testing, etc) If a runtime can pass the tests, they may submit a runtime environment to the LSB Certification Authority to receive official LSB Certification and and the ability to use the "LSB Certified" logo/brand on their releases.

Debian Compliance

Debian discontinued LSB support in 2015, see DebianLsb and for example lwn.net: Debian dropping the Linux Standard Base.

In order to be compliant, Debian needs to provide all the interfaces specified by the LSB and they need to behave in the manner specified. Because of the "trailing edge" nature of the LSB (described above), interfaces added to the LSB should already be present and compliant in Debian. Mainly we need to make sure that they remain compliant and that we don't accidently break them.

In order to ensure compliance, it is an ongoing task in the Debian LSB team to run the test suites to check compliance, post results, and when problems are encountered file bugs with either upstream, Debian, or the LSB.

LsbTestHowto: instructions on how to run the test suites (LSB 3)
LsbTestHowto2: instructions on how to run the test suites (older LSB 2)

LsbTestResults: test suite results (LSB 3.x)
LsbTestResults2: test suite results (older LSB 2.x)
LsbTestResults1: test suite results (older LSB 1.x)

How to Help

The Debian LSB team needs your help. Some things to work on,