Monday, 23 September 2013

Testing Chef Cookbooks. Part 2. Chefspec.

So now you have less errors and typos in your cookbooks, thanks to foodcritic. But you are still far from confident that your cookbook will not fail to run on some node. Next step for acquiring it is unit tests (aka specs in ruby world).

Ruby has already a great spec library useful for unit testing every kind of project - it's called rspec. Many specialized unit test libraries are based on it and so is chefspec - the gem to write unit tests for your cookbooks.

Chefspec makes it easy to write unit tests for Chef recipes, get feedback fast on changes in cookbooks. So first let's install it.

sudo gem install rake chefspec --no-ri --no-rdoc

This will also add create_specs command to knife, which creates specs for particular existing cookbook:

knife cookbook create_specs my_cookbook

After this you will get a separate *_spec.rb file in my_cookbook/specs/ for every recipe file. Chefspec readme has very good examples teaching how to write tests. A couple of things I personally do different is I use subject and should instead of let(:chef_run) and expect(chef_run).to, because it allows to omit subject in some cases: (Read why RSpec developers actually recommend using expect_to syntax)

#Chefspec recommendations
describe "example::default" do
  let( :chef_run ){ described_recipe }
  it { expect(chef_run).to do_something }
  it 'does some other thing' do
    expect(chef_run).to do_another_thing

#My typical specs
describe "example::default" do
  subject { described_recipe }
  it { should do_something }
  it 'does some other thing' do
    should do_another_thing

We can also integrate it with Jenkins by making rspec output results in JUnit xml format that Jenkins understands. We need another gem for that:
sudo gem install rake rspec_junit_formatter --no-ri --no-rdoc
Now we can run rspec with the following parameters and it will output test results into test-results.xml:
rspec my_cookbook --format RspecJunitFormatter --out test-results.xml
Rspec also supports rake, so it may be more convenient to use it to run specs on your cookbooks:
desc 'Runs specs with chefspec.' :spec, [:cookbook, :recipe, :output_file] do |t, args|
 args.with_defaults( :cookbook => '*', :recipe => '*', :output_file => nil )
 t.verbose = false
 t.fail_on_error = false
 t.rspec_opts = args.output_file.nil? ? '--format d' : "--format RspecJunitFormatter --out #{args.output_file}"
 t.ruby_opts = '-W0' #it supports ruby options too
 t.pattern = "cookbooks/#{args.cookbook}/spec/#{args.recipe}_spec.rb"