TestLink Tutorial: A Layman’s Guide to TestLink Test Management Tool (Tutorial #1)

This is a complete guide to start using the most popular open-source Test Management tool – TestLink.

Learn how to quickly set up and start using TestLink Test Management Tool with these in-depth TestLink Tutorials.

Editors’ Note – If you are still using MS Excel spreadsheets for tracking test cases and execution, this is the best time for you to switch to a Test Management tool. And for that reason, we have selected the long-time popular open-source Test Management Tool. Try it!

TestLink Tutorial

We have divided this TestLink Tutorials series into 4 parts:

Here is the list of all the tutorials in this series:

TestLink Tutorial #1) TestLink introduction, installation and creating Test Plan and Test Cases
TestLink Tutorial #2) Requirements management, Test execution and generating test reports
TestLink Tutorial #3) Updating test case execution status remotely i.e. through Selenium WebDriver code using TestLink API (Advanced concepts)
TestLink Tutorial #4) Test Metrics, Keyword Management, Custom Fields and Test Report Charts

Let’s start with the 1st part of this series.

Introduction To TestLink

This is the most widely used web-based open-source test management tool. It integrates both the Requirements Specification and Test Specification together. The user can create test projects and document test cases using this tool. We can create an account for multiple users/testers and assign different user roles. Admin users can manage test case assignment tasks.

It supports both manual and automated execution of Test cases. With this tool, the testers can generate Test Report and Test Plan Documents within a minute. It supports the generation of Test reports in MS Word, Excel and HTML formats.

TestLink also supports integration with many popular Defect Tracking systems like Mantis, BugZilla, Jira, Youtrack, and TRAC. We can link a specific bug ticket with test cases. It also supports and maintains multiple Test projects. Since it is a web-based tool, multiple users can access its functionality at the same time with their credentials and assigned roles.

Benefits Of TestLink

  • Supports Multiple Projects.
  • Easy Test Cases import or export.
  • Easy to integrate with many defect management tools.
  • Automated Test case execution through XML-RPC.
  • Easy to filter test cases with keywords, version and Testcase ID.
  • It can provide credentials to multiple users and assign roles to them.
  • Easy to assign test cases to multiple users.
  • Easy to generate Test plan and Test reports in various formats.

TestLink Installation

UPDATE: You can install the cloud version of TestLink by checking the steps on this page.


  1. Apache Webserver
  2. PHP
  3. MySQL

Note: If you have System Admin assigned for your project you can ask the sysadmin to install this for your project and skip directly to “Creating a Test Project” step. (If you have time to do these installations I will suggest trying your hand at it. This will add to your experience. :) )

To install TestLink, You need to install Apache web server, PHP and MySQL server. If your system or server already has Apache, PHP and MySQL installed then you can directly install this tool as mentioned in the Installation of TestLink” section below.

Otherwise, follow below steps one by one to install Apache, PHP, and MySQL first.

Installation Of Apache

This section contains steps to be followed to install the Apache webserver.

Step #1: Download Apache from here.

Step #2: Extract the Zip file to C:/

Step #3: Copy C:\Apache24\bin path and append this with a path environment variable.

Step #4: Open Command Prompt. (Run as administrator)
cd to C:/Apache24/bin and run the following commands one by one
httpd -k install
httpd -k start

Installation Of PHP

This section contains steps to be followed to install PHP and configuring PHP with Apache.

Step #1: Download PHP from this page (thread is safe).
Extract this to C:\php

Step #2: Rename php.ini-development to php.ini

Step #3: Add C:\php\ to path environment variable.

Step #4: Edit php.ini and add/edit the following lines,
display_errors =On
log_erros = On
doc_root = C:/Apache24/htdocs
extension_dir = “C:/php/ext”

Step #5: Edit httpd.conf and add/edit the following lines,
LoadModule php5_module “C:/php/php5apache2_4.dll”
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php .html .php4 .php5

At the end of httpd.conf file add,
PHPIniDir “C:/php”

Step #6: Create a file named phpinfo.php inside C:/Apache24/htdocs & add the following line inside the file.
<?php phpinfo();?>

Step #7: Copy php-mysql.dll in C:/php/ext and put it inside C:/Windows/System32

Step #8: Restart Apache.

Installation Of MySQL

This section contains steps to be followed to install MySQL.

Step #1: Download MySQL from this page and install it.

Step #2: Create a Database named “TestLink” in your MySQL server.

Step #3: In php.ini uncomment MySQL extension.
And set date time zone as “PRC”.

Installation Of TestLink

This section contains steps to be followed to install TestLink in Apache webserver.

Step #1: Download TestLink from this page.

Step #2: Extract the package, rename it to “testlink” and put it inside “C:/Apache24/htdocs

Step #3: Edit config.inc.php and edit the following lines,
$tlCfg->log_path = ‘C:/Apache24/htdocs/testlink/logs/’;
$tlCfg->config_check_warning_mode = ‘SILENT’;
$g_repositoryPath = ‘C:/Apache24/htdocs/testlink/upload_area’;

Save the changes, and open http://localhost:80/testlink from the browser.
Click the “next” button until the installation completed.

Step #4: Now you can log in to TestLink By accessing http://localhost:80/testlink.
Username: admin
Password: admin

Note: If you want screenshots for these installation steps please check this installation guide

Creating A Test Project

Test Project is a project created for a specific product/project. It contains Test plans, Test suites, Test cases and Builds. We can maintain multiple projects in TestLink.

This section clearly explains how to create a Test Project:

Step #1: Creating a new Test Project requires “admin” rights. (So login with admin user)

Step #2: When logging for the first time, it will directly navigate to the Test project creation page. Otherwise, select the “Test Project Management” link on the main page and click on the “Create” button.

Step #3: Test Project section will be opened. Click on the “Create” button.

Step #4: Enter Test Project name, description, and all the required fields and click on the “Create” button.

TestLink 1

Test Projects should be created successfully.

Creating A Test Plan

The Test Plan document contains complete information like the scope of testing, milestones, test suites, and test cases. Once you’ve created a Test Project, Next step is creating a Test plan.

This section clearly explains creating a Test Plan:

Step #1: Click on the “Test Plan Management” link on the desktop page.

Step #2: Click on the “Create” button on the test plan management page.

Step #3: Enter all the required details on the page.

TestLink 2

Step #4: Click on the “Create” button. It should be saved.

Build Creation

The build is a specific release of the software.

This section clearly explains how to create a build:

Step #1: Click on “Builds/Releases” as shown in the figure.

Step #2: Click on the “create” button.

Step #3: Enter the details about the build as shown in the below figure and click on the “Create” button.

TestLink 3

The build should be created and saved.

Creating Testsuite

Testsuite is a collection of test cases that may be validating/testing the same component. This section clearly explains how to create a test suite. Follow the below steps one by one to create a Testsuite.

Step #1: Click on the “Test Specification” link on the Desktop. It should navigate to the Test specification page of the Project.

Step #2: Click on the settings icon onTestLink 4 the right-side panel. It will display a series of Test suite operations.

Step #3: Click on create a button for the Test suite.

TestLink 5

Step #4: Test Suite specification page should be opened. Fill the details related to the Test suite and click “Create Test suite” button.

TestLink 6

The test suite will be created and appear on the left side, folder tree structure.

Creating A Testcase

Testcase contains a sequence of test steps to test a specific scenario, with an expected result. This section explains how to create a test case along with test steps. Follow the below steps one by one to create Test cases.

Step #1: Click on the Test suite folder on the left side tree structure

TestLink 7

Step #2: Click on the settings icon inTestLink 4 the right-side panel. A list of Test case operations will be displayed on the right-side panel.

TestLink 8

Step #3: Click on the Test case “Create” button. It will open the Test case specification page.

Step #4: Enter details in the Test case specification page.

TestLink 9

Step #5: After entering the details, click on the “Create” button. It will save the test case.

Step #6: Now click on the “Create steps” button in the test case. It will show the test case step editor.

Step #7: Start adding the Test steps as shown in the picture.

TestLink 10

Step #8: Click the “Save” button to add further steps, or click the “Save & exit” button to save step and exit from the editor.

Finally, test case we just created will look like this: 

TestLink 11

Assigning Testcase To Test Plan

To Execute a Test case, it should be assigned to a Test plan. This section describes how to assign a test case to a Test Plan. Follow the below-mentioned steps to assign a test case to a Test Plan.

Step #1: Click on the settings icon on the test case panel. It will display the list of operations.

Step #2: Click on the “Add to TestPlans” button.

TestLink 12

Step #3: Click on the checkbox of the test plan, to which you want to assign the test case. And then click on the “Add” button.

TestLink 13

The test case will be successfully added to the Test Plan.

That’s all for today.

Recap of what we learned in this tutorial:

  • TestLink provides various functionality integrated such as documenting and executing test cases, Test report and Test plan generation.
  • Multiple users with multiple roles can be defined in TestLink.
  • It is a web-based test management tool, so everyone in the organization can browse test cases if they have valid login credentials.
  • Test reports can be easily generated in HTML, MS DOC or Excel format.
  • We can export all the test suites & Test cases and can import them into some other projects. This is very useful if we want to reuse existing test cases for the next project versions.

Due to these useful features, TestLink is widely used and it has been the most popular open-source test management tool for long.

About the author: Thanks to Anitha Eswari for helping us to craft these useful tutorials. She is currently working as a senior test engineer having sound knowledge of manual and automation testing and various test management tools.

What Next?

In 2nd and 3rd parts of this series we will see how to manage requirements, map test cases to requirements, execute test cases manually, link defects, and generate test reports. In the advanced part, we will see how to use Selenium WebDriver to update test cases automatically using TestLink API and save time and money which are important factors for the success of any project. :)

List of All Tutorials:

TestLink Tutorial #1
Tutorial #2 here
Tutorial #3 here
Tutorial #4 here

As usual, we are here to help you. Let us know your queries in the comments below.

Recommended Reading

67 thoughts on “TestLink Tutorial: A Layman’s Guide to TestLink Test Management Tool (Tutorial #1)”

  1. superb step by step guide. looks very easy to use tool. we will switch to this as we are using spreadsheets for tracking test cases as well as defects :(

  2. thank you for helping us to improve our productivity with this Testlink…

  3. Very good sharing
    Thank you so much

  4. Excellent !!!! thanks for sharing

  5. Very useful tool and as usual very well Explain.

  6. Can you please tell me the location of “config.inc.php”

  7. @Mijjo – You can find “config.inc.php” file inside Extracted Testlink Folder.

  8. Thanks Anitha for this very informative article…I will be looking forward for the next tutorials on this series..

  9. Excellent Step by step instructions. Thanks Anitha proved “Information is Wealth”

  10. @ Vijay

    Do we require design documents for the preparation of test cases?

  11. I’m using test link for first time using this tutorial. Thanks. Keep up the good you are doing.

  12. Actually, we started using test link. But its manually, we are entering the test cases. We installed the test link, in a VMmachine. When we create a test case, or try to do something, it will be down. Shall I know the minimum memory/ requirements for running the test link in a VMmachine

  13. Hi Anitha,

    I am not able to get this button “Add to TestPlans” in test case panel , on demo link. Can you pls put more light on this?


  14. how can i navigate to 2nd tutorial of test link…i do not see any link

  15. Thanks, this tools is so useful.

  16. how can i navigate to 3rd tutorial of test link…i do not see any link

  17. Step – 1
    Download php from this page (thread is safe).
    Extract this to C:\php..

    During step 1 execution (php download), am facing The page cannot be found issue.. Please help me out..

  18. Excellent Information ,Thanks for Sharing ….

  19. Good to know such open source tools and thank you for all the details shared

  20. You can also use some third party like XAMPP.
    It provides the complete bundle of mysql, php and apache and is comparatively easier to install. It will save a lot of your time. Being said that, process given here is thorough, and is the way you should do it. But if by any means you are not able to, you can use XAMPP.

  21. Hello,
    Thank you for provide good information but i am new in selenium so Can you start new tutorial for selenium.

    Like you are provide complete tutorial for software testing and qtp etc.

  22. Hi Vijay,
    Our team is using TestLink for Test Management and your tutorial helped us more.
    -> Where can we create/upload TEST CASE SCENARIO on TestLink?

    Note: On Test Report section we get option like ‘Select the top line in tree menu for all or a specific element to generate a document content.’ there we can find option ‘Test Case Scenario’, but we don’t know where do we upload/ create them,
    Please help us with this.

  23. Hello Vishruth,

    Test Report section is to produce Test Reports only, TO create / upload Test Scenario, you need to go to “Test Specification” section.

    Where, you can create Test suites and within that you can create testcases.

  24. Hello Anitha Eswari,
    Thank you for your valuable reply,
    I have knowledge about how to create test cases, but my question is ‘How to Create Test Scenarios?’ on TestLink.

    Please help with this.

  25. Very good explanation , very useful for us.

  26. I used Xampp server to install Testlink but.
    I cant find lines to edit, in config file.
    some how i tried to change the lines(except the middle one, which i cant find) but on opening the testlink on localhost it showed 404 error.
    I have checked almost all online help. But not able to install teslink.
    PLease help.

  27. I got the answer to all my problems.
    Actually I was using the latest version of testlink.

    Anyways, thankx to all.

  28. Even I am not able to see ‘Add to test plan’ option.
    Pl advise asap

  29. Hello guys. Just an alternative to installation process where in we need to install MySQL, PHP and Apache separately, I would rather suggest to install xampp which will automatically include Apache, MySQL, FileZilla, Mercury & Tomcat.

  30. Nice and clear also your explanations are fluent… Thanks

  31. your presentation is very good, I am new to this field & actually gathering knowledge.

    Thank you

  32. I am using TestLink 1.9.9 version and it doesnot have my settings option .can i just know how can i generate the key??

  33. Hai sir,
    I’m a manual tester, I really need help on writing testplan. If i have 20 test cases related to regression testing, all will come under one test plan?

  34. sdjbvhk jk,kn ugfyu uuoo. hyuibn juui uiiol kijug.

  35. Hey Folks,

    I have been using Testlink from 2 Years and just I have verified the above steps, but I dont think so they correct one, in the above Where is the Keyword management ? how we will use them with the Test cases? how you will identify in which Test phase we are moreover We need to generate the Test cases from Requirements,we should not jump directly to Test Specification,and we should map the each requirement with Test cases………… If any concerns catch me ||vaseemsix@gmail.com|mohammad.vaseem@goktree.com|mohammad.vaseem@ktree.com

  36. Very good article and good step by step description.
    Can you provide the similar type of article for JMETER.
    If possible share the link wiht me on my email id.

  37. can we integrate testlink with ontime defect tracking tool

  38. I’m new to Test link. I’m going through the installation of testlink on my PC. For the project I’m using test link I’m the QA but there is a Dev and a Manager. I would like to create a admin account for our project and share the details with them .

    I’ ve some Questions :
    1) If there are 3 members in our project and with diff roles (test, manager, dev). Should they set up all the installation like what i did to view the defects or how to do it?

  39. Hi guys,

    I have questions related to Test Specification Tab on Dashboard (or) Desktop (Homepage). Whatever term is used.

    Step 1: I have created a project (Say Deep)
    Step 2: I have created a Testplan (Say Water)
    Step 3: I have createad a Build (Say Sea V1.0)
    Step 4: Created a Testsuite (Say Humanbeings) under project “Deep”
    Step 5: I have created two Testsuite (Say Man and Women respectively) under testsuite “Human beings”.
    Question in step 5: Are these (Man & Women)called child Testsuites? (or) testsuites (Man and Women) nested under testsuites “Human beings”
    Step 6: I have created 5 test cases in each test suites.

    Question related to Test Specification:

    In testspecification i see only the Testsuite (Humanbeings, Man & Women) for all the testplans. What is the purpose of testspecification & how can it be used efficiently?

    Scenario: I have created more testplans (Fire, Land, Sky) under the same project and i want to have the same test suites (Human beings but now name changed as Humanbeings 1, Humanbeings 2 and Humanbeings 3 ) then the same test suites (Man & Women) with the same TCs under the newly created testpalns.
    Question: How do i change the name of the Testsuites in new testplans?
    My findings during the name change: During name change of test suite under one testplan i see that all the testsuite in other testplans are changed (Because i think everything is linked). Some testplans were created from old testplans & some were not created from old testplans (i.e. independent of the already created testplan)

    P.S.: If i have created a lot of confusion kindly metion where the confusion is. Then i can improve my explanation.

  40. Hi guys,

    In test execution of a test case there are three possible results that can be choosen namely Passed, Failed and Blocked.

    Question: Can i have one more status as NA? i guess it can be coded in the tool but i am not a programmer. Can anyone tell me where i can add this module?

    What is the actual meaning of status “Blocked”?

  41. Hi guys,


    Comments #42 & #43 are from me.
    I am using TestLink 1.9.14

  42. Hi Guys,

    Do we always see all the created testcases of particular project under “Test specification”?

    I have created 6 sample TC’s under the project “i am not sure” which is allocated as 3 TCs each in each testsuite.
    I assigned 6 TCs to “example testplan #1” and 3 TCs to “example testplan #2”.
    Under the “Current Test Plan” i selected “example testplan #2” (i.e. this testplan is active now which has just 3 TCs). Now i navigate to test specification and i see all the created TCs under that project but not just the assigned TCs to that testplan.
    Is this how the functionality of “Test specification” constructed in TestLink?

  43. Hi,

    “TestLink Online Demo here” is not working pls help.


  44. Hi

    anyone using Tarantula Test Management tool? How it is?


  45. Hi,

    I want to buy this tool What we need

    DB: ???
    Web server : ??

  46. Hello,

    I am using the bugtracker.net for defect management/tracking. how to integrate this bugtracker.net with test link tool as this is not present in the issue tracker management feature….. kindly help..

    Thanks in advance


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