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Compiling/running unit tests

Unit tests will be automatically compiled if dependencies were met in ./configure and tests weren’t explicitly disabled.

After configuring, they can be run with make check.

To run the bitcoind tests manually, launch src/test/test_bitcoin. To recompile after a test file was modified, run make and then run the test again. If you modify a non-test file, use make -C src/test to recompile only what’s needed to run the bitcoind tests.

To add more bitcoind tests, add BOOST_AUTO_TEST_CASE functions to the existing .cpp files in the test/ directory or add new .cpp files that implement new BOOST_AUTO_TEST_SUITE sections.

To run the bitcoin-qt tests manually, launch src/qt/test/test_bitcoin-qt

To add more bitcoin-qt tests, add them to the src/qt/test/ directory and the src/qt/test/test_main.cpp file.

Running individual tests

test_bitcoin has some built-in command-line arguments; for example, to run just the getarg_tests verbosely:

test_bitcoin --log_level=all --run_test=getarg_tests

… or to run just the doubledash test:

test_bitcoin --run_test=getarg_tests/doubledash

Run test_bitcoin --help for the full list.

Note on adding test cases

The sources in this directory are unit test cases. Boost includes a unit testing framework, and since bitcoin already uses boost, it makes sense to simply use this framework rather than require developers to configure some other framework (we want as few impediments to creating unit tests as possible).

The build system is setup to compile an executable called test_bitcoin that runs all of the unit tests. The main source file is called test_bitcoin.cpp. To add a new unit test file to our test suite you need to add the file to src/Makefile.test.include. The pattern is to create one test file for each class or source file for which you want to create unit tests. The file naming convention is <source_filename>_tests.cpp and such files should wrap their tests in a test suite called <source_filename>_tests. For an example of this pattern, examine uint256_tests.cpp.

For further reading, I found the following website to be helpful in explaining how the boost unit test framework works: