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Developer Guide

The repo can be built for the following platforms, using the provided setup and the following instructions.

Chip Windows Linux OS X FreeBSD
x64
x86
ARM32
Instructions Instructions Instructions Instructions

Building the repository

The CoreFX repo can be built from a regular, non-admin command prompt. The build produces multiple binaries that make up the CoreFX libraries and the accompanying tests.

Developer Workflow

The dev workflow describes the development process to follow. It is divided into specific tasks that are fast, transparent and easy to understand. The tasks are represented in scripts (cmd/sh) in the root of the repo:

  • clean - Cleans up the binary output and optionally the working directory (-all)
  • sync - Pulls down external dependencies needed to build (i.e. build tools, xunit, coreclr, etc)
  • build - Builds the shipping libraries in corefx.
  • build-tests - Builds and runs the corefx tests.

For more information about the different options that each task has, use the argument -? when calling the script. For example:

build -?

Build

The CoreFX build has two logical components, the native build which produces the "shims" (which provide a stable interface between the OS and managed code) and the managed build which produces the MSIL code and nuget packages that make up CoreFX.

Calling the script build attempts to build both the native and managed code. Only use it when the parameters that you are passing to the script apply for both components. Otherwise, use the scripts build-native and build-managed respectively.

The build configurations are generally defaulted based on where you are building (i.e. which OS or which architecture) but we have a few shortcuts for the individual properties that can be passed to the build scripts:

  • -framework identifies the target framework for the build. It defaults to netcoreapp but possible values include netcoreapp, netfx or uap. (msbuild property TargetGroup)
  • -os identifies the OS for the build. It defaults to the OS you are running on but possible values include Windows_NT, Unix, Linux, or OSX. (msbuild property OSGroup)
  • -debug|-release controls the optimization level the compilers use for the build. It defaults to Debug. (msbuild property ConfigurationGroup)
  • -buildArch identifies the architecture for the build. It defaults to x64 but possible values include x64, x86, arm, or arm64. (msbuild property ArchGroup)

These options are common for build, build-managed, build-native, and build-tests scripts.

For more details on the build configurations see project-guidelines.

Note: Before working on individual projects or test projects you must run build from the root once before beginning that work. It is also a good idea to run build whenever you pull a large set of unknown changes into your branch.

Common full clean build and test run

clean -all
build
build-tests

Examples

  • Building in debug mode for platform x64
build -debug -buildArch=x64
  • Building the src and then building and running the tests
build -tests
  • Building for different target frameworks
build -framework=netcoreapp
build -framework=netfx
build -framework=uap

Build Native

The native build produces shims over libc, openssl, gssapi, libcurl and libz. The build system uses CMake (2.8.12 or higher) to generate Makefiles using clang (3.5 or higher). The build also uses git for generating some version information.

The native component should be buildable on any system.

Examples

  • Building in debug mode for platform x64
build-native -debug -buildArch=x64
  • The following example shows the argument --. Everything that is after it is not going to be processed, and will be passed as-is.
build-native -debug -buildArch=arm -- cross verbose

For more information about extra parameters take a look at the scripts build-native under src/Native.

Build Managed

Since the managed build uses the .NET Core CLI (which the build will download), managed components can only be built on a subset of distros. There are some additional prerequisites from the CLI which need to be installed. Both libicu and libunwind are used by CoreCLR to execute managed code, so they must be installed. Since CoreFX does not actually link against these packages, runtime versions are sufficient. We also require curl to be present, which we use to download the .NET Core CLI.

Examples

  • Building in debug mode for platform x64
build-managed -debug -buildArch=x64
  • Building in debug mode for platform x64 targeting OS Linux
build-managed -debug -buildArch=x64 -os=Linux

Build And Run Tests

To build the tests and run them you can call the build-test script. The same parameters you pass to build should also be passed to build-tests script to ensure you are building and running the tests on the same configuration you have build the product on. However to run tests on the same machine you need to ensure the machine supports the configuration you are building.

Examples

  • The following shows how to build tests but not run them
build-tests -skiptests
  • The following builds and runs all tests for netcoreapp in release configuration.
build-tests -release -framework=netcoreapp
  • The following example shows the argument --. Everything that is after it is not going to be processed and it is going to be passed as it is. Use it to pass extra msbuild properties, in this case to ignore tests ignored in CI.
build-tests -- /p:WithoutCategories=IgnoreForCI

Building individual libraries

Note: Before working on individual projects or test projects you must run build from the root once before beginning that work. It is also a good idea to run build whenever you pull a large set of unknown changes into your branch.

Similar to building the entire repo with build.cmd/sh in the root you can build projects based on our directory structure by passing in the directory. We also support shortcuts for libraries so you can omit the root src folder from the path. When given a directory we will build all projects that we find recursively under that directory.

Examples

  • Build all projects for a given library (ex: System.Collections) including running the tests
build System.Collections

or

build src\System.Collections

or

cd src\System.Collections
..\..\build .
  • Build just the tests for a library project.
build src\System.Collections\tests
  • All the options listed above like framework and configuration are also supported (note they must be after the directory)
build System.Collections -framework:netfx -release

Building individual projects

Note: Before working on individual projects or test projects you must run build from the root once before beginning that work. It is also a good idea to run build whenever you pull a large set of unknown changes into your branch.

Under the src directory is a set of directories, each of which represents a particular assembly in CoreFX. See Libary Project Guidelines section under project-guidelines for more details about the structure.

For example the src\System.Diagnostics.DiagnosticSource directory holds the source code for the System.Diagnostics.DiagnosticSource.dll assembly.

You can build the DLL for System.Diagnostics.DiagnosticSource.dll by going to the src\System.Diagnostics.DiagnosticsSource\src directory and typing msbuild. The DLL ends up in bin\AnyOS.AnyCPU.Debug\System.Diagnostics.DiagnosticSource as well as bin\runtime\[BuildConfiguration].

You can build the tests for System.Diagnostics.DiagnosticSource.dll by going to src\System.Diagnostics.DiagnosticSource\tests and typing msbuild.

Some libraries might also have a ref and/or a pkg directory and you can build them in a similar way by typing msbuild in that directory.

For libraries that have multiple build configurations the configurations will be listed in the <BuildConfigurations> property group, commonly found in a configurations.props file next to the csproj. When building the csproj for a configuration the most compatible one in the list will be choosen and set for the build. For more information about BuildConfigurations see project-guidelines.

Examples

  • Build project for Linux for netcoreapp
msbuild System.Net.NetworkInformation.csproj /p:OSGroup=Linux
  • Build project for uap (not if trying to build on non-windows you also need to specify OSGroup=Windows_NT)
msbuild System.Net.NetworkInformation.csproj /p:TargetGroup=uap
  • Build release version of library
msbuild System.Net.NetworkInformation.csproj /p:ConfigurationGroup=Release

Note: If building in a non-Windows environment, call <repo-root>/Tools/msbuild.sh instead of just msbuild.

Building all for other OSes

By default, building from the root will only build the libraries for the OS you are running on. One can build for another OS by specifying build-managed -os=[value].

Note that you cannot generally build native components for another OS but you can for managed components so if you need to do that you can do it at the individual project level or build all via build-managed.

Building in Release or Debug

By default, building from the root or within a project will build the libraries in Debug mode. One can build in Debug or Release mode from the root by doing build -release or build -debug or when building a project by specifying /p:ConfigurationGroup=[Debug|Release] after the msbuild command.

Building other Architectures

One can build 32- or 64-bit binaries or for any architecture by specifying in the root build -buildArch=[value] or in a project /p:ArchGroup=[value] after the msbuild command.

Tests

We use the OSS testing framework xunit with the BuildTools test targets.

Running tests on the command line

By default, the core tests are run as part of build.cmd or build.sh. If the product binaries are already available, you could do build-tests which will build and run the tests.

For more information about cross-platform testing, please take a look here.

If you are interested in building and running the tests only for a specific library, then there are two different ways to do it:

The easiest (and recommended) way to do it, is by simply building the test .csproj file for that library.

cd src\System.Collections.Immutable\tests
msbuild /t:BuildAndTest   ::or /t:Test to just run the tests if the binaries are already built
msbuild /t:RebuildAndTest ::this will cause a test project to rebuild and then run tests

It is possible to pass parameters to the underlying xunit runner via the XunitOptions parameter, e.g.:

msbuild /t:Test "/p:XunitOptions=-class Test.ClassUnderTests"

Note: If building in a non-Windows environment, call ./Tools/msbuild.sh instead of just msbuild.

There may be multiple projects in some directories so you may need to specify the path to a specific test project to get it to build and run the tests.

Tests participate in the incremental build. This means that if tests have already been run, and inputs to the incremental build have not changed, rerunning the tests target will not execute the test runner again. To force re-executing tests in this situation, use /p:ForceRunTests=true.

Running a single test on the command line

To quickly run or debug a single test from the command line, set the XunitMethodName property (found in Tools\tests.targets) to the full method name (including namespace), e.g.:

msbuild /t:RebuildAndTest /p:XunitMethodName={FullyQualifiedNamespace}.{ClassName}.{MethodName}

Running tests in a different target framework

Each test project can potentially have multiple build configurations. There are some tests that might be OS-specific, or might be testing an API that is available only on some target frameworks, so the BuildConfigurations property specifies the valid configurations. By default we will build and run only the default build configuration which is netcoreapp. The rest of the configurations will need to be built and ran by specifying the configuration options.

cd src\System.Runtime\tests
msbuild System.Runtime.Tests.csproj /p:TargetGroup=netfx

Filtering tests using traits

The tests can also be filtered based on xunit trait attributes defined in xunit.netcore.extensions. These attributes are specified above the test method's definition. The available attributes are:

OuterloopAttribute

[OuterLoop()]

Tests marked as Outerloop are for scenarios that don't need to run every build. They may take longer than normal tests, cover seldom hit code paths, or require special setup or resources to execute. These tests are excluded by default when testing through msbuild but can be enabled manually by adding the Outerloop property e.g.

build-managed -Outerloop

To run only the Outerloop tests, use the following command:

msbuild <csproj_file> /t:BuildAndTest /p:WithCategories=OuterLoop

PlatformSpecificAttribute

[PlatformSpecific(TestPlatforms platforms)]

Use this attribute on test methods to specify that this test may only be run on the specified platforms. This attribute returns the following categories based on platform

  • nonwindowstests for tests that don't run on Windows
  • nonlinuxtests for tests that don't run on Linux
  • nonosxtests for tests that don't run on OS X

Available Test Platforms

When running tests by building a test project, tests that don't apply to the OSGroup are not run. For example, to run Linux-specific tests on a Linux box, use the following command line:

<repo-root>/Tools/msbuild.sh <csproj_file> /t:BuildAndTest /p:OSGroup=Linux

To run all Linux-compatible tests that are failing:

<repo-root>/Tools/msbuild.sh <csproj_file> /t:BuildAndTest /p:OSGroup=Linux /p:WithCategories=failing

ActiveIssueAttribute

This attribute is intended to be used when there is an active issue tracking the test failure and it is needed to be fixed. This is a temporary attribute to skip the test while the issue is fixed. It is important that you limit the scope of the attribute to just the platforms and target monikers where the issue applies.

This attribute can be applied either to a test class (will disable all the tests in that class) or to a test method. It allows multiple usages on the same member.

This attribute returns the 'failing' category, which is disabled by default.

Disable for all platforms and all target frameworks:

[ActiveIssue(int issue)]
[ActiveIssue(string issue)]

Disable for specific platform:

[ActiveIssue(int issue, TestPlatforms platforms)]
[ActiveIssue(string issue, TestPlatforms platforms)]

Disable for specific target frameworks:

[ActiveIssue(int issue, TargetFrameworkMonikers frameworks)]
[ActiveIssue(string issue, TargetFrameworkMonikers frameworks)]

Disable for specific test platforms and target frameworks:

[ActiveIssue(int issue, TestPlatforms platforms, TargetFrameworkMonikers frameworks)]
[ActiveIssue(string issue, TestPlatforms platforms, TargetFrameworkMonikers frameworks)]

Use this attribute over test methods to skip failing tests only on the specific platforms and the specific target frameworks.

SkipOnTargetFrameworkAttribute

This attribute is intended to disable a test permanently on a framework where an API is not available or there is an intentional difference in behavior in between the tested framework and the skipped framework.

This attribute can be applied either to a test class (will disable all the tests in that class) or to a test method. It allows multiple usages on the same member.

[SkipOnTargetFramework(TargetFrameworkMonikers frameworks, string reason)]

Use this attribute over test methods to skip tests only on the specific target frameworks. The reason parameter doesn't affect the traits but we rather always use it so that when we see this attribute we know why it is being skipped on that framework.

If it needs to be skipped in multiple frameworks and the reasons are different please use two attributes on the same test so that you can specify different reasons for each framework.

Currently this are the Framework Monikers that we support through our test execution infrastructure

ConditionalFactAttribute

Use this attribute to run the test only when a condition is true. This attribute is used when ActiveIssueAttribute or SkipOnTargetFrameworkAttribute are not flexible enough due to needing to run a custom logic at test time. This test behaves as a [Fact] test that has no test data passed in as a parameter.

[ConditionalFact(params string[] conditionMemberNames)]

The conditional method needs to be a static method or property on this or any ancestor type, of any visibility, accepting zero arguments, and having a return type of Boolean.

Example:

public class TestClass
{
    public static bool ConditionProperty => true;

    [ConditionalFact(nameof(ConditionProperty))]
    public static void TestMethod()
    {
        Assert.True(true);
    }
}

ConditionalTheoryAttribute

Use this attribute to run the test only when a condition is true. This attribute is used when ActiveIssueAttribute or SkipOnTargetFrameworkAttribute are not flexible enough due to needing to run a custom logic at test time. This test behaves as a [Theory] test that has no test data passed in as a parameter.

[ConditionalTheory(params string[] conditionMemberNames)]

This attribute must have [MemberData(string member)] or a [ClassData(Type class)] attribute, which represents an IEnumerable<object> containing the data that will be passed as a parameter to the test. Another option is to add multiple or one [InlineData(object params[] parameters)] attribute.

The conditional method needs to be a static method or property on this or any ancestor type, of any visibility, accepting zero arguments, and having a return type of Boolean.

Example:

public class TestClass
{
    public static bool ConditionProperty => true;

    public static IEnumerable<object[]> Subtract_TestData()
    {
        yield return new object[] { new IntPtr(42), 6, (long)36 };
        yield return new object[] { new IntPtr(40), 0, (long)40 };
        yield return new object[] { new IntPtr(38), -2, (long)40 };
    }

    [ConditionalTheory(nameof(ConditionProperty))]
    [MemberData(nameof(Equals_TestData))]
    public static void Subtract(IntPtr ptr, int offset, long expected)
    {
        IntPtr p1 = IntPtr.Subtract(ptr, offset);
        VerifyPointer(p1, expected);

        IntPtr p2 = ptr - offset;
        VerifyPointer(p2, expected);

        IntPtr p3 = ptr;
        p3 -= offset;
        VerifyPointer(p3, expected);
    }
}

Note that all of the attributes above must include an issue number/link and/or have a comment next to them briefly justifying the reason. ActiveIssueAttribute and SkipOnTargetFrameworkAttribute should use their constructor parameters to do this

A few common examples with the above attributes:

  • Run all tests acceptable on Windows that are not failing:
msbuild <csproj_file> /t:BuildAndTest /p:OSGroup=Windows_NT
  • Run all outer loop tests acceptable on OS X that are currently associated with active issues:
<repo-root>/Tools/msbuild.sh <csproj_file> /t:BuildAndTest /p:OSGroup=OSX /p:WithCategories="OuterLoop;failing""

Alternatively, you can directly invoke the XUnit executable by changing your working directory to the test execution directory at bin\tests\{OSPlatformConfig)\{Project}.Tests\{TargetGroup}.{TestTFM}\ which is created when the test project is built. For example, the following command runs all Linux-supported inner-loop tests:

./corerun xunit.console.netcore.exe <test_dll_file> -notrait category=nonlinuxtests -notrait category=OuterLoop

Code Coverage

Code coverage is built into the corefx build system. It utilizes OpenCover for generating coverage data and ReportGenerator for generating reports about that data. To run:

:: Run full coverage
build-tests -Coverage

:: To run a single project with code coverage enabled pass the /p:Coverage=true property
cd src\System.Collections.Immutable\tests
msbuild /t:BuildAndTest /p:Coverage=true

If coverage succeeds, the code coverage report will be generated automatically and placed in the bin\tests\coverage directory. You can view the full report by opening index.htm

Code coverage reports from the continuous integration system are available from the links on the front page of the corefx repo.

Building tests with .NET Native (Windows only)

.NET Native is a technology that allows compiling IL applications down into a native executable and minimal set of native DLLs, containing all needed functionality from the .NET Framework in native format. For CoreFX tests, .NET Native support in CoreFX is relatively early, but supported.

:: To run a single project with the .NET Native toolchain, set the appropriate build flags:
cd src\Microsoft.CSharp\tests
::TODO: The exact properties needed for .NET Native tests runs after engineering work is TBD
msbuild /t:BuildAndTest /p:TargetGroup=uap /p:UseDotNetNativeToolchain=true

If native compilation succeeds, the test will build and run as a native executable named "xunit.console.netcore.exe" in a folder named "native" in the test execution folder. Note many tests in CoreFX are not ready to run though native compilation yet.

A slight variation on these arguments will allow you to build and run against uap, the managed version of the UWP Framework subset, used when debugging UWP applications in Visual Studio:

:: To run a single project with the .NET Native toolchain, set the appropriate build flags:
cd src\Microsoft.CSharp\tests
msbuild /t:BuildAndTest /p:TargetGroup=uap

In this case, your test will get executed within the context of a wrapper UWP application, targeting the Managed uap as opposed to the .NET Native version.

The CoreFX build and test suite is a work in progress, as are the building and testing instructions. The .NET Core team and the community are improving Linux and OS X support on a daily basis and are adding more tests for all platforms. See CoreFX Issues to find out about specific work items or report issues.

Testing with private CoreCLR bits

Generally the CoreFx build system gets the CoreCLR from a nuget package which gets pulled down and correctly copied to the various output directories by building '\external\runtime\runtime.depproj' which gets built as part of build.cmd/sh. For folks that want to do builds and test runs in corefx with a local private build of coreclr you can follow these steps:

  1. Build CoreCLR and note your output directory. Ex: \coreclr\bin\Product\Windows_NT.x64.Release\ Note this will vary based on your OS/Architecture/Flavor and it is generally a good idea to use Release builds for CoreCLR when running CoreFx tests and the OS and Architecture should match what you are building in CoreFx.
  2. Build CoreFx either passing in the CoreCLROverridePath property or setting it as an environment variable:
build.cmd -- /p:CoreCLROverridePath=d:\git\coreclr\bin\Product\Windows_NT.x64.Release\

When we copy the files to override the CoreCLR we do a hard-link copy, so in general if you rebuild CoreCLR the new binaries should be reflected in CoreFx for subsequent builds of individual projects in corefx. However if you want to force refresh or if you want to just update the CoreCLR after you already ran build.cmd from CoreFx you can run the following command:

msbuild /p:CoreCLROverridePath=d:\git\coreclr\bin\Product\Windows_NT.x64.Release\ ./external/runtime/runtime.depproj

By convention the project will look for PDBs in a directory under $(CoreCLROverridePath)/PDB and if found will also copy them. If not found no PDBs will be copied. If you want to explicitly set the PDB path then you can pass CoreCLRPDBOverridePath property to that PDB directory.

Once you have updated your CoreCLR you can run tests however you usually do (via build-tests.cmd, individual test project, in VS, etc) and it should be using your copy of CoreCLR.

If you prefer, you can use a Debug build of System.Private.CoreLib, but if you do you must also use a Debug build of the native portions of the runtime, e.g. coreclr.dll. Tests with a Debug runtime will execute much more slowly than with Release runtime bits.

To collect code coverage that includes types in System.Private.CoreLib.dll, you'll need to follow the above steps, then

msbuild /t:rebuildandtest /p:Coverage=true /p:CodeCoverageAssemblies="System.Private.CoreLib"

In order to facilitate coverage tools that perform IL rewrite a dedicated shared framework directory is created by default for coverage runs. This shared runtime is copied from the default shared test runtime (the one with version 9.9.9, e.g.: \corefx\bin\testhost\netcoreapp-Windows_NT-Debug-x64\shared\Microsoft.NETCore.App\9.9.9). This behavior can be overriden by adding /p:UseCoverageDedicatedRuntime=false to the build command used to capture code coverage, which will cause the coverage run to use the same shared runtime as a test run using the native image of System.Private.CoreLib.dll, causing loss of source coverage information for it.