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os-autoinst os autoinst badge

The OS-autoinst project aims at providing a means to run fully automated tests. Especially to run tests of basic and low-level operating system components such as bootloader, kernel, installer and upgrade, which can not easily and safely be tested with other automated testing frameworks. However, it can just as well be used to test firefox and openoffice operation on top of a newly installed OS.

os-autoinst can be executed alone, but is currently designed to be executed together with openQA, the web user interface that allows to run more than one os-autoinst instance at the same time.

More information on os-autoinst and openQA can be found on

Getting started

Under openSUSE the os-autoinst package can be installed from the official repository or from our devel repository. For further details, have a look at the openQA documentation.

For building os-autoinst manually checkout the build instructions below.

To execute an instance of os-autoinst one needs to create a file named vars.json. It stores the values of the different variables that will configure the behavior of the test execution.

There are some variables used by os-autoinst itself and other that are used by the tests. A minimal vars.json file can be:

   "DISTRI" :      "opensuse",
   "CASEDIR" :     "/full/path/for/tests",
   "NAME" :        "test-name",
   "ISO" :         "/full/path/for/iso",
   "VNC" :         "91",
   "BACKEND" :     "qemu",
   "DESKTOP" :     "kde"

Be advised that the file vars.json is also modified by os-autoinst so make sure to backup handcrafted versions of this file.

For more concrete instructions head down to the "How to run test cases" section below.

How to contribute

If you want to contribute to this project, please clone and send pull requests via

More information on the contribution can be found on, too.

For an overview of the architecture, see doc/

Rules for commits

  • Every commit is checked by Travis CI as soon as you create a pull request but you should run the os-autoinst tests locally. Checkout the build instructions for further details.

  • For git commit messages use the rules stated on How to Write a Git Commit Message as a reference

  • Every pull request is reviewed in a peer review to give feedback on possible implications and how we can help each other to improve

If this is too much hassle for you feel free to provide incomplete pull requests for consideration or create an issue with a code change proposal.

Build instructions

Installing dependencies

On openSUSE one can install the package os-autoinst-devel which pulls all dependencies required to build with CMake.

The required dependencies are also declared in dependencies.yaml. (The names listed within that file are specific to openSUSE but can be easily transferred to other distributions.)


Create a build directory outside of the source directory. The following commands need to be invoked within that directory.

Configure build:

cmake $path_to_os_autoinst_checkout

You can specify any of the standard CMake variables, e.g. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug and -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/custom/install/prefix.

The following examples assume that GNU Make is used. It is possible to generate for a different build tool by adding e.g. -G Ninja to the CMake arguments.

Build executables and libraries:

make symlinks

This target also creates symlinks of the built executables and libraries within the source directory so isotovideo can find them.

Run all tests:

make test

By default CTest is invoked in verbose mode because prove already provides condensed output. Add -DVERBOSE_CTEST=OFF to the CMake arguments to avoid that.

Run all Perl tests (*.t files found within the t directory):

make test-perl-testsuite

Run individual tests by specifying them explicitly:

make test-perl-testsuite TESTS="15-logging.t 28-signalblocker.t"

Add additional arguments to the prove invocation, e.g. enable verbose output:

make test-perl-testsuite PROVE_ARGS=-v

Gather coverage data while running tests:

make test-perl-testsuite WITH_COVER_OPTIONS=1

Generate a coverage report from the gathered coverage data:

make coverage

If no coverage data has been gathered so far the coverage target will invoke the testsuite automatically.

Reset gathered coverage data:

make coverage-reset

Install files for packaging:

make install DESTDIR=…

Further notes:

  • When using the test-perl-testsuite target, ctest is not used (and therefore ctest specific tweaks have no effect).

  • One can always run Perl tests manually via prove after the build has been conducted with make symlinks. Note that some tests need to be invoked within the t directory. An invocation like prove -vI.. 28-signalblocker.t is supposed to work.

  • It is also possible to run ctest within the build directory directly instead of using the mentioned targets.

  • All mentioned variables to influence the test execution (TESTS, WITH_COVER_OPTIONS, …) can be combined and can also be used with the coverage target.

GNU Autotools

The following commands need to be invoked within the top-level of the repository checkout.

Configure build:


Build executables and libraries:


Run all tests:

make check

Run individual tests by specifying them explicitly:

make check TESTS=23-baseclass.t

How to run test cases

This following instructions shows how to run test cases. First one needs to clone the test distribution. Checkout os-autoinst-distri-example for an example of a minimal test distribution.

Example for openSUSE’s tests:

mkdir distri && cd distri
git clone opensuse
cd opensuse/products/opensuse
git clone needles

Example for openQA’s self-tests ("openQA-in-openQA" test):

mkdir distri && cd distri
git openqa
cd openqa
git needles

Then create a working directory for the test execution, e.g.:

mkdir /tmp/os-autoinst-run && cd /tmp/os-autoinst-run

Create a minimal vars.json config file within that directory, e.g.:

   "ARCH" : "x86_64",
   "BACKEND" : "qemu",
   "CASEDIR" : "/path/to/os-autoinst-distri-opensuse",
   "DESKTOP" : "gnome",
   "DISTRI" : "opensuse",
   "ISO" : "/path/to/openSUSE-Tumbleweed-DVD-x86_64-Snapshot20160715-Media.iso",
   "PRODUCTDIR" : "/path/to/os-autoinst-distri-opensuse/products/opensuse",
   "VNC" : 90,

You will need to correct the file paths to point to real locations. Some of the variables you can use are listed here. Test case specific variables are listed in the distri directories e.g. os-autoinst-distri-opensuse/variables.

Then you can run the isotovideo script within the created working directory. When doing a manual build, that script can be found at the top-level of the os-autoinst Git checkout.

When using the QEMU backend it is possible to access the system under test via VNC:

vncviewer localhost:91 -ViewOnly -Shared

Run isotovideo with the environment variable RUN_VNCVIEWER set to autostart a VNC viewer on the right port.

Run isotovideo with the environment variable RUN_DEBUGVIEWER to start the internal debug screenshot viewer updated with an always recent screenshot of the test run.

Further notes

When using the QEMU backend, also ensure your user running os-autoinst has access to /dev/kvm.

modprobe kvm-intel || modprobe kvm-amd
chgrp kvm /dev/kvm ; chmod g+rw /dev/kvm # maybe redundant
# optionally use a new user; just to keep things separate
useradd -m USERNAME -G kvm
passwd USERNAME # and/or add ~USERNAME/.ssh/authorized_keys
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