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Avocado notes from KVM forum 2019

From: Philippe Mathieu-Daudé
Subject: Avocado notes from KVM forum 2019
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2019 13:35:13 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.1.1

Hi Cleber,

Here are my notes from talking about Avocado with various people during the KVM forum in Lyon last month.

All comments are QEMU oriented.

1) Working offline

Various people complained Avocado requires online access, and they would like to use it offline.

  Maintainer workflow example is:

  - run avocado
  - hack QEMU, build
  - git pull
  - build
  - hack QEMU
  (go offline)
  - hack QEMU
  - build
  - run avocado <- FAILS

Failure is because mainstream added new tests, which got pulled in, and the user only notice when running avocado again, but offline. Test example is boot_linux_console.py, which added various tests from other subsystems, so the maintainer has to disable the new tests manually to be able to run his previous tests.

Expected solution: skip tests when artifact is not available, eventually when the --offline option is used

2) Add artifacts manually to the cache

Not all artifacts can be easily downloadable, some are public but require the user to accept an End User License Agreement. Users would like to share their tests with the documentation about where/how to download the requisite files (accepting the EULA) to run the tests.

2b) Add reference to artifact to the cache

Group of users might share group of files (like NFS storage) and would like to use directly their remote read-only files, instead of copying it to their home directory.

3) Provide qemu/avocado-qemu Python packages

The mainstream project uses Avocado to test QEMU. Others projects use QEMU to test their code, and would like to automatize that using Avocado. They usually not rebuild QEMU but use a stable binary from distributions. The python classes are not available, so they have to clone QEMU to use Avocado (I guess they only need 5 python files). When running on Continuous Integration, this is overkill, because when you clone QEMU you also clone various other submodules.

4) Warn the user when Avocado is too old for the tests

Some users tried Avocado following the examples on the mailing list and the one in some commit's descriptions where we simply show "avocado run ...". They installed the distribution Avocado package and tried and it fails for few of them with no obvious reason (the .log file is hard to read when you are not custom to). IIUC their distribution provides a older Avocado (69?) while we use recent features (72).

We never noticed it because we use 'make check-venv' and do not test the distrib Avocado. While we can not test all distribs, we could add a version test if the Avocado version is too old, display a friendly message to the console (not the logfile).

That it for my notes.

Eduardo/Wainer, are there other topics I forgot?



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