Frequently Asked Questions¶
How is this different from Autotest, kselftest, etc?¶
KUnit is a unit testing framework. Autotest, kselftest (and some others) are not.
A unit test is supposed to test a single unit of code in isolation, hence the name. A unit test should be the finest granularity of testing and as such should allow all possible code paths to be tested in the code under test; this is only possible if the code under test is very small and does not have any external dependencies outside of the test’s control like hardware.
There are no testing frameworks currently available for the kernel that do not require installing the kernel on a test machine or in a VM and all require tests to be written in userspace and run on the kernel under test; this is true for Autotest, kselftest, and some others, disqualifying any of them from being considered unit testing frameworks.
Does KUnit support running on architectures other than UML?¶
Yes, well, mostly.
For the most part, the KUnit core framework (what you use to write the tests)
can compile to any architecture; it compiles like just another part of the
kernel and runs when the kernel boots, or when built as a module, when the
module is loaded. However, there is some infrastructure,
like the KUnit Wrapper (
tools/testing/kunit/kunit.py) that does not support
In short, this means that, yes, you can run KUnit on other architectures, but it might require more work than using KUnit on UML.
For more information, see KUnit on non-UML architectures.
What is the difference between a unit test and these other kinds of tests?¶
Most existing tests for the Linux kernel would be categorized as an integration test, or an end-to-end test.
- A unit test is supposed to test a single unit of code in isolation, hence the name. A unit test should be the finest granularity of testing and as such should allow all possible code paths to be tested in the code under test; this is only possible if the code under test is very small and does not have any external dependencies outside of the test’s control like hardware.
- An integration test tests the interaction between a minimal set of components, usually just two or three. For example, someone might write an integration test to test the interaction between a driver and a piece of hardware, or to test the interaction between the userspace libraries the kernel provides and the kernel itself; however, one of these tests would probably not test the entire kernel along with hardware interactions and interactions with the userspace.
- An end-to-end test usually tests the entire system from the perspective of the code under test. For example, someone might write an end-to-end test for the kernel by installing a production configuration of the kernel on production hardware with a production userspace and then trying to exercise some behavior that depends on interactions between the hardware, the kernel, and userspace.
KUnit isn’t working, what should I do?¶
Unfortunately, there are a number of things which can break, but here are some things to try.
- Try running
./tools/testing/kunit/kunit.py runwith the
--raw_outputparameter. This might show details or error messages hidden by the kunit_tool parser.
- Instead of running
kunit.py run, try running
kunit.py build, and
kunit.py execindependently. This can help track down where an issue is occurring. (If you think the parser is at fault, you can run it manually against stdin or a file with
- Running the UML kernel directly can often reveal issues or error messages
kunit_tool ignores. This should be as simple as running
./vmlinuxafter building the UML kernel (e.g., by using
kunit.py build). Note that UML has some unusual requirements (such as the host having a tmpfs filesystem mounted), and has had issues in the past when built statically and the host has KASLR enabled. (On older host kernels, you may need to run
setarch `uname -m` -R ./vmlinuxto disable KASLR.)
- Make sure the kernel .config has
CONFIG_KUNIT=yand at least one test (e.g.
CONFIG_KUNIT_EXAMPLE_TEST=y). kunit_tool will keep its .config around, so you can see what config was used after running
kunit.py run. It also preserves any config changes you might make, so you can enable/disable things with
make ARCH=um menuconfigor similar, and then re-run kunit_tool.
- Try to run
make ARCH=um defconfigbefore running
kunit.py run. This may help clean up any residual config items which could be causing problems.
- Finally, try running KUnit outside UML. KUnit and KUnit tests can run be
built into any kernel, or can be built as a module and loaded at runtime.
Doing so should allow you to determine if UML is causing the issue you’re
seeing. When tests are built-in, they will execute when the kernel boots, and
modules will automatically execute associated tests when loaded. Test results
can be collected from
/sys/kernel/debug/kunit/<test suite>/results, and can be parsed with
kunit.py parse. For more details, see “KUnit on non-UML architectures” in Using KUnit.
If none of the above tricks help, you are always welcome to email any issues to firstname.lastname@example.org.