Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Introducing the FreeBSD Test Suite

I joined the FreeBSD committer ranks a couple of months ago with the intention to equip FreeBSD with an out-of-the-box test suite and with a testing infrastructure. The time until now has been quite fruitful and I have been rushing to get something ready for you before the year end.

With that, I am very pleased to announce that the first mockup of the FreeBSD testing cluster is up and running! Point your browser at:


and witness the still-very-rudimentary reports. This is where the real hard work starts: Kyua needs major changes to make these pages pretty and truly usable.

Current status

So where are we at? The Test Suite project page contains all the relevant details but let me sum them up for you.

Both HEAD and stable/10 have got the test suite build infrastructure in place —unfortunately couldn't make it for 10.0-RELEASE's prime time— and some tests enabled. If you build and install any of these two releases with the WITH_TESTS knob enabled in src.conf, you will end up with a /usr/tests hierarchy in which you can run Kyua to automatically test the live system. See tests(7) for details.

Kyua is currently pretty good at letting you build and test code in a single machine. However, it is still a poor test harness because it cannot coalesce build logs and test results into a single location for consolidated reporting. This is why the main status page of the test suite is quite "simple" (to put it mildly) and the individual reports for each test run are all disconnected from each other. Mind you: the glue required to get all the above up and running (see autotest) is non-trivial — and that's a bug! Improving this area is very high up in the priorities list and work is already undergoing.

The current test suite is not clean as you can see in the reports. Some tests are broken and they must be fixed. Accepting breakage as the norm is dangerous: people get used to the mindset of "one more broken test doesn't hurt" and the test suite becomes useless.

And, of course, the current coverage of the test suite is really poor. Once the test suite is clean, we can start integrating existing tests and maybe porting over other tests from NetBSD. This is something I am now finally comfortable with given that, with the continuous test machine up and running, any migrated tests will run on a constant basis and report their output.

Learn live

AsiaBSDCon 2014 is the first major BSD conference of the year, coming to you on March 13-16. I submitted a tutorial proposal to teach attendees how to best use the test suite and how to port and/or implement new tests for it. If all goes well and it is accepted, register to visit Tokyo and learn about this work.

Next up is BSDCan 2014, coming on May 14-17. I also have a talk presentation on the works for this one, so maybe you will have to come to Ottawa.

Want to help?

The easiest way to help is to improve the test suite! (not the infrastructure)

  • Fix existing tests. Skim through the list of broken and failed tests and figure out a way to make them pass.
  • Plug old-style tests into the build. The easiest way to do this today is by getting the tests in src/tools/regression/ and adapting them to the new layout. No code changes should be required. Use r259210 as a model.
  • Port NetBSD tests. Garrett Cooper's repository and Simon J. Gerraty's repository contain many of these already, so it is a matter of copying the code, plugging it into HEAD and ensuring it works. Of course, any old-style tests that match these must be removed along the way.

Documentation may be lacking in some areas, but I hope the examples in src/share/examples/tests/ and the text in the project page are somewhat useful. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

Don't miss out on the announcements to the freebsd-hackers and freebsd-testing mailing lists as well as the the Twitter conversation.

That's all folks, at least until 2014. Have fun entering the new year!