Because VUnit features the functionality needed to realize continuous and automated testing of HDL code, it is a very valuable
resource in Continuous Integration (CI) environments. Once a project
run.py has been setup, tests can be run in a headless
environment. Optionally, a standardized Xunit style output
can be saved to a file; which allows dynamic interpretation of results and avoids custom (and error-prone) parsing of the logs.
After tests have finished running, the
test_output.xml file can be parsed using standard xUnit test parsers such as
Jenkins xUnit Plugin.
python run.py --xunit-xml test_output.xml
Furthermore, VUnit can be easily executed on many different platforms (either operating systems or architectures), because it is written in Python, which is an interpreted language. However, besides own HDL sources and VUnit, a HDL compiler/simulator is required in order to run the tests. Since most HDL simulators are written using compiled languages, releases are typically platform specific. Hence, installation and setup might be non trivial. This is specially so with non-free tools that require license servers to be configured. This might represent a burden for the adoption of continuous integration in hardware development teams, as it falls into the category of dev ops.
Nevertheless, thanks to free and public CI/CD services, along with the striking research about portable development environment solutions, there are a bunch of alternatives to ease the path. In this section, solutions are grouped in three categories: Setup/configuration scripts, Containers and/or Virtual Machines and Manual setup.