SonarQube marks function refered by MethodSource as Unused "private" method per rule 1144

  • UsingSonarQube Enterprise Edition Version 8.9.7 (build 52159)
  • I am trying to use the new MethodSource functionality from Junit 5, but SonarQube marks the referenced function as an unused private method.

As far as I can see, SonarQube should support Junit 5, so I don’t know why it flags these functions as unused.


Welcome to the community!

I’m a bit confused by your question. Are you saying that S1144 is raising issues on test files? From what I can tell that rule is for source files only.



Thank you!

Yes, the rule is raised in test files.

From what I read on the rule: [RSPEC-1144] - Jira it states in the Analysis Scope that Test Sources are part of it.

And I would very much think that it’s just as important to avoid unused code in test code as in production code.


That Jira repo is vestigial; the rules got moved into Git a while ago. But even when it was in use, that scope field was largely aspirational. It got honored for C# but nothing else. Since then some work has been done around what rules apply to tests, but the scope of that was never clear to me.

Can you provide a reproducer snippet?


The function provideFToA is marked as an unused private method by SonarQube:

  void getAFromF_fIsDefined_aIsCorrect(String f, A eA) {
    A a = AM.getAFromF(f);


  private static Stream<Arguments> provideFToA() {
    return Stream.of(
      Arguments.of("ABC", A.ABC),
      Arguments.of("DEF", A.DEF),
      Arguments.of("invalid", A.INVALID),
      Arguments.of(null, A.NULL)

I have obfuscated the code a bit.

Some other examples can also be found here: junit5_workshop/ at 917b4d59b1820c474a7e1ab6e18c5ee210914a15 · kousen/junit5_workshop · GitHub

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Thanks for the code snippet.

I see work on this rule since 8.9, but nothing that seems relevant (to me) to your case, so I’m going to flag this for developer attention.


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hey @Molzen,

I have been trying to reproduce the issue using the Junit workshop project you mentioned but unfortunately, I cannot see the issue.

In order to confirm the issue, I will need to know about:

  • The version of Java used to build and analyze
  • The version of the scanner used
  • Any relevant analysis parameter that may cause the test code to be confused with the main code



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Java: zulu8.60.0.21-ca-jdk8.0.322-win_x64
Scanner: org.sonarsource.scanner.cli:sonar-scanner-cli:

I would think it is correct that it also scans test code for unused methods. Having unused code in test files are just as much dead code as in regular classes.

Is anyone still looking into this issue?

As Ann has already mentioned, the rule is currently not designed to run on test code. In principle, I completely agree with you, that this rule could also make sense applied to test code. However, as your example shows very well, we can’t simply activate rules that work well on main code for test code and expect everything to work out of the box. Problems like this FP arise, as the rule does not understand that the annotation provided in the context of the parametrized test actually means that the method is used.

One day, I hope we can improve our support for test code, as there are certainly many rules in the Java analyzer, which currently only run on main code and would also bring value for test code. Unfortunately, I cannot give you an ETA for this, though.

Since you are using the CLI sonar scanner, you will manually need to provide the directories that contain test code vs main code (using the property sonar.tests - see the docs here). Alternatively, if you can, I would recommend that you use the SonarScanner for Gradle or for Maven instead, which will usually be able to set these (and more!) properties for you.

If you still want to run the rules designed for main code on your test code, you will unfortunately have to expect odd behavior for the time being.