8.2.3. How to use Unit Tests

Verify that the unit testing framework is working as expected:

waf build_unit_test
waf build_unit_test --coverage

Typical usage and more information on the unit tests can be found in Unit tests. Guidelines for the Unit Test Skeleton

In this example a driver that resides in src/app/driver/abc/abc.c and src/app/driver/abc/abc.h is added and therefore the accompanying unit tests need to be added also. The module abc.c implements the public function extern uint8_t ABC_DoThis(void) and the static function static uint8_t ABC_DoSomethingElse(uint8_t someArgument). Therefore, there are now two functions that need to be united tested.

At first the accompanying unit test file needs to be created in tests/unit/app/driver/abc/test_abc.c (notice the prefix test) based on the template in conf/tpl/test_c.c. The helper script tools/utils/generate_missing_test_files.py can be used to automatically create the file. Public/Extern Function Tests

  1. Add a function uint8_t testABC_DoThis() in the appropriate section in the test file tests/unit/app/driver/abc/test_abc.c. This function implements the tests for ABC_DoThis(). The prefix test (no trailing underscore) is required for ceedling to detect the function as a test-function.

  2. Write the test code. Static Function Tests

  1. Static functions are not seen by other translation units, therefore the static functions must be made callable from other modules by creating a wrapper. For this example the wrapper will be extern uint8_t TEST_ABC_DoSomethingElse(uint8_t someArgument) (notice the TEST_ prefix followed by the name of the static function).

  2. The declaration of the wrapper needs to be placed in the appropriate section in the header of the driver (src/app/driver/abc/abc.h).

  3. The definition of the wrapper needs to be placed in the appropriate section in the source of the driver (src/app/driver/abc/abc.c). The only thing this wrapper needs to do, is to verbatim pass all arguments to the original function (i.e., the static function) and return its result. The definition of the wrapper looks therefore like this

    1extern uint8_t testABC_DoSomethingElse(uint8_t someArgument) {
    2    return ABC_DoSomethingElse(someArgument);
  4. Add a function void testABC_DoSomethingElse(void) in the appropriate section in the test file tests/unit/app/driver/abc/test_abc.c. This function implements the tests for ABC_DoSomethingElse(). The prefix test (no trailing underscore) is required for ceedling to detect the function as a test-function. Note: The TEST_ prefix of the externalization wrapper is removed and not part of the test function name.

  5. Write test code.


void-returning functions that are externalized shall use return <FunctionCall> nevertheless, as this makes the intention of the wrapper even more clear. Result

Listing 8.45 Header of the abc-driver (src/app/driver/abc/abc.h)
1/*========== Extern Function Prototypes =====================================*/
2extern uint8_t ABC_DoThis(void);
4/*========== Externalized Static Functions Prototypes (Unit Test) ===========*/
6extern uint8_t TEST_ABC_DoSomethingElse(uint8_t someArgument);

The wrapper function TEST_ABC_DoSomethingElse needs to be put inside the UNITY_UNIT_TEST guard, so that it is not build during target builds.

Listing 8.46 Implementation of the abc-driver (src/app/driver/abc/abc.c)
 1/*========== Static Function Prototypes =====================================*/
 2static uint8_t ABC_DoSomethingElse(uint8_t someArgument);
 4/*========== Static Function Implementations ================================*/
 5static uint8_t ABC_DoSomethingElse(uint8_t someArgument) {
 6    return someArgument;
 9/*========== Extern Function Implementations ================================*/
10extern uint8_t ABC_DoThis(void) {
11    return 1u;
14/*========== Externalized Static Function Implementations (Unit Test) =======*/
16extern uint8_t TEST_ABC_DoSomethingElse(uint8_t someArgument) {
17    return ABC_DoSomethingElse(someArgument);
Listing 8.47 Implementation of the abc-driver test (tests/unit/app/driver/abc/test_abc.c)
1void testABC_DoThis(void) {
2    /* test code */
3    ABC_DoThis();
6void testABC_DoSomethingElse() {
7    /* test code */
8    TEST_ABC_DoSomethingElse(2);

8.2.4. How to exclude files from unit tests

Normally, all files should be covered by a (at least empty) unit test. If a certain file is not meant to be covered by unit tests, it has to be excluded in several locations in order to suppress checking mechanisms in the toolchain.

The configuration of ceedling is stored in a file called project.yml. In this file the files that will not receive any coverage must be added to :uncovered_ignore_list:. Otherwise, ceedling will report uncovered files.

Additionally, the main wscript contains a mechanism that checks that every file has a corresponding test file in the proper location. Untested files have to be added to excl in check_test_files(ctx).

8.2.5. Using ceedling directly


Ceedling (the unit test runner that is used by this project) is wrapped by the Waf toolchain. The toolchain makes sure that the path handed to ceedling contains the necessary applications and files, so without the wrapper extensive knowledge of the project structure is helpful.

That being said, it is normally not necessary to directly execute ceedling as the wrapper handles this.

The wscript of this project executes always the complete unit test-suite. This can take some time. When developing or debugging a unit test, it might be beneficial to have finer control over which test is executed.

For this and especially for debugging the unit test integration it is possible to directly access ceedling. It is therefore necessary for the shell from which ceedling is run that all dependencies are available. Especially, it is necessary that it is possible to find ceedling from the current PATH of the shell in which this is attempted. This will not be covered in this manual.

Once such a shell is available it also has to be made sure that all files that are generated or adapted on-the-fly are available in the build-directory. This can be ensured by executing the Waf task build_unit_test just until ceedling is run by it. After this step (it does not matter whether the task completes or is imported after it has generated the dependencies) the following example can be executed.

# go to the build directory of ceedling, assuming the current directory is
# the project root (IMPORTANT, otherwise it will not work correctly)
cd build/unit_test/

# interact directly with ceedling (refer to ceedling manual for details)
# this line executes test_plausibility.c with coverage
ceedling gcov:test_plausibility.c

# should the current shell not be able to directly follow the ceedling.cmd
# file, it might be necessary to access the vendored ceedling directly:
ruby ../../tools/vendor/ceedling/bin/ceedling gcov:test_plausibility.c

8.2.6. Linux specific Usage

The unit test suite is developed on Windows and there works out of the box on all setup that install the dependencies as they are specified in Software Installation. However, it is still possible to get the unit test suite working on Linux. Internally it is tested with the following setup:

  • cat /etc/redhat-release: Red Hat Enterprise Linux release 8.8 (Ootpa)

  • uname -mrs: Linux 4.18.0-425.19.2.el8_7.x86_64 x86_64

  • gcc --version: gcc (GCC) 8.5.0 20210514 (Red Hat 8.5.0-18)

  • ruby --version: ruby 3.1.2p20 (2022-04-12 revision 4491bb740a) [x86_64-linux]

Running ./waf.sh build_unit_test works the same as on Windows. There is also a wrapper to use ceedling directly, that is generated at build/unit_test/ceedling.sh. It can be used from the root of the repository as follows:

./build/unit_test/ceedling.sh test:test_adc