Command line tool to generate and run tests


The output of kci_build can be used with the kci_test tool to generate and submit test definitions. It will be using the meta-data JSON files produced by kci_build and will also need to communicate with the test labs where to run the tests. Currently, only LAVA is fully supported but other types of labs and runtime environments may be added (LabGrid, Kubernetes…). Test configurations can be found in test-configs.yaml with the list of test plans and which devices should run them. Likewise, the lab configurations can be found in runtime-configs.yaml and database backend configurations in db-configs.yaml

Each lab is typically expected to have a remote API available with a URL and a user authentication token. Running kci_test does not strictly require anything else than the kernel binaries with metadata and a lab to run tests, typically LAVA. If a kernelci-backend instance is available, it can be used to store test results.

The example below uses the build output from the commands shown in the kci_build documentation section to generate and submit tests in a lab:

1. Optional: save a local copy of any lab-specific data

Generating test definitions relies on some information that may specific to the particular lab where the jobs need to be submitted. For example, some labs have non-standard device type names and use aliases. Retrieving this information every time a job definition is generated can result in a significant overhead while in practice it doesn’t change very often.

To avoid repeating the same queries with the labs, the kci_test get_lab_info command can be used to store it locally in a JSON file and then reuse it with subsequent commands. This is mostly useful when running automated jobs that will determine when to get the information again (say, once for each kernel revision being built, or once every hour…). When submitting only a few jobs manually, the overhead may not be so much of a problem.

Here’s a sample command to get the data from a lab and store it in a JSON file:

./kci_test get_lab_info \
  --user=kernelci-user-name \
  --lab-config=lab-name \
  --lab-token=abcd-7890 \

It’s good practice to rely on a settings file to store secret tokens and other static options. For example, in a local kernelci.conf file:

user: kernelci-user-name
lab_token: abcd-7890
lab_json: lab-name.json

Then with this settings file, the command line becomes:

./kci_test get_lab_info --lab-config=lab-name

2. Generate test definitions

The kci_test generate command will generate test definitions for a given set of build meta-data and a given lab. It can either generate all the compatible test definitions based on the test_config entries in test-configs.yaml, or a subset of it, or a single arbitrary one specified entirely on the command line.

The --callback-id and --callback-url options are only used to get a callback from the test lab to a service able to receive it. It is not required to generate and run a job as the results may be shared by other means or manually retrieved depending on the runtime environment.

To generate the definitions for all the jobs that can be run in a lab:

./kci_test generate \
  --db-config=localhost \
  --install-path=linux/_install_/ \
  --lab-config=lab-name \
  --output=jobs \
  --storage=https://some-storage-place.com/ \
  --user=kernelci-user-name \
  --lab-token=abcd-7890 \
  --lab-json=lab-name.json \
  --callback-id=kernelci-callback \

Once again, a settings file can be used to simplify the command line:

storage: https://some-storage-place.com/
db_config: localhost
lab_config: lab-name

user: kernelci-user-name
lab-token: abcd-7890
lab-json: lab-name.json

callback-id: kernelci-callback

Now the command line becomes:

./kci_test generate --install-path=linux/_install_ --output=jobs

Extra options can be added to generate only a subset of those jobs, filtering by test plan, target or machine type respectively. For example:


It’s also possible to generate one job definition with an arbitrary combination of test plan and target, even if it is not listed in any test_config entry in the YAML configuration. Also, when --output is not specified, the job definitions are printed on stdout. Here’s an example of how to generate such a job definition:

./kci_test generate
  --install-path=linux/_install_ \
  --plan=baseline_qemu \
  --target=qemu_arm64-virt-gicv3 \
  > job.yaml

3. Submit tests

Once the test job definitions have been generated and stored in some files, they can be submitted to the test lab with the kci_test submit command. Still relying on the same settings file to simplify the command line:

./kci_test submit --lab-config=lab-name --jobs=jobs/*

What happens next depends on where the test was submitted. Typically, jobs run in LAVA send a callback when they complete and a kernelci-backend instance will receive them to import the test results into the database. But this is not a requirement, other types of runtime environment may be sending their results differently.

In a local development environment, the user may choose to receive the callback directly. For example, this can be done by running nc -l -p 12345 > callback.json and using a plain HTTP URL to the host such as --callback-url=

Last modified August 5, 2021