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How to Integrate RKTracer with MPLab IDE and generate code coverage

Generate code coverage for embedded applications in MPLAB  IDE

In this 3mins video, you will see how to generate code coverage for embedded applications using the RKTracer tool using 3 simple steps.

How to integrate the RKTracer tool with MPLab IDE?

Step 1: Ensure you have closed the MPLab IDE. 

goto Tools–> Plugins Download   and Go to MPLab X Plugin Manager

Select Downloaded tab→ Add Plugin and select RKTracer tool plugin “com-rkvalidate-nb.nbm” for MpLab IDE  from the RKTracer tool installation folder 



Install the RKTracer Plugin by following the instructions.


Step 2: Restart the MpLab IDE, and you should be able to see the RKTracer tool options in the Tools menu.

  •     RKTracer ON:  Will enable RKTracer tool for instrumentation
  •     RKTracer OFF: Will disable RKTracer tool.
  •     RKTracer Reports: Will generate reports in HTML format.


Generate Code Coverage for Application in MpLab IDE?

Once you have successfully integrated the RKTracer tool, at least once, you need to build and test the application in embedded target in debug mode.

Step 1: Enable RKTracer Tool

Goto → Tools → RKTracer ON. When you enable RKTracer Tool for the first time. You will see a popup message to click ok so that the RKTracer tool will be turned ON.


Step 2: Rebuild the application and run tests on an embedded target.

Automatically coverage data will be saved when you terminate debug process after running the test case on the embedded target. Once testing is complete, the RKTracer tool will save the coverage data to the RK_MEM.raw file in the application working folder.

In case the embedded target is not connected to the host machine at the testing. You need to save coverage data from the rktracer variable to the application working folder in the host machine using api.


Step 3: Generate Code Coverage Reports 

Go to –> Tools menu –> RKTracer Report to generate Html reports.RKTracer tool will internally convert the RK_MEM.raw data file to “rk-coverage.txt” and map with JSON files (generated during instrumentation) in the rktracer folder and generate the HTML reports. You can manually open the HTML report using index.html.

Generate code coverage for selected functions/files/folder

Generate coverage reports  for the selected folders






Suppose you need code coverage for source files from three different folders, i.e., core, keys, power, and ignore coverage for folders firmware_loader and lockdown. Edit rktracer.config in the RKTracer installation folder and go to the end of the file add the following information. 

ignore *.c

instrument */power/* */core/* */keys/*

never */firmware_loader/* */lockdown/*

ignore *.c = Ignores all C source files from instrumentation

Instrument = Instrument source files from given folders

never = ignore selected folder  

Generate coverage reports only for selected functions from three different files.

fun_X() in source-file-X 

fun_Y() in source-file-Y

fun_Z() in source-file-Z

Suppose you need code coverage for selected functions from three different files. Edit rktracer.config in the RKTracer installation folder and go to the end of the file and set the following variables as shown below.  

ignore *.c

instrument *source-file-X.c *source-file-Y.c *source-file-Z.c

function-ignore *

function-instrument fun_X() fun_Y() fun_Z()

ignore *.c = Ignore all C programming source files

instrument *file-X.c *file-Y.c *file-Z.c   = Instrument only these three source files.

function-ignore * = Then ignore all functions in the above three files.

function-instrument fun_X() fun_Y() fun_Z() = Don’t ignore these three functions from these three files from instrumentation.

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