Follow Techotopia on Twitter

On-line Guides
All Guides
eBook Store
iOS / Android
Linux for Beginners
Office Productivity
Linux Installation
Linux Security
Linux Utilities
Linux Virtualization
Linux Kernel
System/Network Admin
Scripting Languages
Development Tools
Web Development
GUI Toolkits/Desktop
Mail Systems
Eclipse Documentation

How To Guides
General System Admin
Linux Security
Linux Filesystems
Web Servers
Graphics & Desktop
PC Hardware
Problem Solutions
Privacy Policy




18.2 Writing

The is a Bourne shell script making use of special Autotest M4 macros. It often contains a call to AT_INIT near its beginning followed by one call to m4_include per source file for tests. Each such included file, or the remainder of if include files are not used, contain a sequence of test groups. Each test group begins with a call to AT_SETUP, then an arbitrary number of shell commands or calls to AT_CHECK, and then completes with a call to AT_CLEANUP.

— Macro: AT_INIT ([name])

Initialize Autotest. Giving a name to the test suite is encouraged if your package includes several test suites. In any case, the test suite always displays the package name and version. It also inherits the package bug report address.

— Macro: AT_COPYRIGHT (copyright-notice)

State that, in addition to the Free Software Foundation's copyright on the Autotest macros, parts of your test suite are covered by copyright-notice.

The copyright-notice shows up in both the head of testsuite and in ‘testsuite --version’.

— Macro: AT_TESTED (executables)

Log the file name and answer to --version of each program in space-separated list executables. Several invocations register new executables, in other words, don't fear registering one program several times.

Autotest test suites rely on PATH to find the tested program. This avoids the need to generate absolute names of the various tools, and makes it possible to test installed programs. Therefore, knowing which programs are being exercised is crucial to understanding problems in the test suite itself, or its occasional misuses. It is a good idea to also subscribe foreign programs you depend upon, to avoid incompatible diagnostics.

— Macro: AT_SETUP (test-group-name)

This macro starts a group of related tests, all to be executed in the same subshell. It accepts a single argument, which holds a few words (no more than about 30 or 40 characters) quickly describing the purpose of the test group being started.

— Macro: AT_KEYWORDS (keywords)

Associate the space-separated list of keywords to the enclosing test group. This makes it possible to run “slices” of the test suite. For instance, if some of your test groups exercise some ‘foo’ feature, then using ‘AT_KEYWORDS(foo)’ lets you run ‘./testsuite -k foo’ to run exclusively these test groups. The title of the test group is automatically recorded to AT_KEYWORDS.

Several invocations within a test group accumulate new keywords. In other words, don't fear registering the same keyword several times in a test group.

— Macro: AT_CAPTURE_FILE (file)

If the current test group fails, log the contents of file. Several identical calls within one test group have no additional effect.

— Macro: AT_XFAIL_IF (shell-condition)

Determine whether the test is expected to fail because it is a known bug (for unsupported features, you should skip the test). shell-condition is a shell expression such as a test command; you can instantiate this macro many times from within the same test group, and one of the conditions is enough to turn the test into an expected failure.


End the current test group.

— Macro: AT_DATA (file, contents)

Initialize an input data file with given contents. Of course, the contents have to be properly quoted between square brackets to protect against included commas or spurious M4 expansion. The contents ought to end with an end of line.

— Macro: AT_CHECK (commands, [status = ‘0], [stdout = ‘], [stderr = ‘], [run-if-fail], [run-if-pass])

Execute a test by performing given shell commands. These commands should normally exit with status, while producing expected stdout and stderr contents. If commands exit with status 77, then the whole test group is skipped. Otherwise, if this test fails, run shell commands run-if-fail or, if this test passes, run shell commands run-if-pass.

The commands must not redirect the standard output, nor the standard error.

If status, or stdout, or stderr is ‘ignore’, then the corresponding value is not checked.

The special value ‘expout’ for stdout means the expected output of the commands is the content of the file expout. If stdout is ‘stdout’, then the standard output of the commands is available for further tests in the file stdout. Similarly for stderr with ‘expout’ and ‘stderr’.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire