Finally integrating Gcov and Lcov tool into Cppagent build process

This is most probably my final task on Implementing Code Coverage Analysis for Mtconnect Cppagent. In my last post i showed you the how the executable files are generated using Makefiles. In Cppagent the Makefiles are actually autogenerated by a cross-platform Makefile generator tool CMakeTo integrate Gcov and Lcov into the build system we actually need to start from the very beginning of the process which is cmake. The CMake commands are written in CmakeLists.txt files. A minimal cmake file could look something like this. Here we have the test_srcs as the source file and agent_test as the executable.

cmake_minimum_required (VERSION 2.6)


set(test_srcs menu.cpp)

add_executable(agent_test ${test_srcs})

Now lets expand and understand the CMakeLists.txt for cppagent.


This sets the path where cmake should look for files when files or include_directories command is used. The set command is used to set values to the variables. You can print all the available variable out using the following code.

get_cmake_property(_variableNames VARIABLES)
foreach (_variableName ${_variableNames})
    message(STATUS "${_variableName}=${${_variableName}}")


Next section of the file:

 set(LibXML2_INCLUDE_DIRS ../win32/libxml2-2.9/include )
 set(bits 64)
 set(bits 32)
 file(GLOB LibXML2_LIBRARIES "../win32/libxml2-2.9/lib/libxml2_a_v120_${bits}.lib")
 file(GLOB LibXML2_DEBUG_LIBRARIES ../win32/libxml2-2.9/lib/libxml2d_a_v120_${bits}.lib)
 set(CPPUNIT_INCLUDE_DIR ../win32/cppunit-1.12.1/include)
 file(GLOB CPPUNIT_LIBRARY ../win32/cppunit-1.12.1/lib/cppunitd_v120_a.lib)

Here, we are checking the platform we are working on and accordingly the library variables are being set to the windows based libraries. We will discuss the file command later.

 set(LINUX_LIBRARIES pthread)

Next if the OS platform is Unix based then we execute the command uname as child-process and store the output in CMAKE_SYSTEM_NAME variable. If its a Linux environment., Linux  will be stored in the CMAKE_SYSTEM_NAME variable, hence,  we set the variable LINUX_LIBRARIES to pthread(which is the threading library for linux). Now we find something similar we did in our test CMakeLists.txt. The project command sets the project name, version etc. The next line stores the source file paths to a variable test_src

set( test_srcs file1 file2 ...)
Now we will discuss about the next few lines.
file(GLOB test_headers *.hpp ../agent/*.hpp)

The file command is used to manipulate the files. You can read, write, append files, also GLOB allows globbing of files which is used to generate a list of files matching the expression you give. So here wildcard expression is used to generate a list of all header files in the particular folder *.hpp.

include_directories(../lib ../agent .)

This command basically tells cmake to add the directories specified by it to its list of directories when looking for a file.

find_package(CppUnit REQUIRED)

This command looks for package and loads the settings from it. REQUIRED makes sure the External package is loaded properly else it must stop throwing an error.


add_definitions is where the additional compile time flags are added.

add_executable(agent_test ${test_srcs} ${test_headers})

This line generates an executable target for the project named agent_test and test_src and test_headers are its source and header files respectively. 

target_link_libraries(agent_test ${LibXML2_LIBRARIES} ${CPPUNIT_LIBRARY} ${LINUX_LIBRARIES})

This line links the executable its libraries.

::Gcov & Lcov Integration::

Now that we know our CMake file well, lets make the necessary changes.

Step #1

Add two variables and set the appropriate compile and linking flags for gcov and lcov respectively.

set(GCOV_COMPILE_FLAGS "-fprofile-arcs -ftest-coverage")
set(GCOV_LINK_FLAGS "-lgcov")

Step #2

Split the source into two halves one being the unit test source files and the other being the cppagent source files. We are not interested in unit test files’ code coverage.

set( test_srcs test.cpp
set(agent_srcs ../agent/adapter.cpp 

Step #3

Like i told in Step 2 we are not interested in unit test source files. So here we just add the Gcov compile flags to only the cppagent source files. So .gcno files of only the agent source files are generated.


Step #4

Now we also know that for coverage analysis we need to link the “lgcov” library. Therefore, we do this in the following way.

target_link_libraries(agent_test ${LibXML2_LIBRARIES} ${CPPUNIT_LIBRARY} ${LINUX_LIBRARIES} ${GCOV_LINK_FLAGS}) 

Step #5

Since we love things to be automated. I added a target for the make command to automate the whole process of running test and copying the “.gcno” files and moving the “.gcda” files to a folder then running the lcov command to read the files and prepare a easily readable statistics and finally the genhtml command to generate the html output. add_custom_target allows you to add custom target for make(Here i added “cov” as the target name). COMMAND allows you to specify simple bash commands.

add_custom_target( cov
COMMAND [ -d Coverage ]&&rm -rf Coverage/||echo "No folder"
COMMAND mkdir Coverage
COMMAND agent_test
COMMAND cp CMakeFiles/agent_test.dir/__/agent/*.gcno Coverage/
COMMAND mv CMakeFiles/agent_test.dir/__/agent/*.gcda Coverage/
COMMAND cd Coverage&&lcov -t "result" -o -c -d .
COMMAND cd Coverage&&genhtml -o coverage
COMMENT "Generated Coverage Report Successfully!"


Now to build test and generate report.

Step #1 cmake .    // In project root which cppagent/
Step #2 cd test    // since we want to build only test
Step #3 make       // This will build the agent_test executable.
Step #4 make cov   // Runs test, Copies all files to Coverage folder, generates report.

So, we just need to open the Coverage/coverage/index.html to view the analysis report. Final file will look something like this.

Finally integrating Gcov and Lcov tool into Cppagent build process

Using Gcov and Lcov to generate Test Coverage Stats for Cppagent

In my last post we generated Code coverage statistics for a sample c++. In this post i will be using gcov & lcov to generate similar code coverage for tests in cppagent. To use gcov we first need to compile the source files with --coverage flag. Our sample c++ program was a single file so it was easy to compile, but for cppagent they use makefiles to build the project. Hence, i started with the Makefile looking for the build instructions.

If my previous posts i discussed the steps for building the agent_test executable, which starts by running make command in test folder. So i started tracing the build steps from the Makefile in test folder. Since we run make without any parameters, the default target is going to be executed.

The first few lines of the file were as below.

# Default target executed when no arguments are given to make.

default_target: all

.PHONY : default_target

These lines specifies that the default_target for this build is all. On moving down the file we see the rules for all.

# The main all target

all: cmake_check_build_system

cd /home/subho/work/github/cppagent_new/cppagent && $(CMAKE_COMMAND) -E cmake_progress_start /home/subho/work/github/cppagent_new/cppagent/CMakeFiles /home/subho/work/github/cppagent_new/cppagent/test/CMakeFiles/progress.marks

cd /home/subho/work/github/cppagent_new/cppagent && $(MAKE) -f CMakeFiles/Makefile2 test/all

$(CMAKE_COMMAND) -E cmake_progress_start /home/subho/work/github/cppagent_new/cppagent/CMakeFiles 0

.PHONY : all

So here in the line

cd /home/subho/work/github/cppagent_new/cppagent && $(MAKE) -f CMakeFiles/Makefile2 test/all

We can see Makefile2 is invoked with target test/all.

In Makefile2 towards the end of the file we can see the test/all target build instructions as,

# Directory level rules for directory test

# Convenience name for "all" pass in the directory.

test/all: test/CMakeFiles/agent_test.dir/all

.PHONY : test/all

The rule says to run the commands defined under target test/CMakeFiles/agent_test.dir/all. These commands are:


$(MAKE) -f test/CMakeFiles/agent_test.dir/build.make test/CMakeFiles/agent_test.dir/depend

$(MAKE) -f test/CMakeFiles/agent_test.dir/build.make test/CMakeFiles/agent_test.dir/build

$(CMAKE_COMMAND) -E cmake_progress_report /home/subho/work/github/cppagent_new/cppagent/CMakeFiles 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58

@echo "Built target agent_test"

.PHONY : test/CMakeFiles/agent_test.dir/all

The first two lines run the build.make file with target ‘test/CMakeFiles/agent_test.dir/depend‘ and ‘test/CMakeFiles/agent_test.dir/build‘ . The build.make contains all the compile instructions for each of the c++ files. This file is in ‘test/CMakeFiles/agent_test.dir’ folder along with flag.make , link.txt etc files. The  flag.make file contains all the compile flags and the ‘link.txt‘ contains the libraries flag needed by linker. On adding the --coverage flag to these files we can make the c++ source files compile with gcov linked hence .gcno files are generated when the make command is run.

After that we need to run the agent_test as usual. This will create the data files .gcda files. After that we need to gather the .gcda and .gcno files together and run the lcov and genhtml commands and then the html output will be obtained.

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Using Gcov and Lcov to generate Test Coverage Stats for Cppagent

Using Gcov and Lcov to generate beautiful C++ code coverage statistics

We all know, testing is an important part of a project. But how efficient are your tests? How much of your codes have you tested? Here comes the role of code coverage tools. I recently got to work on a C++ project, and a code coverage tool (gcov and lcov) .

In this post i have taken a sample C++ program and will be generating the code coverage stats for the same using gcov and lcov. Here is my sample C++ program link. Its pretty simple menu driven program that does simple mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division depending on users choice.

In this demo i am not writing actual test-cases for the code but you can see the changes in the coverage graphs depending upon your choice.

To start with we need to install gcov. Gcov comes with gcc compiler. So if you have gcc installed then gcov will work for you. Next you need to have lcov. I am working on Fedora 21, so for me its a yum install.

$yum install lcov

Next lets start with compiling our code. Here my source file name is menu.cpp

$g++ -o menu.out --coverage menu.cpp

The –coverage option here is used to compile and link code needed for coverage analysis. You will find a menu.gcno file in the folder. Next we need to export two variables namely GCOV_PREFIX and GCOV_PREFIX_STRIP. Set GCOV_PREFIX to the folder you want the output files to be in.

menu.cpp  menu.out  menu.gcno  data    // you can see the new file menu.gcno

For me , the project is in  “/home/subho/work/lab/zzz/” and  inside this i have created a folder named data where i want the data files or .gcda file to be generated. so i set my GCOV_PREFIX to “/home/subho/work/lab/zzz/data” and the GCOV_PREFIX_STRIP equal to the the number of forward slashes or “/” in the path.

$export GCOV_PREFIX="/home/subho/work/lab/zzz/data"

now lets simply run the code.


1: Add
2: Subtract
3: Multiply
4: Divide
5: Exit
Enter your choice :2
Enter two numbers: 3 4
Difference -1
1: Add
2: Subtract
3: Multiply
4: Divide
5: Exit
Enter your choice :5

Now we can see a menu.gcda file in data folder. Copy the .gcno file generated earlier to the data folder.

$cd data



$cp ../menu.gcno .


menu.gcda  menu.gcno

Now that we have all the necessary files lets use lcov to read the coverage output file generated by gcov.

$lcov -t "result" -o -c -d .

Here is my output file.

-t     sets a test name

-o    to specify the output file

-c    to capture the coverage data

-d    to specify the directory where the data files needs to be searched

Now we will generate out html output for the statistics.

$genhtml -o res 

-o    To specify the output folder name.

Now on doing ls, you can see a folder named “res“.

$ls   menu.gcda   menu.gcno   res

Now its time to enjoy the fruits of your labor 😛 . Go into the res folder and start a server or you can simply open the index.html file in your web-browser.

$cd res
$python -m "SimpleHTTPServer"     //to start a web-server  or
$firefox index.html               //to open the index.html directly using firefox browser

Now we can click on the links to check the code coverage stats. The Red lines are the ones not executed or uncovered region. The blue lines are the ones covered. Also you can look at the Line data section for the number of times the lines have been executed. 
You can look at these files in GitHub.

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Using Gcov and Lcov to generate beautiful C++ code coverage statistics

Setting up MTConnect C++ Agent

In this post i’ll be discussing on how to setup cppagent (MTConnect c++ Agent) and run tests on it.

To start with we first need to git clone the repository from Github from here.

The current cloned version hash is 6d57d38cffff4b368f3ec003c2d8868d4f41a988.

Once you have cloned the repo enter the root folder of the repository. Now lets first build MTConnect.

For this we will create a folder named build in the root folder.

$ cd cppagent
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make

After the make process is complete we will see MTConnect c++ agent in action. For this we will need to run the simulator.

We need to copy certain files to successfully run it. From the build/agent folder, copy VMC-3Axis.xml from the simulator folder into the current folder.

$cd agent
$ cp ../../simulator/VMC-3Axis.xml .

Now copy the agent configuration file

 $ cp ../../agent/agent.cfg .

Next edit the copied agent.cfg file and make the following changes to it:

Devices = VMC-3Axis.xml
 Host =

Open three terminals. In one of the terminals, start the ‘agent’

$ ./agent

Expected o/p:

MTConnect Agent Version - built on Sun Oct 12 22:20:32 2014

In the second terminal run the adapter simulator. For that you need to go inside the simulator folder in the repository root directory then type the following command.

$ ruby run_scenario.rb -l -p 7878 --scenario -v simple_scenario_1.txt

Expected o/p:

run_scenario.rb:41: warning: toplevel constant String referenced by OptionParser::String
Waiting on 7878
Client connected
Received * PING, responding with pong
Received * PING, responding with pong

In the third terminal type the following:

$ curl localhost:5000/current

This will give a XML output every time. Each XML output is different. You can check that by piping the output to a file  and then doing a diff of the two files

$ curl localhost:5000/current > 1.xml
$ curl localhost:5000/current > 2.xml
$ diff 1.xml 2.xml

The output will be something like:

< <Header creationTime="2014-10-26T18:19:10Z" sender="localhost.localdomain" instanceId="1414347216" version="" bufferSize="131072" nextSequence="227" firstSequence="1" lastSequence="226"/>
> <Header creationTime="2014-10-26T18:19:16Z" sender="localhost.localdomain" instanceId="1414347216" version="" bufferSize="131072" nextSequence="229" firstSequence="1" lastSequence="228"/>
< <Execution dataItemId="cn6" timestamp="2014-10-26T18:19:10.560074" name="execution" sequence="226">ACTIVE</Execution>
< <ToolId dataItemId="cnt1" timestamp="2014-10-26T18:19:08.559795" name="tool_id" sequence="224">3</ToolId>
> <Execution dataItemId="cn6" timestamp="2014-10-26T18:19:14.560666" name="execution" sequence="228">READY</Execution>
> <ToolId dataItemId="cnt1" timestamp="2014-10-26T18:19:12.560338" name="tool_id" sequence="227">2</ToolId>

Great!! now we have a working version of cppagent.

Next we will build tests. Follow the steps below to build test. We assume we are outside the repository root. So we need to enter the root first.

$ cd cppagent  
$ cmake .

Now we will enter the test directory in the root folder and build tests.

$ cd test  
$ make

Now to run the tests, run the agent in one terminal and the following command in another.

$ ./agent_test

Expected Output:

Continue reading “Setting up MTConnect C++ Agent”

Setting up MTConnect C++ Agent