LAVA Hacking Sessions

A LAVA hacking session is a lava-test-shell test that provides remote ssh access to a LAVA device.


  • The user has TCP/IP access to the device


  • GATEWAY - The gateway for the network the target device is on (check with your LAVA admins)
  • PUB_KEY - A plain-text string containing the ssh public key(s) you wish to use to connect to the device over ssh
  • IRC_NICK - An IRC nickname to notify when ready (Debian only)
  • IRC_SERVER - The IRC server to use (Debian only)
  • testdef - The test definition (distrbution specific)
  • hacking-session-debian.yaml - run the hacking session on a Debian or Ubuntu filesystem, openssh-server will be installed using the package manager GATEWAY can be left empty for Debian hacking sessions to let the device identify the default gateway. IRC_SERVER defaults to irc.freenode.net
  • hacking-session-oe.yaml - run the hacking session on an Open Embedded filesystem openssh-server must be installed in the image
  • hacking-session-android.yaml - run the hacking session on an Android filesystem openssh-server must be installed in the image

Starting a Hacking Session

  • Create a LAVA job file with your desired target and image
  • Add a lava-test-shell action to your LAVA json job file where you want hacking access
    "command": "lava_test_shell",
    "parameters": {
        "testdef_repos": [
                "git-repo": "http://git.linaro.org/lava-team/hacking-session.git",
                "testdef": "hacking-session-debian.yaml",
                "parameters": {
                    "GATEWAY": "",
                    "PUB_KEY": "PASTE_PUBKEY(S) HERE"
        "timeout": 3600

Connecting to a Hacking Session

The hacking session test definition will report the commands to ssh within the LAVA log file. To access the log file, you can use a web browser; navigate to your hacking session and scroll to the end of the job to see instructions

  • This hack session was executed on Linaro's LAVA system, job ID: 116632

SSH tunneling

If your target device is located on a remote server, as is the case when accessing the Linaro LAVA lab, you'll want to tunnel onto the Linaro network to the device under test

# verify your SSH key is setup and configured to connect

# ssh -T username@example.com

# Modify your SSH config to allow agent forwarding

Host example.com
   ForwardAgent yes

lava-test-shell helper functions in a hack session

lava-test-shell helper functions can be found within target in the directory /lava/bin

Record text to the LAVA log

During a hacking session, LAVA is listening to /dev/ttyS0 for the duration of the hacking session. From within the target any text you echo to /dev/ttyS0 will be recorded within LAVA

  • From within the Test session
  • root@kvm01:~# echo "This is a test statement" > /dev/ttyS0
  • Viewing the output in the LAVA log

Stopping a Hacking Session

During a hacking session, the target your are connected to can't be used for other tasks, to complete your session

  • Cancel the job in the LAVA dashboard
  • Use the helper function 'stop_hacking' from the command-line within the hacking session


Linaro Automated Validation Architecture (LAVA)