Use ctest (or make test) to run all test groups and mpirun -np 4 ./testprecice to run individual tests.

Some important options for ctest are:

  • -R petsc to run all tests groups matching petsc
  • -E petsc to runs all tests groups not matching petsc
  • -VV show the test output
  • --output-on-failure show the test output only if a test fails

To run individual tests, please run mpirun -np 4 ./testprecice directly. Examples:

Some important options for ./testprecice are:

  • --report_level or -r with options confirm|short|detailed|no
  • --run_test or -t with a unit test filter.
  • --[no_]color_output or -x[bool] to enable or disable colored output.
  • --log_level=<all|success|test_suite|unit_scope|message> to control the verbosity. This defaults to the value of the ENV BOOST_TEST_LOG_LEVEL.


  • mpirun -np 4 ./testprecice -x runs boost test with colored output.
  • mpirun -np 4 ./testprecice -x runs boost test with colored output.
  • mpirun -np 4 ./testprecice -x -r detailed -t "+/+PetRadial+" (replace all + by *, due to Doxygen) runs all PetRadial\* tests from all test suites using colored output and detailed reporting.


To learn, how to write new unit tests, have a look at src/testing/tests/ExampleTests.cpp. Most of the rules below also apply to integration tests, but there are some important exceptions that you should keep in mind (see below).

Quick reference:

Grouping tests


Starting tests


preCICE test specification

Unit test case running on 1 rank: PRECICE_TEST(1_rank); Unit test case running on 2 ranks. No master-slaves communication setup. PRECICE_TEST(2_ranks); Unit test case running on 2 ranks with master-slaves communication setup. PRECICE_TEST(""_on(2_ranks).setupMasterSlaves()); Unit test case running on 2 ranks with master-slaves communication setup and events initialized. PRECICE_TEST(""_on(2_ranks).setupMasterSlaves(), require::Events);

Integration test with Solver A on 1 rank and B on 2 ranks. PRECICE_TEST("A"_on(1_rank), "B"_on(2_ranks)); Integration test with Solver A on 2 rank and B on 2 ranks. PRECICE_TEST("A"_on(2_ranks), "B"_on(2_ranks)); Integration test with Solver A, B and C on 1 rank each. PRECICE_TEST("A"_on(1_rank), "B"_on(1_rank), "C"_on(1_rank));

Test context

The test context provides context of the currently running test. Inforamation is accessible directly and checkable as a predicate. You can safely pass this per reference (const precice::testing::TestContext&) to other functions.

Attribute Accessor Predicate
Communicator size context.size context.hasSize(2)
Communicator rank context.rank context.isMaster(), context.isRank(2)
Participant name context.isNamed("A")

In addition to this, you can also use the context to connect the masters of 2 partiticpants.

Writing integration tests

If you are writing a new integration test there are the following important differences to unit tests:

  • the preCICE integration tests are located under ./tests
  • each test goes into an individual .cpp file.
  • suites are organized in folder hierarchies within ./tests
  • common functionality in a suite may be provided in a helpers.cpp file

Please use the script for the generation of a skeleton for a new test. It will take care of setting everything up in the required format. The documentation of the script is accessed by calling the python3 --help. As an example, refer to existing integration tests in ./tests.