GitLab Documentation

End-to-End Testing

What is End-to-End testing?

End-to-End testing is a strategy used to check whether your application works as expected across entire software stack and architecture, including integration of all microservices and components that are supposed to work together.

How do we test GitLab?

We use Omnibus GitLab to build GitLab packages and then we test these packages using GitLab QA project, which is entirely black-box, click-driven testing framework.

Testing nightly builds

We run scheduled pipeline each night to test nightly builds created by Omnibus. You can find these nightly pipelines at GitLab QA pipelines page.

Testing code in merge requests

It is possible to run end-to-end tests (eventually being run within a GitLab QA pipeline) for a merge request by triggering the package-qa manual action, that should be present in a merge request widget.

Manual action that starts end-to-end tests is also available in merge requests in Omnibus GitLab project.

Below you can read more about how to use it and how does it work.

How does it work?

Currently, we are using multi-project pipeline-like approach to run QA pipelines.

  1. Developer triggers a manual action, that can be found in CE and EE merge requests. This starts a chain of pipelines in multiple projects.

  2. The script being executed triggers a pipeline in GitLab Omnibus and waits for the resulting status. We call this a status attribution.

  3. GitLab packages are being built in Omnibus pipeline. Packages are going to be pushed to Container Registry.

  4. When packages are ready, and available in the registry, a final step in the pipeline, that is now running in Omnibus, triggers a new pipeline in the GitLab QA project. It also waits for a resulting status.

  5. GitLab QA pulls images from the registry, spins-up containers and runs tests against a test environment that has been just orchestrated by the gitlab-qa tool.

  6. The result of the GitLab QA pipeline is being propagated upstream, through Omnibus, back to CE / EE merge request.

How do I write tests?

In order to write new tests, you first need to learn more about GitLab QA architecture. See the documentation about it in GitLab QA project.

Once you decided where to put test environment orchestration scenarios and instance specs, take a look at the relevant documentation and examples in the qa/ directory.

Where can I ask for help?

You can ask question in the #qa channel on Slack (GitLab internal) or you can find an issue you would like to work on in the issue tracker and start a new discussion there.


Leave a comment below if you have any feedback on the documentation. For support and other enquiries, see getting help.