Deckhand has only been tested against a Ubuntu 16.04 environment. The guide below assumes the user is using Ubuntu.

Unit testing


pifpaf is used to spin up a temporary postgresql database for unit tests. The DB URL is set up as an environment variable via PIFPAF_URL which is referenced by Deckhand’s unit test suite.

  1. PostgreSQL must be installed. To do so, run:

    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install postgresql postgresql-contrib -y
  2. When running pifpaf run postgresql (implicitly called by unit tests below), pifpaf uses pg_config which can be installed by running:

    $ sudo apt-get install libpq-dev -y


Unit testing currently uses an in-memory SQLite database. Since Deckhand’s primary function is to serve as the back-end storage for Airship, the majority of unit tests perform actual database operations. Mocking is used sparingly because Deckhand is a fairly insular application that lives at the bottom of a very deep stack; Deckhand only communicates with Keystone and Barbican. As such, validating database operations is paramount to correctly testing Deckhand.

To run unit tests using SQLite, execute:

$ tox -epy36

against a py36-backed environment, respectively.

To run unit tests using PostgreSQL, execute:

$ tox -epy36-postgresql

To run individual unit tests, run (for example):

$ tox -e py36 -- deckhand.tests.unit.db.test_revisions


It is not recommended to run postgresql-backed unit tests concurrently. Only run them serially. This is because, to guarantee true test isolation, the DB tables are re-created each test run. Only one instance of PostgreSQL is created across all threads, thus causing major conflicts if concurrency > 1.

Functional testing


  • Docker

    Deckhand requires Docker to run its functional tests. A basic installation guide for Docker for Ubuntu can be found here

  • uwsgi

    Can be installed on Ubuntu systems via:

    sudo apt-get install uwsgi -y


Deckhand uses gabbi as its functional testing framework. Functional tests can be executed via:

$ tox -e functional-dev

You can also run a subset of tests via a regex:

$ tox -e functional-dev -- gabbi.suitemaker.test_gabbi_document-crud-success-multi-bucket

The command executes tools/functional-tests.sh which:

  1. Launches Postgresql inside a Docker container.
  2. Sets up a basic Deckhand configuration file that uses Postgresql in its oslo_db connection string.
  3. Sets up a custom policy file with very liberal permissions so that gabbi can talk to Deckhand without having to authenticate against Keystone and pass an admin token to Deckhand.
  4. Instantiates Deckhand via uwisgi.
  5. Calls gabbi which runs a battery of functional tests.
  6. An HTML report that visualizes the result of the test run is output to results/index.html.

Note that functional tests can be run concurrently; the flags --workers and --threads which are passed to uwsgi can be > 1.


At this time, there are no functional tests for policy enforcement verification. Negative tests will be added at a later date to confirm that a 403 Forbidden is raised for each endpoint that does policy enforcement absent necessary permissions.


Since it is important to validate the Deckhand image itself, CICD:

  • Generates the Deckhand image from the new patchset
  • Runs functional tests against the just-produced Deckhand image

Deckhand uses the same script – tools/functional-tests.sh – for CICD testing. To test Deckhand against a containerized image, run, for example:

export DECKHAND_IMAGE=quay.io/airshipit/deckhand:latest-ubuntu_bionic
tox -e functional-dev

Which will result in the following script output:

Running Deckhand via Docker
+ sleep 5
+ sudo docker run --rm --net=host -p 9000:9000 -v /opt/stack/deckhand/tmp.oBJ6XScFgC:/etc/deckhand quay.io/airshipit/deckhand:latest-ubuntu_bionic


For testing dev changes, it is not recommended to follow this approach, as the most up-to-date code is located in the repository itself. Running tests against a remote image will likely result in false positives.


  • For any errors related to tox:

    Ensure that tox is installed:

    $ sudo apt-get install tox -y
  • For any errors related to running tox -e py36:

    Ensure that python3-dev is installed:

    $ sudo apt-get install python3-dev -y