Testing on the C track

Learn how to test your C exercises on Exercism

Each exercise supplies the unit tests and a Make build recipe. You provide the implementation.

Each test file is meant to link against your implementation to provide a console executable that runs the tests. Running the test executable prints messages for each failing test and reports a non-zero exit status when tests fail.

To work through an exercise:

  • Create the initial build with Make
  • For each unit test:
    • Remove the TEST_IGNORE() line.
    • Satisfy any compile errors to make the test fail.
    • Implement just enough to make the test pass.
    • Refactor your implementation to enhance readability, reduce duplication, etc.

Compiling and running the tests

Each exercise will bring a makefile file along with a .c with the unit tests. You should not need to edit the Make file. The provided Make file assumes that your implementation exists as a header file (.h) and a source file (.c) named after the exercise.

For instance, the exercise bob expects an implementation in bob.h and bob.c. For exercises with dashes in their name, the source files are assumed to use underscores, so word-count expects word_count.h and word_count.c. You may decide that your implementation is sufficiently simple that it can live entirely in the header, in which case you can omit the .c file.

Create your initial implementation files before running Make. If you do not have files bob.h and bob.c when running Make for exercise bob, then Make will generate an error about files not being found. These files can be empty, but they must exist.

Build your code

The simplest way to build your code is by using make at the command line (CLI). On Linux the CLI is available in bash or similar, on MacOS use Terminal. On Windows 10, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Bash is available.

To do this, assuming the current directory is the exercise folder:

$ make

This will compile your code, and run the tests.

The makefile comes also with a build that checks some common mistakes regarding memory leaks and out of bound access to arrays. To run these checks, use the following at the command line:

$ make memcheck

Clean up

To clean up after a build, you can tell make to delete all of the build output, including the executable:

$ make clean

MacOS Build Alternative

On MacOS you can also use Xcode. To build the code select Build from the toolbar.