Keeping tabs on the julia ecosystem
Author JuliaCI
15 Stars
Updated Last
2 Years Ago
Started In
June 2018


Evaluate Julia packages.

Quick start

To use PkgEval.jl, you need to Docker and make sure you can start containers (typically, you need to be a member of the docker group):

$ docker run hello-world
Hello from Docker!
This message shows that your installation appears to be working correctly.

Start by installing the package:

git clone
cd PkgEval.jl
julia --project -e 'import Pkg; Pkg.instantiate()'

Then start Julia with julia --project and use the following commands to run the tests of a list of packages on a selection of Julia versions:

julia> using PkgEval

julia> julia_versions = PkgEval.obtain_julia.(["1.3", "nightly"])
2-element Array{VersionNumber,1}:

julia>, ["Example"])
2×8 DataFrames.DataFrame. Omitted printing of 1 columns
│ Row │ julia                   │ registry │ name    │ version   │ status │ reason  │ duration │
│     │ VersionNumber           │ String   │ String  │ Version…⍰ │ Symbol │ Symbol⍰ │ Float64  │
│ 1v"1.3.0"                │ General  │ Example │ v"0.5.3"  │ ok     │ missing6.94     │
│ 2v"1.4.0-DEV-3c182bc5c2" │ General  │ Example │ v"0.5.3"  │ ok     │ missing6.948

Test logs are part of this dataframe in the log column. For example, in this case:

Resolving package versions...
Installed Example ─ v0.5.3
Testing Example tests passed

Other run methods, that offer more options and control over the testing process, are available as well. These methods however require you to first prepare the environment yourself, by calling prepare_registry to set-up the package registry, and prepare_julia to download and unpack a binary version of Julia.

Why does my package fail?

If you want to debug why your package fails, it's probably easiest to use an interactive shell:

julia> using PkgEval

julia> julia_version = v"1.3.0"  # use `obtain_julia` if you need a specific build

julia> julia_install = PkgEval.prepare_julia(julia_version)
julia> PkgEval.prepare_registry()

julia> PkgEval.run_sandboxed_julia(julia_install)

Now you can install, load end test your package. If that fails because of some missing dependency, you can just install that using the apt package manager within the container:

julia> # in the spawned container's Julia session, switch to REPL mode by pressing ;

shell> sudo apt update
shell> sudo apt install ...

Once you've found the missing dependency and verified that it fixes the tests of your package, make a pull request to include the dependency in the default image.

Analyzing results

Most of the time, you will want to compare the results that you obtained. For example:

julia> result =[v"1.2.0", v"1.4.0-DEV-76ebc419f0"], ["AbstractNumbers"])
2×8 DataFrame. Omitted printing of 1 columns
│ Row │ julia                   │ registry │ name            │ version   │ status │ reason        │ duration │
│     │ VersionNumber           │ String   │ String          │ Version…⍰ │ Symbol │ Symbol⍰       │ Float64  │
│ 1v"1.2.0"                │ General  │ AbstractNumbers │ v"0.2.0"  │ ok     │ missing24.768   │
│ 2v"1.4.0-DEV-76ebc419f0" │ General  │ AbstractNumbers │ v"0.2.0"  │ fail   │ test_failures │ 26.803

If you simply want to compare two Julia versions, use

julia>, v"1.2.0", v"1.4.0-DEV-76ebc419f0")
On v1.4.0-DEV-76ebc419f0, out of 1 packages 0 passed, 1 failed, 0 got killed and 0 were skipped.

Comparing against v1.2.0:
- AbstractNumbers status was ok, now fail (reason: test_failures)
In summary, 0 packages now succeed, while 1 have started to fail.

For more extensive evaluations, or when more versions are involved, use PkgEval.render to generate a HTML site in the website/build directory at the root of the repository:

julia> PkgEval.render(result)
Generating site at /home/tim/Julia/pkg/PkgEval/site/build

Choosing a different version of Julia

PkgEval ultimately needs a binary build of Julia to run tests with, but there's multiple options to provide such a build. The easiest option is to use a version number that has already been registered in the Versions.toml database, together with an URL and hash to download an verify the file. An error will be thrown if the specific version cannot be found. This is done automatically when the prepare_julia function is called (you will need to call this method explicitly if you use a lower-level interface, i.e., anything but the run function from the quick start section above):

julia> PkgEval.prepare_julia(v"1.2.0-nonexistent")
ERROR: Requested Julia version not found

Alternatively, you can download a named release as listed in Releases.toml. By calling obtain_julia_release with a release name, this release will be downloaded, hashed, and added to the Versions.toml database for later use. The method returns the version number that corresponds with this added entry; you should use it when calling into other functions of the package:

julia_version = PkgEval.obtain_julia_release("nightly")[julia_version], ...)

For even more control, you can build Julia by calling the perform_julia_build function, passing a string that identifies a branch, tag or commit in the Julia Git repository:

julia_version = PkgEval.perform_julia_build("master")

Similarly, this function returns a version number that corresponds with an entry added to Versions.toml:

file = "julia-1.4.0-DEV-8f7855a7c3.tar.gz"
sha = "dcd105b94906359cae52656129615a1446e7aee1e992ae9c06a15554d83a46f0"

If you get a permission error while building Julia, try to set the variable BINARYBUILDER_RUNNER=privileged, restart Julia and try the build again.

To facilitate all this, there's a higher-level function obtain_julia that will try each of the above methods until a valid version is found and returned. It is of course also possible to build Julia yourself, in which case you will need to create a tarball, copy it to the deps/downloads directory, and add a correct version stanza to Versions.toml.