Debugging Tests

How to debug when a test is failing.

Note: This is not meant as an exhaustive tutorial on software testing, instead this focuses on methods that will help you debug tests in MoveIt or similar ROS projects.

Getting Started

If you haven’t already done so, make sure you’ve completed the steps in Getting Started.

CI Failures

Our CI runs on Github Actions and uses scripts found in industrial_ci. These tests build and run various tests in various environments. Often something that works locally won’t work in CI in a different environment. To troubleshoot a failure from CI it is useful to use docker to run in the same environment.

For troubleshooting a specific test it is helpful to inspect the GHA logs to understand what environment variables are being set in your test.

Launch Docker Environment

To start docker container:

docker run -it moveit/moveit:noetic-ci /bin/bash

Setup Environment

The first thing you should do is update debians and install tools you’ll need for debugging. The update is important because that is what we do in CI:

apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade
apt-get install -y python-catkin-tools ssh git gdb valgrind vim

Next create the folder structure for your ROS environment:

mkdir -p ${CATKIN_WS}/src
cd ${CATKIN_WS}/src

Checkout Code

In this step we use git and wstool to get the code we will be testing. You’ll replace the remote and branch with yours if you are debugging a PR. Note that on the wstool update step we’ll need to skip replacing moveit if we are testing a specific branch from a PR:

cd ${CATKIN_WS}/src
wstool init .
git clone -b master
wstool merge -t . moveit/moveit.rosinstall
wstool update

Install Dependencies

Here we install debian dependencies with rosdep:

cd ${CATKIN_WS}/src
rosdep install -y -q -n --from-paths . --ignore-src --rosdistro ${ROS_DISTRO}

Configure and Build

Now we configure and build our workspace. Note that we set extra CXXFLAGS to be the same as the ones used by moveit_ci:

export CXXFLAGS="-Wall -Wextra -Wwrite-strings -Wunreachable-code -Wpointer-arith -Wredundant-decls"
catkin config --extend /opt/ros/${ROS_DISTRO} --no-install --cmake-args -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug
catkin build --summarize

Build the Tests

Here is the command to build the tests in the workspace:

catkin build --summarize --make-args tests

Run the Tests

To run all the tests we can use the run_tests cmake arg. Here we should specify a specific package we want to test as that will speed up this run:

catkin build --summarize --catkin-make-args run_tests -- moveit_ros_planning_interface

Run One Test

You can also use rostest to run a specific test. The text argument sends output to the console instead of an xml output file. To do this you’ll have to source the devel workspace:

source devel/setup.bash
rostest moveit_ros_planning_interface move_group_pick_place_test.test --text

Open Source Feedback

See something that needs improvement? Please open a pull request on this GitHub page