Getting started

How to install Testground, and run your first test plan

Installing Testground



Currently, we don't distribute binaries, so you will have to build from source.

$ git clone
$ cd testground
# compile Testground and all related dependencies
$ make install

Running Testground

In order to use Testground, you need to have a running Testground daemon.

# start the Testground daemon, listening by default on localhost:8042
# it processes commands received from the Testground client
$ testground daemon

$TESTGROUND_HOME is an important directory. If not explicitly set, Testground uses $HOME/testground as a default. The layout of $TESTGROUND_HOME is as follows:

|__ plans >>> [c] contains test plans, can be git checkouts, symlinks to local dirs, or the source itself
| |__ suite-a >>> test plans can be grouped in suites (which in turn can be nested); this enables you to host many test plans in a single repo / directory.
| | |__ plan-1 >>> source of a test plan identified by suite-a/plan-1 (relative to $TESTGROUND_HOME/plans)
| | |__ plan-2
| |__ plan-3 >>> source of a test plan identified by plan-3 (relative to $TESTGROUND_HOME/plans)
|__ sdks >>> [c] hosts the test development SDKs that the client knows about, so they can be used with the --link-sdk option.
| |__ sdk-go
|__ data >>> [d] data directory
|__ outputs
|__ work
[c] = used client-side // [d] = used mostly daemon-side.

Running an example test plan

The first test plan that we will run is the network test plan and the ping-pong test case.

The ping-pong test case starts 2 test plan instances: one that listens on a TCP socket and another that dials it. The test case exercises the sync service as well as the traffic shaping and IP allocation functionality.

Configure $TESTGROUND_HOME and copy the example network test plan into the $TESTGROUND_HOME/plans directory.

# assuming you already started your Testground daemon (as instructed above)
# there should be a `testground` directory in your home folder, i.e. `~/testground`
# from your testground/testground Git checkout, run:
$ testground plan import --from ./plans/network
created symlink /Users/raul/testground/plans/network -> ./plans/network
imported plans:
network ping-pong

Run the networktestplan and the ping-pong test case with the docker:go builder and the local:docker runner.

Make sure you have testground daemon running in another terminal window.

$ testground run single \
--plan=network \
--testcase=ping-pong \
--builder=docker:go \
--runner=local:docker \

During the first run the Testground daemon sets up the builder and runner environments. Subsequent runs will be faster.

You should see a flurry of activity, including measurements, messages, and runtime events. When the execution concludes, you will see something like:

INFO run finished successfully {"req_id": "d570c53a", "plan": "network", "case": "ping-pong", "runner": "local:docker", "instances": 2}
>>> Result:
INFO finished run with ID: 5222e5df793b

In the local runners, all test plan run outputs and logs are stored at $TESTGROUND_HOME/data. Collect them into a bundle with the following command (replacing 5222e5df793b with the corresponding run ID):

$ testground collect --runner=local:docker 5222e5df793b
>>> Result:
INFO created file: 5222e5df793b.tgz

Open the bundle and you will find the outputs from the test in there:

Configuration (.env.toml)

.env.tomlis a configuration file read by the Testground daemon and the Testground client on startup.

Testground tries to load this file from $TESTGROUND_HOME/.env.toml, where $TESTGROUND_HOME defaults to $HOME/testground by default.

Changing default daemon bind addresses

You can change the default bind addresses by configuring daemon.listen and client.endpoint

listen = ":8080"
endpoint = "localhost:8080"

AWS integration

When using a remote runner such as cluster:k8s, you should configure the default region:

region = "aws region, such as eu-central-1"

The AWS configuration is also used if you push Docker images to AWS ECR from the docker:go builder using the --build-cfg push_registry=true and --build-cfg registry_type=aws flags.

DockerHub integration

If you want to push Docker images from the docker:go builder to a DockerHub registry, you can configure it.

repo = "repo to be used for testground"
username = "username"
access_token = "docker hub access token"

Resolving issues with the Windows Subsystem for Linux

Version 2 of Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL2) enables a new backend for Docker Desktop in which Docker runs on the same virtual machine as the Linux userland instead of in a separate VM. This makes Docker much faster and uses system resource more efficiently, but the default Linux kernel for WSL2 is not compatible with testground's traffic shaping feature.

Note that if you're using version 1 of WSL, or if Docker Desktop is not configured to use the WSL2 backend, you should not be affected by this issue. Affected users will see errors similar to the following when running a test plan that uses traffic shaping:

ERROR sidecar worker failed: failed to initialise the container: failed to initialize link default (eth1): failed to set root qdisc: no such file or directory

To enable traffic shaping under WSL2, you'll need to build a Linux kernel with a custom configuration.

First, install the requirements for building the kernel:

sudo apt install build-essential flex bison libssl-dev libelf-dev

This assumes you're using a debian based distribution like Ubuntu; adapt to your preferred package manager otherwise.

Then clone the kernel sources:

git clone --depth=1
cd WSL2-Linux-Kernel

And copy Microsoft's kernel config to use as a base:

cp Microsoft/config-wsl .config

Now edit the .config file and find the Queueing/Scheduling section. We want it to look like this:

# Queueing/Scheduling
# CONFIG_DEFAULT_FQ is not set

It's also a good idea to change the CONFIG_LOCALVERSION setting from "-microsoft-standard" to something recognizable, e.g. "-wsl-traffic-shaping".

Now you can build the kernel:


When it's finished, copy the compiled kernel somewhere on your Windows filesystem. For this example, we'll put the kernel at C:\wsl\kernel-traffic-shaping.bzImage.

Create the c:\wsl folder if needed, then copy the file:

cp arch/x86_64/boot/bzImage /mnt/c/wsl/kernel-traffic-shaping.bzImage

To use the new kernel, edit the .wslconfig file in your Windows home directory, creating it if it doesn't exist:


Notice that you need to use Windows-style paths with escaped backslashes.

Now from a Windows command prompt, run wsl.exe --shutdown - this will halt the Linux VM, so make sure you don't have any unsaved work in Linux land.

Opening a new WSL session should use the new kernel. You can verify this with uname -a, which should show the value you set for CONFIG_LOCALVERSION earlier instead of -microsoft-standard.

Now, testground traffic shaping should work as expected. You can verify this by running the network/ping-pong plan included in the testground repository.