Tmain: a facility for testing main part

Maintainer:Masatake YAMATO <>

Tmain is introduced to test the area where Units does not cover well.

Units works fine for testing parsers. However, it assumes something input is given to ctags command, and a tags file is generated from ctags command.

Other aspects cannot be tested. Such areas are files and directories layout after installation, standard error output, exit status, etc.

You can run test cases with following command line:

$ make tmain

Tmain is still under development so I will not write the details here.

To write a test case, see files under Tmain/tmain-example.d. In the example, Tmain does:

  1. runs new subshell and change the working directory to Tmain/tmain-example.d,
  2. runs with bash,
  3. captures stdout, stderr and exit status, and
  4. compares them with stdout-expected.txt, stderr-expected.txt, and exit-expected.txt.
  5. compares it with tags-expected.txt if generates tags file. is run with following 3 arguments:

  1. the path for the target ctags
  2. the path for builddir directory
  3. the path for the target readtags

The path for readtags is not reliable; readtags command is not available if --disable-readcmd was given in configure time. A case, testing the behavior of readtags, must verify the command existence with test -x $3 before going into the main part of the test.

When comparing tags file with tags-expected.txt, you must specify the path of tags explicitly with -o option in ctags command line like:

${CTAGS} ... -o $BUILDDIR/tags ...

This makes it possible to keep the original source directory clean.

See also tmain_run and tmain_compare functions in misc/units.

If exits with code 77, the test case is skipped. The output to stdout is captured and printed as the reason of skipping.


  • Run under valgrind