a golang utility package for testing command line interfaces https://git.lenzplace.org/lenzj/testcli
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Package testcli is a golang utility package for testing command line interfaces (CLI). When using testcli, each CLI test exists within its own file system folder. All test folders for a specific CLI are typically contained within a main folder which the testcli package "walks" entering all subdirs and executing each CLI test within a folder. Test results are tracked and displayed using the golang standard testing infrastructure.

Each test folder must contain the following text files:

* tCmd     : The CLI command to be executed including parameters and
             options.  Within this file any '{{.cli}}' string is replaced
             by the CLI being tested.  If a test folder is multiple levels
             deep within the file tree the relative CLI path is adjusted
             accordingly before executing tCmd.
* tStdout  : The expected stdout
* tStderr  : The expected sterr
* tExit    : The exit code

The following are optional files:

* t*.check : Any file matching t*.check is compared directly against the
             same filename t*.result.  This can be used to check the
             output of any files generated by the CLI.

Alternately, any of the output filenames above may end with "Regex" to do a regular expression match rather than a direct string comparison. This can be useful to check output for which a portion changes often. For example log file output that contains the date or time at the beginning of an output line.

* tStdoutRegex   : Contains a regular expression string to match against
                   the expected stdout
* t*.checkRegex
* etc. ...

The following file names are not used directly by testcli but are named as follows by convention if needed:

* tStdin   : Any text intended to be fed as stdin to the CLI.  Typically
             this is accomplished within tCmd such as "{{.cli}} < tStdin"

Note that test folder names serve as the test description and are displayed when a test fails or when using "go test -v". Also note that folders can be nested as many levels deep as desired to categorize and group tests.


func RunTests(t *testing.T, cliPath string)
    RunTests iterates through all of the tests at or below the current path
    using the specified CLI. The CLI path can be absolute or relative.

Example usage

A full example demontrating the use of testcli is contained within the "tests" folder of this package. A simple single test example is described below.

Example folder structure

|-- example.sh
|-- example_test.go
|-- 5-a
    |-- tCmd
    |-- tExit
    |-- tStderr
    |-- tStdout

Example files

tests/example.sh (description)

Purpose:  A trivial demonstration script. The argument string is processed
          and printed to stdout.  Everything up to and including the first
          letter "a" is deleted, and everything after and including the
          last letter "a" is also deleted.
Usage:    example.sh string

tests/example_test.go (contents)

package example_test

import (

func TestExample(t *testing.T) {
    testcli.RunTests(t, "./example.sh")

tests/5-a/tCmd (contents)

{{.cli}} "The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain" 

tests/5-a/tExit (contents)


tests/5-a/tStderr (contents empty)

File is empty

tests/5-a/tStdout (contents)

in in Spain falls mainly in the pl

Example passing test output

$ go test -v
=== RUN   TestExample
=== RUN   TestExample/5-a
--- PASS: TestExample (0.01s)
    --- PASS: TestExample/5-a (0.01s)
ok      git.lenzplace.org/lenzj/testcli/tests     0.01s

Example failing test output

Changed the last "a" in tests/5-a/tCmd to "A".

$ go test -v
=== RUN   TestExample
=== RUN   TestExample/5-a
--- FAIL: TestExample (0.01s)
    --- FAIL: TestExample/5-a (0.01s)
        testcli.go:137: stdout:
             expected "in in Spain falls mainly in the pl\n"
             received "in in Spain falls m\n"
exit status 1
FAIL git.lenzplace.org/lenzj/testcli/tests 0.01s

Running the full package tests

$ make check
$ cd tests && go test -v


If you have a bugfix, update, issue or feature enhancement the best way to reach me is by following the instructions in the link below. Thank you!



I follow the SemVer strategy for versioning. The latest version is listed in the releases section.


This project is licensed under a BSD two clause license - see the LICENSE file for details.