Test Configurations

How to configure tests

All the top-level test configurations are contained in a YAML file: test-configs.yaml. This defines everything that can be run on test platforms. The primary use-case is to generate and submit test job definitions as done by kci_test.

There are several sections in this file:

  • file systems are user-space archives with more or less test utilities installed
  • device types are test platforms
  • test plans are test cases to be run as a group
  • test configurations are combinations of all of the above

The test configurations are the main entries as they define which tests actually have to be run. They refer to entries in other sections of the file in order to provide some full combinations, for example to define that an igt-kms-exynos test plan using a buster-igt file system should be run on an odroid-xu3 device.

In addition to those sections, there are some filters (passlist, blocklist) to fine tune which tests should be run. For example, some platforms are not supported in older stable kernel branches so they’ll typically have a blocklist to only run tests with newer kernels.

How to add a device type

Each device type has an entry in the device_types dictionary. Here’s an example:


    name: 'beagle-xm'
    mach: omap2
    class: arm-dtb
    boot_method: uboot
    dtb: 'omap3-beagle-xm.dtb'
      - blocklist: *allmodconfig_filter
      - blocklist: {kernel: ['v3.14']}

The attributes are:

  • name needs to match what test labs use to identify the platform.
  • mach is to define a family of SoCs, originally from the arch/arm/mach-* board file names.
  • class is used here to define a particular class of devices such as arm-dtb or arm64-dtb.
  • arch is to define the CPU architecture following the Linux kernel names (arm64, riscv, x86_64…). It is not required with the arm-dtb class as it is already specific to the arm architecture.
  • boot_method is to define how to boot the device (uboot, grub…).
  • dtb is an optional attribute to specify the name of the device tree. By default, device types of the arm-dtb and arm64-dtb class will use name if there is no explicit dtb attribute.
  • filters is an arbitrary list of filters to only run tests with certain configuration combinations. See the filters section for more details.
  • flags is an arbitrary list of strings with properties of the device type, to also filter out some job configurations. See the Flags section below for more details.

Note: In this example, the class is architecture-specific so it also defines the arch value which is why it does not appear here.

Filter options

Test configuration filters may use any of the following options:

  • arch is the CPU architecture name
  • defconfig is the full defconfig name
  • kernel is the full kernel version name
  • build_environment is basically the compiler name
  • tree is the name of the kernel git tree (e.g. mainline, next…)
  • branch is the name of the kernel git branch
  • lab is the lab name

Default filters

In order to avoid duplicating or referencing the same filters repeatedly, there are some default filters which apply to all test configurations. Any filter explicitly defined will take precedence over the default ones.

  • test_plan_default_filters

This filter definition acts as the default for all test plans. It’s essentially there to only test the relevant defconfig for each arch (i.e. multi_v7_defconfig on arm, defconfig on arm64 etc…).

  • device_default_filters

Similarly, this defines the default filters for all the devices. Typically it disables things that can’t be run on most devices, such as the allmodconfig kernel builds as they are too large to boot from a ramdisk with all the modules. With some architectures, they are known to not really boot anyway.


Device types can also have a list of flags, for example:


    name: 'meson-gxbb-p200'
    mach: amlogic
    class: arm64-dtb
    boot_method: uboot
    flags: ['lpae', 'big_endian']
      - blocklist: {defconfig: ['allnoconfig', 'allmodconfig']}

This can then be used to filter out some jobs, for example kci_test will pass the big_endian flag when the kernel build was for big-endian.

Flags currently in use are:

  • big_endian to tell whether the device can boot big-endian kernels
  • lpae to tell whether the device can boot kernels built with LPAE enabled (Large Physical Address Extension for ARMv7)
  • fastboot to tell whether the device can boot with fastboot (stored in jobs meta-data but not actively used)

How to configure a test plan

Each test plan has a set of template files, and an entry in the test_plans dictionary. Typically, tests are for LAVA and the templates are stored in the config/lava. Test plans rely on rootfs definitions, so here’s a simplified example:


    type: debian
    ramdisk: 'buster/20210730.6/{arch}/rootfs.cpio.gz'


    rootfs: debian_buster_ramdisk
      sleep_params: mem freeze

It’s required to specify a rootfs attribute which points to an entry in the file_systems dictionary. The root file system should contain all the tools and test suites required to run the test plan.

When generating test job definitions, the path to the test template file is created using this default pattern:


The plan and rootfs values are coming from the test plan definition. The other values are coming from the test platform (determined later at runtime) and file system type definitions: method is the boot method, protocol is how to download the kernel etc.

So when adding a test plan, typically there will be one template with only the test steps and other templates inheriting it to add configuration specific steps. For example, still with the sleep test plan:


There are 3 templates to run this test plan on devices that can boot either with U-Boot, Barebox or Depthcharge. They all include the test steps defined in sleep.jinja2.

How to add a test configuration

Defining device types, file systems and test plans is necessary but not sufficient to run tests. There also need to be an entry in test_configs to bind together a device with a list of test plans. For example, this device type is configured to run several test plans:


  - device_type: bcm2836-rpi-2-b
      - baseline
      - ltp-crypto
      - sleep
      - usb

It’s possible to have several entries with the same device_type to define special filters. For example, if some tests need to only be run on that device in a specific lab, or with a specific defconfig or tree etc. Here’s an example to run all tests on any kernel except igt which should only be on kernels more recent than v4.14 (i.e. v4.19 LTS onwards):


  - device_type: rk3399-gru-kevin
      - baseline
      - baseline-nfs
      - cros-ec
      - ltp-fcntl-locktests
      - ltp-pty
      - ltp-timers
      - sleep
      - v4l2-compliance-uvc

  - device_type: rk3399-gru-kevin
      - igt-gpu-panfrost
      - igt-kms-rockchip
      - blocklist: {kernel: ['v3.', 'v4.4', 'v4.9', 'v4.14']}

How to add a file system configuration

File systems contain all the user-space files. They are required to include the necessary dependencies in order to run the test suites associated with them.

Each file system has a type to define the base URL and architecture names. For example, here’s the buildroot type:


    url: 'http://storage.kernelci.org/images/rootfs/buildroot/kci-2020.05-6-g8983f3b738df'
      arm64be: [{arch: arm64, endian: big}]
      armeb:   [{arch: arm,   endian: big}]
      armel:   [{arch: arm}]
      x86:     [{arch: i386}, {arch: x86_64}]
      mipsel:  [{arch: mips}]
  • url is the base URL where the file systems can be downloaded.
  • arch_map is a dictionary to translate kernel CPU architecture names into file system specific names.

Then file systems can be defined for each type, with some additional information to work out the full URL of each variant. For example:


    type: buildroot
    ramdisk: '{arch}/base/rootfs.cpio.gz'

    type: debian
    ramdisk: 'buster/20210730.6/{arch}/initrd.cpio.gz'
    nfs: 'buster/20210730.6/{arch}/full.rootfs.tar.xz'
    root_type: nfs

These file systems use different types: buildroot and debian, so they have different base URLs and different arch_map attributes as each distro has its own architecture naming convention. The file system configs each provide a different URL for their different variants (ramdisk and NFS in this case). The URL names such as ramdisk or nfs are arbitrary and used by kci_test to render templates into test job definitions. The {arch} template value will be replaced by one of the entries in the arch_map for the file system type or the regular kernel one.

Last modified August 3, 2021