1: [[!meta title="Kyua: An introduction for NetBSD users"]]
2: [[!toc levels=2]]
4: The [Automated Testing Framework](ATF), or ATF for short, is a software
5: package composed of two parts: the *ATF libraries* and the *ATF tools*.
6: The ATF libraries provide a toolkit for developers to implement test cases
7: in a variety of languages: C, C++ and POSIX shell. The ATF tools provide
8: the utilities to run such test cases in an automated way and to generate
11: The ATF tools have some
12: [design and, particularly, implementation problems](http://mail-index.netbsd.org/atf-devel/2010/11/13/msg000206.html)
13: that make it hard to add support for highly desired features such as
14: parallel execution of test cases, unified dashboards covering multiple test
15: runs ([like this one](http://releng.netbsd.org/test-results.html)), the
16: ability to run legacy or third-party test programs that do not use the ATF
17: libraries, and the ability to tune the timeout of test cases.
19: *Kyua's current goal is to reimplement _only_ the ATF tools* while
20: maintaining backwards compatibility with the tests written with the ATF
21: libraries (i.e. with the NetBSD test suite).
23: Because Kyua is a replacement of some ATF components, the end goal is to
24: integrate Kyua into the NetBSD base system (just as ATF is) and remove the
25: deprecated ATF components. Removing the deprecated components will allow
26: us to make the above-mentioned improvements to Kyua, as well as many
27: others, without having to deal with the obsolete ATF code base.
28: *Discussing how and when this transition might happen is out of the scope
29: of this document at the moment.*
31: This page provides instructions on how to use Kyua with the current NetBSD
32: test suite so that you can experiment with the tool, familiarize yourself
33: with it and provide feedback early on.
35: # What's in the name?
37: You should really think of Kyua as ATF 2.x. Then, why isn't it just ATF
40: To be honest, I never liked the ATF name: it was picked for me as part of
41: the Google Summer of Code 2007 program and I did not think about changing
42: it at that time. A year later, I learned that the ATF acronym is severely
43: overloaded, which makes it hard to find the project on popular search
44: engines, and has unpopular connotations in specific countries.
46: So, as part of the rewrite, I decided to choose a new name: a name that is
47: not an acronym and thus can be easily pronounced, and a name that is quite
48: unique in search results. The name is Kyua, which is just a play on the
49: pronounciation of the Q.A. acronym. Originally, my intention was to
50: pronounce Kyua as Q.A., but in reality this never happened. Today, just
51: read the name as your instinct would: "Kyu-ah".
53: # Why is Kyua a third-party project?
55: Kyua's main consumer is NetBSD. One could argue that Kyua should be
56: developed within NetBSD and maintained in the NetBSD source tree. However,
57: there is nothing in the Kyua project that inherently depends on NetBSD, and
58: maintaining it as a third-party package is a way to keep the developers
59: honest regarding portability.
61: Ideally, other projects (such as FreeBSD) would make use of Kyua too for
62: their testing needs, and if that happened we would be able to share tests
63: with them pretty easily. Forcing a portable codebase in the upstream
64: repository helps in this. (Be aware that different individuals from
65: FreeBSD and Minix have shown interest in adopting Kyua for their respective
68: # Main differences (aka "what to expect")
70: As of version 0.5, Kyua has (or is supposed to have) feature parity with
71: the ATF tools. That said, having feature parity does not imply that they
72: are the same. This section outlines a few of the differences that you
73: should be aware of before continuing.
75: ## Results database
77: Kyua collects the results of the execution of a test suite into an SQLite
78: database. User-friendly reports are later generated by extracting data
79: from this same database.
81: In ATF, the results of the execution were written to an internal format
82: that only atf-report could understand. Despite of the database, Kyua still
83: maintains the separation of "tests execution" from "report generation".
85: The contents of the database are immutable and incremental. This means
86: that, in the future, the Kyua tools will be able to provide historical data
87: for particular test cases, or for whole test runs (which is what other
88: NetBSD developers have ended up implementing multiple times outside of ATF
89: because the framework did not provide such functionality by itself).
91: ## Support for multiple test interfaces
93: Kyua has support for different "test interfaces", which means that Kyua can
94: execute test programs written using different paradigms and collect their
95: results into a single report. At the moment, two interfaces are supported:
97: * The "atf" interface provides compatibility with those test programs that
98: use the ATF libraries. This is the only interface currently used by the
99: NetBSD test suite, as there is no way to run any other test program in an
100: automated manner.
102: * The "plain" interface permits the execution of legacy test programs that
103: do not use any testing library. Such test programs are those that just
104: return 0 or non-0 to indicate the success or failure of the test
105: (respectively). This feature will allow the NetBSD test suite to
106: transparently execute third-party test suites (such as the IPF or GCC
107: test suites) without having to implement ATF-based wrappers. It will
108: also lower the barrier of entry to writing test programs for NetBSD, as
109: using the ATF libraries will become optional.
111: ## Lua configuration files
113: Kyua has two kind of configuration files: the Kyuafiles, which are the
114: files shipped with a test suite that describe what test programs need to be
115: run; and the user configuration files, which specify the run-time settings
116: of Kyua and the test suites. ATF had this same split of configuration
117: files, and they were written in a custom language, with a custom parser.
119: The Kyua configuration files are all Lua scripts. The major advantage of
120: this at the moment is that their syntax will be familiar to end users, and
121: that the parser for these files is well-tested. In the future, the use of
122: Lua will allow the implementation of more-intelligent test (and maybe even
123: build) scripts.
125: ## Direct HTML output
127: All of the NetBSD continous build and testing systems provide status
128: reports through the releng web interface. In the case of ATF, this has
129: traditionally been tricky because ATF cannot generate HTML contents
130: directly; instead, `atf-report` generates XML output which later must be
131: postprocessed with `xsltproc` to create the HTML pages.
133: Kyua has the ability to generate HTML reports straight from the tool,
134: without having to go through any XML toolchain. This means that NetBSD,
135: out of the box, can generate such reports and publish them with the builtin
136: httpd(8) server.
138: ## Heavier code base
140: If you take a look at the Kyua distribution file, you may notice that it is
141: about the same size as the distribution file of ATF, yet Kyua does not
142: currently replace the ATF libraries. This may be surprising because it
143: seems to imply that the codebase of Kyua is bigger because it "just"
144: reimplements atf-run and atf-report: i.e. by just reimplementing parts of
145: ATF, it is already as big as the whole of ATF.
147: This is true, for two reasons.
149: The first is that Kyua is more featureful and flexible: the features
150: outlined above have a cost in terms of implementation, and the codebase of
151: Kyua is more carefully crafted to allow for later growth. In particular,
152: all OS-specific details have been abstracted for easier portability, and
153: the SQLite and Lua libraries have been wrapped for safety.
155: The second is that Kyua is much better tested (which is very important for
156: a software package that you will rely on to validate your own software!).
157: To give you some numbers, ATF 0.16 contains around 400 test cases for both
158: atf-run and atf-report while Kyua 0.5 contains around 1100 test cases.
160: # Components
162: Kyua, as a project, is made up of a variety of components (which *include*
163: ATF, because the ATF libraries are *not* being rewritten). All of these
164: components exist in pkgsrc, and are:
166: * pkgsrc/devel/atf-libs: The C, C++ and POSIX shell libraries provided by
167: ATF. These are *NOT* meant to be replaced by Kyua.
169: * pkgsrc/devel/atf: The ATF tools, namely atf-run and atf-report. These
170: are deprecated and this package should eventually disappear.
172: * pkgsrc/devel/kyua-cli: The Kyua command-line interface, which provides a
173: superset of the functionality of atf-run and atf-report.
175: * pkgsrc/devel/kyua-atf-compat: Drop-in replacements for atf-run and
176: atf-report that use kyua-cli in the backend.
178: # Running the NetBSD test suite
180: There are two ways to run the NetBSD test suite with Kyua. The easy (or
181: trivial) way is to use the backwards compatibility ATF tools, and the more
182: sophisticated way is to convert the test suite to Kyua and use the native
183: Kyua binary. This section explains both approaches.
185: ## Using the ATF compatibility tools
187: The easiest (but also the least "future-proof") way to run the NetBSD test
188: suite with Kyua is to use the backwards compatibility ATF tools provided by
189: the kyua-atf-compat module. First of all, install the package:
191: $ cd /usr/pkgsrc/deve/kyua-atf-compat
192: $ make install && make clean
194: And then, running the test suite is as easy as:
196: $ cd /usr/tests
197: $ /usr/pkg/bin/atf-run | /usr/pkg/bin/atf-report
199: Please be aware that if the atf-run and atf-report tools provided by
200: kyua-atf-compat appear in your PATH before the real atf-run and atf-report
201: tools shipped by NetBSD, you will experience test failures for all the
202: tests in /usr/tests/atf/atf-run and /usr/tests/atf/atf-report. This is
203: expected: while the compatibility tools behave similarly to the real tools
204: from a user's perspective, they are not fully interchangeable. (For
205: example, the serialization format between atf-run and atf-report is
208: One property of the atf-run wrapper is that it uses the default results
209: database in ~/.kyua/store.db to record the execution of the tests. This
210: means that, once the execution of the tests is done with the compatibility
211: tools, you can still use the native Kyua binary to poke at the results
212: database. More on this below.
214: ## Using the native Kyua command-line interface
216: The preferred way to run the NetBSD test suite with Kyua is to use the
217: native Kyua command-line binary. This is the preferred method because it
218: trains you to use the new interface rather than relying on the old pipeline
219: and because it exposes you to all the new features of Kyua. Regardless,
220: this and the previous approach will yield the same results for a particular
223: Using the native command-line interface is a multi-step process because
224: the existing NetBSD test suite is not prepared for Kyua. Let's take a look
225: at these steps.
227: To get started, install the Kyua packages:
229: $ cd /usr/pkgsrc/deve/kyua-cli
230: $ make install && make clean
231: $ cd /usr/pkgsrc/deve/kyua-atf-compat
232: $ make install && make clean
234: Once this is done, configure Kyua in the same way ATF is configured "out of
235: the box" in NetBSD. Create the /usr/pkg/etc/kyua/kyua.conf file with these
238: syntax('config', 1)
239: unprivileged_user = '_tests'
241: The next step is to populate /usr/tests with Kyuafiles, as Kyua is unable
242: to read existing Atffiles. This is easy to do with the atf2kyua(1) tool
243: shipped in the kyua-atf-compat package:
245: # atf2kyua /usr/tests
247: And that is it. You can now execute the test suite using Kyua with any of
248: the following two forms:
250: $ cd /usr/tests && kyua test
251: $ kyua test -k /usr/tests/Kyuafile
253: Note that none of these will generate "pretty" reports. These commands
254: will only record the results of the execution into the database. In order
255: to generate reports, keep reading.
257: # Generating reports
259: Once you have ran the NetBSD test suite with any of the mechanisms above,
260: the results of the execution have been stored in the "Kyua store", which is
261: a database located in ~/.kyua/store.db by default. (This path can be
262: changed at any time with the --store flag.)
264: To extract a report from the database using the results of the latest tests
265: run, you can run any of the following:
267: $ kyua report -o my-report.txt
268: $ kyua html-report -o /var/www/results/
270: # Support and feedback
272: The Kyua manual is available in the GNU Info format and can be accessed by
275: $ info kyua
277: Alternatively, use the help subcommand to get built-in documentation. The
278: following invocation will print all the available subcommands:
280: $ kyua help
282: And an invocation like this will show you all the possible options for a
283: given subcommand:
285: $ kyua help report-html
287: If you have gone through the instructions above and started playing with
288: Kyua, please do not hesitate to report your experiences (either good or
289: bad) to [Julio Merino](mailto:jmmv@NetBSD.org)! Any comments will be
290: highly appreciated and will be taken into account for the near future of
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