Integrating Google Test with Autotools: A Comprehensive Guide

Integrating Google Test with Autotools: A Comprehensive Guide

21 May 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

Integrating Google Test into a project that uses Autotools can be a challenging task. This guide provides a step-by-step approach to seamlessly compile and run your tests using Google Test within an Autotools environment.

The First Problem: Compiling Google Test as a Library

To compile Google Test as a library that your test code can link against, follow these steps:

  1. Download Google Test and place it into your project. Using Git, add Google Test as a submodule:
    $ git submodule add [email protected]:google/googletest.git
    $ git submodule init
    $ git submodule update
  2. Update your project structure to include the Google Test directories:
        src/: (files for your project)
        tests/: (test files)
                include/: (headers, etc.)
                src/: (source files for Google Test)
                m4/: (m4 scripts)
  3. Modify your tests/ to compile the Google Test library only when running make check:
    check_LTLIBRARIES =
    libgtest_la_SOURCES = ../googletest/googletest/src/
    libgtest_la_CPPFLAGS = -I$(top_srcdir)/googletest/googletest/include -I$(top_srcdir)/googletest/googletest
    libgtest_la_LDFLAGS = -pthread
  4. Enable subdir-objects and other necessary configurations in
    AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE([-Wall -Werror subdir-objects])
  5. Include the macro directory and subdirectories in
    SUBDIRS = src tests

The Second Problem: Creating and Running Tests

Once Google Test is compiled, the next step is to create and run tests that link to the Google Test libraries. Follow these instructions:

  1. Create a test file, for example, gtest.cpp in your tests directory:
    #include "gtest/gtest.h"
    TEST(CategoryTest, SpecificTest) {
        ASSERT_EQ(0, 0);
    int main(int argc, char **argv) {
        ::testing::InitGoogleTest(&argc, argv);
        return RUN_ALL_TESTS();
  2. Update tests/ to compile and run the test:
    check_PROGRAMS = gtest
    gtest_SOURCES = gtest.cpp
    gtest_LDADD =
    gtest_LDFLAGS = -pthread
    gtest_CPPFLAGS = -I$(top_srcdir)/googletest/googletest/include -I$(top_srcdir)/googletest/googletest
    TESTS = gtest

Run autoreconf -fiv from your project root, then use make check to compile and run your tests.

Using Repeato for Automated Testing

If you are looking for a more streamlined and efficient way to create, run, and maintain your automated tests, consider using Repeato. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that leverages computer vision and AI to simplify the testing process. It offers an intuitive test recorder for beginners and a scripting interface for advanced users, making it versatile for various testing needs. Repeato also allows testing websites inside an Android emulator or device, with explicit web testing support coming soon.

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