Guide to installing TextTest


Hopefully this is now pretty straightforward on all platforms. Up until TextTest 3.8 it was pretty involved on Windows. The main advances are built-in process handling in Python 2.4 and the fact that the PyGTK people now have an all-in-one installer for Windows.

Things you must install...

  1. Naturally, you need to download TextTest. This is done from the sourceforge project page.. Read the readme.txt file for what to do with it then. The download includes TextTest's tests for itself: primarily good for those developing it but also useful as a tool for understanding features by example.

  2. TextTest is written in Python, and the GUIs are written with the GUI library PyGTK. It follows that you need both of these installed. You should make sure you have at least Python 2.4 and at least PyGTK 2.6.

    On Windows, there is now an all-in-one installer available for Python and PyGTK together. This is new and a bit experimental but will probably save you time. Try it first, in any case. Information about it can be found here if you have trouble with it.

    Linux systems generally come with but Python and PyGTK pre-installed. However, particularly Red Hat Enterprise 3 and 4 have very old versions of these things. In that case you'll need to download newer versions as below and install them somewhere else, for which there is a guide included in the TextTest download.

    To install Python separately, head for the Python download page. To test whether your Python installation already includes PyGTK, type 'import gtk' into a python prompt. No response means you do. If you don't have it, you can download it separately from the PyGTK homepage.

  3. You will need a decent graphical difference tool on your PATH, along with a textual version for reports. We recommend 'tkdiff' and 'diff' respectively which are present on most UNIX systems and are TextTest's defaults. If you're on UNIX and tkdiff isn't there, download from from tkdiff's project page on sourceforge.

    On Windows, Patrick Finnegan sent me a very nice Windows installer for tkdiff and diff aand kindly agreed that I could distribute it here. Note that the installer won't affect your path though, so you'll need to set PATH in autoexec.bat or similar to include wherever it's installed (typcially something like C:\Program Files\tkdiff)

  4. For Windows 2000 only, you need a way of killing processes from the command line (on Windows XP it now uses “tskill” which is included). So I've chosen to call a freeware tool called “pskill” (originally distributed by SysInternals which since December 2006 is a part of Microsoft). This is part of the 'pstools' package. This should then be copied to somewhere on your PATH, for example the directory you installed TextTest in. (Historical note: this is all that's left of the three tools that were required for TextTest 3.8 on all varieties of Windows)

Things you might want to install...

For viewing test files while they are running, there is a menu option to display a window with live updates of the file. On UNIX this defaults to using 'tail -f'. On Windows there is a nice equivalent called baretail which is TextTest's default. You can download it from Bare Metal Software's site. Like everything else you should add it to your PATH. Naturally, there is no compulsion to use this functionality so this download is optional. The functionality is just greyed out on Windows if “baretail” can't be found.

Things you need to set...

TextTest uses a root directory where it starts to look for tests, determined primarily by the environment variable TEXTTEST_HOME. This is the first thing determined by TextTest on being called and not much will happen if it isn't set.

You are strongly recommended to pick a root directory for all your tests and set TEXTTEST_HOME to this directory in some persistent way (for example your shell starter script on UNIX or autoexec.bat on Windows). In this way you will not need to think about it more than once.