Why not do what the internet and the community do best? If OSDL developed a platform for doing distributed kernel testing, I'll bet a bunch of people would sign up for it.
If I understand correctly, one can safely run a new kernel on top of a known stable kernel with User-Mode Linux (UML). I believe the test kernel still has access to the hardware via the host kernel. Since the UML-ized kernel is just a process under the host kernel, a fatal error will not bring down the whole system. Perhaps the host environment could even monitor the UML process and do some sort of base-level reporting when something goes wrong.
This just needs to be packaged up in a nice way so that the willing can join a network of volunteer kernel testers. Put the UML folks in touch with the OSDL folks and I think we might have a solution.
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