Side-loading Providers

If you want to create a new job, or tweak an existing one without a need to repackage the provider or the snap, you can use side-loaded providers.

If the path /var/tmp/checkbox-providers exists, Checkbox will load providers from that path. If any given provider has the same namespace and the same name as an existing (installed or supplied with the same snap) provider, only the side-loaded one will be used.

You may override as many providers as you find necessary. There’s also no limit on the number of new providers supplied with side-loading.


side-loading is a means to quickly iterate when developing new jobs. Don’t use it in production. Also remember to empty (or delete) the /var/tmp/checkbox-providers directory once you’re done developing, so you don’t get nasty surprises down the line. Checkbox will not submit any reports to Certification website if side-loaded providers have been used.

Example scenario

Goal: change the runtime of the stress/cpu_stress_ng_test job without rebuilding snap.

Make sure that checkbox snap is installed. It comes with following providers available:


Create checkbox-providers directory in /var/tmp/:

mkdir /var/tmp/checkbox-providers


You may not have write permissions for /var/tmp/. You may want to run mkdir with sudo and later chown that directory

Clone Checkbox repository and copy the base provider to the side-loaded directory:

cd $HOME
git clone --depth=1
cp -r $HOME/checkbox/providers/base /var/tmp/checkbox-providers/


–depth=1 tells git not to download all the history of the repo

When started, Checkbox should display following warning:

$ checkbox.checkbox-cli
Using sideloaded provider: checkbox-provider-base, version 2.1.0 from

Let’s edit the job definition:

$ vim /var/tmp/checkbox-providers/base/units/stress/jobs.pxu

Now let’s run Checkbox:

$ checkbox.checkbox-cli

The recently edited definition should be used.