sel4test is a test suite for seL4.

First make sure you have set up your machine.

Getting the Code

mkdir sel4test
cd sel4test
repo init -u
repo sync
# kernel/ libs/ projects/ tools/ apps configs Kbuild Kconfig Makefile

This clones the seL4 kernel, the test suite, some libraries used by the tests, and some tools used in the build process. By default, the current master branch of the kernel is cloned. To clone a specific version of the kernel and compatible libraries and tools, replace the

repo init

line above with:

repo init -u -b refs/tags/9.0.1

In this example we clone version 9.0.1 of the kernel. For more information on version numbers, see ReleaseProcess.

Build it


Default make configurations are provided for a number of platforms:

$ ls configs 
arndale_debug_xml_defconfig              inforce_release_xml_defconfig
arndale_release_xml_defconfig            kzm_debug_xml_clang_defconfig
bbone_debug_xml_defconfig                kzm_debug_xml_defconfig
bbone_release_xml_defconfig              kzm_debug_xml_goanna_defconfig
beagle_debug_xml_defconfig               kzm_release_xml_clang_defconfig
beagle_release_xml_defconfig             kzm_release_xml_defconfig
beagle_simulation_debug_xml_defconfig    kzm_release_xml_goanna_defconfig
beagle_simulation_release_xml_defconfig  kzm_simulation_debug_xml_defconfig
goanna-arm-gcc.profile                   kzm_simulation_release_xml_defconfig

To use a specific config:

make ia32_simulation_release_xml_defconfig

This copies configs/ia32_simulation_release_xml_defconfig to ./.config, and sets up various header files.

You can look at the configuration options using

make menuconfig

Alternatively you can use any text editor to change ./.config; if you change anything you need to rebuild header files with make oldconfig . It’s advisable also to make clean to clear out anything already built — the build system does not track as many dependencies as it ought to.

Useful configuration options

For cross compilation (targeting ARM), you can set the cross compiler triple. This will typically be arm-linux-gnueabi- or arm-none-eabi-. Do make menuconfig and look for toolchain-options

Some of the default configurations specify a particular x86 compiler. It is usually safe to set the triple to the empty string when building for x86, if you have a multilib gcc installed.

Fiddling with most of the other configuration options will lead to systems that will either not compile, or not run.


When you’ve configured the system, you can build by doing

make -j libmuslc && make

Currently parallel builds do not work for the whole build, but it is worth using for the C library. The build system does however support ccache if you have it installed.

A more comprehensive overview of the build system is available at BuildSystemAnatomy

Running it


We will now build seL4test for ia32, to run on the QEMU simulator.

The makefile provides a target to simulate ia32. Running the following command will run qemu and point it towards the image we just built.

make ia32_simulation_release_xml_defconfig
make -j libmuslc && make
make simulate-ia32

To exit qemu after the All is well in the universe message that indicates the test suite has passed, type control-a x.

ARM - kzm11

Let’s build the test suite for kzm_simulation_debug_xml_defconfig:

make kzm_simulation_debug_xml_defconfig
ls images
# sel4test-driver-image-arm-imx31

Run it in qemu:

qemu-system-arm -nographic -M kzm -kernel images/sel4test-driver-image-arm-imx31
ELF-loader started on CPU: ARM Ltd. ARMv6 Part: 0xb36 r1p3
ELF-loading image 'kernel'
ELF-loading image 'sel4test-driver'
        <testcase classname="sel4test" name="TEST_BIND0001">
Running test BIND0001 (Test that a bound tcb waiting on a sync endpoint receives normal sync ipc and notification notifications.)
Test BIND0001 passed
                <system-out> TEST_BIND0001

The test suite prints out JUnit-style XML which can be parsed by various tools.

Testing a Customised Kernel

Suppose you’ve got seL4 checked out in \~/projects/seL4, and sel4test in \~/tests/sel4test, and you have been making changes on a feature branch of seL4 named awesome-new-feature. You want to test if your modified kernel still passes all the tests in sel4test.

cd ~/tests/sel4tests/kernel
git remote add feature ~/projects/seL4
git fetch feature
git checkout feature/awesome-new-feature
cd ..

Now the kernel in sel4test has been changed to your custom kernel. Now just build and run the test suite as above.

Running a subset of the tests

You can use a regular expression to select a subset of tests. This can be set using Kconfig, or the build shortcut make select-test TEST=SCHED.*. By default the test suite runs all tests.