OpenStack Testing (Tempest) of an existing cloud
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Tempest - The OpenStack Integration Test Suite

This is a set of integration tests to be run against a live OpenStack cluster. Tempest has batteries of tests for OpenStack API validation, Scenarios, and other specific tests useful in validating an OpenStack deployment.

Design Principles

Tempest Design Principles that we strive to live by.

  • Tempest should be able to run against any OpenStack cloud, be it a one node devstack install, a 20 node lxc cloud, or a 1000 node kvm cloud.
  • Tempest should be explicit in testing features. It is easy to auto discover features of a cloud incorrectly, and give people an incorrect assessment of their cloud. Explicit is always better.
  • Tempest uses OpenStack public interfaces. Tests in Tempest should only touch public interfaces, API calls (native or 3rd party), or libraries.
  • Tempest should not touch private or implementation specific interfaces. This means not directly going to the database, not directly hitting the hypervisors, not testing extensions not included in the OpenStack base. If there is some feature of OpenStack that is not verifiable through standard interfaces, this should be considered a possible enhancement.
  • Tempest strives for complete coverage of the OpenStack API and common scenarios that demonstrate a working cloud.
  • Tempest drives load in an OpenStack cloud. By including a broad array of API and scenario tests Tempest can be reused in whole or in parts as load generation for an OpenStack cloud.
  • Tempest should attempt to clean up after itself, whenever possible we should tear down resources when done.
  • Tempest should be self testing.


To run Tempest, you first need to create a configuration file that will tell Tempest where to find the various OpenStack services and other testing behavior switches.

The easiest way to create a configuration file is to copy the sample one in the etc/ directory :

$> cp etc/tempest.conf.sample etc/tempest.conf

After that, open up the etc/tempest.conf file and edit the configuration variables to match valid data in your environment. This includes your Keystone endpoint, a valid user and credentials, and reference data to be used in testing.


If you have a running devstack environment, Tempest will be automatically configured and placed in /opt/stack/tempest. It will have a configuration file already set up to work with your devstack installation.

Tempest is not tied to any single test runner, but testr is the most commonly used tool. Also, the nosetests test runner is not recommended to run Tempest.

After setting up your configuration file, you can execute the set of Tempest tests by using testr :

$> testr run --parallel

To run one single test serially :

$> testr run tempest.api.compute.servers.test_servers_negative.ServersNegativeTestJSON.test_reboot_non_existent_server

Alternatively, you can use the script which will create a venv and run the tests or use tox to do the same. Tox also contains several existing job configurations. For example:

$> tox -efull

which will run the same set of tests as the OpenStack gate. (it's exactly how the gate invokes Tempest) Or:

$> tox -esmoke

to run the tests tagged as smoke.


Detailed configuration of Tempest is beyond the scope of this document see tempest-configuration for more details on configuring Tempest. The etc/tempest.conf.sample attempts to be a self documenting version of the configuration.

You can generate a new sample tempest.conf file, run the following command from the top level of the Tempest directory:

tox -egenconfig

The most important pieces that are needed are the user ids, openstack endpoint, and basic flavors and images needed to run tests.

Unit Tests

Tempest also has a set of unit tests which test the Tempest code itself. These tests can be run by specifing the test discovery path:

$> OS_TEST_PATH=./tempest/tests testr run --parallel

By setting OS_TEST_PATH to ./tempest/tests it specifies that test discover should only be run on the unit test directory. The default value of OS_TEST_PATH is OS_TEST_PATH=./tempest/test_discover which will only run test discover on the Tempest suite.

Alternatively, you can use the script which will create a venv and run the unit tests. There are also the py27 and py34 tox jobs which will run the unit tests with the corresponding version of python.

Python 2.6

Starting in the kilo release the OpenStack services dropped all support for python 2.6. This change has been mirrored in Tempest, starting after the tempest-2 tag. This means that proposed changes to Tempest which only fix python 2.6 compatibility will be rejected, and moving forward more features not present in python 2.6 will be used. If you're running your OpenStack services on an earlier release with python 2.6 you can easily run Tempest against it from a remote system running python 2.7. (or deploy a cloud guest in your cloud that has python 2.7)

Python 3.4

Starting during the Liberty release development cycle work began on enabling Tempest to run under both Python 2.7 and Python 3.4. Tempest strives to fully support running with Python 3.4. A gating unit test job was added to also run Tempest's unit tests under Python 3.4. This means that the Tempest code at least imports under Python 3.4 and things that have unit test coverage will work on Python 3.4. However, because large parts of Tempest are self verifying there might be uncaught issues running on Python 3.4. So until there is a gating job which does a full Tempest run using Python 3.4 there isn't any guarantee that running Tempest under Python 3.4 is bug free.