Standard Test Nodes


hztest allows you test the publishing rate of a node. It reads in parameters that specify the topic name, rate, and error bounds of the test, and will succeed if the topic matches that specification. It can also be used to test for no publication, i.e. 0Hz. By default, hztest only tests the overall, average publication rate. This can be changed by setting the ~check_intervals parameter.

Here is a sample configuration:

  <node name="talker" pkg="test_ros" type="" />

  <param name="hztest1/topic" value="chatter" />
  <param name="hztest1/hz" value="10.0" />
  <param name="hztest1/hzerror" value="0.5" />
  <param name="hztest1/test_duration" value="5.0" />
  <test test-name="hztest_test" pkg="rostest" type="hztest" name="hztest1" />


selftest_test, in the self_test package, runs a self-test and checks that it passes. Please see the self_test package for more documentation.


New in Kinetic (? Addition to prior distros is discussed)

Similar to hztest, paramtest allows you test if certain parameters are registered at the Parameter Server. It reads in parameters that specify the parameter name, and optionally its value, and then will succeed if the parameter matches that specification.

Here 3 different configurations samples; :

<!-- Test if a specific parameter is not empty. -->
<test pkg="rostest" type="paramtest" name="paramtest_nonempty"
  <param name="param_name_target" value="param_nonempty" />
  <param name="test_duration" value="5.0" />
  <param name="wait_time" value="20.0" />

<!-- Test if a specific parameter is empty. -->
<test pkg="rostest" type="paramtest" name="paramtest_empty"
  <param name="param_name_target" value="param_empty" />
  <param name="test_duration" value="5.0" />
  <param name="wait_time" value="30.0" />

<!-- Test if a specific parameter carries a specific value. -->
<test pkg="rostest" type="paramtest" name="paramtest_value_specific_correct"
  <param name="param_name_target" value="param_value_specific" />
  <param name="param_value_expected" value="Opensource Robotics is forever." />
  <param name="test_duration" value="5.0" />
  <param name="wait_time" value="30.0" />


New in Kinetic

publishtest is a node to test if specified topics are published at least once. This can be used for testing topics that are latched or those of which publish rate is uneven, and also supports testing multiple topics with a single testcase.

Here is a sample of testing some nodes:


  <node name="talker_0"
        pkg="rospy" type="">
    <remap from="chatter" to="~output" />

  <node name="talker_1"
        pkg="rostest" type="just_advertise">
      msg_name: std_msgs/String

  <test name="publishtest"
        pkg="rostest" type="publishtest">
        - name: talker_0/output
          timeout: 10
          negative: False
        - name: talker_1/output
          timeout: 3
          negative: True  # means it is not published until the timeout




New in Melodic

advertisetest is a node that checks if the specified topics or services are advertised, the below parameters must be set. This node supports testing multiple topics and services with a single testcase.

Here is a sample of testing some nodes:

  <node pkg="rostest" type="" name="freq_topic_pub"/>
  <node pkg="rostest" type="" name="once_topic_pub"/>
  <node pkg="rostest" type="" name="service_server"/>

  <test test-name="advertisetest_test" pkg="rostest" type="advertisetest" time-limit="7.0" retry="3">
      - name: /chatter
        timeout: 2.
      - name: /once_topic
        type: std_msgs/Bool
        timeout: 2.
      - name: /advertised_topic
        timeout: 2.
        negative: true
      - name: /empty
        timeout: 2.
      - name: /set_bool
        type: std_srvs/SetBool
        timeout: 2.
      - name: /unadvertised_service
        timeout: 2.
        negative: true


This example came from the unit_test of this node, check the test link (as advertisetest testcase)

Execution of rostest tests

As first step to get familiar with writing rostest tests it is helpful to execute and investigate the tests of rostest's own tests.

Preconditions to run the tests

To being able to run the tests of rostest the following steps are required.

Clone ros_comm into the catkin workspace:

cd <catkin-workspace>/src
git clone

Build ros_comm:

cd <catkin-workspace>
catkin_make --pkg ros_comm

Get a list of all make targets of rostest (they will be used later):

catkin_make run_tests_rostest_ (and invoke tab-completion)


Execute hztest tests

The hztest node implementation is located in <catkin-workspace>/src/ros_comm/tools/rostest/nodes/hztest. The tests of the hztest node are implemented in <catkin-workspace>/src/ros_comm/tools/rostest/test/hztest0.test and in <catkin-workspace>/src/ros_comm/tools/rostest/test/hztest.test. W.r.t. to usual taxonomy in software testing hztest acts as a "mock topic subscriber node" and verifies if, the "node under test" (topic publisher) publishes the topics as expected. The implementation of is located in <catkin-workspace-root-directory>/src/ros_comm/clients/rospy/test_nodes/

Running the hztest tests gives you a first idea about how the node has to be used in own tests. You can run the hztest tests in rostest as follows:

cd <catkin-workspace-root-directory>
catkin_make run_tests_rostest_rostest_test_hztest.test
catkin_make run_tests_rostest_rostest_test_hztest0.test

Implementation of hztest in the ros_comm package (lunar)

Execute paramtest tests

The paramtest node implementation is located in <catkin-workspace>/src/ros_comm/tools/rostest/nodes/paramtest. The test of the paramtest node is implemented in <catkin-workspace>/src/ros_comm/tools/rostest/test/param.test. Running the paramtest test gives you a first idea about how the node has to be used in own tests. You can run the paramtest test in rostest as follows:

cd <catkin-workspace>
catkin_make run_tests_rostest_rostest_test_param.test

Implementation of paramtest in the ros_comm package (lunar)

ROS node integration testing

The GitHub repository "Ros-Test-Example" (branch: master) contains an example for rostest, gtest and rviz based ROS node integration testing. The hztest test node is used to verify the publishing of car related data and to verify the publishing of simulated car related data. The example is described in PDF slides. The same repository shows how to use gmock based mocks for the car and the road in "Ros-Test-Example" (branch: mocking).

Wiki: rostest/Nodes (last edited 2021-06-08 19:12:48 by PedroAlcantara)