Ubuntu Certification – What do we test?

We frequently get asked what do we test on the certification program.  While we do have a simple page covering this topic, some times we are asked for further details. We have now updated the certification program guide with a more comprehensive description of the test cases.  We review and update if necessary the list of test cases for each release:

Note that these test cases only apply to hardware that actually supports the functionality. For example, we do not run the bluetooth tests on a laptop that does not list bluetooth on its specifications.

Here is what the program guide says for Oneiric:

We use three different lists:

  • Whitelist, or features that are required for certification. If any of the tests in the whitelist fails, the certification will fail.
  • Greylist, or features that are tested, but that don’t block certification. If any of the tests under the greylist fail, a note will be added to the certificate to warn the potential customer or user.
  • Blacklist, or features that are not currently tested. We will consider adding more tests as needed.



  •  ia32 (x86), x86_64 and ARM processors are tested to ensure proper functionality.
  •  Stress tests are performed to ensure that they work during high utilization as well.


  • Proper detection
  • General usage
  • Stress testing

Hard drive(s) tests are conducted to validate proper operation:

  • Performance
  • High load

Optical drives (CD/DVD):

  • Read
  • Write


  • Primary display (laptop panels or primary video port on desktops)
  • Multiple-Monitor (where supported, we test multi-head display (2 heads))
  • External video connections (HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, RGB, etc.)
  • Multiple resolutions


  • Speakers and Headphones
  • Microphone (Built-in, External)
  • USB Mic, USB Headphones


  • Cable
  • Wireless

USB controllers. Several USB devices are used to ensure all USB ports operate as expected:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Storage

Bluetooth controllers. Several bluetooth devices are used to ensure it works

  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • File transfer

Built-in Web cams
Lid sensors

  • Lid open
  • Lid close

Input devices:

  • Internal keyboard
  • Touchpad
  • Touchpoint
  • Touch screens (single touch)

Primary special keys (volume, mute)
Suspend/Resume (30 iterations)
Tested after resume:

  • Wireless
  • Audio
  • Bluetooth
  • Display resolutions
  • USB controllers

External Expansion Port

  • PCExpress

Firewire external storage devices
Data Card ports

  • SD
  • SDHC

Hibernate/Resume (30 iterations)
Data cards that are not SD or SDHC (for example MMC)

  • Hybrid Graphics: if UMA or discreet work out of the box: all ports working
  • we will note which card is the one that is certified.
  • Whether proprietary drivers are necessary to enable 3D graphics.


  • Wi-fi Slider: if the slider to turn the wi-fi on/off is not working, but the wi-fi
  • can be disconnected through the UI controls, this failure is accepted (and noted).

Secondary special keys:

  • Brightness
  • Media Control
  • Wireless
  • Sleep



  • Fingerprint readers
  • HDMI/DisplayPort audio
  • Surround audio
  • Multitouch touchpads
  • Multitouch screens
  • Accelerometer
  • Specific USB 3.0 devices
  • 3G connections

7 thoughts on “Ubuntu Certification – What do we test?

  1. do they get a sticker to put on the laptop? or permission to use the circle of friends on replacement super keys? do you ask them to inform their sales people that the computers exist and are certified and can be sold? The main gap is the refusal to trade when you ask for Ubuntu on a PC you want to purchase.

  2. Do you differentiate between HW variants of laptops? My Lenovo ThinkPad SL510 is stated as “certified”, unfortunately I have this one, but probably different HW configuration – webcam is not working, bluetooth is not working, but according the certification details it should work.

  3. it’s still silly that ubuntu doesn’t sell laptops/desktops on their website. it works for apple.com, it works for microsoftstore.com, why wouldn’t it work for ubuntu?

    i have to pay for an OS i never intend to use just because the company whose OS I WILL use is a wimp too afraid to rally up the hardware partners and ask them to sell their hardware through ubuntu.com or canonical.com

    At the moment, my choices are:
    a) buy a shitty plasticky third grade laptop with a crappy atom that is even more expensive than a windows 7 option with amd apu
    b) buy a nice laptop, increase microsoft’s wealth and spend a few days/weeks making it all work, because ubuntu certificate was awarded to a slightly different model of my computer.

    for some strange reason beyond my comprehension, all manufacturers think GNU/Linux powered laptops are only for people who can’t afford a proper computer. This was the case for dell, acer, asus, lenovo, etc.. always the lowest of low end configurations, (almost) always for the same price as windows versions with slightly better configurations.

    of course nobody will buy them, of course it will appear that there is no market for gnu/linux computers if all you can get is 10 inch old-atom powered 16GB flash toy that lasts 90 minutes on a single charge.

    too annoyed to continue…

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