When I read this document How can I ask my PR to be tested again for test failures?

there is a paragraph:

PRs should only need to be manually re-tested if you believe there was a flake during the original test. It would be good to file flakes as an issue.

what's the meaning of flake there? is it mean inaccurate?

  • "Flaky" has a colloquial meaning of "unreliable" (and you could say that someone who fails to do something they promised is a "flake"). I suspect it is jargon of some kind, e.g. for an unpredictable failure.
    – nschneid
    Oct 6, 2021 at 3:37

2 Answers 2


A test (in the sense of an automated test of a piece of software) is said to be "flaky" if it doesn't always give the same result. For example if it passes sometimes and not others with the same input.

A "flake" means that a test failed due to the test being flaky and if the test was re-run the test may pass. A flaky test is a bug that should be reported.

  • 1
    Hunting flaky tests in Kubernetes - Sometimes unit tests are flaky. This means that due to (usually) race conditions, they will occasionally fail, even though most of the time they pass. We have a goal of 99.9% flake free tests. github.com/DerkSchooltink/Kubernetes/blob/master/docs/devel/… Oct 6, 2021 at 7:32
  • Not all software developers on Github have English as their first language - "Derk Schooltink - Software Engineer - Borne, Overijssel, Nederland" Oct 6, 2021 at 11:58

I'd have assumed it meant "fluke" except that the next sentence says "It would be good to file flakes as an issue," and also, software is unlikely have testing issues as hardware might.

I suspect it's a technical term for that board. Certainly it does not fit any commonly used definition.

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