On 2019-05-09 3:42 p.m., Theodore Ts'o wrote:
On Thu, May 09, 2019 at 11:12:12AM -0700, Frank Rowand wrote:
> "My understanding is that the intent of KUnit is to avoid booting a kernel
> real hardware or in a virtual machine. That seems to be a matter of semantics
> to me because isn't invoking a UML Linux just running the Linux kernel in
> a different form of virtualization?
> So I do not understand why KUnit is an improvement over kselftest.
> What am I missing?"
One major difference: kselftest requires a userspace environment; it
starts systemd, requires a root file system from which you can load
modules, etc. Kunit doesn't require a root file system; doesn't
require that you start systemd; doesn't allow you to run arbitrary
perl, python, bash, etc. scripts. As such, it's much lighter weight
than kselftest, and will have much less overhead before you can start
running tests. So it's not really the same kind of virtualization.
I largely agree with everything Ted has said in this thread, but I
wonder if we are conflating two different ideas that is causing an
impasse. From what I see, Kunit actually provides two different things:
1) An execution environment that can be run very quickly in userspace on
tests in the kernel source. This speeds up the tests and gives a lot of
benefit to developers using those tests because they can get feedback on
their code changes a *lot* quicker.
2) A framework to write unit tests that provides a lot of the same
facilities as other common unit testing frameworks from userspace (ie. a
runner that runs a list of tests and a bunch of helpers such as
KUNIT_EXPECT_* to simplify test passes and failures).
The first item from Kunit is novel and I see absolutely no overlap with
anything kselftest does. It's also the valuable thing I'd like to see
merged and grow.
The second item, arguably, does have significant overlap with kselftest.
Whether you are running short tests in a light weight UML environment or
higher level tests in an heavier VM the two could be using the same
framework for writing or defining in-kernel tests. It *may* also be
valuable for some people to be able to run all the UML tests in the
heavy VM environment along side other higher level tests.
Looking at the selftests tree in the repo, we already have similar items
to what Kunit is adding as I described in point (2) above.
kselftest_harness.h contains macros like EXPECT_* and ASSERT_* with very
similar intentions to the new KUNIT_EXECPT_* and KUNIT_ASSERT_* macros.
However, the number of users of this harness appears to be quite small.
Most of the code in the selftests tree seems to be a random mismash of
scripts and userspace code so it's not hard to see it as something
completely different from the new Kunit:
$ git grep --files-with-matches kselftest_harness.h *
Thus, I can personally see a lot of value in integrating the kunit test
framework with this kselftest harness. There's only a small number of
users of the kselftest harness today, so one way or another it seems
like getting this integrated early would be a good idea. Letting Kunit
and Kselftests progress independently for a few years will only make
this worse and may become something we end up regretting.