3. Testing OpenFAST

OpenFAST is a complex software with many moving parts. In order to maintain stability in new and existing code, a test suite is included directly in the source code. Two primary levels of tests exist: regression tests at the highest level and unit tests at the lowest level. The regression tests compare locally generated results with stored “baseline” results. These tests give an indication of whether the full-system or sub-system response has changed. The unit tests focus on a single subroutine or code block. These tests need not be physically realistic and focus on the mathematics and exersizing of an algorithm. The objective of the included tests is to quickly catch bugs or unexpected changes in results. Additionally, the tests can help programmers design their module and subroutine interfaces in a sustainable and maintainable manner.

All of the necessary files corresponding to the regression tests are contained in the reg_tests directory. The unit test framework is housed in unit_tests while the actual tests are contained in the directory corresponding to the tested module.

The OpenFAST GitHub repository uses GitHub Actions to automatically execute the test suite for new commits and pull requests. This cloud computing resource is available to all GitHub users and is highly recommended as part of the development workflow. After enabling GitHub Actions in an OpenFAST repository, simply pushing new commits will trigger the tests.

3.3. Obtaining and configuring the test suite

Portions of the test suite are linked to the OpenFAST repository through a git submodule. Specifically, the following two repositories are included:


Be sure to clone the repo with the --recursive flag or execute git submodule update --init --recursive after cloning.

The test suite is configured with CMake similar to the general OpenFAST build process with an additional CMake flag:

# BUILD_TESTING     - Build the testing tree (Default: OFF)

Aside from this flag, the default CMake configuration is suitable for most systems. See the Understanding CMake section for more details on configuring the CMake targets. While the unit tests must be built with CMake due to its external dependencies, the regression test may be executed without CMake, as described in Executing with Python driver.