Adding TF-M Regression Test Suite

Introduction of TF-M regression tests

TF-M regression tests test whether changes to TF-M code work as expected. This documentation focuses on three parts in TF-M regression tests:

  1. test suite: A series of tests of a certain function.

  2. test case: A specific test instance in test suites.

  3. test service: An extra module works like secure partitions to support related test suites.

Source structure

TF-M tests source code are located in tf-m-tests.

Folder name



The CMAKE test configurations files.


Source code for test framework code, managing test suites.


Test suites divided into subdirectories.


Test service divided into corresponding suite subdirectories.


Common test services.

Test configuration

A test configuration controls whether one or multiple test suites are enabled. The doc TF-M Build Instructions shows some test configurations which are already supported in current TF-M. An example usage of test configuration shows below.

cmake -S . -B cmake_build -DTFM_PLATFORM=arm/mps2/an521               \
                          -DTFM_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=toolchain_GNUARM.cmake \
                          -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release                  \

With this command, only non-secure initial attestation test suite will be built.

Adding a new test suite

This section introduces how to add a new test suite and control its compilation with a test configuration in tf-m-tests repository.

Source code

The test suite example subdirectory named <test_name> is located under the path tf-m-tests/test/secure_fw/suites. If the new test suite includes both non-secure and secure parts, the source code shall be divided shared code and specific code. An example test suite folder can be organized as the figure below.

├── CMakeLists.txt
├── <test_name>_tests_common.c
├── non_secure
│   ├── <test_name>_ns_interface_testsuite.c
│   └── <test_name>_ns_tests.h
└── secure
    ├── <test_name>_s_interface_testsuite.c
    └── <test_name>_s_tests.h

Creating test configurations

Developers shall assign corresponding test configurations to control the test suites.

Naming test configurations

The test configurations of example test suites are TEST_NS_<TEST_NAME> in non-secure and TEST_S_<TEST_NAME> in secure.


The test configurations must be named with the prefixes TEST_S_ and TEST_NS_, for secure regression tests and non-secure regression tests respectively. Otherwise, tf-m-tests build system may not recognize it.

Setting test configurations

When the test configurations have dependences, the default value need to be set. The setting is performed in following four steps.

  1. Command line input: The configuration can be enabled or disabled by the command -DTEST_NS_<TEST_NAME>=ON/OFF -DTEST_S_<TEST_NAME>=ON/OFF, and the value cannot be changed throughout the whole compilation of TF-M tests.

  2. tf-m-tests/config/set_config.cmake: The test configurations shall be OFF if its dependences are not supported. The dependences are probably from:

    1. TF-M partitions configurations like TFM_PARTITION_CRYPTO, TFM_PARTITION_INITIAL_ATTESTATION, etc.

    2. TF-M build mode configuration like TFM_LIB_MODEL.

    3. TF-M other configurations like TFM_PARTITION_FIRMWARE_UPDATE, FORWARD_PROT_MSG, etc.

  3. tf-m-tests/config/default_ns_test_config.cmake or tf-m-tests/config/default_s_test_config.cmake: It is required to give the default value of the new test configuration in these two files when TEST_NS or TEST_S is ON. The recommended value is ON unless the single test’s code or data size is very large.

  4. tf-m-tests/config/default_test_config.cmake: It is required to give the default value of the new test configuration in the file when both TEST_NS and TEST_S are OFF. The default value must be OFF.


The test configurations must be set as CACHE value in CMAKE files. The CACHE set cannot replace the value from command line, see Set Cache Entry.

Checking test configurations

The new test configurations must be checked by function tfm_invalid_config() if they have any dependence. The value comes from command line may be wrong when the dependences are conflicting. In addition to the dependences quoted in tf-m-tests/config/set_config.cmake, some other test configurations may be necessary.

Applicating test configurations

The mission of test configurations is to control the build. They are applied in test/secure_fw/suites/<test_name>/CMakeLists.txt like the example below.

cmake_policy(SET CMP0079 NEW)


####################### Non Secure #########################################

    add_library(tfm_test_suite_<test_name>_ns STATIC EXCLUDE_FROM_ALL)
    # target_sources()
    # target_include_directories()
    # target_link_libraries()

####################### Secure #############################################

    add_library(tfm_test_suite_<test_name>_s STATIC EXCLUDE_FROM_ALL)
    # target_sources()
    # target_include_directories()
    # target_link_libraries()

The function target_compile_definitions will export the macros TEST_NS_<TEST_NAME> or TEST_S_<TEST_NAME> into source code. and in the file tf-m-tests/framework/non_secure_suites.c or tests/framework/secure_suites.c, the definitions of these macros will be checked, and then the head file will be included and test cases will be registered if the macro is defined.

#include "<test_name>_ns_tests.h"

static struct test_suite_t test_suites[] = {
/* Non-secure example test cases */
    // ......
    {&register_testsuite_ns_<test_name>_interface, 0, 0, 0},
#include "<test_name>_s_tests.h"

static struct test_suite_t test_suites[] = {
/* Secure example test cases */
    // ......
    {&register_testsuite_s_<test_name>_interface, 0, 0, 0},


On most platforms non-secure tests and secure tests run on the same CPU core, but dual-core platform is an exception. So secure test library and secure sevices shall be linked together in the file tf-m-tests/test/secure_fw/secure_tests.cmake. Thus they can be built on secure CPU core and non-secure tests library and RTOS are built on non-secure CPU core.

    # ...
    if (TEST_S_<TEST_NAME>)
        add_library(tfm_test_suite_<test_name>_s STATIC EXCLUDE_FROM_ALL)

Adding a new test case in test suite

The test cases usually express as a function in source code. They will be added into an array with structure type called test_t defined in tf-m-tests/test/framework/test_framework.h.

struct test_t {
    TEST_FUN * const test;         /*!< Test function to call */
    const char *name;              /*!< Test name */
    const char *desc;              /*!< Test description */

For example, a new test case called TFM_NS_<TEST_NAME>_TEST_1001 is created and the function tfm_<test_name>_test_1001 needs to be defined in file <test_name>_ns_interface_testsuite.c. Then the function shall be appended into the array which will be quoted in function register_testsuite_ns_<test_name>_interface. See the reference code below.

/* List of test cases */
static void tfm_<test_name>_test_1001(struct test_result_t *ret);

/* Append test cases */
static struct test_t <test_name>_tests[] = {
    {&tfm_<test_name>_test_1001, "TFM_NS_<TEST_NAME>_TEST_1001",
    "Example test case"},

/* Register test case into test suites */
void register_testsuite_ns_<test_name>_interface(struct test_suite_t *p_test_suite)
    uint32_t list_size;

    list_size = (sizeof(<test_name>_tests) / sizeof(<test_name>_tests[0]));

    set_testsuite("<TEST_NAME> non-secure interface test (TFM_NS_<TEST_NAME>_TEST_1XXX)",
                    <test_name>_tests, list_size, p_test_suite);

static void tfm_<test_name>_test_1001(struct test_result_t *ret)
   /* test case code */

Adding test services

Some test group may need specific test services. These test services may support one or more groups thus developers shall determine the proper test scope.


Adding a test service is same as adding a secure partition, generally the process can be referenced from the document Adding Secure Partition


Each test service must have resource requirements declared in a manifest file, the contents of test services are the same as secure partitions, but their locations are different. Test service manifests shall be set in tf-m-tests/test/secure_fw/tfm_test_manifest_list.yaml.

Test Partition Specific Manifest Attributes

There are some test purpose attributes in Secure Partition manifests that are NOT compatible with FF-M. They should be used in Test Partitions only.


A TF-M regression test Partition calls other RoT services for test. But it can still run other tests if some of the RoT services are disabled. TF-M defines a "weak_dependencies" attribute in partition manifests of regression test partitions to describe test service access to other RoT services. It shall be only used for TF-M regression test services.


A TF-M regression test Partition may support both the SFN and IPC model. The actual model being used follows the SPM backend enabled.

The TF-M build system supports this by allowing Secure Partitions to set the model attribute to dual. The manifest tool will then change it to the corresponding value according to the current backend selected.

The Test Partitions use the following definitions to know what model is being built:

  • <<partition_name>>_MODEL_IPC, 1 if IPC model is used.

  • <<partition_name>>_MODEL_SFN, 1 if SFN model is used.

Test service implementation

Test service of individual test

An individual test dedicated test service should be put under the corresponding test folder test/secure_fw/suites/<test_name>.

add_subdirectory(suites/<test_name>/<service_dir>) shall be added into tf-m-tests/test/secure_fw/secure_tests.cmake to make sure that the test service is built with secure side configuration.

Common test service

If a new test service is required by multiple test suites, the code should be put under test/secure_fw/common_test_services. If the new test suite relies on a common test service, please make sure that the build implementation of the test service is linked correctly, including the header files and libraries.

Out-of-tree regression test suites

TF-M supports out-of-tree regression test suites build, whose source code folders are maintained outside tf-m-tests repo. There are two configurations for developers to include the source code.


    A list of the absolute directories of the out-of-tree non-secure test suites source code folder(s). TF-M build system searches CMakeLists.txt of non-secure test suites in the source code folder(s). Use semicolons ; to separate multiple out-of-tree non-secure test suites directorires.


    A list of the absolute directories of the out-of-tree secure test suites source code folder(s).

Example usage

Take non-secure test as an example in tf-m-extras. A single out-of-tree test suite folder can be organized as the figure below:

├── CMakeLists.txt
├── ns_test.c
├── ns_test_config.cmake
└── ns_test.h

In the example above, EXTRA_NS_TEST_SUITES_PATHS in the build command can be specified as listed below.


Coding instructions

This is a demo of source code so the structure has been simplified. Files like ns_test.c and ns_test.h can be expanded to src and include folders. The CMakeLists.txt is required in the root path and ns_test_config.cmake is optional.

Header Files

The header file extra_ns_tests.h must be included by out-of-tree source code. This file contains the definition of struct extra_tests_t, int32_t register_extra_tests() and declaration of int32_t extra_ns_tests_init().

Source code

To connect the out-of-tree source code and tf-m-tests framework, the high-level test function must be defined first. An example format is:

int32_t ns_test(void)
    /* Add platform specific non-secure test suites code here. */


This function is the main entry to test framework. All the out-of-tree’s test cases can be added into it. The returned error code of this function is specified as int32_t. This function shall return an expected value which is same as the part expected_ret set in plat_ns_t below, take the macro EXTRA_TEST_SUCCESS as an example.

After ns_test() is defined, a structure variable need to be created like:

const struct extra_tests_t plat_ns_t = {
    .test_entry = ns_test,
    .expected_ret = EXTRA_TEST_SUCCESS

It will be used by function extra_ns_tests_init() to register the test by function register_extra_tests():

int32_t extra_ns_tests_init(struct extra_tests_t *internal_test_t)
    /* Add platform init code here. */

    return register_extra_tests(internal_test_t, &plat_ns_t);

The platform initialization code can be added in this function because it runs before ns_test().


Function extra_ns_tests_init() is declared in tf-m-tests repository without definition. It is supplied to out-of-tree source code and need to be defined with no change of its format, like returns error code and parameter name.


In addition to the implementation of CMAKE target like example_test_ns of out-of-tree source code, the configuration below needs to be appended:

# Example test must link tfm_test_suite_extra_common to use related interface

# The example_test_ns library must be linked by tfm_test_suite_extra_common

To use the interfaces come from tf-m-tests repository, library tfm_test_suite_extra_common must be linked by example_test_ns. To add out-of-tree test into TF-M, library example_test_ns must be linked by tfm_test_suite_extra_ns.


The CMAKE configuration file is optional. If out-of-tree source already exists another configuration file, a new one can be ignored.

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