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Unit tests

The sources in this directory are unit test cases. Boost includes a unit testing framework, and since Bitcoin Core already uses Boost, it makes sense to simply use this framework rather than require developers to configure some other framework (we want as few impediments to creating unit tests as possible).

The build system is set up to compile an executable called test_bitcoin that runs all of the unit tests. The main source file for the test library is found in util/setup_common.cpp.

Compiling/running unit tests

Unit tests will be automatically compiled if dependencies were met in ./configure and tests weren't explicitly disabled.

After configuring, they can be run with make check.

To run the bitcoind tests manually, launch src/test/test_bitcoin. To recompile after a test file was modified, run make and then run the test again. If you modify a non-test file, use make -C src/test to recompile only what's needed to run the bitcoind tests.

To add more bitcoind tests, add BOOST_AUTO_TEST_CASE functions to the existing .cpp files in the test/ directory or add new .cpp files that implement new BOOST_AUTO_TEST_SUITE sections.

To run the bitcoin-qt tests manually, launch src/qt/test/test_bitcoin-qt

To add more bitcoin-qt tests, add them to the src/qt/test/ directory and the src/qt/test/test_main.cpp file.

Running individual tests

test_bitcoin has some built-in command-line arguments; for example, to run just the getarg_tests verbosely:

test_bitcoin --log_level=all --run_test=getarg_tests

... or to run just the doubledash test:

test_bitcoin --run_test=getarg_tests/doubledash

Run test_bitcoin --help for the full list.

Adding test cases

To add a new unit test file to our test suite you need to add the file to src/Makefile.test.include. The pattern is to create one test file for each class or source file for which you want to create unit tests. The file naming convention is <source_filename>_tests.cpp and such files should wrap their tests in a test suite called <source_filename>_tests. For an example of this pattern, see uint256_tests.cpp.

Logging and debugging in unit tests

To write to logs from unit tests you need to use specific message methods provided by Boost. The simplest is BOOST_TEST_MESSAGE.

For debugging you can launch the test_bitcoin executable with gdbor lldb and start debugging, just like you would with bitcoind:

gdb src/test/test_bitcoin
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