Understanding the plugin system¶
Avocado has a plugin system that can be used to extended it in a clean way.
A large number of out-of-the-box Avocado features are implemented as using the same plugin architecture available to third-party extensions.
This guide considers “core features”, even though they’re still
‘plugable’, those available with an installation of Avocado by itself
pip install avocado-framework). If a feature is part of an
optional or third-party plugin package, this guide will reference it.”
avocado command line tool has a builtin
plugins command that lets
you list available plugins. The usage is pretty simple:
$ avocado plugins Plugins that add new commands (avocado.plugins.cli.cmd): exec-path Returns path to Avocado bash libraries and exits. run Run one or more tests (native test, test alias, binary or script) sysinfo Collect system information ... Plugins that add new options to commands (avocado.plugins.cli): journal Journal options for the 'run' subcommand ...
Since plugins are (usually small) bundles of Python code, they may fail to load if the Python code is broken for any reason. Example:
$ avocado plugins Failed to load plugin from module "avocado.plugins.exec_path": ImportError('No module named foo',) Plugins that add new commands (avocado.plugins.cli.cmd): run Run one or more tests (native test, test alias, binary or script) sysinfo Collect system information ...
Fully qualified named for a plugin¶
The Avocado plugin system uses namespaces to recognize and categorize plugins.
The namespace separator here is the dot and every plugin that starts with
avocado.plugins. will be recognized by the framework.
An example of a plugin’s full qualified name:
This plugin will generate the job result in JSON format.
Inside Avocado we will omit the prefix
avocado.plugins to make the
When listing plugins with
avocado plugins pay attention to the
namespace inside the parenthesis on each category description. You will realize
that there are, for instance, two plugins with the name ‘JSON’. But when you
concatenate the fully qualified name it will become clear that they are
actually two different plugins:
Disabling a plugin¶
If you, as Avocado user, would like to disable a plugin, you can disable on config files.
The mechanism available to do so is to add entries to the
key under the
plugins section of the Avocado configuration file.
[plugins] disable = ['cli.hello', 'job.prepost.jobscripts']
The exact effect on Avocado when a plugin is disabled depends on the
plugin type. For instance, by disabling plugins of type
the command implemented by the plugin should no longer be available on
the Avocado command line application. Now, by disabling a
job.prepost plugin, those won’t be executed before/after the
execution of the jobs.
Plugin execution order¶
In many situations, such as result generation, not one, but all of the enabled
plugin types will be executed. The execution order is set up by plugins
developers to make execution more effective. To list the plugins in execution
order, you can use
avocado plugins --ordered.
For more information about how the execution order is set, please visit visit the Plugin section on Contributor’s Guide.
Changing the plugin execution order¶
On some circumstances it may be necessary to change the order in which plugins
are executed. To do so, add a
order entry a configuration file section
named after the plugin type. For
job.prepost plugin types, the section
name has to be named
plugins.job.prepost, and it would look like this:
[plugins.job.prepost] order = ['myplugin', 'jobscripts']
That configuration sets the
job.prepost.myplugin plugin to execute before
the standard Avocado
If you are interested on how plugins works and how to create your own plugin, visit the Plugin section on Contributor’s Guide.
Pre and post plugins¶
Avocado provides interfaces (hooks) with which custom plugins can register to be called at various times. For instance, it’s possible to trigger custom actions before and after the execution of a job, or before and after the execution of the tests from a job.
Let’s discuss each interface briefly.
Before and after jobs¶
Avocado supports plug-ins which are (guaranteed to be) executed before the first test and after all tests finished.
pre method of each
installed plugin of type
job.prepost will be called by the
that is, anytime an
avocado run <valid_test_reference> command is executed.
Then, immediately after that, the job’s
run method is called, which attempts to run
all job phases, from test suite creation to test execution.
KeyboardInterrupt is raised, or
yet another major external event (like a system condition that Avocado
can not control) it will attempt to run the
post methods of all the
installed plugins of type
job.prepost. This even includes job
executions where the
pre plugin executions were
Before and after tests¶
If you followed the previous section, you noticed that the job’s
run method was said to run all the
test phases. Here’s a sequence of the job phases:
Plugin writers can have their own code called at Avocado during a job
that will be called at phase number 2 (
writing a method according to the
Accordingly, plugin writers can have their own called at phase number
post_tests) by writing a method according to the
Note that there’s no guarantee that all of the first 3 job phases will
be executed, so a failure in phase 1 (
prevent the phase 2 (
pre_tests) and/or 3 (
run_tests) from from
Now, no matter what happens in the attempted execution of job phases
1 through 3, job phase 4 (
post_tests) will be attempted to be
executed. To make it extra clear, as long as the Avocado test runner
is still in execution (that is, has not been terminated by a system
condition that it can not control), it will execute plugin’s
As a concrete example, a plugin’
post_tests method would not be
executed after a
SIGKILL is sent to the Avocado test runner on
phases 1 through 3, because the Avocado test runner would be promptly
interrupted. But, a
KeyboardInterrupt sent to the
Avocado test runner under phases 1 though 3 would still cause the test
runner to run
post_tests (phase 4). Now, if during phase 4 a
SystemExit is received, the remaining
post_tests methods will NOT be executed.
Avocado ships with a plugin (installed by default) that allows running scripts before and after the actual execution of Jobs. A user can be sure that, when a given “pre” script is run, no test in that job has been run, and when the “post” scripts are run, all the tests in a given job have already finished running.
By default, the script directory location is:
Inside that directory, that is a directory for pre-job scripts:
And for post-job scripts:
All the configuration about the Pre/Post Job Scripts are placed under
avocado.plugins.jobscripts config section. To change the
location for the pre-job scripts, your configuration should look
something like this:
[plugins.jobscripts] pre = /my/custom/directory/for/pre/job/scripts/
Accordingly, to change the location for the post-job scripts, your configuration should look something like this:
[plugins.jobscripts] post = /my/custom/directory/for/post/scripts/
A couple of other configuration options are available under the same section:
warn_non_existing_dir: gives warnings if the configured (or default) directory set for either pre or post scripts do not exist
warn_non_zero_status: gives warnings if a given script (either pre or post) exits with non-zero status
Script Execution Environment¶
All scripts are run in separate process with some environment variables set. These can be used in your scripts in any way you wish:
AVOCADO_JOB_UNIQUE_ID: the unique job-id.
AVOCADO_JOB_STATUS: the current status of the job.
AVOCADO_JOB_LOGDIR: the filesystem location that holds the logs and various other files for a given job run.
Note: Even though these variables should all be set, it’s a good
practice for scripts to check if they’re set before using their
values. This may prevent unintended actions such as writing to the
current working directory instead of to the
this is not set.
Finally, any failures in the Pre/Post scripts will not alter the status of the corresponding jobs.
Tests’ logs plugin¶
It’s natural that Avocado will be used in environments where access to the integral job results won’t be easily accessible.
For instance, on Continuous Integration (CI) services, one usually gets access to the output produced on the console, while access to other files produced (generally called artifacts) may or may not be accessible.
For this reason, it may be helpful to simply output the logs for tests that have “interesting” outcomes, which usually means that fail and need to be investigated.
To show the content for test that are canceled, skipped and fail, you can set on your configuration file:
[job.output.testlogs] statuses = ["CANCEL", "SKIP", "FAIL"]
At the end of the job, a header will be printed for each test that ended with any of the statuses given, followed by the raw content of its respective log file.