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16.1 Simple Tests

If the variable TESTS is defined, its value is taken to be a list of programs to run in order to do the testing. The programs can either be derived objects or source objects; the generated rule will look both in srcdir and `.'. Programs needing data files should look for them in srcdir (which is both an environment variable and a make variable) so they work when building in a separate directory (see section `Build Directories' in The Autoconf Manual), and in particular for the distcheck target (see section 15. What Goes in a Distribution).

The number of failures will be printed at the end of the run. If a given test program exits with a status of 77, then its result is ignored in the final count. This feature allows non-portable tests to be ignored in environments where they don't make sense.

The variable TESTS_ENVIRONMENT can be used to set environment variables for the test run; the environment variable srcdir is set in the rule. If all your test programs are scripts, you can also set TESTS_ENVIRONMENT to an invocation of the shell (e.g. `$(SHELL) -x'); this can be useful for debugging the tests.

You may define the variable XFAIL_TESTS to a list of tests (usually a subset of TESTS) that are expected to fail. This will reverse the result of those tests.

Automake ensures that each program listed in TESTS is built before any tests are run; you can list both source and derived programs in TESTS. For instance, you might want to run a C program as a test. To do this you would list its name in TESTS and also in check_PROGRAMS, and then specify it as you would any other program.


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