Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.
resources Jython test fixes Dec 31, 2016
README.rst A bit more atest doc tuning Jan 5, 2017
genrunner.py Removed regression tag. #2091 Sep 16, 2015
interpreter.py Acceptance test execution enhancements. Jan 5, 2017
run.py Acceptance test execution enhancements. Jan 5, 2017


Robot Framework acceptance tests

Acceptance tests for Robot Framework are naturally created using Robot Framework itself. This folder contains all those acceptance tests and other test data they need.

Directory contents

A script for running acceptance tests. See Running acceptance tests for further instructions.

Script to generate acceptance test runners based on test data files.

Usage: atest/genrunner.py atest/testdata/path/data.robot [atest/robot/path/runner.robot]

Contains actual acceptance test cases. See Test data section for details.
Resources needed by acceptance tests in the robot folder.
Contains test cases that are run by actual acceptance tests in the robot folder. See Test data section for details.
Contains resources needed by test cases in the testdata folder. Some of these resources are also used by unit tests.
The place for test execution results. This directory is generated when acceptance tests are executed. It is in .gitignore and can be safely deleted any time.

Running acceptance tests

Robot Framework's acceptance tests are executed using the run.py script. It has two mandatory arguments, the Python interpreter to use when running tests and path to tests to be executed, and it accepts also all same options as Robot Framework. The script itself should always be executed with Python. Run it with --help or see documentation in its source code for more information.

To run all the acceptance tests, execute the atest/robot folder entirely using the selected interpreter:

atest/run.py python atest/robot
atest/run.py jython atest/robot

The commands above will execute all tests, but you typically want to skip Telnet tests and tests requiring manual interaction. These tests are marked with the no-ci tag and can be easily excluded:

atest/run.py python --exclude no-ci atest/robot

A sub test suite can be executed simply by running the folder or file containing it. On modern machines running all acceptance tests ought to take less than ten minutes with Python, but with Jython the execution time is considerably longer. This is due to Jython being somewhat slower than Python in general, but the main reason is that the JVM is started by acceptance dozens of times and that always takes few seconds.

Before a release tests should be executed separately using Python, Jython, IronPython and PyPy to verify interoperability with all supported interpreters. Tests should also be run using different interpreter versions (when applicable) and on different operating systems.

The results of the test execution are written into an interpreter specific directory under the atest/results directory. Temporary outputs created during the execution are created under the system temporary directory.

Test data

The test data is divided to two, test data part (atest/testdata folder) and running part (atest/robot folder). Test data side contains test cases for different features. Running side contains the actual acceptance test cases that run the test cases on the test data side and verify their results.

The basic mechanism to verify that a test case in the test data side is executed as expected is setting the expected status and possible error message in its documentation. By default tests are expected to pass, but having FAIL (this and subsequent markers are case sensitive) in the documentation changes the expectation. The text after the FAIL marker is the expected error message, which, by default, must match the actual error exactly. If the error message starts with REGEXP:, GLOB: or STARTS:, the expected error is considered to be a regexp or glob pattern matching the actual error, or to contain the beginning of the error. All other details can be tested also, but that logic is in the running side.

Test tags

The tests on the running side (atest/robot) contains tags that are used to include or exclude them based on the platform and required dependencies. Selecting tests based on the platform is done automatically by the run.py script, but additional selection can be done by the user to avoid running tests with `precondtions`_ that are not met.

Require manual interaction from user. Used with Dialogs library tests.
Require a telnet server with test account running at localhost. See Telnet tests for details.
Tests which are not executed at continuous integration. Contains all tests tagged with manual or telnet.
require-yaml, require-docutils, require-pygments, require-lxml, require-screenshot, require-tools.jar
Require specified Python module or some other external tool to be installed. See Preconditions for details and exclude like --exclude require-lxml if needed.
require-windows, require-jython, ...
Tests that require certain operating system or Python interpreter. Excluded automatically outside these platforms.
no-windows, no-osx, no-jython, no-ipy, ...
Tests to be excluded on certain operating systems or Python interpreters. Excluded automatically on these platforms.


# Exclude tests requiring manual interaction or running telnet server.
atest/run.py python --exclude no-ci atest/robot

# Same as the above but also exclude tests requiring docutils and lxml
atest/run.py python -e no-ci -e require-docutils -e require-lxml atest/robot

# Run only tests related to Java integration. This is considerably faster
# than running all tests on Jython.
atest/run.py jython --include require-jython atest/robot


Certain Robot Framework features require optional external modules or tools to be installed, and naturally tests related to these features require same modules/tools as well. This section lists what preconditions are needed to run all tests successfully. See Test tags for instructions how to avoid running certain tests if all preconditions are not met.

Required Python modules

These Python modules need to be installed:

  • docutils is needed with tests related to parsing test data in reStructuredText format and with Libdoc tests for documentation in reST format.
  • Pygments is needed by Libdoc tests for syntax highlighting.
  • PyYAML is required with tests related to YAML variable files.
  • lxml is needed with XML library tests. Not compatible with Jython or IronPython.

It is possible to install the above modules using pip either individually or by using the provided requirements.txt file:

# Install individually
pip install 'docutils>=0.9'
pip install pygments
pip install pyyaml
pip install lxml

# Install using requirements.txt
pip install -r atest/requirements.txt

Notice that the lxml module may require compilation on Linux, which in turn may require installing development headers of lxml dependencies. Alternatively lxml can be installed using a system package manager like sudo apt-get install python-lxml.

Because lxml is not compatible with Jython or IronPython, tests requiring it are excluded automatically when using these interpreters.

Screenshot module or tool

Screenshot library tests require a platform dependent module or tool that can take screenshots. See Screenshot library documentation for details.


Libdoc requires tools.jar, which is part of the standard JDK installation, to be in CLASSPATH when reading library documentation from Java source files. In addition to setting CLASSPATH explicitly, it is possible to put tools.jar into the ext-lib directory in the project root and CLASSPATH is set automatically.

Telnet tests

Running telnet tests requires some extra setup. Instructions how to run them can be found from testdata/standard_libraries/telnet/README.rst. If you don't want to run an unprotected telnet server on your machine, you can always skip these tests by excluding tests with a tag telnet or no-ci.

License and copyright

All content in the atest folder is under the following copyright:

Copyright 2008-2015 Nokia Networks
Copyright 2016-     Robot Framework Foundation

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.