Understanding Installation Testing: Functional or Non-Functional?

Understanding Installation Testing: Functional or Non-Functional?

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

When it comes to software testing, one common question is whether installation testing (set-up/deployment with or without an installer) falls under functional testing or non-functional testing. The answer can be nuanced, and it often depends on the specifics of the installation process and the requirements it needs to meet.

Definitions and Distinctions

To better understand where installation testing fits, let’s first define functional and non-functional testing:

  • Functional Testing: This type of testing checks if the system behaves according to the specified requirements. It focuses on what the system should do.
  • Non-Functional Testing: This testing evaluates how the system performs under certain conditions, including aspects like performance, reliability, and usability.

Installation Testing as Functional Testing

Installation testing can be considered functional when it involves verifying that the installer performs the intended actions correctly. For example:

  • Ensuring all necessary files are copied to the correct directories.
  • Validating that configuration dialogs correctly set up the software.
  • Confirming that the software can be launched successfully after installation.

In these scenarios, you are essentially testing what the installer engine should do, making it a functional requirement.

Installation Testing as Non-Functional Testing

Conversely, installation testing can be viewed as non-functional when it focuses on how the installation process behaves under different conditions. This might include:

  • Testing the installation process under various network conditions (Wi-Fi, 4G, Bluetooth, USB).
  • Evaluating the performance and reliability of the installation process.
  • Ensuring the installer handles different user environments and configurations smoothly.

In these cases, you are assessing the behavior and performance of the installation process, aligning it with non-functional requirements.

Context Matters

Ultimately, whether installation testing is functional or non-functional can depend on the specific context and the criteria defined in your testing strategy. Some scenarios might include elements of both types of testing. For instance:

  • Testing the detection and usage of specific hardware components during installation.
  • Ensuring the installer can handle software upgrades and downgrades effectively.
  • Validating that the software can be uninstalled cleanly and reinstalled without issues.


Installation testing is a crucial part of the software development lifecycle, and understanding whether it falls under functional or non-functional testing can help in crafting a comprehensive testing strategy. In practice, it often encompasses elements of both, depending on the specific requirements and scenarios being tested.

For those looking to streamline their testing processes, especially in mobile app development, tools like Repeato can be invaluable. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that simplifies the creation, execution, and maintenance of automated tests. Leveraging computer vision and AI, it ensures fast and efficient testing, making it an excellent choice for quality assurance teams.

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