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+=== Using the run-tests framework
+Buildroot includes a run-time testing framework called run-tests built
+upon Python scripting and QEMU runtime execution. There are two types of
+test cases within the framework, one for build time tests and another for
+run-time tests that have a QEMU dependency. The goals of the framework are
+* build a well defined configuration
+* optionally, verify some properties of the build output
+* if it is a run-time test:
+** boot it under QEMU
+** run some test condition to verify that a given feature is working
+The run-tests tool has a series of options documented in the tool's help '-h'
+description. Some common options include setting the download folder, the
+output folder, keeping build output, and for multiple test cases, you can set
+the JLEVEL for each.
+Here is an example walk through of running a test case.
+* For a first step, let us see what all the test case options are. The test
+cases can be listed by executing +support/testing/run-tests -l+. These tests
+can all be run individually during test development from the console. Both
+one at a time and selectively as a group of a subset of tests.
+$ support/testing/run-tests -l
+List of tests
+Test the various ways the script can be called in a simple top to ... ok
+test_run (tests.toolchain.test_external.TestExternalToolchainBuildrootMusl) ... ok
+test_run (tests.toolchain.test_external.TestExternalToolchainBuildrootuClibc) ... ok
+test_run (tests.toolchain.test_external.TestExternalToolchainCCache) ... ok
+test_run (tests.toolchain.test_external.TestExternalToolchainCtngMusl) ... ok
+test_run (tests.toolchain.test_external.TestExternalToolchainLinaroArm) ... ok
+test_run (tests.toolchain.test_external.TestExternalToolchainSourceryArmv4) ... ok
+test_run (tests.toolchain.test_external.TestExternalToolchainSourceryArmv5) ... ok
+test_run (tests.toolchain.test_external.TestExternalToolchainSourceryArmv7) ... ok
+test_run (tests.init.test_systemd.TestInitSystemSystemdRoFull) ... ok
+test_run (tests.init.test_systemd.TestInitSystemSystemdRoIfupdown) ... ok
+test_run (tests.init.test_systemd.TestInitSystemSystemdRoNetworkd) ... ok
+test_run (tests.init.test_systemd.TestInitSystemSystemdRwFull) ... ok
+test_run (tests.init.test_systemd.TestInitSystemSystemdRwIfupdown) ... ok
+test_run (tests.init.test_systemd.TestInitSystemSystemdRwNetworkd) ... ok
+test_run (tests.init.test_busybox.TestInitSystemBusyboxRo) ... ok
+test_run (tests.init.test_busybox.TestInitSystemBusyboxRoNet) ... ok
+test_run (tests.init.test_busybox.TestInitSystemBusyboxRw) ... ok
+test_run (tests.init.test_busybox.TestInitSystemBusyboxRwNet) ... ok
+Ran 157 tests in 0.021s
+Those runtime tests are regularly executed by Buildroot Gitlab CI
+infrastructure, see .gitlab.yml and https://gitlab.com/buildroot.org/buildroot/-/jobs.
+==== Creating a test case
+The best way to get familiar with how to create a test case is to look at a
+few of the basic file system +support/testing/tests/fs/+ and init
++support/testing/tests/init/+ test scripts. Those tests give good examples
+of a basic build and build with run type of tests. There are other more
+advanced cases that use things like nested +br2-external+ folders to provide
+skeletons and additional packages.
+The test cases by default use a br-arm-full-* uClibc-ng toolchain and the
+prebuild kernel for a armv5/7 cpu. It is recommended to use the default
+defconfig test configuration except when Glibc/musl or a newer kernel are
+necessary. By using the default it saves build time and the test would
+automatically inherit a kernel/std library upgrade when the default is
+The basic test case definition involves
+* Creation of a new test file
+* Defining a unique test class
+* Determining if the default defconfig plus test options can be used
+* Implementing a +def test_run(self):+ function to optionally startup the
+emulator and provide test case conditions.
+Beyond creating the test script, there are a couple of additional steps that
+should be taken once you have your initial test case script. The first is
+to add yourself to the +DEVELOPERS+ file to be the maintainer of that test
+case. The second is to update the Gitlab CI yml by executing
+==== Debugging a test case
+Within the Buildroot repository, the testing framework is organized at the
+top level in +support/testing/+ by folders of +conf+, +infra+ and +tests+.
+All the test cases live under the +test+ folder and are organized in various
+folders representing the catagory of test.
+Lets walk through an example.
+* Using the Busybox Init system test case with a read/write rootfs
+* A minimal set of command line arguments when debugging a test case would
+include '-d' which points to your dl folder, '-o' to an output folder, and
+'-k' to keep any output on both pass/fail. With those options, the test will
+retain logging and build artifacts providing status of the build and
+execution of the test case.
+$ support/testing/run-tests -d dl -o output_folder -k tests.init.test_busybox.TestInitSystemBusyboxRw
+15:03:26 TestInitSystemBusyboxRw Starting
+15:03:28 TestInitSystemBusyboxRw Building
+15:08:18 TestInitSystemBusyboxRw Building done
+15:08:27 TestInitSystemBusyboxRw Cleaning up
+Ran 1 test in 301.140s
+* For the case of a successful build, the +output_folder+ would contain a
+<test name> folder with the Buildroot build, build log and run-time log. If
+the build failed, the console output would show the stage at which it failed
+(setup / build / run). Depending on the failure stage, the build/run logs
+and/or Buildroot build artifacts can be inspected and instrumented. If the
+QEMU instance needs to be launched for additional testing, the first few
+lines of the run-time log capture it and it would allow some incremental
+testing without re-running +support/testing/run-tests+.
+* You can also make modifications to the current sources inside the
++output_folder+ (e.g. for debug purposes) and rerun the standard
+Buildroot make targets (in order to regenerate the complete image with
+the new modifications) and then rerun the test. Modifying the sources
+directly can speed up debugging compared to adding patch files, wiping the
+output directoy, and starting the test again.
+$ ls output_folder/
+* The source file used to implement this example test is found under
++support/testing/tests/init/test_busybox.py+. This file outlines the
+minimal defconfig that creates the build, QEMU configuration to launch
+the built images and the test case assertions.
+To test an existing or new test case within Gitlab CI, there is a method of
+invoking a specific test by creating a Buildroot fork in Gitlab under your
+account. This can be handy when adding/changing a run-time test or fixing a
+bug on a use case tested by a run-time test case.
+In the examples below, the <name> component of the branch name is a unique
+string you choose to identify this specific job being created.
+* to trigger all run-test test case jobs:
+ $ git push gitlab HEAD:<name>-runtime-tests
+* to trigger one test case job, a specific branch naming string is used that
+includes the full test case name.
+ $ git push gitlab HEAD:<name>-<test case name>