Unit testing and guacamole-server

Unit tests within guacamole-server are implemented using the following:

  • automake, which allows arbitrary tests to be declared within Makefile.am and uses make check to run those tests.
  • CUnit (libcunit), a unit testing framework.
  • util/generate-test-runner.pl, a Perl script which generates a test runner written in C which leverages CUnit, running the unit tests declared in each of the given .c files. The generated test runner produces output in TAP format which is consumed by the TAP test driver provided by automake.

Writing unit tests

All unit tests should be within reasonably-isolated C source files, with each logical test having its own function of the form:


where TESTNAME is the arbitrary name of the test and SUITENAME is the arbitrary name of the test suite that this test belongs to.

This naming convention is required by generate-test-runner.pl. Absolutely all tests MUST follow the above convention if they are to be picked up and organized by the test runner generation script. Functions which are not tests MUST NOT follow the above convention so that they are not picked up mistakenly by the test runner generator as if they were tests.

The Makefile.am for a subproject which contains such tests is typically modified to contain a sections like the following:

# Unit tests for myproj

check_PROGRAMS = test_myproj

test_myproj_SOURCES =      \
    ...all source files...

test_myproj_CFLAGS =        \
    -Werror -Wall -pedantic \
    ...other flags...

test_myproj_LDADD = \

# Autogenerate test runner

GEN_RUNNER = $(top_srcdir)/util/generate-test-runner.pl
CLEANFILES = _generated_runner.c

_generated_runner.c: $(test_myproj_SOURCES)
	$(AM_V_GEN) $(GEN_RUNNER) $(test_myproj_SOURCES) > $@

nodist_test_libguac_SOURCES = \

# Use automake's TAP test driver for running any tests
LOG_DRIVER =                \
    env AM_TAP_AWK='$(AWK)' \
    $(SHELL) $(top_srcdir)/build-aux/tap-driver.sh

The above declares ...

  • ... that a binary, test_myproj should be built from the given sources. Note that test_myproj_SOURCES contains only the source which was actually written by hand while nodist_test_myproj_SOURCES contains only the source which was generated by generate-test-runner.pl.
  • ... that this test_myproj binary should be run to test this project when make check is run, and that automake's TAP driver should be used to consume its output.
  • ... that the _generated_runner.c source file is generated dynamically (through running generate-test-runner.pl on all non-generated test source) and should not be distributed as part of the source archive.

With tests following the above naming convention in place, and with the necessary changes made to the applicable Makefile.am, all tests will be run automatically when make check is run.