How to test python extension modules during 'make check' / 'make distcheck'?

Leo Kislov Leo.Kislov at
Fri Nov 3 03:29:35 CET 2006

Mark Asbach wrote:
> Hi pythonians,
> I'm one of the maintainers of an open source image processing toolkit
> (OpenCV) and responsible for parts of the autotools setup. The package
> mainly consists of four shared libraries but is accompanied by a python
> package containing some pure python code and of course extension modules
> for the four libraries.
> Now during the last month we were preparing a major release which means
> testing, fixing, testing, fixing, ... in the first degree. Typical
> functionality of the shared libraries is verified during 'make check'
> and 'make distcheck' by binaries that are linked against the libraries
> (straight forward) and are listed in the 'TESTS' automake primary.
> Unfortunately, many problems with the python wrappers arose from time to
> time. Currently we have to build and install before we can run any
> python-based test routines. When trying to integrate python module
> testing into the automake setup, there are some problems that I couldn't
> find a solution for:
> a) the extension modules are built in different (other) subdirectories -
> so they are not in the local path where python could find them

As I understand it's not python that cannot find them but dynamic
linker. On ELF UNIX systems you can set LD_LIBRARY_PATH to help linker
find dependencies, on Windows -- PATH. If you need details, you can
find them in dynamic linker manuals.

> b) the libraries and extension modules are built with libtool and may
> have rpaths compiled in (is this problematic)?

libtools seems to have some knobs to cope with rpath:

> c) a different version of our wrappers might be installed on the testing
> machine, somewhere in python/site-packages. How can I make sure that
> python only finds my 'new' local generated modules?

Set PYTHONPATH to the directory where locally generated modules are
located. They will be found before site packages.

  -- Leo

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