Building Guide (libtest)

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The libtest library is used by test, and depends upon liblfds710 and libshared. It is not used by, or needed to build, liblfds710.

The libtest library uses a porting abstraction layer to mask platform differences. Building libtest requires build files (makefile, etc) for your toolchain (GCC, gnumake, etc) and a port of the abstraction layer to your platform.

A small number of popular toolchains are supported out-of-the-box, along with porting abstraction layers which cover Windows (user-mode and kernel-mode) and Linux (user-mode). A kernel-mode Linux port is not yet present as libtest uses the standard library function time to run tests and as such although the kbuild build files are present and correct, the library will fail to compile for that toolchain. (Additionally, there is also not yet a Linux kernel port of libshared, so even if libtest were ported, test still could not link).

Supported Toolchains

The supported toolchains are;

  • GCC and gnumake
  • GCC, kbuild and gnumake (Linux kernel toolchain)
  • MSVC and and gnumake (Windows user-mode toolchain - and, yup, gnumake, not nmake)
  • WDK 7.1 (Windows XP/Vista/7 kernel toolchain)

Note that in 7.1.0, Visual Studio solution files are not provided. This is because there are over liblfds and the benchmark and benchmark libraries and programmes (seven projects in all) in the end due to the multple build variants (debug, release, library, DLL, kernel library, kernel DLL, and repeated twice, once for VS2012 and once for VS2013) what comes to something like ten thousand settings, all of which have to be set using a mouse and a GUI, which is not only extraordinarily time-consuming and error-prone, but emotionally agonizing.

Mac support is not available due to lack of access to a Mac.

Directory Structure

    └───libtest                                                      : libtest library
        ├───bin                                                      : output directory - the library file ends up here
        ├───build                                                    : build configuration directory - contains one directory per platform
        │   ├───gcc_gnumake                                          : GCC and gnumake
        │   ├───gcc_gnumake_kbuild                                   : GCC, gnumake, and kbuild
        │   ├───msvc_and_gnumake                                     : Microsoft Visual C (command line compiler) and gnumake
        │   └───wdk_7.1                                              : WDK 7.1
        ├───inc                                                      : the public header files
        │   └───libtest
        ├───obj                                                      : temporary directory for object files
        └───src                                                      : 
            ├───libtest_misc                                         : misc functions
            ├───libtest_porting_abstraction_layer                    : porting abstraction layer
            ├───libtest_results                                      : test results storage API
            ├───libtest_test                                         : API for running a single test
            ├───libtest_tests                                        : the tests themselves
            ├───libtest_testsuite                                    : convenience API to easily run all tests
            └───libtest_threadset                                    : convenience API for handling issuing threads


The library directory tree contains at its top level directory called build.

This directory contains one directory per supported toolchain, where each such directory contains the files necessary to build for that toolchain. Detailed descriptions of how to build for each toolchain are given below, with one heading per toolchain.

The various other components (test, benchmark, etc) in their build files know the location of the resultant library file, so it does not need to be installed.

On all platforms, you need to clean between changing build types (debug, release, static, dynamic, profiled, etc), as there is only one directory used to hold object files.

Per-Toolchain Build Instructions

GCC and gnumake


To build, install GCC and gnumake, enter the build directory and type;


The following targets are available;

ar_cov       : archive (.a), coverage
ar_dbg       : archive (.a), debug
ar_prof      : archive (.a), profiling
ar_rel       : archive (.a), release
ar_tsan      : archive (.a), thread sanitizer
ar_vanilla   : archive (.a), no specific-build arguments

so_cov       : shared (.so), coverage
so_dbg       : shared (.so), debug
so_prof      : shared (.so), profiling
so_rel       : shared (.so), release
so_tsan      : shared (.so), thread sanitizer
so_vanilla   : shared (.so), no specific-build arguments

clean        : what you'd expect

When switching from one target to another, clean must be made.

If building *_ar_tsan, libtsan must be installed. This is not necessary if building *_so_tsan.

GCC, gnumake and kbuild


Remember, although the build files are present, the porting abstraction layer is not fully implemented. This platform will fail to build.

To build, install GCC, gnumake, kbuild (and the Linux kernel headers), enter the build directory and type;


The makefile is complimentory (mint-flavoured :-) and simply issues the necessary kbuild command.

There are three targets;


Note that modules is the default build (i.e. with no arguments).

I do not properly understand kbuild. I've read the documentation; I find for example examples which have switches in which are simply not present in the documentation, and in general I don't see how libraries are built to fit in with larger projects. The most I can say about this build is that it compiles without warnings or errors. I am pretty sure it's not something which can be used as it is in a kernel build or driver, but anyone who knows enough to be developing such a thing should be able to take what is here (since it compiles against the kernel) and easily fit it into their work.

Any feedback on making this build proper is greatly appreciated.

MSVC and gnumake


To build, install an MSVC command line compiler, enter the build directory and type;


The following targets are available;

libdbg : archive (.lib), debug
librel : archive (.lib), release

dlldbg : shared (.dll), debug
dllrel : shared (.dll), release

clean  : what you'd expect

When switching from one target to another, clean must be made.

WDK 7.1


All processor types are supported (x86, IA64, x64).

The WDK 7.1 kernel build environment is primitive and has a number of severe limitations; in particular, all source files must be in one directory and it is not possible to choose the output binary type (static or dynamic library) from the build command line; rather, a string has to be modified in a text file used by the build (!)

To deal with these limitations, it is necessary for a Windows kernel build to run a batch file prior to building. There are two batch files, one for static library builds and the other for dynamic library builds. They are idempotent; you can run them as often as you like and switch between them as often as you want. It's all fine.

Both batch files copy all the sources file into a single directory, libtest/build/wdk7.1/single_dir_for_windows_kernel/.

The static library batch file will then copy libtest/sources.static into libtest/build/wdk7.1/single_dir_for_windows_kernel/, which will cause a static library to be built.

The dynamic library batch file will then copy libtest/sources.dynamic into libtest/build/wdk7.1/single_dir_for_windows_kernel/, which will cause a dynamic library to be built. It will also copy driver_entry_renamed_to_avoid_compiler_warning.c to libtest/build/wdk7.1/single_dir_for_windows_kernel/driver_entry.c (note the renaming), since the linker requires the DriverEntry function to exist, even though it's not used.

To build, start a build command line as usual, indicating through the command line you select whether you are making a debug or release build. Then run the appropriate liblfds batch file to select a static or dynamic library. Then, finally, run build.exe in the libtest/build/wdk_7.1/ directory, with whatever arguments you prefer.

Note that due to limitations in the build environment, object files appear in a subdirectory in libtest/build/wdk7.1/single_dir_for_windows_kernel/, rather than in the usual libtest/obj/. The final binary output however still appears almost as usual, in libtest/bin/[processor]/, where processor might be i386. (The usual is just libtest/bin/, with no subdirectories).

Note that the sources file used to compile the library asserts the define KERNEL_MODE. This appears to be necessary, due to the lack of a compiler-provided macro to differentiate in the code between a user-mode or kernel-mode build.

See Also