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atf - Man Page

introduction to the Automated Testing Framework


The Automated Testing Framework (ATF) is a collection of libraries to implement test programs in a variety of languages. These libraries all offer similar functionality and any test program written with them exposes a consistent user interface.

Test programs using the ATF libraries rely on a separate runtime engine to execute them in a deterministic fashion. The runtime engine isolates the test programs from the rest of the system and ensures some common side-effects are cleaned up. The runtime engine is also responsible for gathering the results of all tests and composing reports. The current runtime of choice is Kyua, described in kyua(1).

If your operating systems distributes ATF, it should also provide an introductory tests(7) manual page. You are encouraged to read it now.

The rest of this manual page serves as a cross-reference to all the other documentation shipped with ATF.

Language bindings


C programming interface.


C++ programming interface.


sh(1) programming interface.

Miscellaneous pages


Generic description of test cases, independent of the language they are implemented in.


Common interface provided by the test programs written using the ATF libraries.

See Also

kyua(1), tests(7)


ATF started as a Google Summer of Code 2007 project mentored by The NetBSD Foundation. Its original goal was to provide a testing framework for the NetBSD operating system, but it grew as an independent project because the framework itself did not need to be tied to a specific operating system.

Originally, ATF shipped the collection of libraries described in this manual page as well as a runtime engine. The runtime engine has since been replaced by Kyua and the old tools were removed in 0.20, which shipped in early 2014.

As of late 2014, both FreeBSD and NetBSD ship ATF in their base systems and provide extensive test suites based on it.

For more details on historical changes, refer to:



For more details on the people that made ATF possible, refer to:


Referenced By

kyua(1), kyua-debug(1), kyuafile(5), kyua-test(1).

September 14, 2014