Running Executables and Tests with Dune

Running Executables


Add an executable stanza in your dune file and run the executable with dune exec <executable_path>.exe or dune exec <public_name>.

To tell Dune to produce an executable, you can use the executable stanza:

 (name <executable_name>)
 (public_name <public_name>)
 (libraries <libraries...>))

The <executable_name> is the name of the executable used internally in the project. The <public_name> is the name of the installed binary when installing the package. Finally, <libraries...> is the list of libraries to link to the executable.

Once Dune has produced the executable with dune build, you can execute it with dune exec <executable_path>.exe or dune exec <public_name>.

For instance, if you've put your dune file in bin/dune with the following content:

 (name main)
 (public_name my-app)

You can run it with dune exec bin/main.exe or dune exec my-app.

Running Tests


Add a test stanza in your dune file and run the tests with dune test.

Tests are created using Dune's test stanza. The test stanza is a simple convenience wrapper that will create an executable and add it to the list of tests of the @runtest target.

For instance, if you add a test in your dune file:

 (name dummy_test)
 (modules dummy_test))

with a module

let () = exit 1

Running dune test will fail with the following output:

  dummy_test alias src/ocamlorg_web/test/runtest (exit 1)

This means that the test failed because the executable exited with the status code 1.

The output is not very descriptive. If we want to create suites of unit tests, with several tests per files, and different kind of assertions, we will want to use a test framework such as Alcotest.

Let's modify our dummy test to link to Alcotest:

 (name dummy_test)
 (modules dummy_test)
 (libraries alcotest))

With the following module:

open Alcotest

let test_hello_with_name name () =
  let greeting = "Hello " ^ name ^ "!" in
  let expected = Printf.sprintf "Hello %s!" name in
  check string "same string" greeting expected

let suite =
  [ "can greet Tom", `Quick, test_hello_with_name "Tom"
  ; "can greet John", `Quick, test_hello_with_name "John"

let () = "Dummy" [ "Greeting", suite ]

If we run dune test again, the test should be successful and output the following:

Testing `Dummy'.
This run has ID `B5926D16-0DD4-4C97-8C7A-5AFE1F5DF31B'.

  [OK]          Greeting          0   can greet Tom.
  [OK]          Greeting          1   can greet John.

Full test results in `_build/default/_build/_tests/Dummy'.
Test Successful in 0.000s. 2 tests run.

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