I have little confusion in the smoke and sanity testing.Still i didn't correct definition for this question?

what is difference b/w smoke and sanity testing?

Any one give correct definition for Smoke and sanity with examples.



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I fail to understand why this is the most commonly asked question in testing. The distinction between the two is not generally important.  In fact, it's one of the most trivial aspects of testing that I can think of, offhand, but it does point to something important.

Both smoke testing and sanity testing refer to a first-pass, shallow form of testing intended to establish whether something can perform the most basic functions.  Some people call such testing "smoke testing"; others call it "sanity testing".  "Smoke testing" derives from the hardware world; if you create an electronic circuit, power it up, and smoke comes out, the smoke test has failed.  Sanity testing has no particular derivation that I'm aware of, other than the common dictionary definition of the word.  Does the product behave in some crazy fashion? If so, it has failed the sanity test. 

Do you see the similarity between these two forms of testing?  Can someone make a meaningful distinction between them?  Maybe someone can.  If so, let them make it.  If you're talking to them, and they want to make a distinction, go with it.  Some organizations make a distinction between the two; some don't.  If it's important in your workplace, then ask in your workplace. Otherwise, it's not important.

Here's what is important: whatever organization you go to in your testing career, people will speak a different language that has evolved as part of the culture of that organization. Some consultancies or certification mills or standards bodies claim the goal of providing "a common worldwide standard language for testing".  This is as fruitless and as pointless a goal as a common worldwide standard language for humanity.  Throughout history, people have developed different languages to address things that were important in their culture and society and environment.  This is a good thing.  This is not a bad thing.

If you find yourself in conversation with someone who asks you "Do you do X?", and you're not sure what X is by their definition, the smart reply starts with, "I may do X, but not necessarily by that name."  After that,

  • You can offer to describe your notion of X (if you have one).
  • You can describe something that you do that could be interpreted as X.  That can be risky, so offer this too: "Since I don't know what you mean by X, here's something that I do that sounds similar or that could be interpreted that way.  But I'd like to make sure that we both recognize that we could have different interpretations of what X means."
  • You can say, "I'd like to avoid the possibility that we might be talking at cross-purposes.  If you can describe what X means to you, I can tell you about my experiences doing similar things, if I've done them."
You will doubtless see hundreds of answers to the smoke vs. sanity question, since it's been asked hundreds of times. People will have their own ideas about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. However, there is no "correct" definition for either term outside of a specfic context, since there is no authority that is univerally accepted (and if someone claimed to be one, I'd reject it, putting an end to the claim of universal acceptance).

---Michael B.




Thank you very much Michael.

Hi i came across the same confusion but i found this . i guess this distinguishes very clearly between the two.


Smoke Test:

When a build is received, a smoke test is run to ascertain if the build is stable and it can be considered for further testing.


Smoke testing can be done for testing the stability of any interim build.


Smoke testing can be executed for platform qualification tests.


Sanity testing:

Once a new build is obtained with minor revisions, instead of doing a through regression, a sanity is performed so as to ascertain the build has indeed rectified the issues and no further issue has been introduced by the fixes.  Its generally a subset of regression testing and a group of test cases are executed that are related with the changes made to the app.


Generally, when multiple cycles of testing are executed, sanity testing may be done during the later cycles after through regression cycles.







Smoke testing originated in the hardware testing practice of turning on a new piece of hardware for the first time and considering it a success if it does not catch fire and smoke.  In software industry, smoke testing is a shallow and wide approach whereby all areas of the application without getting into too deep, is tested.

A sanity test is a narrow regression test that focuses on one or a few areas of functionality. Sanity testing is usually narrow and deep.


A smoke test is scripted--either using a written set of tests or an automated test

A sanity test is usually unscripted.


A Smoke test is designed to touch every part of the application in a cursory way. It's is shallow and wide.

A Sanity test is used to determine a small section of the application is still working after a minor change.


Smoke testing will be conducted to ensure whether the most crucial functions of a program work, but not bothering with finer details. (Such as build verification).

Sanity testing is a cursory testing; it is performed whenever a cursory testing is sufficient to prove the application is functioning according to specifications. This level of testing is a subset of regression testing.


Smoke testing is normal health check up to a build of an application before taking it to testing in depth.


sanity testing is to verify whether requirements are met or not,

checking all features breadth-first.

Thank you very much amol

Nice, but someone somewhere will have a different meaning.  Feel free to read what I wrote above.


---Michael B.

nice replay.

Nice distinction.

But as michael said, it chnages from organization to organization. we need to go along with our organization's one.


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