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SubjectRe: [PATCH v2 00/17] kunit: introduce KUnit, the Linux kernel unit testing framework
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On 5/7/19 2:01 AM, Greg KH wrote:
> On Mon, May 06, 2019 at 08:14:12PM -0700, Frank Rowand wrote:
>> On 5/1/19 4:01 PM, Brendan Higgins wrote:
>>> ## TLDR
>>>
>>> I rebased the last patchset on 5.1-rc7 in hopes that we can get this in
>>> 5.2.
>>>
>>> Shuah, I think you, Greg KH, and myself talked off thread, and we agreed
>>> we would merge through your tree when the time came? Am I remembering
>>> correctly?
>>>
>>> ## Background
>>>
>>> This patch set proposes KUnit, a lightweight unit testing and mocking
>>> framework for the Linux kernel.
>>>
>>> Unlike Autotest and kselftest, KUnit is a true unit testing framework;
>>> it does not require installing the kernel on a test machine or in a VM
>>> and does not require tests to be written in userspace running on a host
>>> kernel. Additionally, KUnit is fast: From invocation to completion KUnit
>>> can run several dozen tests in under a second. Currently, the entire
>>> KUnit test suite for KUnit runs in under a second from the initial
>>> invocation (build time excluded).
>>>
>>> KUnit is heavily inspired by JUnit, Python's unittest.mock, and
>>> Googletest/Googlemock for C++. KUnit provides facilities for defining
>>> unit test cases, grouping related test cases into test suites, providing
>>> common infrastructure for running tests, mocking, spying, and much more.
>>
>> As a result of the emails replying to this patch thread, I am now
>> starting to look at kselftest. My level of understanding is based
>> on some slide presentations, an LWN article, https://kselftest.wiki.kernel.org/
>> and a _tiny_ bit of looking at kselftest code.
>>
>> tl;dr; I don't really understand kselftest yet.
>>
>>
>> (1) why KUnit exists
>>
>>> ## What's so special about unit testing?
>>>
>>> A unit test is supposed to test a single unit of code in isolation,
>>> hence the name. There should be no dependencies outside the control of
>>> the test; this means no external dependencies, which makes tests orders
>>> of magnitudes faster. Likewise, since there are no external dependencies,
>>> there are no hoops to jump through to run the tests. Additionally, this
>>> makes unit tests deterministic: a failing unit test always indicates a
>>> problem. Finally, because unit tests necessarily have finer granularity,
>>> they are able to test all code paths easily solving the classic problem
>>> of difficulty in exercising error handling code.
>>
>> (2) KUnit is not meant to replace kselftest
>>
>>> ## Is KUnit trying to replace other testing frameworks for the kernel?
>>>
>>> No. Most existing tests for the Linux kernel are end-to-end tests, which
>>> have their place. A well tested system has lots of unit tests, a
>>> reasonable number of integration tests, and some end-to-end tests. KUnit
>>> is just trying to address the unit test space which is currently not
>>> being addressed.
>>
>> My understanding is that the intent of KUnit is to avoid booting a kernel on
>> real hardware or in a virtual machine. That seems to be a matter of semantics
>> to me because isn't invoking a UML Linux just running the Linux kernel in
>> a different form of virtualization?
>>
>> So I do not understand why KUnit is an improvement over kselftest.

They are in two different categories. Kselftest falls into black box
regression test suite which is a collection of user-space tests with a
few kernel test modules back-ending the tests in some cases.

Kselftest can be used by both kernel developers and users and provides
a good way to regression test releases in test rings.

KUnit is a white box category and is a better fit as unit test framework
for development and provides a in-kernel testing. I wouldn't view them
one replacing the other. They just provide coverage for different areas
of testing.

I wouldn't view KUnit as something that would be easily run in test
rings for example.

Brendan, does that sound about right?

>>
>> It seems to me that KUnit is just another piece of infrastructure that I
>> am going to have to be familiar with as a kernel developer. More overhead,
>> more information to stuff into my tiny little brain.
>>
>> I would guess that some developers will focus on just one of the two test
>> environments (and some will focus on both), splitting the development
>> resources instead of pooling them on a common infrastructure.

>> What am I missing?
>
> kselftest provides no in-kernel framework for testing kernel code
> specifically. That should be what kunit provides, an "easy" way to
> write in-kernel tests for things.
>
> Brendan, did I get it right?
thanks,
-- Shuah

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