An example task: checking for ext4 support

To get a basic idea of how we can use beaker-wizard, we will create a new task which will check whether the platform supports the ext4 filesystem. We use restraint as a test harness, since it allows us to define Beaker jobs with tasks retrieved from a git repository.

If you have a basic understanding of test frameworks and don’t want to install the beaker-wizard, you can jump right to the Implementing the test part of the tutorial.


The beaker-wizard utility provides a guided step by step method to create a task without the need to manually create all of the necessary files.

In case you do not have beaker-wizard available, install it by following the installation guide for the bkr client.

Generating the skeleton using beaker-wizard

Create a directory with the name ext4-task. The directory will hold metadata and task executable. From your terminal, type:

$ mkdir ext4-task
$ cd ext4-task
$ beaker-wizard --current-directory

and follow beaker-wizard. If in doubt choose the default values offered by the wizard. As a test-name use ext4-test. Finally, press the enter key to create the task:

File PURPOSE written
File written
File Makefile written

Implementing the test

In the ext4-test directory, you will notice that the three files: PURPOSE,, and a Makefile have been created. The test itself is kept in executed by the test harness using the Makefile, while PURPOSE provides information for humans.

PURPOSE and Makefile are actually not needed when using the restraint test harness. Alternatively, you can create a metadata file instead.

The test is written using BeakerLib commands. The functionality is divided into three stages: setup, start and cleanup, as indicated by the rlPhaseStartSetup, rlPhaseStartTest and rlPhaseStartCleanup functions respectively.

Remove the setup (rlPhaseStartSetup) and teardown (rlPhaseStartCleanup) phases, since they’re not needed for this simple test. Replace the actual test code (starting with rlPhaseStartTest) so that the file looks like this:

# Include Beaker environment
. /usr/bin/ || exit 1
. /usr/share/beakerlib/ || exit 1

        rlRun "cat /proc/filesystems | grep 'ext4'" 0 "Check if ext4 is supported"

The BeakerLib manual provides an extensive reference of what utility functions are available to test authors.

Testing the task from a git repository

In order to test your task, create a public git repository (e.g. Fedora’s Pagure, github, etc) and publish your code.

Next we will submit a Beaker job to run our newly published task. We will need to write a job definition using Beaker’s job XML syntax. As mentioned above, we want to select the restraint harness which is capable of fetching our task directly from its git repository. The job will contain one recipe, using a version of Fedora, with one task in the recipe:

     ext4 test
     <recipe ks_meta="harness='restraint beakerlib'">
           <distro_family op="=" value="Fedora23"/>
           <distro_arch op="=" value="x86_64"/>
       <hostRequires />

         <fetch url="<URL OF YOUR TASK REPOSITORY>" />


Running the task

You can then submit the job (see Job submission). After the job has completed, you can access the logs as described in Job results. You will see that on success, the taskout.log file will provide verbose information about the progress of the test and it’s result.

The overall workflow of creating a task for a test, submitting a job to run the test and accessing the test results is illustrated in Chronological overview.

Next steps

The Beaker meta tasks git repository provides tasks which are in use daily by the Beaker team. They can give you further information on how you can write tasks. The task described in this tutorial can be inspected in the same repository under examples. If you run into problems when scheduling your task in Beaker, the Troubleshooting section might be of interest to you. Further information on the test harness used in this tutorial can be found in the Restraint documentation.