Failing Tests

If many, or all tests are failing, it is a good chance the fix is simple. Follow through these steps to narrow down the possible cause.

First, run a test that should always pass:

cd moose/test
make -j 8
./run_tests -i always_ok -p 2
note:did make -j 8 fail?

If make -j 8 fails, please proceed to Build Issues above. This may also be the reason why all your tests are failing.

This test, proves the TestHarness is available. That libMesh is built, and the TestHarness has a working MOOSE framework available to it. Meaning, your test that is failing may be beyond the scope of this troubleshooting guide. However, do continue to read through the bolded situations below. If the error is not listed, please submit your failed test results to our mailing list for help.

If the test did fail, chances are your test and our test is failing for the same reason:

  • Environment Variables is somehow instructing the TestHarness to use improper paths. Try each of the following and re-run your test again. You may find you receive a different error each time. Simply continue troubleshooting using that new error, and work your way down. If the error is not listed here, then it is time to ask the mailing list for help:

    • check if echo $METHOD returns anything. If it does, try unsetting it with unset METHOD

      • If this was set to anything other than opt, it will be necessary to rebuild moose/test again:

        cd moose/test
        make -j 8

    • check if echo $MOOSE_DIR returns anything. If it does, try unsetting it with unset MOOSE_DIR

      • If this was set to anything, you must rebuild libMesh.

    • check if echo $PYTHONPATH returns anything. If it does, try unsetting it with unset PYTHONPATH

  • Failed to import hit:

    • Verify you have the miniconda package loaded. See Modules

      • If it was not loaded, and now it is, it may be necessary to re-build moose:

        cd moose/test
        make -j 8

  • No Modulefiles Currently Loaded

    • Verify you have modules loaded. See Modules

  • Application not found

    • Your Application has not yet been built. You need to successfully perform a make. If make is failing, please see Build Issues above.

    • Perhaps you have specified invalid arguments to run_tests? See TestHarness More Options. Specifically for help with:

      • --opt

      • --dbg

      • --oprof

  • gethostbyname failed, localhost (errno 3)

    • This is a fairly common occurrence which happens when your internal network stack / route, is not correctly configured for the local loopback device. Thankfully, there is an easy fix:

      • Obtain your hostname:


      • Linux & Macintosh : Add the results of hostname to your /etc/hosts file. Like so:

        sudo vi /etc/hosts
        # The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
        ::1        localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
        ff02::1    ip6-allnodes
        ff02::2    ip6-allrouters
         mycoolname  # <--- add this line to the end of your hosts file

        Everyones host file is different. But the results of adding the necessary line described above will be the same.

      • Macintosh only, 2nd method:

        sudo scutil --set HostName mycoolname

        We have received reports where this method sometimes does not work.


    • If your tests fail due to timeout errors, its most likely you have a good installation, but a slow machine (or slow filesystem). You can adjust the amount of time that the TestHarness allows a test to run to completion by adding a paramater to your test file:

          type = RunApp
          input = my_input_file.i
          max_time = 300   <-- time in seconds before a timeout occurs . 300 is the default for all tests.


    • A crash indicates the TestHarness executed your application (correctly), but then your application exited with a non-zero return code. See Build Issues above for a possible solution.


    • An exodiff indicates the TestHarness executed your application, and your application exited correctly. However, the generated results differs from the supplied gold file. If this test passes on some machines, and fails on others, this would indicate you may have applied too tight a tolerance to the acceptable error values for that specific machine. We call this phenomena machine noise.


    • A different file format following the same error checking paradigm as an exodiff test.