Test cases

The following test cases are run automatically whenever the code changes.

Note that only the documented test cases appear in the list below (follow the All tests link for a complete list).

Systems of conservation laws

Incompressible Euler/Navier–Stokes

Shallow-water flows


Surface tension

General orthogonal coordinates




Speed benchmarks


All tests

Running and creating test cases (and examples)

First make sure to read the section on Makefiles in the tutorial.

To run a particular test case yourself, you can then just do

cd src/test
make bump2D1.tst

which should give something like

qcc -g -O2 -Wall -o bump2D1/bump2D1 bump2D1.c -lm

This indicates that the test compiled and ran successfully.

Error checking

If the test fails, you will get something like

> 2.5 434 0.0678117 0.164104 0.11299303
> # refined 80 cells, coarsened 108 cells
make: *** [bump2D1.tst] Error 1

The last line indicates that make failed. The lines before this are the output of

diff bump2D1/log bump2D1.ref

That is, to check whether the test case succeeded or not, the default Makefile of Basilisk just compares (using diff) the log file created by the program to the matching reference log file (with the .ref extension).

To create your own test case (let’s call it mytest), you only need to create the source code (i.e. mytest.c), run it to create the mytest/log file, check that you are happy with the results and copy mytest/log into mytest.ref.


Most tests (but not all) also produce some kind of graph summarising the results (which allows for example to understand more easily how/why a particular test failed). Some tests produce these graphs directly when they run, but most rely on gnuplot to generate the graphs in a post-processing step.

This step is not automatically executed when doing make test.tst. This allows for example to run the test suite on bare bones systems which do not have gnuplot installed.

The makefile system knows about two kinds of graphics: “inline” plots and “offline” plots.

Inline plots

These are generated using gnuplot commands embedded directly in the documentation comments of the source code (mytest.c). Using the standard wiki syntax for scripts these commands appear as

~~~gnuplot Caption
set output 'plotname.png'

and are replaced by the corresponding figure when the page is displayed in the wiki. Note that the set output command is optional. If you don’t supply a file name, a unique name looking like _plot1.png will be generated automatically.

To generate the figures from the command line, just do

make mytest/plots

Offline plots

Alternatively, one can put the gnuplot commands in a separate mytest.plot file. Note that this method offers few advantages compared to “inline plots” (the prefered option).

To generate the corresponding plots, one can then do

make bump2D1/plot.png

which should give something like

cd bump2D1 && gnuplot -e "batch=1; PNG=\"pngcairo\" ... ../bump2D1.plot ...

Note that, while plot.png is the default name for the generated graph, the gnuplot script can also generate other graphs. Doing

ls bump2D1/*.png

(or eog bump2D1/*.png) reveal them all.

Note that if you try to generate plots for a test case which does not have a corresponding .plot gnuplot script, you will get something like

make events/plot.png
make: *** No rule to make target `events/plot.png'.  Stop.

Running the entire test suite

Use something like

cd src/test/
make -k -j8

where -k tells make not to stop at the first error and -j8 uses parallel processing (assuming you have at least 8 cores on your system).

If you want to generate all the graphs at once, do

make plots