Avocado utilities have a certain default behavior based on educated, reasonable (we hope) guesses about how users like to use their systems. Of course, different people will have different needs and/or dislike our defaults, and that’s why a configuration system is in place to help with those cases
The Avocado config file format is based on the (informal) INI file
specification, that is implemented by Python’s
configparser. The format
is simple and straightforward, composed by sections, that contain a number of
keys and values. Take for example a basic Avocado config file:
base_dir = /var/lib/avocado
test_dir = /usr/share/doc/avocado/tests
data_dir = /var/lib/avocado/data
logs_dir = ~/avocado/job-results
datadir.paths section contains a number of keys, all of them related to
directories used by the test runner. The
base_dir is the base directory to
other important Avocado directories, such as log, data and test directories.
You can also choose to set those other important directories by means of the
logs_dir. You can do this by
simply editing the config files available.
Config file parsing order¶
Avocado starts by parsing what it calls system wide config file, that is
shipped to all Avocado users on a system wide directory,
/etc/avocado/avocado.conf. Then it’ll verify if there’s a local user config
file, that is located usually in
~/.config/avocado/avocado.conf. The order
of the parsing matters, so the system wide file is parsed, then the user config
file is parsed last, so that the user can override values at will. There is
another directory that will be scanned by extra config files,
/etc/avocado/conf.d. This directory may contain plugin config files, and
extra additional config files that the system administrator/avocado developers
might judge necessary to put there.
Please note that for base directories, if you chose a directory that can’t be
properly used by Avocado (some directories require read access, others, read
and write access), Avocado will fall back to some defaults. So if your regular
user wants to write logs to
/root/avocado/logs, Avocado will not use that
directory, since it can’t write files to that place. A new location, by default
~/avocado/job-results will be selected instead.
The order of files described in this section is only valid if Avocado was
installed in the system. For people using Avocado from git repos (usually
Avocado developers), that did not install it in the system, keep in mind that
Avocado will read the config files present in the git repos, and will ignore
the system wide config files. Running
avocado config will let you know
which files are actually being used.
Plugin config files¶
There are two ways to extend settings of extra plugin configuration. Plugins
can extend the list of files parsed by
Settings object by using
avocado.plugins.settings entry-point (Python-way) or they can simply drop
the individual config files into
This entry-point uses
to extend the list of parsed files. It only accepts individual files, but you
can use something like
glob.glob("*.conf") to add all config files inside a
You need to create the plugin (eg.
from avocado.core.plugin_interfaces import Settings
def adjust_settings_paths(self, paths):
And register it in your
from setuptools import setup
"my-plugin-settings = my_plugin.settings.MyPluginSettings",
Which extends the list of files to be parsed by settings object. Note this has to be executed early in the code so try to keep the required deps minimal (for example the avocado.core.settings.settings is not yet available).
In order to not disturb the main Avocado config file, those plugins, if they
wish so, may install additional config files to
/etc/avocado/conf.d/[pluginname].conf, that will be parsed after the system
wide config file. Users can override those values as well at the local config
file level. Considering the config for the hypothethical plugin
base = ceasar
dressing = ceasar
If you want, you may change
dressing in your config file by simply adding a
[salad.core] new section in your local config file, and set a different
Parsing order recap¶
So the file parsing order is:
avocado.plugins.settingsplugins (but they can insert to any location)
You can see the actual set of files/location by using
avocado config which
* to mark existing and used files:
$ avocado config
Config files read (in order, '*' means the file exists and had been read):
Where the lower config files override values of the upper files and the
$HOME/.config/avocado/avocado.conf file missing.
Please note that if Avocado is running from git repos, those files
will be ignored in favor of in tree configuration files. This is something that
would normally only affect people developing avocado, and if you are in doubt,
avocado config will tell you exactly which files are being used in any
When Avocado runs inside virtualenv than path for global config files is also changed. For example, avocado.conf comes from the virual-env path venv/etc/avocado/avocado.conf.
Order of precedence for values used in tests¶
Since you can use the config system to alter behavior and values used in tests (think paths to test programs, for example), we established the following order of precedence for variables (from least precedence to most):
- default value (from library or test code)
- global config file
- local (user) config file
- command line switch
- test parameters
So the least important value comes from the library or test code default, going all the way up to the test parameters system.
Avocado Data Directories¶
When running tests, we are frequently looking to:
- Locate tests
- Write logs to a given location
- Grab files that will be useful for tests, such as ISO files or VM disk images
Avocado has a module dedicated to find those paths, to avoid cumbersome path manipulation magic that people had to do in previous test frameworks .
If you want to list all relevant directories for your test, you can use avocado config –datadir command to list those directories. Executing it will give you an output similar to the one seen below:
$ avocado config --datadir
Config files read (in order):
Avocado replaces config dirs that can't be accessed
with sensible defaults. Please edit your local config
file to customize values
Avocado Data Directories:
Note that, while Avocado will do its best to use the config values you provide in the config file, if it can’t write values to the locations provided, it will fall back to (we hope) reasonable defaults, and we notify the user about that in the output of the command.
The relevant API documentation and meaning of each of those data directories
avocado.core.data_dir, so it’s highly recommended you take a look.
You may set your preferred data dirs by setting them in the Avocado config files. The only exception for important data dirs here is the Avocado tmp dir, used to place temporary files used by tests. That directory will be in normal circumstances /var/tmp/avocado_XXXXX, (where XXXXX is in actuality a random string) securely created on /var/tmp/, unless the user has the $TMPDIR environment variable set, since that is customary among unix programs.
The next section of the documentation explains how you can see and set config values that modify the behavior for the Avocado utilities and plugins.
|For example, autotest.