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NAME - tester Overview

tester - Test framework to do the tedious work of testing.


tester [ -all ]> [ -bench ] [ -class list ] [ -delete ]> [ -execute ] [ -flow ] [ -generate ] [ -help ] [ -html ]> [ -interactive ] [ -keep ] [ -lines ] [ -man ] [ -nocleanup ]> [ -other [@]file ]> [ -process cmd ] [ -restart ] [ -shell shell ]> [ -tag id ] [ -unclass list ] [ -without ] [ -x ] [ file ...l>

For ease of access the tester manual has been split into a number of sections:

  • files Tester file definitions
  • hints Tester usage hints
  • language Tester language definition
  • options Tester option descriptions
  • sample Sample test specification
  • workflow Tester work flow (running tests)


This script is written for Unix environments.


This tester is a test framework for testing all kinds of programs. Program: Perl Shell Function: tester - test driver to execute tests Usage: tester <options> [filename] ... Sample: tester -delete t.remark Sample: tester -gen -class regres+normal t.ds* t.make Help: tester -help


  • -all All, include blank lines in test
  • -bench Print out a benchmark timing
  • -class Give class of tests to include
  • -delete Delete summary of results (TESTSPEC.result)
  • -execute or -x; Execute shell and/or process
  • -flow Show flow of test
  • -generate Generate result files (SE,SO,SESO,...)
  • -help Complete help screen
  • -html Create html pages for tester
  • -interactive Ask before executing a test
  • -keep Keep all test files (not just failed output)
  • -lines Show lines of test to standard error
  • -man Create a man page for tester
  • -nocleanup No clean up; don't execute after or afterall
  • -other Other names to override local names
  • -other @ Other names for additional names
  • -process Process to read run command input
  • -queuejobs Queue commands and execute shell or process
  • -restart Restart for each test
  • -shell Shell (sh,csh,ksh,tcsh with options)
  • -tag Id to uniquely identify this run of tests
  • -unclass Give class of tests to exclude
  • -verbose Be verbose about it
  • -without Do simple test ordering without the database
  • -x or -execute; Execute shell and/or process
  • -zipnames Zip names or names on non-word boundaries

Any number of files may be specified including wild carding




t.<filename> - test specification t.<filename>.result - test results t.<testname>.result - specific test results t.<testname>.FAILED - specific test failures t.<testname>.CMP - specific test failed diff output t.<testname>.<id> - specific test output from failure t.<testname>.R_<TAG> - expected output t.<testname>.S_<TAG> - saved output d.<datafile> - data files db.<filename>.pag - test ordering id, description pairs db.<filename>.dir - test ordering database hash directory

More on files
  • files more info on tester files


SEE ALSO ttags


tester is limited to 999 tests in any one test specification.

Names need separators to substitute. If you need ``front loaded'' names use the -zipnames option.

Process and shell commands that are not executable programs will only report that fact to the $FILESPEC .result file and tester will parse any requested test (no execution).


David Scott January 1994