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Checktestdata is a tool to verify the syntactical integrity of test cases in programming contests like the ACM ICPC.

It allows you to specify a simple grammar for your testdata input files, according to which the testdata is checked. In the examples directory you find two sample scripts hello.ctd and fltcmp.ctd from the DOMjudge sample problems hello and fltcmp, and under examples/nwerc2008 the scripts used for the NWERC 2008 problemset.

Grammar specification

Checktestdata language specification

We also have a Haskell implementation of the checktestdata program, which supports this specification as well as a Haskell embedded domain-specific language.

Installation and use


If you don't have flexc++ and/or bisonc++ available, you may use the release branch where we've pre-generated the scanner/parser files.

Command line for installing the build dependencies on Debian or Ubuntu, when using the release branch:

apt-get install make g++ libboost-dev libgmp-dev autotools-dev automake

For Redhat-like distributions try:

yum install make g++ boost-devel gmp-devel automake

To compile checktestdata, run:

make dist

Leave out the make dist step if you use the pre-generated scanner/parser files on the release branch.

Finally, you can run

make check

to run a number of tests. Note that a few of the tests are non-deterministic and may sometimes return an error. This is ok, but the make check command should run successfully more than 90% of the time.

For usage instructions run:

checktestdata --help


The commandline program is built upon the separate library libchecktestdata.hpp (see as an example for how to use this library) that can be used to write the syntax checking part of special compare scripts. It can easily handle the tedious task of verifying that a team's submission output is syntactically valid, leaving just the task of semantic validation to another program.

When you want to support presentation error as a verdict, also in variable output problems, the option whitespace-ok can be useful. This allows any non-empty sequence of whitespace (no newlines though) where the SPACE command is used, as well as leading and trailing whitespace on lines (when using the NEWLINE command). Please note that with this option enabled, whitespace matching is greedy, so the script code


does not match 1__2 (where the two underscores represent spaces), because the first SPACE command already matches both, so the second cannot match anything.

Copyright & Licencing

Checktestdata is Copyright © 2008 - 2019 by the checktestdata developers and all respective contributors. The current checktestdata developers are Jeroen Bransen, Jaap Eldering, Jan Kuipers, and Tobias Werth; see the git commits for a complete list of contributors.

Checktestdata, including its documentation, is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the two-clause BSD license. See the file COPYING.

The M4 autoconf macros are licenced under all-permissive and GPL3+ licences; see the respective files under m4/ for details.


The developers can be reached through the mailinglist You need to be subscribed before you can post. Information, subscription and archives are available at:

DOMjudge has a Slack workspace where a number of developers and users of DOMjudge & checktestdata linger. More information can be found at