Basic usage

Once PCVS is installed through the Installation Guide, the pcvs is available in PATH. This program is the only entry point to PCVS:

$ pcvs
Usage: pcvs [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...

PCVS main program.

-v, --verbose              Verbosity (cumulative)  [env var: PCVS_VERBOSE]
-c, --color / --no-color   Use colors to beautify the output  [env var:
-g, --glyph / --no-glyph   enable/disable Unicode glyphs  [env var:
-C, --exec-path DIRECTORY  [env var: PCVS_EXEC_PATH]
-V, --version              Display current version
-w, --width INTEGER        Terminal width (autodetection if omitted
-P, --plugin-path PATH     Default Plugin path prefix  [env var:
-m, --plugin TEXT
-help, -h, --help          Show this message and exit.

bank     Persistent data repository management
check    Ensure future input will be conformant to standards
clean    Remove artifacts generated from PCVS
config   Manage Configuration blocks
exec     Running a specific test
profile  Manage Profiles
report   Manage PCVS result reporting interface
run      Run a validation
scan     Analyze directories to build up test conf. files
session  Manage multiple validations

Build a profile

A profile contains the whole PCVS configuration in a single component. While this approach allow deeply complex approaches, we’ll target a simple MPI implementatino for this example. To create the most basic profile able to run MPI programs, we may herit ours from pre-generated called a template:

$ pcvs profile create -t mpi user.newprofile

A new profile is created and stored in the user space and will be available for any further pcvs invocations. It is also possible to set this profile as local (only for the current directory) or global (anyone able to use this PCVS installation. You may replace newprofile by a name of your choice. For a complete list of available templates, please check pcvs profile list --all.

A profile can be edited if necessary with pcvs profile edit newprofile. It will open an $EDITOR. When exiting, the profile is validated to ensure coherency. In case it does not fulfill a proper format, a rejection file is crated in the current directory. Once fixed, the profile can be saved as a replacement with:

$ pcvs profile import newprofile --force --source file.yml


The --force option will overwrite any profile with the same name, if it exists. Please use this option with care. In case of a rejection, the import needs to be forced in order to replace the old one.

Implement test descriptions

For a short example of implementing test descriptions, please refer to the Test-suite layout shown in the Getting-Started guide. A more detailed presentation of test description capabilities is available in its own documentation page.

The most basic pcvs.yml file may look like this:

        files: ['main.c']
        program: ['a.out']

PCVS also support building programs through Make, CMake & Autotools, each system having its own set of keys to configure:

  • allow to configure a Make target to invoke.

  • build.cmake.vars: variables to forward to cmake (to be prefixed w/ -D)

  • build.autotools.params: configure script flags

  • build.autotools.autogen: boolean whether to execute first.

Proper YAML formats can be checked before running a test-suite with:

$ pcvs check --directory /path/to/dir
$ pcvs check --profiles

Run a test-suite

Start a run from the local directory with our profile is as simple as:

$ pcvs run --profile newprofile

A list of directories can also be given. Once started, the validation process is logged under $PWD/.pcvs-build directory. If the directory already exists, it is cleaned up and reused. A lock is put in that directory to protect against concurrent PCVS execution in the same directory.