52.0 LTS

The Avocado team is proud to present another release: Avocado version 52.0, the second Avocado LTS version.

What’s new?

When compared to the last LTS (v36), the main changes introduced by this versions are:

  • Support for TAP[2] version 12 results, which are generated by default in test results directory (results.tap file).
  • The download of assets in tests now allow for an expiration time.
  • Environment variables can be propagated into tests running on remote systems.
  • The plugin interfaces have been moved into the avocado.core.plugin_interfaces module.
  • Support for running tests in a Docker container.
  • Introduction of the “Fail Fast” feature (--failfast on option) to the run command, which interrupts the Job on a first test failure.
  • Special keyword latest for replaying previous jobs.
  • Support to replay a Job by path (in addition to the Job ID method and the latest keyword).
  • Diff-like categorized report of jobs (avocado diff <JOB_1> <JOB_2>).
  • The introduction of a rr based wrapper.
  • The automatic VM IP detection that kicks in when one uses --vm-domain without a matching --vm-hostname, now uses a more reliable method (libvirt/qemu-gust-agent query).
  • Set LC_ALL=C by default on sysinfo collection to simplify avocado diff comparison between different machines.
  • Result plugins system is now pluggable and the results plugins (JSON, XUnit, HTML) were turned into stevedore plugins. They are now listed in the avocado plugins command.
  • Multiplexer was replaced with Varianter plugging system with defined API to register plugins that generate test variants.
  • Old --multiplex argument, which used to turn yaml files into variants, is now handled by an optional plugin called yaml_to_mux and the --multiplex option is being deprecated in favour of the --mux-yaml option, which behaves the same way.
  • It’s now possible to disable plugins by using the configuration file.
  • Better error handling of the virtual machine plugin (--vm-domain and related options).
  • When discovering tests on a directory, the result now is a properly alphabetically ordered list of tests.
  • Plugins can now be setup in Avocado configuration file to run at a specific order.
  • Support for filtering tests by user supplied “tags”.
  • Users can now see the test tags when listing tests with the -V (verbose) option.
  • Users can now choose to keep the complete set of files, including temporary ones, created during an Avocado job run by using the --keep-tmp option (e.g. to keep those files for rr).
  • Tests running with the external runner (--external-runner) feature will now have access to the extended behavior for SIMPLE tests, such as being able to exit a test with the WARNING status.
  • Encoding support was improved and now Avocado should safely treat localized test-names.
  • Test writers now have access to a test temporary directory that will last not only for the duration of the test, but for the duration of the whole job execution to allow sharing state/exchanging data between tests. The path for that directory is available via Test API (self.teststmpdir) and via environment variable (AVOCADO_TESTS_COMMON_TMPDIR).
  • Avocado is now available on Fedora standard repository. The package name is python2-avocado. The optional plugins and examples packages are also available. Run dnf search avocado to list them all.
  • Optional plugins and examples packages are also available on PyPI under avocado-framework name.
  • Avocado test writers can now use a family of decorators, namely avocado.skip(), avocado.skipIf() and avocado.skipUnless() to skip the execution of tests.
  • Sysinfo collection based on command execution now allows a timeout to be set in the Avocado configuration file.
  • The non-local runner plugins, the html plugin and the yaml_to_mux plugin are now distributed in separate packages.
  • The Avocado main process will now try to kill all test processes before terminating itself when it receives a SIGTERM.
  • Support for new type of test status, CANCEL, and of course the mechanisms to set a test with this status (e.g. via self.cancel()).
  • avocado.TestFail, avocado.TestError and avocado.TestCancel are now public Avocado Test APIs, available in the main avocado namespace.
  • Introduction of the robot plugin, which allows Robot Framework tests to be listed and executed natively within Avocado.
  • A brand new ResultsDB optional plugin.
  • Listing of supported loaders (--loaders \?) was refined.
  • Variant-IDs generated by yaml_to_mux plugin now include leaf node names to make them more meaningful, making easier to skim through the results.
  • yaml_to_mux now supports internal filters defined inside the YAML file expanding the filtering capabilities even further.
  • Avocado now supports resuming jobs that were interrupted.
  • The HTML report now presents the test ID and variant ID in separate columns, allowing users to also sort and filter results based on those specific fields.
  • The HTML report will now show the test parameters used in a test when the user hovers the cursor over the test name.
  • Avocado now reports the total job execution time on the UI, instead of just the tests execution time.
  • New avocado variants has been added which supersedes the avocado multiplex.
  • Loaders were tweaked to provide more info on avocado list -V especially when they don’t recognize the reference.
  • Users can use --ignore-missing-references on to run a job with undiscovered test references
  • Users can now choose in which order the job will execute tests (from its suite) and variants. The two available options are --execution-order=variants-per-test (default) or --execution-order=tests-per-variant.
  • Test methods can be recursively discovered from parent classes by upon the :avocado: recursive docstring directive.

Besides the list above, we had several improvements in our utils libraries that are important for test writers, some of them are listed below:

  • time_to_seconds, geometric_mean and compare_matrices were added in avocado.utils.data_structures.
  • avocado.utils.distro was refined.
  • Many avocado.utils new modules were introduced, like filelock, lv_utils, multipath, partition and pci.
  • avocado.utils.memory contains several new methods.
  • New avocado.utils.process.SubProcess.get_pid() method.
  • sudo support in avocado.utils.process was improved
  • The avocado.utils.process library makes it possible to ignore spawned background processes.
  • New avocado.utils.linux_modules.check_kernel_config().
  • Users of the avocado.utils.process module will now be able to access the process ID in the avocado.utils.process.CmdResult.
  • Improved avocado.utils.iso9660 with a more complete standard API across all back-end implementations.
  • Improved avocado.utils.build.make(), which will now return the make process exit status code.
  • The avocado.Test class now better exports (and protects) the core class attributes members (such as params and runner_queue).
  • avocado.utils.linux_modules functions now returns module name, size, submodules if present, filename, version, number of modules using it, list of modules it is dependent on and finally a list of params.

It is also worth mentioning:

  • Improved documentation, with new sections to Release Notes and Optional Plugins, very improved Contribution and Community Guide. New content and new examples everywhere.
  • The avocado-framework-tests GitHub organization was founded to encourage companies to share Avocado tests.
  • Bugs were always handled as high priority and every single version was delivered with all the reported bugs properly fixed.

When compared to the last LTS, we had:

  • 1187 commits (and counting).
  • 15 new versions.
  • 4811 more lines of Python code (+27,42%).
  • 1800 more lines of code comment (+24,67%).
  • 31 more Python files (+16,48%).
  • 69 closed GitHub issues.
  • 34 contributors from at least 12 different companies, 26 of them contributing for the fist time to the project.

Switching from 36.4 to 52.0

You already know what new features you might expect, but let’s emphasize the main changes required to your workflows/tests when switching from 36.4 to 52.0


All the previously supported ways to install Avocado are still valid and few new ones were added, but beware that Avocado was split into several optional plugins so you might want to adjust your scripts/workflows.

  • Multiplexer (the YAML parser which used to generate variants) was turned into an optional plugin yaml_to_mux also known as avocado_framework_plugin_varianter_yaml_to_mux. Without it Avocado does not require PyYAML, but you need it to support the parsing of YAML files to variants (unless you use a different plugin with similar functionality, which is now also possible).
  • The HTML result plugin is now also an optional plugin so one has to install it separately.
  • The remote execution features (--remote-hostname, --vm-domain, --docker) were also turned into optional plugins so if you need those you need to install them separately.
  • Support for virtual environment (venv) was greatly improved and we do encourage people who want to use pip to do that via this method.

As for the available ways:

  • Fedora/RHEL can use our custom repositories, either LTS-only or all releases. Note that latest versions (non-lts) are also available directly in Fedora and also in EPEL.
  • OpenSUSE - Ships the 36 LTS versions, hopefully they’ll start shipping the 52 ones as well (but we are not in charge of that process)
  • Debian - The contrib/packages/debian script is still available, although un-maintained for a long time
  • PyPI/pip - Avocado as well as all optional plugins are available in PyPI and can be installed via pip install avocado-framework\*, or selectively one by one.
  • From source - Makefile target install is still available but it does not install the optional plugins. You have to install them one by one by going to their directory (eg. cd optional_plugins/html and running sudo python setup.py install)

As before you can find the details in Installing Avocado.



As mentioned in previous section some previously core features were turned into optional plugins. Do check your install script if some command described here are missing on your system.

Most workflows should work the same, although there are few little changes and a few obsoleted constructs which are still valid, but you should start using the new ones.

The hard changes which does not provide backward compatibility:

  • Human result was tweaked a bit:
    • The TESTS entry (displaying number of tests) was removed as one can easily get this information from RESULTS.
    • Instead of tests time (sum of test times) you get job time (duration of the job execution) in the human result
  • Json results also contain some changes:
    • They are pretty-printed
    • As cancel status was introduced, json result contain an entry of number of canceled tests (cancel)
    • url was renamed to id (url entry is to be removed in 53.0 so this is actually a soft change with a backward compatibility support)
  • The avocado multilex|variants does not expect multiplex YAML files as positional arguments, one has to use -m|--mux-yaml followed by one or more paths.
  • Test variants are not serialized numbers anymore in the default yaml_to_mux (multiplexer), but ordered list of leaf-node names of the variant followed by hash of the variant content (paths+environment). Therefor instead of my_test:1 you can get something like my_test:arm64-virtio_scsi-RHEL7-4a3c.
  • results.tap is now generated by default in job results along the results.json and results.xml (unless disabled)
  • The avocado run --replay and avocado diff are unable to parse results generated by 36.4 to this date. We should be able to introduce such feature with not insignificant effort, but no one was interested yet.

And the still working but to be removed in 53.0 constructs:

  • The long version of the -m|--multiplex argument available in avocado run|multiplex|variants was renamed to -m|--mux-yaml which corresponds better to the rest of --mux-* arguments.

  • The avocado multiplex was renamed to avocado variants

  • The avocado multiplex|variants arguments were reworked to better suite the possible multiple varianter plugins:

    • Instead of picking between tree representation of list of variants one can use --summary, resp --variants followed by verbosity, which supersedes -c|contents, -t|--tree, -i|--inherit
    • Instead of --filter-only|--filter-out the --mux-filter-only|--mux-filter-out are available
    • The --mux-path is now also available in avocado multiplex|variants

Test API

Main features stayed the same, there are few new ones so do check our documentation for details. Anyway while porting tests you should pay attention to following changes:

  • If you were overriding avocado.Test attributes (eg. name, params, runner_queue, …) you’ll get an AttributeError: can't set attribute error as most of them were turned into properties to avoid accidental override of the important attributes.
  • The tearDown method is now executed almost always (always when the setUp is entered), including when the test is interrupted while running setUp. This might require some changes to your setUp and tearDown methods but generally it should make them simpler. (See Setup and cleanup methods and following chapters for details)
  • Test exceptions are publicly available directly in avocado (TestError, TestFail, TestCancel) and when raised inside test they behave the same way as self.error, self.fail or self.cancel. (See avocado)
  • New status is available called CANCEL. It means the test (or even just setUp) started but the test does not match prerequisites. It’s similar to SKIP in other frameworks, but the SKIP result is reserved for tests that were not executed (nor the setUp was entered). The CANCEL status can be signaled by self.cancel or by raising avocado.TestCancel exception and the SKIP should be set only by avocado.skip, avocado.skipIf or avocado.skipUnless decorators. The self.skip method is still supported but will be removed after in 53.0 so you should replace it by self.cancel which has similar meaning but it additionally executes the tearDown. (See Test statuses
  • The tag argument of avocado.Test was removed as it is part of name, which can only be avocado.core.test.TestName instance. (See avocado.core.test.Test())
  • The self.job.logdir which used to be abused to share state/data between tests inside one job can now be dropped towards the self.teststmpdir, which is a shared temporary directory which sustains throughout job execution and even between job executions if set via AVOCADO_TESTS_COMMON_TMPDIR environmental value. (See avocado.core.test.Test.teststmpdir())
  • Those who write inherited test classes will be pleasantly surprised as it is now possible to mark a class as avocado test including all test* methods coming from all parent classes (similarly to how dynamic discovery works inside Python unittest, see docstring-directive-recursive for details)
  • The self.text_output is not published after the test execution. If you were using it simply open the self.logfile and read the content yourself.

Utils API

Focusing only on the changes you might need to adjust the usage of:

  • avocado.utils.build.make calls as it now reports only exit_status. To get the full result object you need to execute avocado.utils.build.run_make.
  • avocado.utils.distro reports Red Hat Enterprise Linux/rhel instead of Red Hat/redhat.
  • avocado.process where the check for availability of sudo was improved, which might actually start executing some code which used to fail in 36.4.

Also check out the avocado.utils for complete list of available utils as there were many additions between 36.4 and 52.0.

Complete list of changes

For a complete list of changes between the last LTS release (36.4) and this release, please check out the Avocado commit changelog.