libssh is running in the Matrix now

Since I joined the libssh project we started to write tests to find regression and make development easier. This has been achieved using the a unit testing framework called cmocka which I maintain and develop. The problem is that to run these tests you need to modify the sshd configuration and setup a test user so that the tests can be successfully executed. This is something contributors normally don’t do so we need to rely on our testing infrastructure.

In 2013 I’ve started the cwrap project. cwrap is a set of tool to make full network server/client testing made easy. These tools are used to make it possible to run the Samba Testsuite easily on every machine without setting anything up. Some time ago I’ve started to use cwrap for libssh testing. Finally I found the time to finish the task.

libssh in the Matrix

Now a libssh client tests sets up an artificial test environment. We have a passwd, shadow and group file so we can use two users to authenticate (nss_wrapper). sshd is running as the user starting the testcase but as it is part of the Matrix it thinks it is root (uid_wrapper). The client and server think they communicate on a real network (socket_wrapper) but it is again the Matrix!

It took me a while to get it working and I needed to implement new feature to the wrapper libraries of cwrap. socket_wrapper needed support to report TCP_NODELAY in getsockopt(). nss_wrapper needed shadow file support for password authentication so I had to add support for getspnam(). And as sshd is paranoid uid_wrapper needed checks if if is privileged to actually change to the user. After it drops privileged it checks if it really can’t go back.

With all of this implemented and new releases of the wrappers, which I’m preparing at the moment, all you have to do is to install cmocka, socket_wrapper, nss_wrapper and uid_wrapper and run ‘make test’. The Matrix will be created and libssh tested. You can find the cwrap libssh branch here.

There is one test for a feature missing right now. We do not test keyboard-interactive authentication, but the cwrap project is working on a new wrapper to fix this. Stay tuned!