A few more Checkbox commands

Checkbox comes with a bunch of commands. To see them, run the following in a terminal:

checkbox.checkbox-cli --help

usage: checkbox-cli [-h] [-v] [--debug] [--clear-cache] [--clear-old-sessions] [--version]

positional arguments:
                        subcommand to run

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -v, --verbose         print more logging from checkbox
  --debug               print debug messages from checkbox
  --clear-cache         remove cached results from the system
  --clear-old-sessions  remove previous sessions' data
  --version             show program's version information and exit

You’ve already seen the check-config and the launcher commands. In this section, you will use a few other commands that can be helpful to explore what’s available in Checkbox.

List available objects

Checkbox handles a lot of “objects” when it’s running. These objects can be the different Checkbox unit types (jobs, test plans, etc.), but they also include the test scripts, the test providers themselves and even the test sessions known to Checkbox!

To get a list of all the available Checkbox objects on your system, run:

checkbox.checkbox-cli list
service 'service object'
    provider 'com.canonical.plainbox:manifest'
        file '/snap/checkbox22/current/lib/python3.10/site-packages/plainbox/impl/providers/manifest/README.md'
        file '/snap/checkbox22/current/lib/python3.10/site-packages/plainbox/impl/providers/manifest/bin/plainbox-manifest-collect'
        job 'com.canonical.certification::tpm2.0_4.1.1/tpm2_verifysignature'
        job 'com.canonical.certification::tpm2.0_4.1.1/pcr0_mismatch_check'
        job 'com.canonical.certification::tpm2.0_4.1.1/context_gap_max_check'
        file '/snap/checkbox22/current/providers/checkbox-provider-tpm2/units/tpm2_4.1.1.pxu'

That’s a lot of objects! Fortunately, it is possible to retrieve objects from a specific group. Let’s see what test plans are available, for instance:

checkbox.checkbox-cli list "test plan"

test plan 'com.canonical.certification::6lowpan-automated'
test plan 'com.canonical.certification::acpi-automated'
test plan 'com.canonical.certification::audio-cert-full'
test plan 'com.canonical.certification::tpm-cert-focal-automated'
test plan 'com.canonical.certification::tpm-cert-automated'

Combined with a grep command, it is possible to find all the test plans related to audio testing:

checkbox.checkbox-cli list "test plan" | grep audio

test plan 'com.canonical.certification::audio-cert-full'
test plan 'com.canonical.certification::audio-cert-manual'
test plan 'com.canonical.certification::after-suspend-audio-pa-manual'
test plan 'com.canonical.certification::after-suspend-audio-automated'

Or let’s list all the available jobs (test cases):

checkbox.checkbox-cli list all-jobs

id: com.canonical.certification::6lowpan/kconfig
kernel config options for 6LoWPAN
id: com.canonical.certification::IEEE_80211
Creates resource info for wifi supported protocols/interfaces
id: com.canonical.certification::acpi/oem_osi
test ACPI OEM _OSI strings

By default, the output for the all-jobs option is to list the job identifier followed by its summary (or <missing summary> if there is no summary). We can tailor the output using the --format parameter and all the fields available from the jobs. To see what fields are available, run:

checkbox.checkbox-cli list all-jobs --format ?

Available fields are:
_description, _purpose, _siblings, _steps, _summary, _verification, after,
category_id, command, depends, environ, estimated_duration, flags, full_id,
id, imports, plugin, require, requires, template-engine, template-filter,
template-resource, template-unit, unit, user


These fields are explained in the Job Unit page.


The underscore before some of the fields names simply means the content of this field can be translated into another language.

To create a table listing each job id and their summary, run:

checkbox.checkbox-cli list all-jobs --format "{id:30}\t|\t{_summary}\n"

6lowpan/kconfig                     |       kernel config options for 6LoWPAN
IEEE_80211                          |       Creates resource info for wifi supported protocols/interfaces
acpi/oem_osi                        |       test ACPI OEM _OSI strings
acpi_sleep_attachment               |       <missing _summary>
xinput                              |       Creates resource info from xinput output.
zapper_capabilities                 |       Get Zapper's setup capabilities
collect-manifest                    |       Collect the hardware manifest (interactively)
manifest                            |       Hardware Manifest


\n and \t in the formatting string are interpreted and replaced with new line and tab respectively.

When using your own formatting, the jobs are not suffixed with a new line: you have to explicitly use it.

List the content of a test plan as executed by Checkbox

In the previous section, you’ve listed all the test plans related to audio. Select one of them, for instance com.canonical.certification::audio-cert-automated, and see what jobs it contains:

checkbox.checkbox-cli list-bootstrapped com.canonical.certification::audio-cert-automated


If you were to run this test plan with Checkbox, it would run these jobs in the order shown above.


The name of this command refers to the Checkbox bootstrapping phase.

But what are these jobs exactly? You can use the show command to see the content of a Checkbox object.

Show the content of a Checkbox object

Have a look at the com.canonical.certification::audio/list_devices job listed in the com.canonical.certification::audio-cert-automated test plan above, for instance. What is it exactly? What does it contain? What is its definition? Use the show command to find out:

checkbox.checkbox-cli show com.canonical.certification::audio/list_devices

origin: /snap/checkbox22/current/providers/checkbox-provider-base/units/audio/jobs.pxu:1-9
plugin: shell
category_id: com.canonical.plainbox::audio
id: audio/list_devices
estimated_duration: 1.0
 device.category == 'AUDIO'
 package.name == 'alsa-base'
command: cat /proc/asound/cards
_description: Test to detect audio devices

The first line tells you that this job comes from lines 1 to 9 of the /snap/checkbox22/current/providers/checkbox-provider-base/units/audio/jobs.pxu file. The other lines show its definition. We can see what it does (“Test to detect audio devices”), how (using the cat /proc/asound/cards command), and many other details.


Each of the fields shown in a job definition are explained in the Job Unit page.

Now that you know the definition of this job, you can run it to see what the output generated by Checkbox look like.

Run a particular test plan or a set of jobs

Run the following command:

checkbox.checkbox-cli run ".*audio/list_devices"

===========================[ Running Selected Jobs ]============================
==============[ Running job 1 / 3. Estimated time left: 0:00:03 ]===============
-----------[ Collect information about installed software packages ]------------
ID: com.canonical.certification::package
Category: com.canonical.plainbox::uncategorised
... 8< -------------------------------------------------------------------------
name: accountsservice
version: 22.07.5-2ubuntu1.4


==============[ Running job 3 / 3. Estimated time left: 0:00:01 ]===============
-----------------------------[ audio/list_devices ]-----------------------------
ID: com.canonical.certification::audio/list_devices
Category: com.canonical.plainbox::audio
... 8< -------------------------------------------------------------------------
 0 [PCH            ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel PCH
                      HDA Intel PCH at 0xf7f10000 irq 31
 1 [H340           ]: USB-Audio - Logi USB Headset H340
                      Logitech Inc. Logi USB Headset H340 at usb-0000:00:14.0-1, full speed
 2 [HDMI           ]: HDA-Intel - HDA ATI HDMI
                      HDA ATI HDMI at 0xf7e60000 irq 32
 3 [U0x46d0x802    ]: USB-Audio - USB Device 0x46d:0x802
                      USB Device 0x46d:0x802 at usb-0000:00:14.0-4, high speed
------------------------------------------------------------------------- >8 ---
Outcome: job passed
Finalizing session that hasn't been submitted anywhere: checkbox-run-2023-07-24T09.01.24
==================================[ Results ]===================================
 ☑ : Collect information about installed software packages
 ☑ : Collect information about hardware devices (udev)
 ☑ : audio/list_devices

A few things to notice:

  • Checkbox has executed the com.canonical.certification::audio/list_devices job. Because it understands regular expression patterns, you were able to pass it .*audio/list_devices instead of the full job id.

  • The output is quite similar to running Checkbox manually, except only a text summary is generated at the end (no submission files, no request to upload results to the Certification website).

  • Although you asked Checkbox to run one job, it actually ran three. This is because the audio/list_devices job definition has some requirements from other jobs (namely, com.canonical.certification::packages and com.canonical.certification::device), so these jobs are executed as well when you run it.

You can execute a set of jobs by using an appropriate regular expression. For instance, checkbox.checkbox-cli run .*audio/.* would run every job whose id contain the string audio/ (as well as the jobs they depend on).


Be careful when using the run command with such open regular expressions because you might end up running quite a lot of jobs!

You can also run a whole test plan using the run command:

checkbox.checkbox-cli run com.canonical.certification::tutorial-base

This will run the Checkbox Base Tutorial test plan, executing all the jobs in it and providing a text summary of the test run.

Wrapping up

Congratulations! You’ve completed the Checkbox usage tutorial!

You’ve installed Checkbox, run a test plan and reviewed the report generated, written a launcher to customize a test run, discovered how to run Checkbox on one device to control another device, and used Checkbox commands to navigate the available objects in Checkbox. You are now ready to use Checkbox to test any kind of devices!

In the advanced tutorial, you will learn how to write new tests for Checkbox and how to create your own Checkbox-based snaps.