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Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2022

prove (1)


prove - Run tests through a TAP harness.


Please see following description for synopsis


Perl Programmers Reference Guide                                      PROVE(1)

       prove - Run tests through a TAP harness.

        prove [options] [files or directories]

       Boolean options:

        -v,  --verbose         Print all test lines.
        -l,  --lib             Add 'lib' to the path for your tests (-Ilib).
        -b,  --blib            Add 'blib/lib' and 'blib/arch' to the path for
                               your tests
        -s,  --shuffle         Run the tests in random order.
        -c,  --color           Colored test output (default).
             --nocolor         Do not color test output.
             --count           Show the X/Y test count when not verbose
             --nocount         Disable the X/Y test count.
        -D   --dry             Dry run. Show test that would have run.
        -f,  --failures        Show failed tests.
        -o,  --comments        Show comments.
             --ignore-exit     Ignore exit status from test scripts.
        -m,  --merge           Merge test scripts' STDERR with their STDOUT.
        -r,  --recurse         Recursively descend into directories.
             --reverse         Run the tests in reverse order.
        -q,  --quiet           Suppress some test output while running tests.
        -Q,  --QUIET           Only print summary results.
        -p,  --parse           Show full list of TAP parse errors, if any.
             --directives      Only show results with TODO or SKIP directives.
             --timer           Print elapsed time after each test.
             --trap            Trap Ctrl-C and print summary on interrupt.
             --normalize       Normalize TAP output in verbose output
        -T                     Enable tainting checks.
        -t                     Enable tainting warnings.
        -W                     Enable fatal warnings.
        -w                     Enable warnings.
        -h,  --help            Display this help
        -?,                    Display this help
        -V,  --version         Display the version
        -H,  --man             Longer manpage for prove
             --norc            Don't process default .proverc

       Options that take arguments:

        -I                     Library paths to include.
        -P                     Load plugin (searches App::Prove::Plugin::*.)
        -M                     Load a module.
        -e,  --exec            Interpreter to run the tests ('' for compiled
             --ext             Set the extension for tests (default '.t')
             --harness         Define test harness to use.  See TAP::Harness.
             --formatter       Result formatter to use. See FORMATTERS.
             --source          Load and/or configure a SourceHandler. See
                               SOURCE HANDLERS.
        -a,  --archive out.tgz Store the resulting TAP in an archive file.
        -j,  --jobs N          Run N test jobs in parallel (try 9.)
             --state=opts      Control prove's persistent state.
             --statefile=file  Use `file` instead of `.prove` for state
             --rc=rcfile       Process options from rcfile
             --rules           Rules for parallel vs sequential processing.

       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | runtime/perl-532      |
       |Stability      | Pass-through volatile |

       If ~/.proverc or ./.proverc exist they will be read and any options
       they contain processed before the command line options. Options in
       .proverc are specified in the same way as command line options:

           # .proverc

       Additional option files may be specified with the "--rc" option.
       Default option file processing is disabled by the "--norc" option.

       Under Windows and VMS the option file is named _proverc rather than
       .proverc and is sought only in the current directory.

   Reading from "STDIN"
       If you have a list of tests (or URLs, or anything else you want to
       test) in a file, you can add them to your tests by using a '-':

        prove - < my_list_of_things_to_test.txt

       See the "README" in the "examples" directory of this distribution.

   Default Test Directory
       If no files or directories are supplied, "prove" looks for all files
       matching the pattern "t/*.t".

   Colored Test Output
       Colored test output using TAP::Formatter::Color is the default, but if
       output is not to a terminal, color is disabled. You can override this
       by adding the "--color" switch.

       Color support requires Term::ANSIColor and, on windows platforms, also
       Win32::Console::ANSI. If the necessary module(s) are not installed
       colored output will not be available.

   Exit Code
       If the tests fail "prove" will exit with non-zero status.

   Arguments to Tests
       It is possible to supply arguments to tests. To do so separate them
       from prove's own arguments with the arisdottle, '::'. For example

        prove -v t/mytest.t :: --url http://example.com

       would run t/mytest.t with the options '--url http://example.com'.  When
       running multiple tests they will each receive the same arguments.

       Normally you can just pass a list of Perl tests and the harness will
       know how to execute them.  However, if your tests are not written in
       Perl or if you want all tests invoked exactly the same way, use the
       "-e", or "--exec" switch:

        prove --exec '/usr/bin/ruby -w' t/
        prove --exec '/usr/bin/perl -Tw -mstrict -Ilib' t/
        prove --exec '/path/to/my/customer/exec'

       If you need to make sure your diagnostics are displayed in the correct
       order relative to test results you can use the "--merge" option to
       merge the test scripts' STDERR into their STDOUT.

       This guarantees that STDOUT (where the test results appear) and STDERR
       (where the diagnostics appear) will stay in sync. The harness will
       display any diagnostics your tests emit on STDERR.

       Caveat: this is a bit of a kludge. In particular note that if anything
       that appears on STDERR looks like a test result the test harness will
       get confused. Use this option only if you understand the consequences
       and can live with the risk.

       The "--trap" option will attempt to trap SIGINT (Ctrl-C) during a test
       run and display the test summary even if the run is interrupted

       You can ask "prove" to remember the state of previous test runs and
       select and/or order the tests to be run based on that saved state.

       The "--state" switch requires an argument which must be a comma
       separated list of one or more of the following options.

           Run the same tests as the last time the state was saved. This makes
           it possible, for example, to recreate the ordering of a shuffled

               # Run all tests in random order
               $ prove -b --state=save --shuffle

               # Run them again in the same order
               $ prove -b --state=last

           Run only the tests that failed on the last run.

               # Run all tests
               $ prove -b --state=save

               # Run failures
               $ prove -b --state=failed

           If you also specify the "save" option newly passing tests will be
           excluded from subsequent runs.

               # Repeat until no more failures
               $ prove -b --state=failed,save

           Run only the passed tests from last time. Useful to make sure that
           no new problems have been introduced.

           Run all tests in normal order. Multple options may be specified, so
           to run all tests with the failures from last time first:

               $ prove -b --state=failed,all,save

           Run the tests that most recently failed first. The last failure
           time of each test is stored. The "hot" option causes tests to be
           run in most-recent- failure order.

               $ prove -b --state=hot,save

           Tests that have never failed will not be selected. To run all tests
           with the most recently failed first use

               $ prove -b --state=hot,all,save

           This combination of options may also be specified thus

               $ prove -b --state=adrian

           Run any tests with todos.

           Run the tests in slowest to fastest order. This is useful in
           conjunction with the "-j" parallel testing switch to ensure that
           your slowest tests start running first.

               $ prove -b --state=slow -j9

           Run test tests in fastest to slowest order.

           Run the tests in newest to oldest order based on the modification
           times of the test scripts.

           Run the tests in oldest to newest order.

           Run those test scripts that have been modified since the last test

           Save the state on exit. The state is stored in a file called .prove
           (_prove on Windows and VMS) in the current directory.

       The "--state" switch may be used more than once.

           $ prove -b --state=hot --state=all,save

       The "--rules" option is used to control which tests are run
       sequentially and which are run in parallel, if the "--jobs" option is
       specified. The option may be specified multiple times, and the order

       The most practical use is likely to specify that some tests are not
       "parallel-ready".  Since mentioning a file with --rules doesn't cause
       it to be selected to run as a test, you can "set and forget" some rules
       preferences in your .proverc file. Then you'll be able to take maximum
       advantage of the performance benefits of parallel testing, while some
       exceptions are still run in parallel.

       --rules examples

           # All tests are allowed to run in parallel, except those starting with "p"
           --rules='seq=t/p*.t' --rules='par=**'

           # All tests must run in sequence except those starting with "p", which should be run parallel

       --rules resolution

       o   By default, all tests are eligible to be run in parallel.
           Specifying any of your own rules removes this one.

       o   "First match wins". The first rule that matches a test will be the
           one that applies.

       o   Any test which does not match a rule will be run in sequence at the
           end of the run.

       o   The existence of a rule does not imply selecting a test. You must
           still specify the tests to run.

       o   Specifying a rule to allow tests to run in parallel does not make
           them run in parallel. You still need specify the number of parallel
           "jobs" in your Harness object.

       --rules Glob-style pattern matching

       We implement our own glob-style pattern matching for --rules. Here are
       the supported patterns:

           ** is any number of characters, including /, within a pathname
           * is zero or more characters within a filename/directory name
           ? is exactly one character within a filename/directory name
           {foo,bar,baz} is any of foo, bar or baz.
           \ is an escape character

       More advanced specifications for parallel vs sequence run rules

       If you need more advanced management of what runs in parallel vs in
       sequence, see the associated 'rules' documentation in TAP::Harness and
       TAP::Parser::Scheduler.  If what's possible directly through "prove" is
       not sufficient, you can write your own harness to access these features

       prove introduces a separation between "options passed to the perl which
       runs prove" and "options passed to the perl which runs tests"; this
       distinction is by design. Thus the perl which is running a test starts
       with the default @INC. Additional library directories can be added via
       the "PERL5LIB" environment variable, via -Ifoo in "PERL5OPT" or via the
       "-Ilib" option to prove.

   Taint Mode
       Normally when a Perl program is run in taint mode the contents of the
       "PERL5LIB" environment variable do not appear in @INC.

       Because "PERL5LIB" is often used during testing to add build
       directories to @INC prove passes the names of any directories found in
       "PERL5LIB" as -I switches. The net effect of this is that "PERL5LIB" is
       honoured even when prove is run in taint mode.

       Source code for open source software components in Oracle Solaris can
       be found at https://www.oracle.com/downloads/opensource/solaris-source-

       This software was built from source available at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.  The original community
       source was downloaded from

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at https://www.perl.org/.

       You can load a custom TAP::Parser::Formatter:

         prove --formatter MyFormatter

       You can load custom TAP::Parser::SourceHandlers, to change the way the
       parser interprets particular sources of TAP.

         prove --source MyHandler --source YetAnother t

       If you want to provide config to the source you can use:

         prove --source MyCustom \
               --source Perl --perl-option 'foo=bar baz' --perl-option avg=0.278 \
               --source File --file-option extensions=.txt --file-option extensions=.tmp t
               --source pgTAP --pgtap-option pset=format=html --pgtap-option pset=border=2

       Each "--$source-option" option must specify a key/value pair separated
       by an "=". If an option can take multiple values, just specify it
       multiple times, as with the "extensions=" examples above. If the option
       should be a hash reference, specify the value as a second pair
       separated by a "=", as in the "pset=" examples above (escape "=" with a

       All "--sources" are combined into a hash, and passed to "new" in
       TAP::Harness's "sources" parameter.

       See TAP::Parser::IteratorFactory for more details on how configuration
       is passed to SourceHandlers.

       Plugins can be loaded using the "-Pplugin" syntax, eg:

         prove -PMyPlugin

       This will search for a module named "App::Prove::Plugin::MyPlugin", or
       failing that, "MyPlugin".  If the plugin can't be found, "prove" will
       complain & exit.

       You can pass arguments to your plugin by appending "=arg1,arg2,etc" to
       the plugin name:

         prove -PMyPlugin=fou,du,fafa

       Please check individual plugin documentation for more details.

   Available Plugins
       For an up-to-date list of plugins available, please check CPAN:


   Writing Plugins
       Please see "PLUGINS" in App::Prove.

perl v5.32.0                      2022-06-28                          PROVE(1)