Chapter 26. Regression tests

Table of Contents

26.1. Running the regression tests
26.2. Adding a new regression test
26.2.1. Overridable functions
26.2.2. Helper functions

The pkgsrc infrastructure consists of a large codebase, and there are many corners where every little bit of a file is well thought out, making pkgsrc likely to fail as soon as anything is changed near those parts. To prevent most changes from breaking anything, a suite of regression tests should go along with every important part of the pkgsrc infrastructure. This chapter describes how regression tests work in pkgsrc and how you can add new tests.

26.1. Running the regression tests

You first need to install the pkgtools/pkg_regress package, which provides the pkg_regress command. Then you can simply run that command, which will run all tests in the regress/ directory.

26.2. Adding a new regression test

Every directory in the regress/ directory that contains a file called spec is considered a regression test. This file is a shell program that is included by the pkg_regress command. The following functions can be overridden to suit your needs.

26.2.1. Overridable functions

These functions do not take any parameters. Although they are called in set -e mode, they don't stop at the first failing command. See this Stack Overflow question for details.


This function prepares the environment for the test. By default it does nothing.


This function runs the actual test. By default, it calls TEST_MAKE with the arguments MAKEARGS_TEST and writes its output including error messages into the file TEST_OUTFILE.

When defining this function, make sure that all output that needs to be checked is written to the correct output file. Example:

do_test() {
        echo "Example output"
} 1>$TEST_OUTFILE 2>&1

This function is run after the test and is typically used to compare the actual output from the one that is expected. It can make use of the various helper functions from the next section. Example:

check_result() {
        exit_status 0
        output_require "Example"
        output_require "^[[:alpha:]+[[:space:]][[:alpha:]]{6}$"
        output_prohibit "no such file or directory"
        regress_fail "expected $expected but got $actual for input $input"

This function cleans everything up after the test has been run. By default it does nothing.

26.2.2. Helper functions

regress_fail message...

This function makes the test fail with the given error message.

exit_status expected

This function compares the exitcode of the do_test function with its first parameter. If they differ, the test will fail.

output_require regex...

This function checks for each of its parameters if the output from do_test matches the extended regular expression. If it does not, the test will fail. Example:

output_require "looks fine"
output_require "^[[:alpha:]+[[:space:]][[:alpha:]]{6}$"
output_prohibit regex...

This function checks for each of its parameters if the output from do_test() does not match the extended regular expression. If any of the regular expressions matches, the test will fail.