CDN Acceptance Tests
Go HTML CSS JavaScript Puppet Shell
Latest commit f92be1e Feb 26, 2015 @dcarley dcarley Merge pull request #116 from alphagov/58334980-all_probes_are_head_req
[#58334980] Consider all HEAD requests to be probes

CDN Acceptance Tests

Acceptance tests for our Content Delivery Network(s).

These are written using Go's testing package because it provides a framework for running basic assertions and a rich HTTP client/server library.


The single Go process acts as both the client and the origin server so that it can inspect the input and output of the CDN.

         +-------> |         |---------+
         |         |   CDN   |         |
         | +-------|         | <-----+ |
         | |       +---------+       | |
         | |                         | |
 request-| |-response                | |
         | |                         | |
         | |   +-----------------+   | |
         | +-> |     go test     |---+ |
         |     |                 |     |
         +-----| client ¦ server | <---+

When testing a real CDN, the tests must be run on a server that the CDN can connect to.

It will not configure the CDN service for you; you'll need to do so, pointing it at the machine that will be running the tests.

For more information please see this post on the GDS Technology blog:


You will need the Go 1.x runtime installed. To install this on OS X:

brew install go

To run all the tests:

go test -edgeHost -vendor cdn-vendor

...where -edgeHost specifies the CDN edge.

To run a subset of tests based on a regex:

go test -edgeHost -run 'Test(Cache|NoCache)' -vendor cdn-vendor

To see all available command-line options:

go test -usage

Adapting the tests to your own configuration

You may need to make some changes to adapt the tests to your specific configuration.

  • The tests disregard all HEAD requests as healthcheck probes. You may need to modify this or filter those on other HTTP request headers depending on how your edge sends healthcheck probes.

Writing tests

When writing new tests please be sure to:

  • group the test in a file with other tests of similar behaviour e.g. "custom failover"
  • use a consistent naming prefix for the functions that so that they can be run as a group e.g. func TestCustomFailover…(…)
  • always call ResetBackendsInOrder() at the beginning of each test to ensure that all of the backends are running and have their handlers reset from previous tests.
  • use the helpers such as NewUniqueEdgeGET() and RoundTripCheckError() which do a lot of the work, such as error checking, for you.
  • define static inputs such as "number of requests" or "time between requests" at the beginning of the test so that they're easy to locate. Use constants where possible to indicate that they won't be changed at runtime.

Mock CDN virtual machine

You can develop new tests against a Vagrant VM which uses Varnish to simulate a CDN. Nginx and stunnel are used to terminate/initiate TLS and inject headers.

         +---> |        Vagrant VM         |-----+
         |     |                           |     |
         | +---| Nginx ¦ Varnish ¦ stunnel | <-+ |
         | |   +---------------------------+   | |
         | |                                   | |
 request-| |-response                          | |
         | |                                   | |
         | |        +-----------------+        | |
         | +------> |     go test     |--------+ |
         |          |                 |          |
         +----------| client ¦ server | <--------+

You may need to modify the configuration of the VM in mock_cdn_config/ to account for new tests.

To bring up the VM and point the tests at it:

vagrant up && vagrant provision
go test -edgeHost -skipVerifyTLS -vendor fastly

Please note that this is not a complete substitute for the real thing. You must test against a real CDN before submitting any pull requests.