Perform unit testing of Qt programs in GitHub Actions using Docker

In the previous post, we built a Docker container for Qt and pushed it to Docker Hub (the pushed container includes FreeFEM too, but we don’t need to care about it for the purpose of this post). Now, it’s time to pull the image in a GitHub Action to test the build process and functionality of Qt programs.

We use this action to pull the image and run the build procedure. First, we add a YAML file, called main.yml, to the directory .github/workflows in the GitHub repository (like this example) and add the following content to it:

# This is a basic workflow to help you get started with Actions

name: build

# Controls when the workflow will run
  # Triggers the workflow on push or pull request events but only 
  # for the main branch
    branches: [ main ]
    branches: [ main ]

  # Allows you to run this workflow manually from the Actions tab

# A workflow run is made up of one or more jobs that can run
# sequentially or in parallel
  # This workflow contains a single job called "build"
    # The type of runner that the job will run on
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest

    # Steps represent a sequence of tasks that will be executed 
    # as part of the job
      # Checks-out your repository under $GITHUB_WORKSPACE, 
      # so your job can access it
      - uses: actions/checkout@v2

      # Pulls a Docker image and builds the software inside it
      - name: Build and test BioDeg
        uses: addnab/docker-run-action@v3
          image: mbarzegary/qt-5.15.2-freefem-4.10:latest
          options: -v $:/data 
          run: /data/

This action gets triggered when any commit is pushed to the repository, resulting in the Docker image being pulled and the whole repository being mounted into a directory called data. Then, it executes the build script file (in this case, in the root of the repository) inside the container. The following is an example of the file:

# build the repo inside the docker container
# used for CI builds and tests
cd /data
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
make test

The full running example can be explored in this repository. The log of previous ran tests can be viewed here.