CxxTest Unit Testing Framework
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CxxTest is a unit testing framework for C++ that is similar in spirit to JUnit, CppUnit, and xUnit. CxxTest is easy to use because it does not require precompiling a CxxTest testing library, it employs no advanced features of C++ (e.g. RTTI) and it supports a very flexible form of test discovery.

In particular, the design of CxxTest was tailored for C++ compilers on embedded systems, for which many of these features are not supported. However, CxxTest can also leverage standard C++ features when they are supported by a compiler (e.g. catch unhandled exceptions).

Additionally, CxxTest supports test discovery. Tests are defined in C++ header files, which are parsed by CxxTest to automatically generate a test runner. Thus, CxxTest is somewhat easier to use than alternative C++ testing frameworks, since you do not need to register tests.

CxxTest is available under the GNU Lesser General Public Licence (LGPL).

A user guide is available in doc/guide.pdf.

Python is a requirement.

##Installation CxxTest requires little to no installation. You must have python installed and in your command terminal's path. For Xcode development you need to add the following lines to your ~/.bash_profile:

export CXXTEST_CPP_UPDATE="/<full path to repo>/cxxtest/"
export CXXTEST_PYTHON_DIR="/<full path to repo>/cxxtest/python"

##General Project Setup Steps Clone the cxxtest code from github to your development machine. Be thoughtful about what directory it will live in. You might end up with a lot of projects that relying on the relative paths to your cxxtest repo not changing.

###XCode setup After creating your C++ library project (our example project will be "LibraryUtils") in XCode add a target that is an OSX->Application->Command Line Tool target. It should be a C++ application. Give it some kind of unit testing name. Maybe "UnitTests" is too generic a name, but we'll use that for this sample. Take the main.cpp file and rename it runner.cpp

Click the project settings icon in the Table of Contents (TOC) and change the target dropdown to point to "UnitTests". Click the Build Settings tab. Under Build Settings edit the Header Search Paths to include the cxxtest repo. Below is how my relative include path looks:

$(SRCROOT)/../../../<some directory that is relative to your projects>/cxxtest

Your path SHOULD NOT look like:

$(SRCROOT)/../../../<some directory that is relative to your projects>/cxxtest/cxxtest

Click the Build Phases tab next to the Build Settings tab. For Target Dependencies select the library you'll be testing. In our case we're selecting the LibraryUtils(LibraryUtils) library. If it has become unselected make sure that runner.cpp is present in the Compile Sources list. Under the Link Binary With Libraries make sure your library is selected. In our example that is libLibraryUtils.dylib

There is a + sign near the top of the Build Phases. Use this to create a New Run Script Phase. Place your Run Script definition block right before the Compile Sources block. In your script block place the following code:

source ~/.bash_profile

If you build right now without any tests you will get a build error as the script requires that there be some test files.

###Visual Studio Setup To create a new unit test open Visual Studio and select File->New Project. For ease of development it is nice to have your unit tests in the same solution as your development project, so you can compile your changes and quickly run your unit tests with the ability to step into your code from the unit test.

In the "New Project" dialog there is a table of contents (TOC) on the left. Select "Templates"->"Visual C++"->"General" and you will see the option in the window to select the "Empty Project" template. Name it something spiffy like "UnitTests".

In your "UnitTests" project create a cpp file named "runner.cpp". You can leave this blank as it will be populated by the cxxtestgen scripts during the pre-build steps. By creating the cpp file you will now be allowed to access C++ configuration properties that might otherwise be unavailable(weird that you create a c++ project and then have to create a cpp file to access settings, but whatever).

Right-click on the "UnitTests" in the "Solution Explorer" and from the drop-down select "Properties". In the "Properties" TOC on the left expand "Configuration Properties"->"General" and make sure that the "Target Extension" field is ".exe" and that the "Configuration Type" field is set to "Application (.exe)"

Still in the "Properties" TOC on the left expand "Configuration Properties"->"C/C++" and then select "General". In the properties window on the right select the "Additional Include Directories". Edit the include directories so that you've included your top level "cxxtest" directory, your project's include directories and any additional include directories.

In the "Properties" TOC select "Configuration Properties"->"C/C++" and select "Preprocessor" to define any preprocessor variables necessary for your project.

In the "Properties" TOC select "Configuration Properties"->"Linker" and select "General". In the properties window on the right select the "Additional Library Directories" and point to the current build location for your project that you'll be unit testing. If there are any additional libraries required for functionality of your library then include those as well.

In the "Properties" TOC select "Configuration Properties"->"Linker" and select "Input". In the properties window on the right select the "Additional Dependencies" and your libraries to test and any additional libraries.

In the "Properties" TOC select "Configuration Properties"->"Build Events" and select "Pre-Build Event". As a Pre-Build command you are providing a Python call that is necessary in parsing your header files and updating your "runner.cpp" file. This requires knowing the path relative path to your file (comes with github cloning) and the relative path to the /cxxtest/python directory. Your relative path is with respect to the vxproj project file of the unit tests(not the sln solution file). In the "Command Line" field your call is going to look like the following: "call -c -t <path to your unit test project's source directory> In order to be epic and a master of relative paths and visual studio macros your command line might be organized something like the following: "call $(ProjectDir) -c $(ProjectDir) -t $(ProjectDir)"

for example my file is in: C:\third-party-libraries\cxxtest my \cxxtest\python directory is in: C:\third-party-libraries\cxxtest\python my vxproj file (the $(ProjectDir)) is in: C:\myCompanyName\acronym\SoftwareProject\Library\UnitTests and my project header files are in: C:\myCompanyName\acronym\SoftwareProject\Library\UnitTests and my current directory "Command Line" is: call $(ProjectDir)..........\third-party-libraries\cxxtest\ -c $(ProjectDir)..........\third-party-libraries\cxxtest\python -t $(ProjectDir)

Sometimes in visual studio when you create a project there is an option to have the source code one directory below the vxproj project file. In this case your headers are in $(ProjectDir)$(ProjectName)

If you have problems, check that python is installed on your machine and that the path to the python exe is in your environment variables. Check that your relative paths are correct.

Pro Tips: -Your xml file for test results is saved in the same directory as your unit test source code. -If you want to look at the test results quickly in the command app that the unit tests use then in your runner.cpp file put a break point in the main method at the "return status;" line -In order to easily fire off your unit tests with f5 you must make your new "UnitTests" project the default Startup project. Right-click on "UnitTests" in the "Solution Explorer" and in the drop-down select "Set As Startup Project"

A Simple Example

  1. Create a test suite header file:


  #include <cxxtest/TestSuite.h>

  class MyTestSuite : public CxxTest::TestSuite 
      void testAddition( void )
          TS_ASSERT( 1 + 1 > 1 );
          TS_ASSERT_EQUALS( 1 + 1, 2 );
  1. Generate the tests file (or use the above visual studio or xcode scripts described above to generate tests):
cxxtestgen --error-printer -o tests.cpp MyTestSuite.h
  1. Compile and run!
g++ -o main tests.cpp
Running 1 test(s).OK!