Running the test framework of GRASS GIS

This is an advanced guide to running tests of GRASS GIS using GRASS testing framework (gunittest). For introduction to this topic, go to Testing with gunittest package in general.

Running tests and creating report

To test before commit, run all tests using testing framework. First start GRASS GIS session and go to the root directory of your GRASS GIS source code copy:

cd my/grass/source/code/root

Then execute:

python -m grass.gunittest.main --location locname --location-type nc

where locname is a name of location in current GRASS GIS data(base) directory (GISDBASE) and nc is a location specified by individual test files (the later is not yet fully implemented, so just put there nc every time).

grass.gunittest.main writes a text summary to standard output and it creates an HTML report from all tests in all testsuite directories inside the directory tree. The report is placed in testreport by default. Open file testreport/index.html in you web browser to inspect it.

To execute just part of the tests when fixing something, cd into some subdirectory, e.g. lib and execute the same command as above. gain, it will execute all tests in all testsuite subdirectories and create a report.

For changing GRASS GIS data(base) directory and for other parameters, see help for grass.gunittest.main module:

python -m grass.gunittest.main --help

Running individual test files

To run a single test file, start GRASS session in the Location and Mapset suitable for testing and go to the directory where the test file is. Then run the file as a Python script:


If the file is a gunittest-based or unittest-based test, you will receive a textual output with failed individual tests (test methods). If the file is a general Python scriptyou need to examine the output carefully as well as source code itself to see what is expected behavior.

The same as for general Python scripts, applies also to Shell scripts, so you should examine the output carefully. You should execute scripts using:

sh -e -x

The -x is just to see which commands are executed but the -e flag is crucial because this is how the GRASS testing framework runs the Shell scripts. The flag causes execution to stop once some command gives a non-zero return code.

Setting sensitivity of the test run

Sensitivity, specified by the --min-success parameter, determined how many tests need to fail for the runner to consider it an error and return a non-zero return code. For example, if at least 60% of test is required to succeed, you can use:

python -m grass.gunittest.main ... --min-success 60

If all tests should succeed, use --min-success 100. If you want to run the test and grass.gunittest.main returning zero return code even if some tests fail, use --min-success 0

Running tests and creating report

Currently there is full support only for running all the tests in the small (basic) version of GRASS GIS sample Location for North Carolina (see GRASS GIS sample data).

Example Bash script to run be used as a cron job


set -e  # fail fast

# here we suppose default compilation settings of GRASS and no make install

# necessary hardcoded GRASS paths

DATE_FLAGS="--utc +%Y-%m-%d-%H-%M"

# contains last executed command stdout and stderr
# here were rely on reports being absolute

# these are relative to REPORTS


echo "Nightly GRASS GIS test started: $NOW" >> $LOGFILE

# compile current source code from scratch
make distclean -j4
git pull
./configure ...  # or a script containing all the flags
make -j4

# run tests for the current source code
    --grassbin $GRASSBIN \
    --grasssrc $GRASSSRC \
    --grassdata $GRASSDATA \
    --location nc_spm_08_grass7 --location-type nc \
    --location other_location --location-type other_type

# create overall report of all so far executed tests
# the script depends on GRASS but just Python part is enough

# although we cannot be sure the tests were executed was successfully
# so publish or archive results
rsync -rtvu --delete $REPORTS/ "/var/www/html/grassgistestreports"

echo "Nightly ($NOW) GRASS GIS test finished: $(date $DATE_FLAGS)" >> $LOGFILE

A script similar to this one can be used as a cron job, on most Linux systems using crontab -e and adding a line similar to the following one:

0 4 * * 1 .../grasstests/

Which will perform the tests every Monday at 4:00 in the morning (local time).

Particular script and frequency depends on what you want to test and how many resources you want to use.