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
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
and such files should wrap their tests in a test suite
<source_filename>_tests. For an example of this pattern,
For further reading, I found the following website to be helpful in explaining how the boost unit test framework works: http://www.alittlemadness.com/2009/03/31/c-unit-testing-with-boosttest/.
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 --help for the full list.
The test directory also contains the bitcoin-util-test.py tool, which tests bitcoin utils (currently just bitcoin-tx). This test gets run automatically during the
make check build process. It is also possible to run the test manually from the src directory:
test/bitcoin-util-test.py --srcdir=[current directory]