CUnit is a testing framework for the C programming language. It's not a popular testing framework, nor it is commonly used. ☠️

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install libcunit1 libcunit1-doc libcunit1-dev

The documentation is available here.

Get Started with CMake

Assuming you want to use cunit with a cmake project, you'll have to manually write some code first. Add to a CMakeLists.txt:

find_package(CUnit REQUIRED)

You need to create a finder ./cmake/modules/FindCUnit.cmake.

find_path(CUNIT_INCLUDE_DIRS CUnit/CUnit.h)
find_library(CUNIT_LIBRARIES NAMES CUnit cunit)



Add to a CMakeLists.txt before the find_package call:


There is obviously no support for ctest. We can only generate an executable and run it.

# Create an executable for your test suites
    # ...

# Link CUnit to your test target
target_link_libraries(my_testing_target ${CUNIT_LIBRARIES})

Basic Test Suite

A suite is a group of tests that share the same purpose, e.g., for instance, tests that are specific to one component/function/file.

Let's first define a header my_suite.h. It only exposes to others a way to create our suite, which is needed to run it.

#ifndef MY_SUITE_H
#define MY_SUITE_H

int my_suite_createSuite();

#endif //MY_SUITE_H

To create a suite, we need to use CU_add_suite.

#include <CUnit/CUnit.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int my_suite_createSuite() {
    CU_pSuite suite = NULL;
    // Add our suite to the registry
    suite = CU_add_suite("Suite_Name", NULL, NULL);
    if (NULL == suite) {
        return CU_get_error();

    // Add our test to the suite
    // ...

    return EXIT_SUCCESS;

➑️ CU_add_suite allows you to define two methods which are respectively called before and after all tests.

Now, we can start writing some tests:

#include <CUnit/CUnit.h>

void test_example(void) {
    CU_ASSERT(1 == 1);    // test passed if true
    CU_ASSERT_TRUE(1);    // test passed if true
    CU_ASSERT_FALSE(0);   // test passed if false
    CU_ASSERT_PTR_NULL(NULL);     // test passed if null
    CU_ASSERT_PTR_NOT_NULL(NULL); // test pass if not null
    CU_ASSERT_EQUAL(1, 1);        // test passed if equal
    CU_ASSERT_NOT_EQUAL(5, 0)     // test passed if different
    CU_ASSERT_STRING_EQUAL("x", "y")     // test passed if equal
    CU_ASSERT_STRING_NOT_EQUAL("x", "y") // test passed if different
    CU_PASS("msg");     // mark the test as successful
    CU_FAIL("msg");     // mark the test as failed
    // see also: CU_ASSERT_PTR_EQUAL, *_FATAL, etc.

You will then have to add them to your suite:

    // Add our test to the suite
    if (NULL == CU_add_test(suite, "Test_Name", test_example)) {
        return EXIT_FAILURE;
    // ...

If needed, you can get the error message of a failed test using:

char* msg = CU_get_error_msg();

Running Tests

To run your tests, you will have to initialize CUnit, declare listSuite, and pick a runner. First, to initialize CUnit:

#include <CUnit/CUnit.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main() {
    CU_pSuite pSuite = NULL;
    int res;

    /* initialize the CUnit test registry */
    if (CUE_SUCCESS != CU_initialize_registry())
        return CU_get_error();

    for (int i = 0; i < NUMBER_OF_SUITES; i++) {
        res = listSuite[i](pSuite);
        if (res == EXIT_FAILURE) {
            return CU_get_error();

    /* Run all tests using the ??? interface */
    /* ... */

    /* Clean up registry and return */
    return CU_get_error();

The listSuite array contains all of your suite initialization methods allowing us to connect them to the runner.

#include "my_suite.h"

// Add all methods to create suites below 
int (*listSuite[NUMBER_OF_SUITES])(CU_pSuite) = {

Using the basic runner πŸ“, test results are printed on the screen.

#include <CUnit/Basic.h>

/* Run all tests using the basic interface */

Using the console runner πŸ€–, there is a console interface to run tests:

#include <CUnit/Console.h>

/* Run all tests using the console interface */