OVAL Test Content

The OVAL Test Content is a set of OVAL Definitions that provides a simple way to test the capability of OVAL Definition Evaluators. After running the OVAL Test Content through an OVAL Definition Evaluator, the OVAL Results will show the user which tests are properly supported by that tool. This allows users to perform unit testing of tools against the language. Over time, the OVAL Test Content will cover the basic behavior of all tests and capabilities in the OVAL Language.

Benefits of using the test content:

  • Developers — use to help guide the development of new tools.
  • Users — use as part of your evaluation of competing products.
  • Content Authors — use as a reference for writing new content.


The OVAL Test Content should be considered an initial draft. The content does not test all OVAL Language capabilities and has been developed and tested on a small number of systems. It has been released at this early stage because it provides value to the community as a draft and because the best way to mature this test content is through active use and collaboration with the community. Future releases will address that feedback.

Please send any comments or questions to oval-developer-list@lists.mitre.org.

Use Cases

OVAL Definition Evaluator Developer

The OVAL Test Content can be very useful in developing and testing an OVAL Definition Evaluator. Developers can use the content throughout the development process to ensure that their tool properly evaluates OVAL Definitions, much like unit testing. The OVAL Test Content provides a single bundle of content that will check most behavior of the OVAL Language. This will help developers to build better tools to serve the needs of users of the OVAL Language.


There is no requirement that all OVAL Definition Evaluators support all the tests defined in the OVAL Language. Instead, tool developers are encouraged to support the subset of tests that make sense for their product. The level of support should be clearly documented, and the tool should gracefully report content that is not supported in the OVAL Results file. When selecting an OVAL Definition Evaluator, the OVAL Test Content gives users an easy way to measure the capability of a particular tool. The user can learn whether the tool correctly evaluates all necessary OVAL Definitions. This information can help guide the user in selecting the appropriate tool that fits their needs.

OVAL Content Author

For someone who writes OVAL Definitions, the OVAL Test Content can be a valuable resource in writing content. For someone new to OVAL, the test content provides a variety of simple examples, and for experienced authors, the test content can provide an example of how to use an unfamiliar test. The OVAL Test Content will help bring new content authors up to speed, and serve as a valuable reference to the community.

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The OVAL Test Content is hosted on GitHub.com and includes the following:

Go to the OVAL Test Content on GitHub.

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Page Last Updated: November 21, 2013