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Standard Dicsovery, Packaging, Invocation of Integration Tests

This is incomplete
This file is incomplete.
This is a proposal
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What follows is a standard way to discover, package and invoke integration tests for a package stored in a Fedora dist-git repo.


Detailed Description

Many Fedora packages have unit tests. These tests are typically run during a %check RPM build step. These tests run in the build root in which the package is built and may involve the BuildRequire dependencies.

On the other hand, integration testing happens against a composed system. Several upstream projects have integration tests, but these integration tests have typically not been used or packaged in Fedora. Both Fedora QA and the Atomic Host team would like to create more integration tests, stored in dist-git, and use a CI system to run them on Fedora packages.

What follows is a standard way to discover, package and invoke integration tests for a package stored in a Fedora dist-git repo.

It is important that the CI system which runs the test is independent from the layout of the test themselves.


  • Implementation details of the integration testsuite or its framework should not leak into or rely on the CI system invoking the test.
  • CI system implementation details should not leak into the testsuite or its metadata.
  • It should be possible to change the CI system that runs a testsuite.
  • It should be possible for a dist-git packager to run a testsuite locally.


* Stage test suite dependencies cleanly
* Standard way to locally invoke a test suite process
* Standard location to place artifact to test
* Standard way to retrieve test results, log and attachments

What follows is a standard way to discover, package and invoke integration tests for a package stored in a Fedora dist-git repo.

The integration tests are packaged and delivered through Fedora as %{name}-tests subpackages of the package they are associated with.


Each dist-git repo that has integration tests should package those tests in a %{name}-tests subpackage. This is similar to the %{name}-debuginfo or %{name}-docs subpackages we have today.

The spec file for a dist-git repo may include upstream integration tests into its %{name}-tests subpackage. The spec file may also include tests directly from files in tests/ subdirectory of the dist-git repo itself.


To invoke the testsuite, the subpackage is installed. Each integration testsuite that is included in installs an executable in the path /usr/tests/.

To invoke the integration test suites, one would:

  1. Place the artifact being tested, usually RPM files, in /var/cache/tests/
  2. Execute all executable files in /usr/tests/ one at a time.
    1. The testsuite is invoked with a working directory of /
    2. The testsuite is invoked as root, and may drop privileges as desired
    3. Treat the stdout/stderr of each testsuite process as the testsuite result log.
    4. Examine the exit code of each testsuite process. Zero exit code is success, non-zero is failure.
  3. Gather any additional result artifacts like screenshots which test suites place in a /var/log/tests/ directory

Multiple subpackages may be installed as long as their dependencies do not conflict.


The %{name}-test subpackage should Requires: all other packages that the testsuite executable needs in order to run. This includes libraries or frameworks, or subsystems like libvirt.

Some integration tests may choose to test in-situ, on the system on which the testsuite is installed. In these cases the %{name}-tests subpackage should directly depend on the package being tested.

More rigourous integration tests test an integrated system from the outside. It is the responsibility of the %{name}-tests subpackages to provision virtual machines or containers necessary to do such testing. In almost all cases this will happen by way of a provisioning framework such as Avocado, Ansible, Module Testing Framework, linch-pin, etc.


A check file in a dist-git repo should list the various names of packages that should be installed in order to run the integration tests for that package. If this file is empty then the list of packages will default to %{name}-tests.

The format of this file has not yet been defined, but a simple text file similar to sources listing package N[VR]'s may suffice.


This change requires no changes to Fedora infrastructure itself. It is limited to changes in dist-git repos. However certain key infrastructure changes could mitigate usability or side-effects of this change.

Benefit to Fedora

Developers benefit by having a consistent target for how to describe tests, while also being able to execute them locally while debugging issues or iterating on tests.

By packaging, staging and invoking tests consistently in Fedora we create an create an eco-system for the tests that allows varied testsuite frameworks as well as CI system infrastructure to interoperate. The integration tests outlast the implementation details of either the frameworks they're written in or the CI systems running them.

User Experience

Users benefit by having tests that they can reproduce on their own systems. They can install the similar to how they consume %{name}-doc or %{name}-debuginfo subpackages today.

We may choose to avoid having such packages available in the standard repositories. We may choose to only have them in updates-testing or an arrangement similar to debuginfo. These choices will require some markup and/or change to infrastructure.

Upgrade/compatibility impact

Although there may already be subpackages that are named %{name}-tests this is merely a convention, and such packages will not affect the behavior of this proposal.


TODO: Build out this section


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