Introduction

LNT is an infrastructure for performance testing. The software itself consists of two main parts, a web application for accessing and visualizing performance data, and command line utilities to allow users to generate and submit test results to the server.

The package was originally written for use in testing LLVM compiler technologies, but is designed to be usable for the performance testing of any software.

If you are an LLVM developer who is mostly interested in just using LNT to run the test-suite against some compiler, then you should fast forward to the Quickstart Guide or to the information on Test Producers.

LNT uses a simple and extensible format for interchanging data between the test producers and the server; this allows the LNT server to receive and store data for a wide variety of applications.

Both the LNT client and server are written in Python, however the test data itself can be passed in one of several formats, including property lists and JSON. This makes it easy to produce test results from almost any language.

Installation

If you are only interested in using LNT to run tests locally, see the Quickstart Guide.

If you want to run an LNT server, you will need to perform the following additional steps:

  1. Create a new LNT installation:

    lnt create path/to/install-dir

    This will create the LNT configuration file, the default database, and a .wsgi wrapper to create the application. You can execute the generated app directly to run with the builtin web server, or use:

    lnt runserver path/to/install-dir

    which provides additional command line options. Neither of these servers is recommended for production use.

  2. Edit the generated ‘lnt.cfg’ file if necessary, for example to:

    1. Update the databases list.
    2. Update the public URL the server is visible at.
    3. Update the nt_emailer configuration.
  3. Add the ‘lnt.wsgi’ app to your Apache configuration. You should set also configure the WSGIDaemonProcess and WSGIProcessGroup variables if not already done.

    If running in a virtualenv you will need to configure that as well; see the modwsgi wiki.

For production servers, you should consider using a full DBMS like PostgreSQL. To create an LNT instance with PostgreSQL backend, you need to do this instead:

  1. Create an LNT database in PostgreSQL, also make sure the user has write permission to the database:

    CREATE DATABASE "lnt.db"
  2. Then create LNT installation:

    lnt create path/to/install-dir --db-dir postgresql://user@host
  3. Run server normally:

    lnt runserver path/to/install-dir

Development

Developing LNT should be done under a virtualenv (most likely in ‘develop’ mode). Currently, the tests require:

  1. ‘lit’, the LLVM test runner, is available.

2. If inside a virtualenv, the virtualenv will need to be activated because the tests want to run Python directly. This should be fixed to substitute in the Python that was used to run lit, so the venv doesn’t have to be active.

To run the tests use, e.g.:

lit -sv $ROOT/tests

This requires the ‘lit’ testing tool be installed. You can also use:

python setup.py test

if you prefer ‘unittest’ style output (this still requires that ‘lit’ be installed).

Architecture

The LNT web app is currently implemented as a Flask WSGI web app, with Jinja2 for the templating engine. My hope is to eventually move to a more AJAXy web interface.

The database layer uses SQLAlchemy for its ORM, and is typically backed by SQLite, although I have tested on MySQL on the past, and supporting other databases should be trivial. My plan is to always support SQLite as this allows the possibility of developers easily running their own LNT installation for viewing nightly test results, and to run with whatever DB makes the most sense on the server.

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