.. cmake-manual-description: CTest Command-Line Reference
The “ctest” executable is the CMake test driver program. CMake-generated build trees created for projects that use the ENABLE_TESTING and ADD_TEST commands have testing support. This program will run the tests and report results.
-C <cfg>, --build-config <cfg>
Choose configuration to test.
Some CMake-generated build trees can have multiple build configurations in the same tree. This option can be used to specify which one should be tested. Example configurations are “Debug” and “Release”.
Enable verbose output from tests.
Test output is normally suppressed and only summary information is displayed. This option will show all test output.
Enable more verbose output from tests.
Test output is normally suppressed and only summary information is displayed. This option will show even more test output.
Displaying more verbose internals of CTest.
This feature will result in a large number of output that is mostly useful for debugging dashboard problems.
Output anything outputted by the test program if the test should fail.
This option can also be enabled by setting the environment variable
This option allows ctest to resume a test set execution that was previously interrupted. If no interruption occurred, the -F option will have no effect.
-j <jobs>, --parallel <jobs>
Run the tests in parallel using the given number of jobs.
This option tells ctest to run the tests in parallel using given
number of jobs. This option can also be set by setting the
While running tests in parallel (e.g. with
-j), try not to start
tests when they may cause the CPU load to pass above a given threshold.
ctest is run as a
Dashboard Client this sets the
TestLoad option of the
CTest Test Step.
Make ctest quiet.
This option will suppress all the output. The output log file will still be generated if the –output-log is specified. Options such as –verbose, –extra-verbose, and –debug are ignored if –quiet is specified.
-O <file>, --output-log <file>
Output to log file
This option tells ctest to write all its output to a log file.
Disable actual execution of tests.
This option tells ctest to list the tests that would be run but not actually run them. Useful in conjunction with the -R and -E options.
-L <regex>, --label-regex <regex>
Run tests with labels matching regular expression.
This option tells ctest to run only the tests whose labels match the given regular expression.
-R <regex>, --tests-regex <regex>
Run tests matching regular expression.
This option tells ctest to run only the tests whose names match the given regular expression.
-E <regex>, --exclude-regex <regex>
Exclude tests matching regular expression.
This option tells ctest to NOT run the tests whose names match the given regular expression.
-LE <regex>, --label-exclude <regex>
Exclude tests with labels matching regular expression.
This option tells ctest to NOT run the tests whose labels match the given regular expression.
-D <dashboard>, --dashboard <dashboard>
Execute dashboard test
This option tells ctest to act as a CDash client and perform a
dashboard test. All tests are
Define a variable for script mode
Pass in variable values on the command line. Use in conjunction with -S to pass variable values to a dashboard script. Parsing -D arguments as variable values is only attempted if the value following -D does not match any of the known dashboard types.
-M <model>, --test-model <model>
Sets the model for a dashboard
This option tells ctest to act as a CDash client where the TestModel can be Experimental, Nightly, and Continuous. Combining -M and -T is similar to -D
-T <action>, --test-action <action>
Sets the dashboard action to perform
This option tells ctest to act as a CDash client and perform some action such as start, build, test etc. Combining -M and -T is similar to -D
Specify the track to submit dashboard to
Submit dashboard to specified track instead of default one. By default, the dashboard is submitted to Nightly, Experimental, or Continuous track, but by specifying this option, the track can be arbitrary.
-S <script>, --script <script>
Execute a dashboard for a configuration
This option tells ctest to load in a configuration script which sets a number of parameters such as the binary and source directories. Then ctest will do what is required to create and run a dashboard. This option basically sets up a dashboard and then runs ctest -D with the appropriate options.
-SP <script>, --script-new-process <script>
Execute a dashboard for a configuration
This option does the same operations as -S but it will do them in a separate process. This is primarily useful in cases where the script may modify the environment and you do not want the modified environment to impact other -S scripts.
-A <file>, --add-notes <file>
Add a notes file with submission
This option tells ctest to include a notes file when submitting dashboard.
-I [Start,End,Stride,test#,test#|Test file], --tests-information
Run a specific number of tests by number.
This option causes ctest to run tests starting at number Start, ending at number End, and incrementing by Stride. Any additional numbers after Stride are considered individual test numbers. Start, End,or stride can be empty. Optionally a file can be given that contains the same syntax as the command line.
Take the Union of -I and -R
When both -R and -I are specified by default the intersection of tests are run. By specifying -U the union of tests is run instead.
Run only the tests that failed previously
This option tells ctest to perform only the tests that failed during its previous run. When this option is specified, ctest ignores all other options intended to modify the list of tests to run (-L, -R, -E, -LE, -I, etc). In the event that CTest runs and no tests fail, subsequent calls to ctest with the –rerun-failed option will run the set of tests that most recently failed (if any).
Require each test to run
<n> times without failing in order to pass.
This is useful in finding sporadic failures in test cases.
Set the max width for a test name to output
Set the maximum width for each test name to show in the output. This allows the user to widen the output to avoid clipping the test name which can be very annoying.
Set the interactive mode to 0 or 1.
This option causes ctest to run tests in either an interactive mode or a non-interactive mode. On Windows this means that in non-interactive mode, all system debug pop up windows are blocked. In dashboard mode (Experimental, Nightly, Continuous), the default is non-interactive. When just running tests not for a dashboard the default is to allow popups and interactive debugging.
Disable timing summary information for labels.
This option tells ctest not to print summary information for each label associated with the tests run. If there are no labels on the tests, nothing extra is printed.
Configure, build and run a test.
This option tells ctest to configure (i.e. run cmake on), build, and or execute a test. The configure and test steps are optional. The arguments to this command line are the source and binary directories. By default this will run CMake on the Source/Bin directories specified unless –build-nocmake is specified. The –build-generator option must be provided to use –build-and-test. If –test-command is specified then that will be run after the build is complete. Other options that affect this mode are –build-target –build-nocmake, –build-run-dir, –build-two-config, –build-exe-dir, –build-project,–build-noclean, –build-options
Specify a specific target to build.
This option goes with the –build-and-test option, if left out the all target is built.
Run the build without running cmake first.
Skip the cmake step.
Specify directory to run programs from.
Directory where programs will be after it has been compiled.
Run CMake twice
Specify the directory for the executable.
Specify the generator to use.
Specify the generator-specific platform.
Specify the generator-specific toolset.
Specify the name of the project to build.
Override the make program chosen by CTest with a given one.
Skip the make clean step.
A sample executable to use to determine the configuration
A sample executable to use to determine the configuration that should be used. e.g. Debug/Release/etc
Add extra options to the build step.
This option must be the last option with the exception of –test-command
The test to run with the –build-and-test option.
Limit the output for passed tests to
Limit the output for failed tests to
The time limit in seconds, internal use only.
Nightly or experimental starts with next day tag.
This is useful if the build will not finish in one day.
The configuration file used to initialize CTest state when submitting dashboards.
This option tells CTest to use different initialization file instead of CTestConfiguration.tcl. This way multiple initialization files can be used for example to submit to multiple dashboards.
Overwrite CTest configuration option.
By default ctest uses configuration options from configuration file. This option will overwrite the configuration option.
Submit extra files to the dashboard.
This option will submit extra files to the dashboard.
Run child CTest instances as new processes
By default CTest will run child CTest instances within the same process. If this behavior is not desired, this argument will enforce new processes for child CTest processes.
Use a random order for scheduling tests
This option will run the tests in a random order. It is commonly used to detect implicit dependencies in a test suite.
Legacy option for old Dart2 dashboard server feature.
Do not use.
Set a global timeout on all tests.
This option will set a global timeout on all tests that do not already have a timeout set on them.
Set a time at which all tests should stop running.
Set a real time of day at which all tests should timeout. Example: 7:00:00 -0400. Any time format understood by the curl date parser is accepted. Local time is assumed if no timezone is specified.
Submit using HTTP 1.0.
This option will force CTest to use HTTP 1.0 to submit files to the dashboard, instead of HTTP 1.1.
Do not compress test output when submitting.
This flag will turn off automatic compression of test output. Use this to maintain compatibility with an older version of CDash which doesn’t support compressed test output.
Print all available test labels.
This option will not run any tests, it will simply print the list of all labels associated with the test set.
.. include:: OPTIONS_HELP.txt
CTest can operate as a client for the
CDash software quality dashboard
application. As a dashboard client, CTest performs a sequence of steps
to configure, build, and test software, and then submits the results to
CTest defines an ordered list of testing steps of which some or all may be run as a dashboard client:
Start a new dashboard submission to be composed of results recorded
by the following steps.
CTest Start Step_ section below.
Update the source tree from its version control repository.
Record the old and new versions and the list of updated source files.
CTest Update Step_ section below.
Configure the software by running a command in the build tree.
Record the configuration output log.
CTest Configure Step_ section below.
Build the software by running a command in the build tree.
Record the build output log and detect warnings and errors.
CTest Build Step_ section below.
Test the software by loading a
from the build tree and executing the defined tests.
Record the output and result of each test.
CTest Test Step_ section below.
Compute coverage of the source code by running a coverage
analysis tool and recording its output.
CTest Coverage Step_ section below.
Run the software test suite through a memory check tool.
Record the test output, results, and issues reported by the tool.
CTest MemCheck Step_ section below.
Submit results recorded from other testing steps to the
software quality dashboard server.
CTest Submit Step_ section below.
CTest defines three modes of operation as a dashboard client:
This mode is intended to be invoked once per day, typically at night.
It enables the
Submit steps by default. Selected steps run even
Update step reports no changes to the source tree.
This mode is intended to be invoked repeatedly throughout the day.
It enables the
Submit steps by default, but exits after the
Update step if it reports no changes to the source tree.
This mode is intended to be invoked by a developer to test local changes.
It enables the
Submit steps by default.
CTest can perform testing on an already-generated build tree.
ctest command with the current working directory set
to the build tree and use one of these signatures::
<mode> must be one of the above
Dashboard Client Modes,
<step> must be one of the above
Dashboard Client Steps.
CTest reads the
Dashboard Client Configuration_ settings from
a file in the build tree called either
DartConfiguration.tcl (the names are historical). The format
of the file is::
# Lines starting in ‘#’ are comments.
# Other non-blank lines are key-value pairs.
<setting> is the setting name and
<value> is the
In build trees generated by CMake, this configuration file is
generated by the :module:
CTest module if included by the project.
The module uses variables to obtain a value for each setting
as documented with the settings below.
CTest can perform testing driven by a :manual:
script that creates and maintains the source and build tree as
well as performing the testing steps. Run the
with the current working directory set outside of any build tree
and use one of these signatures::