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Test file format

Test file format

Each curl test is designed in a single text file using an XML-like format.
Labels mark the beginning and the end of all sections, and each label must be written in its own line. Comments are either XML-style (enclosed with <!-- and -->) or shell script style (beginning with #) and must appear on their own lines and not alongside actual test data. Most test data files are syntactically valid XML, although a few files are not (lack of support for character entities and the preservation of carriage return and linefeed characters at the end of lines are the biggest differences).
All tests must begin with a <testcase> tag, which encompasses the remainder of the file. See below for other tags.
Each test file is called tests/data/testNUMBER where NUMBER is a unique numerical test identifier. Each test has to use its own dedicated number. The number has no meaning other than identifying the test.
The test file defines exactly what command line or tool to run, what test servers to invoke and how they should respond, exactly what protocol exchange that should happen, what output and return code to expect and much more.
Everything is written within their dedicated tags like this when the name is set:
<name>
HTTP with host name written backwards
</name>

keywords

Every test has one or more <keywords> set in the top of the file. They are meant to be "tags" that identify features and protocols that are tested by this test case. runtests.pl can be made to run only tests that match (or do not match) such keywords.

Preprocessed

Under the hood, each test input file is preprocessed at startup by runtests.pl. This means that variables, macros and keywords are expanded and a temporary version of the file is stored in tests/log/testNUMBER - and that file is then used by all the test servers etc.
This processing allows the test format to offer features like %repeat to create really big test files without bloating the input files correspondingly.

Base64 Encoding

In the preprocess stage, a special instruction can be used to have runtests.pl base64 encode a certain section and insert in the generated output file. This is in particular good for test cases where the test tool is expected to pass in base64 encoded content that might use dynamic information that is unique for this particular test invocation, like the server port number.
To insert a base64 encoded string into the output, use this syntax:
%b64[ data to encode ]b64%
The data to encode can then use any of the existing variables mentioned below, or even percent-encoded individual bytes. As an example, insert the HTTP server's port number (in ASCII) followed by a space and the hexadecimal byte 9a:
%b64[%HTTPPORT %9a]b64%

Hexadecimal decoding

In the preprocess stage, a special instruction can be used to have runtests.pl generate a sequence of binary bytes.
To insert a sequence of bytes from a hex encoded string, use this syntax:
%hex[ %XX-encoded data to decode ]hex%
For example, to insert the binary octets 0, 1 and 255 into the test file:
%hex[ %00%01%FF ]hex%

Repeat content

In the preprocess stage, a special instruction can be used to have runtests.pl generate a repetitive sequence of bytes.
To insert a sequence of repeat bytes, use this syntax to make the <string> get repeated <number> of times. The number has to be 1 or larger and the string may contain %HH hexadecimal codes:
%repeat[<number> x <string>]%
For example, to insert the word hello a 100 times:
%repeat[100 x hello]%

Conditional lines

Lines in the test file can be made to appear conditionally on a specific feature (see the "features" section below) being set or not set. If the specific feature is present, the following lines will be output, otherwise it outputs nothing, until a following else or endif clause. Like this:
%if brotli
Accept-Encoding
%endif
It can also check for the inverse condition, so if the feature is not set by the use of an exclamation mark:
%if !brotli
Accept-Encoding: not-brotli
%endif
You can also make an "else" clause to get output for the opposite condition, like:
%if brotli
Accept-Encoding: brotli
%else
Accept-Encoding: nothing
%endif
Note that there can be no nested conditions. You can only do one conditional at a time and you can only check for a single feature in it.

Variables

When the test is preprocessed, a range of "variables" in the test file will be replaced by their content at that time.
Available substitute variables include:
  • %CLIENT6IP - IPv6 address of the client running curl
  • %CLIENTIP - IPv4 address of the client running curl
  • %CURL - Path to the curl executable
  • %FILE_PWD - Current directory, on windows prefixed with a slash
  • %FTP6PORT - IPv6 port number of the FTP server
  • %FTPPORT - Port number of the FTP server
  • %FTPSPORT - Port number of the FTPS server
  • %FTPTIME2 - Timeout in seconds that should be just sufficient to receive a response from the test FTP server
  • %FTPTIME3 - Even longer than %FTPTIME2
  • %GOPHER6PORT - IPv6 port number of the Gopher server
  • %GOPHERPORT - Port number of the Gopher server
  • %GOPHERSPORT - Port number of the Gophers server
  • %HOST6IP - IPv6 address of the host running this test
  • %HOSTIP - IPv4 address of the host running this test
  • %HTTP6PORT - IPv6 port number of the HTTP server
  • %HTTPPORT - Port number of the HTTP server
  • %HTTP2PORT - Port number of the HTTP/2 server
  • %HTTPSPORT - Port number of the HTTPS server
  • %HTTPSPROXYPORT - Port number of the HTTPS-proxy
  • %HTTPTLS6PORT - IPv6 port number of the HTTP TLS server
  • %HTTPTLSPORT - Port number of the HTTP TLS server
  • %HTTPUNIXPATH - Path to the Unix socket of the HTTP server
  • %SOCKSUNIXPATH - Absolute Path to the Unix socket of the SOCKS server
  • %IMAP6PORT - IPv6 port number of the IMAP server
  • %IMAPPORT - Port number of the IMAP server
  • %MQTTPORT - Port number of the MQTT server
  • %TELNETPORT - Port number of the telnet server
  • %NOLISTENPORT - Port number where no service is listening
  • %POP36PORT - IPv6 port number of the POP3 server
  • %POP3PORT - Port number of the POP3 server
  • %POSIX_PWD - Current directory somewhat mingw friendly
  • %PROXYPORT - Port number of the HTTP proxy
  • %PWD - Current directory
  • %RTSP6PORT - IPv6 port number of the RTSP server
  • %RTSPPORT - Port number of the RTSP server
  • %SMBPORT - Port number of the SMB server
  • %SMBSPORT - Port number of the SMBS server
  • %SMTP6PORT - IPv6 port number of the SMTP server
  • %SMTPPORT - Port number of the SMTP server
  • %SOCKSPORT - Port number of the SOCKS4/5 server
  • %SRCDIR - Full path to the source dir
  • %SSHPORT - Port number of the SCP/SFTP server
  • %SSHSRVMD5 - MD5 of SSH server's public key
  • %SSHSRVSHA256 - SHA256 of SSH server's public key
  • %SSH_PWD - Current directory friendly for the SSH server
  • %TESTNUMBER - Number of the test case
  • %TFTP6PORT - IPv6 port number of the TFTP server
  • %TFTPPORT - Port number of the TFTP server
  • %USER - Login ID of the user running the test
  • %VERSION - the full version number of the tested curl

Tags

Each test is always specified entirely within the <testcase> tag. Each test case is further split up into four main sections: info, reply, client and verify.
  • info provides information about the test case
  • reply is used for the server to know what to send as a reply for the requests curl sends
  • client defines how the client should behave
  • verify defines how to verify that the data stored after a command has been run ended up correctly
Each main section supports a number of available sub-tags that can be specified, that will be checked/used if specified.

<info>

<keywords>

A newline-separated list of keywords describing what this test case uses and tests. Try to use already used keywords. These keywords will be used for statistical/informational purposes and for choosing or skipping classes of tests. "Keywords" must begin with an alphabetic character, "-", "[" or "{" and may consist of multiple words separated by spaces which are treated together as a single identifier.
When using curl built with Hyper, the keywords must include HTTP or HTTPS for 'hyper mode' to kick in and make line ending checks work for tests.

<reply>

<data [nocheck="yes"] [sendzero="yes"] [base64="yes"] [hex="yes"] [nonewline="yes"]>

data to be sent to the client on its request and later verified that it arrived safely. Set nocheck="yes" to prevent the test script from verifying the arrival of this data.
If the data contains swsclose anywhere within the start and end tag, and this is an HTTP test, then the connection will be closed by the server after this response is sent. If not, the connection will be kept persistent.
If the data contains swsbounce anywhere within the start and end tag, the HTTP server will detect if this is a second request using the same test and part number and will then increase the part number with one. This is useful for auth tests and similar.
sendzero=yes means that the (FTP) server will "send" the data even if the size is zero bytes. Used to verify curl's behavior on zero bytes transfers.
base64=yes means that the data provided in the test-file is a chunk of data encoded with base64. It is the only way a test case can contain binary data. (This attribute can in fact be used on any section, but it does not make much sense for other sections than "data").
hex=yes means that the data is a sequence of hex pairs. It will get decoded and used as "raw" data.
nonewline=yes means that the last byte (the trailing newline character) should be cut off from the data before sending or comparing it.
For FTP file listings, the <data> section will be used only if you make sure that there has been a CWD done first to a directory named test-[number] where [number] is the test case number. Otherwise the ftp server can't know from which test file to load the list content.

<dataNUMBER>

Send back this contents instead of the one. The number NUMBER is set by:
  • The test number in the request line is >10000 and this is the remainder of [test case number]%10000.
  • The request was HTTP and included digest details, which adds 1000 to the number
  • If an HTTP request is NTLM type-1, it adds 1001 to the number
  • If an HTTP request is NTLM type-3, it adds 1002 to the number
  • If an HTTP request is Basic and the number is already >=1000, it adds 1
  • If an HTTP request is Negotiate, the number gets incremented by one for each request with Negotiate authorization header on the same test case.
Dynamically changing the test number in this way allows the test harness to be used to test authentication negotiation where several different requests must be sent to complete a transfer. The response to each request is found in its own data section. Validating the entire negotiation sequence can be done by specifying a datacheck section.

<connect>

The connect section is used instead of the 'data' for all CONNECT requests. The remainder of the rules for the data section then apply but with a connect prefix.

<socks>

Address type and address details as logged by the SOCKS proxy.

<datacheck [mode="text"] [nonewline="yes"]>

if the data is sent but this is what should be checked afterwards. If nonewline=yes is set, runtests will cut off the trailing newline from the data before comparing with the one actually received by the client.
Use the mode="text" attribute if the output is in text mode on platforms that have a text/binary difference.

<datacheckNUM [nonewline="yes"] [mode="text"]>

The contents of numbered datacheck sections are appended to the non-numbered one.

<size>

number to return on an ftp SIZE command (set to -1 to make this command fail)

<mdtm>

what to send back if the client sends an FTP MDTM command, set to -1 to have it return that the file does not exist

<postcmd>

special purpose server-command to control its behavior after the reply is sent For HTTP/HTTPS, these are supported:
wait [secs] - Pause for the given time

<servercmd>

Special-commands for the server.
The first line of this file will always be set to Testnum [number] by the test script, to allow servers to read that to know what test the client is about to issue.
For FTP/SMTP/POP/IMAP
  • REPLY [command] [return value] [response string] - Changes how the server responds to the [command]. [response string] is evaluated as a perl string, so it can contain embedded \r\n, for example. There's a special [command] named "welcome" (without quotes) which is the string sent immediately on connect as a welcome.
  • REPLYLF (like above but sends the response terminated with LF-only and not CRLF)
  • COUNT [command] [number] - Do the REPLY change for [command] only [number] times and then go back to the built-in approach
  • DELAY [command] [secs] - Delay responding to this command for the given time
  • RETRWEIRDO - Enable the "weirdo" RETR case when multiple response lines appear at once when a file is transferred
  • RETRNOSIZE - Make sure the RETR response does not contain the size of the file
  • NOSAVE - Do not save what is received
  • SLOWDOWN - Send FTP responses with 0.01 sec delay between each byte
  • PASVBADIP - makes PASV send back an illegal IP in its 227 response
  • CAPA [capabilities] - Enables support for and specifies a list of space separated capabilities to return to the client for the IMAP CAPABILITY, POP3 CAPA and SMTP EHLO commands
  • AUTH [mechanisms] - Enables support for SASL authentication and specifies a list of space separated mechanisms for IMAP, POP3 and SMTP
  • STOR [msg] respond with this instead of default after STOR
For HTTP/HTTPS
  • auth_required if this is set and a POST/PUT is made without auth, the server will NOT wait for the full request body to get sent
  • idle - do nothing after receiving the request, just "sit idle"
  • stream - continuously send data to the client, never-ending
  • writedelay: [msecs] delay this amount between reply packets
  • skip: [number] - instructs the server to ignore reading this many bytes from a PUT or POST request
  • rtp: part [num] channel [num] size [num] - stream a fake RTP packet for the given part on a chosen channel with the given payload size
  • connection-monitor - When used, this will log [DISCONNECT] to the server.input log when the connection is disconnected.
  • upgrade - when an HTTP upgrade header is found, the server will upgrade to http2
  • swsclose - instruct server to close connection after response
  • no-expect - do not read the request body if Expect: is present
For TFTP
writedelay: [secs] delay this amount between reply packets (each packet being 512 bytes payload)

<client>

<server>

What server(s) this test case requires/uses. Available servers:
  • file
  • ftp-ipv6
  • ftp
  • ftps
  • gopher
  • gophers
  • http-ipv6
  • http-proxy
  • http-unix
  • http/2
  • http
  • https
  • httptls+srp-ipv6
  • httptls+srp
  • imap
  • mqtt
  • none
  • pop3
  • rtsp-ipv6
  • rtsp
  • scp
  • sftp
  • smtp
  • socks4
  • socks5
Enter only one server per line. This subsection is mandatory.

<features>

A list of features that MUST be present in the client/library for this test to be able to run. If a required feature is not present then the test will be SKIPPED.
Alternatively a feature can be prefixed with an exclamation mark to indicate a feature is NOT required. If the feature is present then the test will be SKIPPED.
Features testable here are:
  • alt-svc
  • bearssl
  • c-ares
  • cookies
  • crypto
  • debug
  • DoH
  • getrlimit
  • GnuTLS
  • GSS-API
  • h2c
  • HSTS
  • HTTP-auth
  • http/2
  • hyper
  • idn
  • ipv6
  • Kerberos
  • large_file
  • ld_preload
  • libssh2
  • libssh
  • oldlibssh (versions before 0.9.4)
  • libz
  • manual
  • Mime
  • netrc
  • NSS
  • NTLM
  • OpenSSL
  • parsedate
  • proxy
  • PSL
  • rustls
  • Schannel
  • sectransp
  • shuffle-dns
  • socks
  • SPNEGO
  • SSL
  • SSLpinning
  • SSPI
  • threaded-resolver
  • TLS-SRP
  • TrackMemory
  • typecheck
  • Unicode
  • unittest
  • unix-sockets
  • verbose-strings
  • wakeup
  • win32
  • wolfssh
  • wolfssl
in addition to all protocols that curl supports. A protocol only needs to be specified if it is different from the server (useful when the server is none).

<killserver>

Using the same syntax as in <server> but when mentioned here these servers are explicitly KILLED when this test case is completed. Only use this if there is no other alternatives. Using this of course requires subsequent tests to restart servers.

<precheck>

A command line that if set gets run by the test script before the test. If an output is displayed by the command or if the return code is non-zero, the test will be skipped and the (single-line) output will be displayed as reason for not running the test.

<postcheck>

A command line that if set gets run by the test script after the test. If the command exists with a non-zero status code, the test will be considered to have failed.

<tool>

Name of tool to invoke instead of "curl". This tool must be built and exist either in the libtest/ directory (if the tool name starts with lib) or in the unit/ directory (if the tool name starts with unit).

<name>

Brief test case description, shown when the test runs.

<setenv>

variable1=contents1
variable2=contents2
Set the given environment variables to the specified value before the actual command is run. They are cleared again after the command has been run.

<command [option="no-output/no-include/force-output/binary-trace"] [timeout="secs"][delay="secs"][type="perl/shell"]>

Command line to run.
Note that the URL that gets passed to the server actually controls what data that is returned. The last slash in the URL must be followed by a number. That number (N) will be used by the test-server to load test case N and return the data that is defined within the <reply><data></data></reply> section.
If there's no test number found above, the HTTP test server will use the number following the last dot in the given hostname (made so that a CONNECT can still pass on test number) so that "foo.bar.123" gets treated as test case 123. Alternatively, if an IPv6 address is provided to CONNECT, the last hexadecimal group in the address will be used as the test number! For example the address "[1234::ff]" would be treated as test case 255.
Set type="perl" to write the test case as a perl script. It implies that there's no memory debugging and valgrind gets shut off for this test.
Set type="shell" to write the test case as a shell script. It implies that there's no memory debugging and valgrind gets shut off for this test.
Set option="no-output" to prevent the test script to slap on the --output argument that directs the output to a file. The --output is also not added if the verify/stdout section is used.
Set option="force-output" to make use of --output even when the test is otherwise written to verify stdout.
Set option="no-include" to prevent the test script to slap on the --include argument.
Set option="binary-trace" to use --trace instead of --trace-ascii for tracing. Suitable for binary-oriented protocols such as MQTT.
Set timeout="secs" to override default server logs advisor read lock timeout. This timeout is used by the test harness, once that the command has completed execution, to wait for the test server to write out server side log files and remove the lock that advised not to read them. The "secs" parameter is the not negative integer number of seconds for the timeout. This timeout attribute is documented for completeness sake, but is deep test harness stuff and only needed for specific test cases. Avoid using it.
Set delay="secs" to introduce a time delay once that the command has completed execution and before the <postcheck> section runs. The "secs" parameter is the not negative integer number of seconds for the delay. This 'delay' attribute is intended for specific test cases, and normally not needed.

<file name="log/filename" [nonewline="yes"]>

This creates the named file with this content before the test case is run, which is useful if the test case needs a file to act on.
If nonewline="yes" is used, the created file will have the final newline stripped off.

<stdin [nonewline="yes"]>

Pass this given data on stdin to the tool.
If nonewline is set, we will cut off the trailing newline of this given data before comparing with the one actually received by the client

<verify>

<errorcode>

numerical error code curl is supposed to return. Specify a list of accepted error codes by separating multiple numbers with comma. See test 237 for an example.

<strip>

One regex per line that is removed from the protocol dumps before the comparison is made. This is useful to remove dependencies on dynamically changing protocol data such as port numbers or user-agent strings.

<strippart>

One perl op per line that operates on the protocol dump. This is pretty advanced. Example: s/^EPRT .*/EPRT stripped/.

<protocol [nonewline="yes"]>

the protocol dump curl should transmit, if nonewline is set, we will cut off the trailing newline of this given data before comparing with the one actually sent by the client The <strip> and <strippart> rules are applied before comparisons are made.

<proxy [nonewline="yes"]>

The protocol dump curl should transmit to an HTTP proxy (when the http-proxy server is used), if nonewline is set, we will cut off the trailing newline of this given data before comparing with the one actually sent by the client The <strip> and <strippart> rules are applied before comparisons are made.

<stderr [mode="text"] [nonewline="yes"]>

This verifies that this data was passed to stderr.
Use the mode="text" attribute if the output is in text mode on platforms that have a text/binary difference.
If nonewline is set, we will cut off the trailing newline of this given data before comparing with the one actually received by the client

<stdout [mode="text"] [nonewline="yes"]>

This verifies that this data was passed to stdout.
Use the mode="text" attribute if the output is in text mode on platforms that have a text/binary difference.
If nonewline is set, we will cut off the trailing newline of this given data before comparing with the one actually received by the client

<file name="log/filename" [mode="text"]>

The file's contents must be identical to this after the test is complete. Use the mode="text" attribute if the output is in text mode on platforms that have a text/binary difference.

<file1>

1 to 4 can be appended to 'file' to compare more files.

<file2>

<file3>

<file4>

<stripfile>

One perl op per line that operates on the output file or stdout before being compared with what is stored in the test file. This is pretty advanced. Example: "s/^EPRT .*/EPRT stripped/"

<stripfile1>

1 to 4 can be appended to stripfile to strip the corresponding content

<stripfile2>

<stripfile3>

<stripfile4>

<upload>

the contents of the upload data curl should have sent

<valgrind>

disable - disables the valgrind log check for this test
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Test file format
keywords
Preprocessed
Base64 Encoding
Hexadecimal decoding
Repeat content
Conditional lines
Variables
Tags
<info>
<reply>
<client>
<verify>