Getting Started

This section of the manual contains introductory tutorials for installing labgrid, running your first test and setting up the distributed infrastructure.

Running Your First Test

In many cases, the easiest way is to install labgrid into a virtualenv:

$ virtualenv -p python3 labgrid-venv
$ source labgrid-venv/bin/activate

Start by installing labgrid, either by running:

$ pip install labgrid

or by cloning the repository and installing manually:

$ git clone
$ cd labgrid && python3 install

Test your installation by running:

$ labgrid-client --help
usage: labgrid-client [-h] [-x URL] [-c CONFIG] [-p PLACE] [-d] COMMAND ...

If the help for labgrid-client does not show up, open an Issue. If everything was successful so far, start by copying the initial example:

$ mkdir ../first_test/
$ cp examples/shell/* ../first_test/
$ cd ../first_test/

Connect your embedded board (raspberry pi, riotboard, …) to your computer and adjust the port parameter of the RawSerialPort resource and username and password of the ShellDriver driver in local.yaml:

        port: "/dev/ttyUSB0"
        name: "example"
      SerialDriver: {}
        prompt: 'root@\w+:[^ ]+ '
        login_prompt: ' login: '
        username: 'root'

You can check which device name gets assigned to your USB-Serial converter by unplugging the converter, running dmesg -w and plugging it back in. Boot up your board (manually) and run your first test:

$ pytest --lg-env local.yaml

It should return successfully, in case it does not, open an Issue.

Setting Up the Distributed Infrastructure

The labgrid distributed infrastructure consists of three components:

  1. Coordinator
  2. Exporter
  3. Client

The system needs at least one coordinator and exporter, these can run on the same machine. The client is used to access functionality provided by an exporter. Over the course of this tutorial we will set up a coordinator and exporter, and learn how to access the exporter via the client.


To start the coordinator, we will download labgrid and select the coordinator extra. You can reuse the virtualenv created in the previous section.

$ git clone
$ cd labgrid && pip install labgrid[coordinator]

All necessary dependencies should be installed now, we can start the coordinator by running crossbar start inside of the repository.


This is possible because the labgrid repository contains the crossbar configuration the coordinator in the .crossbar folder.


The exporter needs a configuration file written in YAML syntax, listing the resources to be exported from the local machine. The config file contains one or more named resource groups. Each group contains one or more resource declarations and optionally a location string (see the configuration reference for details).

For example, to export a RawSerialPort with the group name example-port and the location example-location:

  location: example-location
    port: /dev/ttyUSB0

The exporter can now be started by running:

$ labgrid-exporter configuration.yaml

Additional groups and resources can be added:

  location: example-location
    port: /dev/ttyUSB0
    model: netio
    host: netio1
    index: 3
    port: /dev/ttyUSB1

Restart the exporter to activate the new configuration.


Finally we can test the client functionality, run:

$ labgrid-client resources

You can see the available resources listed by the coordinator. The groups example-group and example-group-2 should be available there.

To show more details on the exported resources, use -v (or -vv):

$ labgrid-client resources -v
Exporter 'kiwi':
  Group 'example-group' (kiwi/example-group/*):
    Resource 'NetworkPowerPort' (kiwi/example-group/NetworkPowerPort[/NetworkPowerPort]):
      {'acquired': None,
       'avail': True,
       'cls': 'NetworkPowerPort',
       'params': {'host': 'netio1', 'index': 3, 'model': 'netio'}}

You can now add a place with:

$ labgrid-client --place example-place create

And add resources to this place (-p is short for --place):

$ labgrid-client -p example-place add-match */example-port/*

Which adds the previously defined resource from the exporter to the place. To interact with this place, it needs to be acquired first, this is done by

$ labgrid-client -p example-place acquire

Now we can connect to the serial console:

$ labgrid-client -p example-place console

For a complete reference have a look at the labgrid-client(1) man page.

udev Matching

Labgrid allows the exporter (or the client-side environment) to match resources via udev rules. The udev resources become available to the test/exporter as soon es they are plugged into the computer, e.g. allowing an exporter to export all USB ports on a specific hub and making a NetworkSerialPort available as soon as it is plugged into one of the hub’s ports. The information udev has on a device can be viewed by executing:

 $ udevadm info /dev/ttyUSB0
 E: ID_MODEL_FROM_DATABASE=CP210x UART Bridge / myAVR mySmartUSB light
 E: ID_MODEL_ID=ea60
 E: ID_PATH=pci-0000:00:14.0-usb-0:5:1.0
 E: ID_PATH_TAG=pci-0000_00_14_0-usb-0_5_1_0
 E: ID_SERIAL=Silicon_Labs_CP2102_USB_to_UART_Bridge_Controller_P-00-00682
 E: ID_SERIAL_SHORT=P-00-00682
 E: ID_TYPE=generic

In this case the device has an ID_SERIAL_SHORT key with a unique ID embedded in the USB-serial converter. The resource match configuration for this USB serial converter is:

    'ID_SERIAL_SHORT': 'P-00-00682'

This section can now be added under the resource key in an environment configuration or under its own entry in an exporter configuration file.

Using a Strategy

Strategies allow the labgrid library to automatically bring the board into a defined state, e.g. boot through the bootloader into the Linux kernel and log in to a shell. They have a few requirements:

  • A driver implementing the PowerProtocol, if no controllable infrastructure is available a ManualPowerDriver can be used.
  • A driver implementing the LinuxBootProtocol, usually a specific driver for the board’s bootloader
  • A driver implementing the CommandProtocol, usually a ShellDriver with a SerialDriver below it.

Labgrid ships with two builtin strategies, BareboxStrategy and UBootStrategy. These can be used as a reference example for simple strategies, more complex tests usually require the implementation of your own strategies.

To use a strategy, add it and its dependencies to your configuration YAML, retrieve it in your test and call the transition(status) function.

>>> strategy = target.get_driver(strategy)
>>> strategy.transition("barebox")

An example using the pytest plugin is provided under examples/strategy.