How to Classify Intermittent Test Failures

Chris Johns chrisj at
Tue Feb 2 00:50:40 UTC 2021

On 2/2/21 9:12 am, Joel Sherrill wrote:
>  On Mon, Feb 1, 2021 at 3:50 PM Chris Johns <chrisj at
> <mailto:chrisj at>> wrote:
>     On 2/2/21 3:42 am, Joel Sherrill wrote:
>     > Hi
>     >
>     > On the aarch64 qemu testing, we are seeing some tests which seem to pass
>     most of
>     > the time but fail intermittently. It appears to be based somewhat on host load
>     > but there may be other factors. 
>     >
>     > There does not appear to be a good test results state for these. Marking them
>     > expected pass or fail means they will get flagged incorrectly sometimes.
>     We have the test state 'indeterminate' ...
>     <>
>     It is for this type of test result.
>     > I don't see not running them as a good option. Beyond adding a new state to
>     > reflect this oddity, any suggestions?
>     I prefer we used the already defined and documented state.
> +1 
> Kinsey had already marked them as indeterminate and the guys were in the 
> process of documenting why. I interpreted the question of what to do more 
> broadly than it needed to be but the discussion was good.

A discussion is needed and welcome. Handling these intermittent simulator
failures is hard. I once looked into some gdb simulator cases when I first put
rtems-test together and found myself quickly heading into a deep dark hole. I
have not been back since.


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