Getting Started

Installing dependencies

KUnit has the same dependencies as the Linux kernel. As long as you can build the kernel, you can run KUnit.

Running tests with the KUnit Wrapper

Included with KUnit is a simple Python wrapper which runs tests under User Mode Linux, and formats the test results.

The wrapper can be run with:

./tools/testing/kunit/ run

For more information on this wrapper (also called kunit_tool) check out the kunit_tool How-To page.

Creating a .kunitconfig

If you want to run a specific set of tests (rather than those listed in the KUnit defconfig), you can provide Kconfig options in the .kunitconfig file. This file essentially contains the regular Kernel config, with the specific test targets as well. The .kunitconfig should also contain any other config options required by the tests.

A good starting point for a .kunitconfig is the KUnit defconfig:

cp arch/um/configs/kunit_defconfig .kunitconfig

You can then add any other Kconfig options you wish, e.g.:


kunit_tool will ensure that all config options set in .kunitconfig are set in the kernel .config before running the tests. It’ll warn you if you haven’t included the dependencies of the options you’re using.


Note that removing something from the .kunitconfig will not trigger a rebuild of the .config file: the configuration is only updated if the .kunitconfig is not a subset of .config. This means that you can use other tools (such as make menuconfig) to adjust other config options.

Running the tests (KUnit Wrapper)

To make sure that everything is set up correctly, simply invoke the Python wrapper from your kernel repo:

./tools/testing/kunit/ run


You may want to run make mrproper first.

If everything worked correctly, you should see the following:

Generating .config ...
Building KUnit Kernel ...
Starting KUnit Kernel ...

followed by a list of tests that are run. All of them should be passing.


Because it is building a lot of sources for the first time, the Building KUnit kernel step may take a while.

Running tests without the KUnit Wrapper

If you’d rather not use the KUnit Wrapper (if, for example, you need to integrate with other systems, or use an architecture other than UML), KUnit can be included in any kernel, and the results read out and parsed manually.


KUnit is not designed for use in a production system, and it’s possible that tests may reduce the stability or security of the system.

Configuring the kernel

In order to enable KUnit itself, you simply need to enable the CONFIG_KUNIT Kconfig option (it’s under Kernel Hacking/Kernel Testing and Coverage in menuconfig). From there, you can enable any KUnit tests you want: they usually have config options ending in _KUNIT_TEST.

KUnit and KUnit tests can be compiled as modules: in this case the tests in a module will be run when the module is loaded.

Running the tests (w/o KUnit Wrapper)

Build and run your kernel as usual. Test output will be written to the kernel log in TAP format.


It’s possible that there will be other lines and/or data interspersed in the TAP output.

Writing your first test

In your kernel repo let’s add some code that we can test. Create a file drivers/misc/example.h with the contents:

int misc_example_add(int left, int right);

create a file drivers/misc/example.c:

#include <linux/errno.h>

#include "example.h"

int misc_example_add(int left, int right)
        return left + right;

Now add the following lines to drivers/misc/Kconfig:

        bool "My example"

and the following lines to drivers/misc/Makefile:

obj-$(CONFIG_MISC_EXAMPLE) += example.o

Now we are ready to write the test. The test will be in drivers/misc/example-test.c:

#include <kunit/test.h>
#include "example.h"

/* Define the test cases. */

static void misc_example_add_test_basic(struct kunit *test)
        KUNIT_EXPECT_EQ(test, 1, misc_example_add(1, 0));
        KUNIT_EXPECT_EQ(test, 2, misc_example_add(1, 1));
        KUNIT_EXPECT_EQ(test, 0, misc_example_add(-1, 1));
        KUNIT_EXPECT_EQ(test, INT_MAX, misc_example_add(0, INT_MAX));
        KUNIT_EXPECT_EQ(test, -1, misc_example_add(INT_MAX, INT_MIN));

static void misc_example_test_failure(struct kunit *test)
        KUNIT_FAIL(test, "This test never passes.");

static struct kunit_case misc_example_test_cases[] = {

static struct kunit_suite misc_example_test_suite = {
        .name = "misc-example",
        .test_cases = misc_example_test_cases,

Now add the following to drivers/misc/Kconfig:

        tristate "Test for my example" if !KUNIT_ALL_TESTS
        depends on MISC_EXAMPLE && KUNIT=y
        default KUNIT_ALL_TESTS

and the following to drivers/misc/Makefile:

obj-$(CONFIG_MISC_EXAMPLE_TEST) += example-test.o

Now add it to your .kunitconfig:


Now you can run the test:

./tools/testing/kunit/ run

You should see the following failure:

[16:08:57] [PASSED] misc-example:misc_example_add_test_basic
[16:08:57] [FAILED] misc-example:misc_example_test_failure
[16:08:57] EXPECTATION FAILED at drivers/misc/example-test.c:17
[16:08:57]      This test never passes.

Congrats! You just wrote your first KUnit test!

Next Steps