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.. _module-pw_target_runner:
The target runner module implements a gRPC server designed to run executables
in parallel. These executables may be run directly on the host, or flashed to
one or more attached targets.
The target runner server is responsible for processing requests to distribute
executables among a pool of workers that run in parallel. This allows things
like unit tests to be run across multiple devices simultaneously, greatly
reducing the overall time it takes to run a collection of tests.
Additionally, the server allows many executables to be queued up at once and
scheduled across available devices, making it possible to automatically run unit
tests from a Ninja build after code is updated. This integrates nicely with the
``pw watch`` command to re-run all affected unit tests after modifying code.
The target runner is implemented as a library in various programming languages.
This library provides the core gRPC server and a mechanism through which worker
routines can be registered. Code using the library instantiates a server with
some custom workers for the desired target to run passed executables.
The ``pw_target_runner`` module also provides a standalone
``pw_target_runner_server`` program which runs the server with configurable
workers that launch external processes to execute passed binaries. This
program should be sufficient to quickly get unit tests running in a simple
setup, such as multiple devices plugged into a development machine.
Standalone executable
This section describes how to use the ``pw_target_runner_server`` program to
set up a simple unit test server with workers.
The standalone server is configured from a file written in Protobuf text format
containing a ``pw.target_runner.ServerConfig`` message as defined in
At least one ``worker`` message must be specified. Each of the workers refers to
a script or program which is invoked with the path to an executable file as a
positional argument. Other arguments provided to the program must be options/
For example, the config file below defines two workers, each connecting to an
STM32F429I Discovery board with a specified serial number.
.. code:: text
runner {
command: "stm32f429i_disc1_unit_test_runner"
args: "--openocd-config"
args: "targets/stm32f429i_disc1/py/stm32f429i_disc1_utils/openocd_stm32f4xx.cfg"
args: "--serial"
args: "066DFF575051717867013127"
runner {
command: "stm32f429i_disc1_unit_test_runner"
args: "--openocd-config"
args: "targets/stm32f429i_disc1/py/stm32f429i_disc1_utils/openocd_stm32f4xx.cfg"
args: "--serial"
args: "0667FF494849887767196023"
Running the server
To start the standalone server, run the ``pw_target_runner_server`` program and
point it to your config file.
.. code:: text
$ pw_target_runner_server -config server_config.txt -port 8080
Sending requests
To request the server to run an executable, run the ``pw_target_runner_client``,
specifying the path to the executable through a ``-binary`` option.
.. code:: text
$ pw_target_runner_client -host localhost -port 8080 -binary /path/to/my/test.elf
This command blocks until the executable has finished running. Multiple
requests can be scheduled in parallel; the server will distribute them among its
available workers.
Library APIs
To use the target runner library in your own code, refer to one of its
programming language APIs below.
.. toctree::
:maxdepth: 1