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CTest/CDash with CMake

If your project already uses CMake (documentation and wiki) to generate a build system, using the CDash dashboard at NERSC is greatly simplified. For general instructions on creating CMake tests, see the Testing section of the CMake Tutorial. Be sure to add:


to the the top-level CMakeLists.txt before adding any tests. This will generate a DartConfiguration.tcl file needed for dashboard submission.

When submitting to a dashboard, provide a CTestConfig.cmake that provides the information about where the dashboard is located and the submission configuration. For the NERSC dashboard, customize CTEST_PROJECT_NAME below after creating a project, place the file in the top-level directory of the source code, and copy this file into the build directory (if different than the source directory).

Example CTestConfig.cmake

# Replace the value for CTEST_PROJECT_NAME with your project name at

set(CTEST_PROJECT_NAME          "TiMemory")
set(CTEST_DROP_METHOD           "https")
set(CTEST_DROP_SITE             "")
set(CTEST_DROP_LOCATION         "/submit.php?project=${CTEST_PROJECT_NAME}")
set(CTEST_CDASH_VERSION         "1.6")

Add a CTestCustom.cmake file for customization. This file can define some settings CTest settings or define variables needed by CTest/CDash.

Example CTestCustom.cmake

set(CTEST_CUSTOM_COVERAGE_EXCLUDE                   "")

# either customize these directly or write as CMake Template
# and use configure_file(... @ONLY) with CMake
set(CTEST_SOURCE_DIRECTORY   "/path/to/source")
set(CTEST_BINARY_DIRECTORY   "/path/to/source")
# build options
set(OPTION_BUILD             "-j8")
# define generator (optional), e.g. default to 'Unix Makefiles' on UNIX, Visual Studio on Windows
set(CTEST_GENERATOR          "...")
# submit under Continuous, Nightly (default), Experimental
set(CTEST_MODEL              "Continuous")
# define how to checkout code, e.g. copy a directory, git pull, svn co, etc.
# define how to update (optional), e.g. git checkout <git-branch>
# define how to configure (e.g. cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=...)
# the name of the build
set(CTEST_BUILD_NAME         "...")
# how to configure
# how to build
set(CTEST_BUILD_COMMAND      "...")
# default max time each tests can run (in seconds)
set(CTEST_TIMEOUT            "7200")
# locale to English
set(ENV{LC_MESSAGES}         "en_EN")

For more information on the commands to set, the wiki for using CTest without CMake can be useful.

Example Dashboard Submission Script

Write a dashboard submission script. In the example below, it is assumed CTestConfig.cmake and CTestCustom.cmake exist in CTEST_BINARY_DIRECTORY (processes in ctest_read_custom_files step). The RETURN_VALUE is not necessary but can be used to stop further processing if something failed, e.g. don't run testing if build failed.


ctest_start             (${CTEST_MODEL} TRACK ${CTEST_MODEL})
ctest_configure         (BUILD ${CTEST_BINARY_DIRECTORY} RETURN_VALUE ret_con)
ctest_build             (BUILD ${CTEST_BINARY_DIRECTORY} RETURN_VALUE ret_bld)

    # add as desired
    ctest_test              (BUILD ${CTEST_BINARY_DIRECTORY} RETURN_VALUE ret_tst)
    ctest_memcheck          (BUILD ${CTEST_BINARY_DIRECTORY} RETURN_VALUE ret_mem)
    ctest_coverage          (BUILD ${CTEST_BINARY_DIRECTORY} RETURN_VALUE ret_cov)

    # attach build notes if desired, e.g. performance info, output files from tests
    list(APPEND CTEST_NOTES_FILES "/file/to/attach/as/build-note")

# standard submit
ctest_submit(RETURN_VALUE ret_sub)
# if dashboard requires a token that restricts who can submit to dashboard
ctest_submit(RETURN_VALUE ret_sub HTTPHEADER "Authorization: Bearer ${CTEST_TOKEN}")

Testing + Submission

If the dashboard submission script is named Dashboard.cmake. One would run:

ctest -S Dashboard.cmake

and CTest will checkout the code into CTEST_SOURCE_DIRECTORY, configure, build, test, etc. in CTEST_BINARY_DIRECTORY and submit the results to the dashboard. More information and additional options can always be found in ctest manual pages.