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Test Suites
VSC5 Overview

The Commands and Utilities Test Suite


  • The most complete Commands and Utilities test suite in the industry.
  • Test Coverage: FIPS 189, ISO/IEC 9945-2:1993 (technically identical to IEEE Std POSIX® 1003.2), POSIX 1003.1, 2003 edition, POSIX 1003.1, 2013 edition, UNIX® 95, UNIX® 98, UNIX® 03, UNIX® V7.
  • Includes test coverage for Large File support and XCU5 and later commands.
  • Mandatory for testing the Single UNIX® Specification Version 2, 3, and 4.
  • Includes test scenarios for particular areas, for example the tests for LFS or just the POSIX.2 tests.

VSC Core Summary

VSC offers the industry's most complete test coverage for the Shell and Utilities standards (XPG4,UNIX 95, UNIX 98, UNIX 03, UNIX V7 ISO/IEC 9945:1993, ISO/IEC 9945:2003, IEEE Std 1003.2-1992, IEEE Std 1003.1,2003 Edition, IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition), standardization of which is key to the development of portable shell applications. It remains the most complete commands test suite in the industry and contains over 10,000 tests (over 1 million lines of source code).

Its use is mandatory for the Open Brand for XPG4 Base 95, UNIX 95 , UNIX 98, UNIX 03 and UNIX V7. VSC, has the following test modes:

  • ISO/IEC 9945-2 mode (technically identical to IEEE Std POSIX 1003.2-1992)
  • Commands and Utilities Issue 4 (XCU4) for XPG4 and UNIX 95
  • UNIX 98
  • UNIX 03 (Westwood and later versions only)
  • POSIX 01 (Westwood and later versions only)
  • UNIX 10 (Northwood version only)
  • POSIX 08 (Northwood version only)

For the Open Brand the test suite is run in the XPG4, UNIX 98, UNIX 03 or UNIX 10 mode which are essentially supersets of the POSIX test modes.

VSC5 includes test coverage for Large File Summit extensions, n-bit clean, Aspen commands and year 2000 alignment.

The Westwood version includes further test coverage for UNIX 03

VSC uses the industry standard Test Environment Toolkit (TET) as its test harness.

Numbers of tests, and time to run

  • POSIX mode - over 6000 tests
  • XPG4/UNIX 98/UNIX 03/UNIX 10 Mode - over 10,000 tests

A typical test run from start to finish takes approximately 20 hours on an Intel based system.

Test Coverage

The VSC test suite verifies the compliance of systems to the Open Group Commands & Utilities specification , a superset of the POSIX Shell & Utilities standard.

VSC features include:

  • The industry's most complete standard commands test suite.
  • Extensive automated tests for interactive commands, ensuring more rigorous testing that could be obtained by manual testing.

Test Organization

The source tree and the executable tree are organized in a hierarchical design, being divided into sections corresponding to boundaries between various standards and parts contained therein.


The size of VSC before the suite is built is approximately 30MB.

The size of VSC after the suite is built is roughly 50MB, exclusive of journal files, on a RISC system.


When LFS tests are not run, this test suite takes from 15 to 40 hours to run on systems of current vintage. The average time is about 28 hours. The LFS tests take between 10 and 60 hours to run depending on the implementation's maximum file size, disk I/O speed and device driver implementation.

Motif, OSF/1 and UNIX are registered trademarks and X/Open, the "X Device" and The Open Group are trademarks of The Open Group.
POSIX is a registered trademark of the IEEE.

Further Information




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