Understanding and using allContracts in Echidna

Table of contents:


This tutorial is written as a hands-on guide to using allContracts testing in Echidna. You will learn what allContracts testing is, how to use it in your tests, and what to expect from its usage.

This feature used to be called multi-abi but it was later renamed to allContracts in Echidna 2.1.0. As expected, this version or later is required for this tutorial.

What is allContracts testing?

It is a testing mode that allows Echidna to call functions from any contract not directly under test. The ABI for the contract must be known, and it must have been deployed by the contract under test.

When and how to use allContracts

By default, Echidna calls functions from the contract to be analyzed, sending the transactions randomly from addresses 0x10000, 0x20000 and 0x30000.

In some systems, the user has to interact with other contracts prior to calling a function on the fuzzed contract. A common example is when you want to provide liquidity to a DeFi protocol, you will first need to approve the protocol for spending your tokens. This transaction has to be initiated from your account before actually interacting with the protocol contract.

A fuzzing campaign meant to test this example protocol contract won't be able to modify users allowances, therefore most of the interactions with the protocol won't be tested correctly.

This is where allContracts testing is useful: It allows Echidna to call functions from other contracts (not just from the contract under test), sending the transactions from the same accounts that will interact with the target contract.

Run Echidna

We will use a simple example to show how allContracts works. We will be using two contracts, Flag and EchidnaTest, both available in allContracts.sol.

The Flag contract contains a boolean flag that is only set if flip() is called, and a getter function that returns the value of the flag. For now, ignore test_fail(), we will talk about this function later.

contract Flag {
    bool flag = false;

    function flip() public {
        flag = !flag;

    function get() public returns (bool) {
        return flag;

    function test_fail() public {

The test harness will instantiate a new Flag, and the invariant under test will be that f.get() (that is, the boolean value of the flag) is always false.

contract EchidnaTest {
    Flag f;

    constructor() {
        f = new Flag();

    function test_flag_is_false() public {
        assert(f.get() == false);

In a non allContracts fuzzing campaign, Echidna is not able to break the invariant, because it only interacts with EchidnaTest functions. However, if we use the following configuration file, enabling allContracts testing, the invariant is broken. You can access allContracts.yaml here.

testMode: assertion
testLimit: 50000
allContracts: true

To run the Echidna tests, run echidna allContracts.sol --contract EchidnaTest --config allContracts.yaml from the example directory. Alternatively, you can specify --all-contracts in the command line instead of using a configuration file.

Example run with allContracts set to false

echidna allContracts.sol --contract EchidnaTest --config allContracts.yaml
Analyzing contract: building-secure-contracts/program-analysis/echidna/example/allContracts.sol:EchidnaTest
test_flag_is_false():  passed! 🎉
AssertionFailed(..):  passed! 🎉

Unique instructions: 282
Unique codehashes: 2
Corpus size: 2
Seed: -8252538430849362039

Example run with allContracts set to true

echidna allContracts.sol --contract EchidnaTest --config allContracts.yaml
Analyzing contract: building-secure-contracts/program-analysis/echidna/example/allContracts.sol:EchidnaTest
test_flag_is_false(): failed!💥
  Call sequence:

Event sequence: Panic(1)
AssertionFailed(..):  passed! 🎉

Unique instructions: 368
Unique codehashes: 2
Corpus size: 6
Seed: -6168343983565830424

Use cases and conclusions

Testing with allContracts is a useful tool for complex systems that require the user to interact with more than one contract, as we mentioned earlier. Another use case is for deployed contracts that require interactions to be initiated by specific addresses: for those, specifying the sender configuration setting allows to send the transactions from the correct account.

A side-effect of using allContracts is that the search space grows with the number of functions that can be called. This, combined with high values of sequence lengths, can make the fuzzing test not so thorough, because the dimension of the search space is simply too big to reasonably explore. Finally, adding more functions as fuzzing candidates makes the campaigns to take up more execution time.

A final remark is that allContracts testing in assertion mode ignores all assert failures from the contracts not under test. This is shown in Flag.test_fail() function: even though it explicitly asserts false, the Echidna test ignores it.