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. Hello All,

    Can anyone recommend an open source test management tool?

    Thanks in advance

  2. Great Job! Thanks!
    Now going to the second part!

  3. While giving httpd -k start
    there occurs error
    AH00558: httpd: Could not reliably determine the server’s fully qualified domain name, using fe80::604d:30d3:ff33:d29d. Set the server name directive globally to suppress the message
    (OS 10048) Only one usage of each socket address (protocol/ network address/port)
    is normally permitted.

  4. It’s very useful ……good job


  5. 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.

  6. Hi,
    I am using 1.9.14 version & ms office 2016. I have manually created some test cases and exported them as xml. When I try to open the xml in excel 2016, i am getting the following error -“The specified xml source does not refer to a schema. Excel will create a schema based on the xml source data”. If click ok button to proceed further and add some test cases and export the data as xml, again I am getting error as “Cannot save or export xml data.The XML maps in this worksheet are not exportable”. I don’t know whether this is an issue with this version or excel.

    Please help.


  7. I am using windows 7 pro for installing & configuring the testsoftware but and I have installed xampp 3.2.1.
    after after completing the apache when I restart the service its not working giving the error, can you pls guide me how to go about it. ( AH00526: Syntax error on line 561 of c:/xampp/apache/conf/httpd.conf: invalid command ‘application’ , perhaps misspelled or defined by a module not included in the server configuration)

  8. Hi while installing apache i faced the error vcruntime140.dll missing.. after getting solution from google i tried install/uninstall with Microsoft window redistributable but still i am unable to install.pls help me get out of it

  9. We facing issue to install TestLink, there is something wrong in the create table SQL, but we do not know what…
    I’m looking for the email address of the TestLink helpline.
    Somebody can help please?
    Many thanks.

  10. Please correct the all links which is mension in the article, there links are not navogated to proper page, every link has error .

  11. I have testlink on my machine, I want to share it with my other 2 team members. How do I do it? Please help

  12. Hello, Does testlink allow you to tag test cases so you can run queries based on the tag ? eg. I need to create a regression testplan with only 10 of the features of the product instead of 18 features. Thanks in advance!

  13. it’s so helpfull. I’m personally used & it’s amazine.

  14. Thank you for creating such an elaborate content. which version of Testlink do you recommend? we observed that on 1.9.19 there is no save button during test execution.

  15. Hola Buenas Tardes: estoy realizando la integración entre testlink y mantis, he hecho todo y en testlink no me habilita la opción de gestor de defectos, porqué será? gracias


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