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12.2.3 Running testsuite Scripts

Autotest test suites support the following options:


Display the list of options and exit successfully.


Display the version of the test suite and exit successfully.

-C dir

Change the current directory to dir before creating any files. Useful for running the testsuite in a subdirectory from a top-level Makefile.


Run n tests in parallel, if possible. If n is not given, run all given tests in parallel. Note that there should be no space before the argument to -j, as -j number denotes the separate arguments -j and number, see below.

In parallel mode, the standard input device of the testsuite script is not available to commands inside a test group. Furthermore, banner lines are not printed, and the summary line for each test group is output after the test group completes. Summary lines may appear unordered. If verbose and trace output are enabled (see below), they may appear intermixed from concurrently running tests.

Parallel mode requires the mkfifo command to work, and will be silently disabled otherwise.


Remove all the files the test suite might have created and exit. Meant for clean Make targets.


List all the tests (or only the selection), including their possible keywords.

By default all tests are performed (or described with --list) silently in the default environment, but the environment, set of tests, and verbosity level can be tuned:


Set the environment variable to value. Use this rather than ‘FOO=foo ./testsuite’ as debugging scripts would then run in a different environment.

The variable AUTOTEST_PATH specifies the testing path to prepend to PATH. Relative directory names (not starting with ‘/’) are considered to be relative to the top level of the package being built. All directories are made absolute, first starting from the top level build tree, then from the source tree. For instance ‘./testsuite AUTOTEST_PATH=tests:bin’ for a /src/foo-1.0 source package built in /tmp/foo results in ‘/tmp/foo/tests:/tmp/foo/bin’ and then ‘/src/foo-1.0/tests:/src/foo-1.0/bin’ being prepended to PATH.


Add the corresponding test groups, with obvious semantics, to the selection.

-k keywords

Add to the selection the test groups with title or keywords (arguments to AT_SETUP or AT_KEYWORDS) that match all keywords of the comma separated list keywords, case-insensitively. Use ‘!’ immediately before the keyword to invert the selection for this keyword. By default, the keywords match whole words; enclose them in ‘.*’ to also match parts of words.

For example, running

./testsuite -k 'autoupdate,.*FUNC.*'

selects all tests tagged ‘autoupdateand with tags containing ‘FUNC’ (as in ‘AC_CHECK_FUNC’, ‘AC_FUNC_ALLOCA’, etc.), while

./testsuite -k '!autoupdate' -k '.*FUNC.*'

selects all tests not tagged ‘autoupdateor with tags containing ‘FUNC’.


If any test fails, immediately abort testing. This implies --debug: post test group clean up, and top-level logging are inhibited. This option is meant for the full test suite, it is not really useful for generated debugging scripts. If the testsuite is run in parallel mode using --jobs, then concurrently running tests will finish before exiting.


Force more verbosity in the detailed output of what is being done. This is the default for debugging scripts.


Enable colored test results. Without an argument, or with ‘always’, test results will be colored. With ‘never’, color mode is turned off. Otherwise, if either the macro AT_COLOR_TESTS is used by the testsuite author, or the argument ‘auto’ is given, then test results are colored if standard output is connected to a terminal.


Do not remove the files after a test group was performed—but they are still removed before, therefore using this option is sane when running several test groups. Create debugging scripts. Do not overwrite the top-level log (in order to preserve a supposedly existing full log file). This is the default for debugging scripts, but it can also be useful to debug the testsuite itself.


Add to the selection all test groups that failed or passed unexpectedly during the last non-debugging test run.


Trigger shell tracing of the test groups.

Besides these options accepted by every Autotest testsuite, the testsuite author might have added package-specific options via the AT_ARG_OPTION and AT_ARG_OPTION_ARG macros (see Writing Testsuites); refer to testsuite --help and the package documentation for details.

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