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Framework for ROS2 Integration Testing
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This tool is a framework for ROS2 integration testing using the ros2 style launch description. It works similarly to rostest, but makes it easier to inspect the processes under test. For example

  • The exit codes of all processes are available to the tests. Tests can check that all processes shut down normally, or with specific exit codes. Tests can fail when a process dies unexpectedly
  • The stdout and stderr of all processes are available to the tests.
  • The command-line used to launch the processes are avilalbe to the tests.
  • Some tests run concurrently with the launch and can interact with the running processes.


Designed to work with ros2 crystal

Quick start example

Start with the apex_launchtest example Run the example by doing

apex_launchtest apex_launchtest/examples/

apex_launchtest will launch the nodes found in the generate_test_description function, run the tests from the TestGoodProcess class, shut down the launched nodes, and then run the tests from the TestNodeOutput class.

The Launch Description

def generate_test_description(ready_fn):

    return launch.LaunchDescription([

        # Start tests right away - no need to wait for anything in this example
        launch.actions.OpaqueFunction(function=lambda context: ready_fn()),

The generate_test_description function should return a launch.LaunchDescription object that launches the system to be tested. It should also call the ready_fn that is passed in to signal when the tests should start. In the example, there is no need to delay the start of the tests so the ready_fn is called concurrently when the launching of the process under test

Active Tests

Any classes that inherit from unittest.TestCase and not decorated with the post_shutdown_test descriptor will be run concurrently with the proccess under test. These tests are expected to interact with the running processes in some way

Post-Shutdown Tests

Any classes that inherit from unittest.TestCase that are decorated with the post_shutdown_test descriptor will be run after the launched processes have been shut down. These tests have access to the exit codes and the stdout of all of the launched processes, as well as any data created as a side-effect of running the processes

Exit Codes and Standard Out

the apex_launchtest framework automatically adds some member fields to each test case so that the tests can access process output and exit codes

These objects provide dictionary like access to information about the running processes. They also contain methods that the active tests can use to wait for a process to exit or to wait for specific output


The apex_launchtest framework automatically records all stdout from the launched processes as well as the exit codes from any processes that are launched. This information is made available to the tests via the proc_info and proc_output object. These objects can be used by one of several assert methods to check the output or exit codes of the process:

apex_launchtest.asserts.assertInStdout(proc_output, msg, proc, cmd_args=None, *, strict_proc_matching=True)

Asserts that a message 'msg' is found in the stdout of a particular process.

  • msg: The text to look for in the process standard out
  • proc: Either the process name as a string, or a launch.actions.ExecuteProcess object that was used to start the process. Pass None or an empty string to search all processes
  • cmd_args: When looking up processes by process by name, cmd_args can be used to disambiguate multiple processes with the same name
  • strict_proc_matching: When looking up a process by name, strict_proc_matching=True will make it an error to match multiple processes. This prevents an assert from accidentally passing if the output came from a different process than the one the user was expecting

apex_launchtest.asserts.assertExitCodes(proc_info, allowable_exit_codes=[EXIT_OK], proc, cmd_args=None, *, strict_proc_matching=True)

Asserts that the specified processes exited with a particular exit code

  • allowable_exit_codes: A list of allowable exit codes. By default EXIT_OK (0). Other exit codes provided are EXIT_SIGINT (130), EXIT_SIGQUIT (131), EXIT_SIGKILL (137) and EXIT_SIGSEGV (139)
  • The proc, cmd_args, and strict_proc_matching arguments behave the same way as assertInStdout. By default, assert on the exit codes of all processes

apex_launchtest.asserts.assertSequentialStdout(proc_output, proc, cmd_args=None)

Asserts that standard out was seen in a particular order

  • Returns a context manager that will check that a series of assertions happen in order
  • The proc and cmd_args are the same as assertInStdout and assertExitCodes, however it is not possible to match multiple processes because there is no way to determine the order of stdout that came from multiple processes. Example:
with assertSequentialStdout(self.proc_output, "proc_name") as cm:
    cm.assertInStdout("Loop 1")
    cm.assertInStdout("Loop 2")
    cm.assertInStdout("Loop 3")

Waiting for Output or Exit Codes

The ActiveTests can also call methods that wait for particular output or a particular process to exit or time out. These asserts are methods on the proc_output and proc_info objects

proc_output.assertWaitFor(msg, proc=None, cmd_args=None, *, strict_proc_matching=True, timeout=10)

  • The msg, proc, cmd_args, and strict_proc_matching arguments work the same as the other assert methods. By default, this method waits on output from any process
  • timeout: The amount of time to wait before raising an AssertionError

proc_info.assertWaitForShutdown(proc, cmd_args=None, *, timeout=10)

  • The proc and cmd_args work the same as the other assertions, but it is not possible to wait on multiple processes to shut down
  • timeout: The amount of time to wait before raising an AssertionError


apex_launchtest uses the same syntax as ros2 launch to pass arguments to tests.

Arguments are declared in the launch description and can be accessed by the test vi a test_args dictionary that's injected into the tests similar to proc_info and proc_output.

See the apex_launchtest example with arguments

>apex_launhtest --show-args examples/
>apex_launchtest examples/ dut_arg:=value

Using CMake

To run apex_launchtest from a CMakeLists file, you'll need to declare a dependency on apex_launchtest_cmake in your package.xml. Then, in the CMakeLists file, add


Arguments can be passed to the tests via the CMake function, too:

  ARGS "arg1:=foo"
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