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Testing Django applications
.. module:: django.test
:synopsis: Testing tools for Django applications.
Automated testing is an extremely useful bug-killing tool for the modern
Web developer. You can use a collection of tests -- a **test suite** -- to
solve, or avoid, a number of problems:
* When you're writing new code, you can use tests to validate your code
works as expected.
* When you're refactoring or modifying old code, you can use tests to
ensure your changes haven't affected your application's behavior
Testing a Web application is a complex task, because a Web application is made
of several layers of logic -- from HTTP-level request handling, to form
validation and processing, to template rendering. With Django's test-execution
framework and assorted utilities, you can simulate requests, insert test data,
inspect your application's output and generally verify your code is doing what
it should be doing.
The best part is, it's really easy.
This document is split into two primary sections. First, we explain how to
write tests with Django. Then, we explain how to run them.
Writing tests
There are two primary ways to write tests with Django, corresponding to the
two test frameworks that ship in the Python standard library. The two
frameworks are:
* **Unit tests** -- tests that are expressed as methods on a Python class
that subclasses :class:`unittest.TestCase` or Django's customized
:class:`TestCase`. For example::
import unittest
class MyFuncTestCase(unittest.TestCase):
def testBasic(self):
a = ['larry', 'curly', 'moe']
self.assertEqual(my_func(a, 0), 'larry')
self.assertEqual(my_func(a, 1), 'curly')
* **Doctests** -- tests that are embedded in your functions' docstrings and
are written in a way that emulates a session of the Python interactive
interpreter. For example::
def my_func(a_list, idx):
>>> a = ['larry', 'curly', 'moe']
>>> my_func(a, 0)
>>> my_func(a, 1)
return a_list[idx]
We'll discuss choosing the appropriate test framework later, however, most
experienced developers prefer unit tests. You can also use any *other* Python
test framework, as we'll explain in a bit.
Writing unit tests
Django's unit tests use a Python standard library module: :mod:`unittest`. This
module defines tests in class-based approach.
.. admonition:: unittest2
Python 2.7 introduced some major changes to the unittest library,
adding some extremely useful features. To ensure that every Django
project can benefit from these new features, Django ships with a
copy of unittest2_, a copy of the Python 2.7 unittest library,
backported for Python 2.5 compatibility.
To access this library, Django provides the
:mod:`django.utils.unittest` module alias. If you are using Python
2.7, or you have installed unittest2 locally, Django will map the
alias to the installed version of the unittest library. Otherwise,
Django will use its own bundled version of unittest2.
To use this alias, simply use::
from django.utils import unittest
wherever you would have historically used::
import unittest
If you want to continue to use the base unittest library, you can --
you just won't get any of the nice new unittest2 features.
.. _unittest2:
For a given Django application, the test runner looks for unit tests in two
* The ```` file. The test runner looks for any subclass of
:class:`unittest.TestCase` in this module.
* A file called ```` in the application directory -- i.e., the
directory that holds ````. Again, the test runner looks for any
subclass of :class:`unittest.TestCase` in this module.
Here is an example :class:`unittest.TestCase` subclass::
from django.utils import unittest
from myapp.models import Animal
class AnimalTestCase(unittest.TestCase):
def setUp(self):
self.lion = Animal.objects.create(name="lion", sound="roar") = Animal.objects.create(name="cat", sound="meow")
def test_animals_can_speak(self):
"""Animals that can speak are correctly identified"""
self.assertEqual(self.lion.speak(), 'The lion says "roar"')
self.assertEqual(, 'The cat says "meow"')
When you :ref:`run your tests <running-tests>`, the default behavior of the test
utility is to find all the test cases (that is, subclasses of
:class:`unittest.TestCase`) in ```` and ````, automatically
build a test suite out of those test cases, and run that suite.
There is a second way to define the test suite for a module: if you define a
function called ``suite()`` in either ```` or ````, the
Django test runner will use that function to construct the test suite for that
module. This follows the `suggested organization`_ for unit tests. See the
Python documentation for more details on how to construct a complex test
For more details about :mod:`unittest`, see the Python documentation.
.. _suggested organization:
Writing doctests
Doctests use Python's standard :mod:`doctest` module, which searches your
docstrings for statements that resemble a session of the Python interactive
interpreter. A full explanation of how :mod:`doctest` works is out of the scope
of this document; read Python's official documentation for the details.
.. admonition:: What's a **docstring**?
A good explanation of docstrings (and some guidelines for using them
effectively) can be found in :pep:`257`:
A docstring is a string literal that occurs as the first statement in
a module, function, class, or method definition. Such a docstring
becomes the ``__doc__`` special attribute of that object.
For example, this function has a docstring that describes what it does::
def add_two(num):
"Return the result of adding two to the provided number."
return num + 2
Because tests often make great documentation, putting tests directly in
your docstrings is an effective way to document *and* test your code.
As with unit tests, for a given Django application, the test runner looks for
doctests in two places:
* The ```` file. You can define module-level doctests and/or a
doctest for individual models. It's common practice to put
application-level doctests in the module docstring and model-level
doctests in the model docstrings.
* A file called ```` in the application directory -- i.e., the
directory that holds ````. This file is a hook for any and all
doctests you want to write that aren't necessarily related to models.
This example doctest is equivalent to the example given in the unittest section
from django.db import models
class Animal(models.Model):
An animal that knows how to make noise
# Create some animals
>>> lion = Animal.objects.create(name="lion", sound="roar")
>>> cat = Animal.objects.create(name="cat", sound="meow")
# Make 'em speak
>>> lion.speak()
'The lion says "roar"'
>>> cat.speak()
'The cat says "meow"'
name = models.CharField(max_length=20)
sound = models.CharField(max_length=20)
def speak(self):
return 'The %s says "%s"' % (, self.sound)
When you :ref:`run your tests <running-tests>`, the test runner will find this
docstring, notice that portions of it look like an interactive Python session,
and execute those lines while checking that the results match.
In the case of model tests, note that the test runner takes care of creating
its own test database. That is, any test that accesses a database -- by
creating and saving model instances, for example -- will not affect your
production database. However, the database is not refreshed between doctests,
so if your doctest requires a certain state you should consider flushing the
database or loading a fixture. (See the section on fixtures, below, for more
on this.) Note that to use this feature, the database user Django is connecting
as must have ``CREATE DATABASE`` rights.
For more details about :mod:`doctest`, see the Python documentation.
Which should I use?
Because Django supports both of the standard Python test frameworks, it's up to
you and your tastes to decide which one to use. You can even decide to use
For developers new to testing, however, this choice can seem confusing. Here,
then, are a few key differences to help you decide which approach is right for
* If you've been using Python for a while, :mod:`doctest` will probably feel
more "pythonic". It's designed to make writing tests as easy as possible,
so it requires no overhead of writing classes or methods. You simply put
tests in docstrings. This has the added advantage of serving as
documentation (and correct documentation, at that!). However, while
doctests are good for some simple example code, they are not very good if
you want to produce either high quality, comprehensive tests or high
quality documentation. Test failures are often difficult to debug
as it can be unclear exactly why the test failed. Thus, doctests should
generally be avoided and used primarily for documentation examples only.
* The :mod:`unittest` framework will probably feel very familiar to
developers coming from Java. :mod:`unittest` is inspired by Java's JUnit,
so you'll feel at home with this method if you've used JUnit or any test
framework inspired by JUnit.
* If you need to write a bunch of tests that share similar code, then
you'll appreciate the :mod:`unittest` framework's organization around
classes and methods. This makes it easy to abstract common tasks into
common methods. The framework also supports explicit setup and/or cleanup
routines, which give you a high level of control over the environment
in which your test cases are run.
* If you're writing tests for Django itself, you should use :mod:`unittest`.
.. _running-tests:
Running tests
Once you've written tests, run them using the :djadmin:`test` command of
your project's ```` utility::
$ ./ test
By default, this will run every test in every application in
:setting:`INSTALLED_APPS`. If you only want to run tests for a particular
application, add the application name to the command line. For example, if your
:setting:`INSTALLED_APPS` contains ``'myproject.polls'`` and
``'myproject.animals'``, you can run the ``myproject.animals`` unit tests alone
with this command::
$ ./ test animals
Note that we used ``animals``, not ``myproject.animals``.
You can be even *more* specific by naming an individual test case. To
run a single test case in an application (for example, the
``AnimalTestCase`` described in the "Writing unit tests" section), add
the name of the test case to the label on the command line::
$ ./ test animals.AnimalTestCase
And it gets even more granular than that! To run a *single* test
method inside a test case, add the name of the test method to the
$ ./ test animals.AnimalTestCase.test_animals_can_speak
You can use the same rules if you're using doctests. Django will use the
test label as a path to the test method or class that you want to run.
If your ```` or ```` has a function with a doctest, or
class with a class-level doctest, you can invoke that test by appending the
name of the test method or class to the label::
$ ./ test animals.classify
If you want to run the doctest for a specific method in a class, add the
name of the method to the label::
$ ./ test
If you're using a ``__test__`` dictionary to specify doctests for a
module, Django will use the label as a key in the ``__test__`` dictionary
for defined in ```` and ````.
If you press ``Ctrl-C`` while the tests are running, the test runner will
wait for the currently running test to complete and then exit gracefully.
During a graceful exit the test runner will output details of any test
failures, report on how many tests were run and how many errors and failures
were encountered, and destroy any test databases as usual. Thus pressing
``Ctrl-C`` can be very useful if you forget to pass the :djadminopt:`--failfast`
option, notice that some tests are unexpectedly failing, and want to get details
on the failures without waiting for the full test run to complete.
If you do not want to wait for the currently running test to finish, you
can press ``Ctrl-C`` a second time and the test run will halt immediately,
but not gracefully. No details of the tests run before the interruption will
be reported, and any test databases created by the run will not be destroyed.
.. admonition:: Test with warnings enabled
It's a good idea to run your tests with Python warnings enabled:
``python -Wall test``. The ``-Wall`` flag tells Python to
display deprecation warnings. Django, like many other Python libraries,
uses these warnings to flag when features are going away. It also might
flag areas in your code that aren't strictly wrong but could benefit
from a better implementation.
Running tests outside the test runner
If you want to run tests outside of ``./ test`` -- for example,
from a shell prompt -- you will need to set up the test
environment first. Django provides a convenience method to do this::
>>> from django.test.utils import setup_test_environment
>>> setup_test_environment()
This convenience method sets up the test database, and puts other
Django features into modes that allow for repeatable testing.
The call to :meth:`~django.test.utils.setup_test_environment` is made
automatically as part of the setup of `./ test`. You only
need to manually invoke this method if you're not using running your
tests via Django's test runner.
The test database
Tests that require a database (namely, model tests) will not use your "real"
(production) database. Separate, blank databases are created for the tests.
Regardless of whether the tests pass or fail, the test databases are destroyed
when all the tests have been executed.
By default the test databases get their names by prepending ``test_``
to the value of the :setting:`NAME` settings for the databases
defined in :setting:`DATABASES`. When using the SQLite database engine
the tests will by default use an in-memory database (i.e., the
database will be created in memory, bypassing the filesystem
entirely!). If you want to use a different database name, specify
:setting:`TEST_NAME` in the dictionary for any given database in
Aside from using a separate database, the test runner will otherwise
use all of the same database settings you have in your settings file:
:setting:`ENGINE`, :setting:`USER`, :setting:`HOST`, etc. The test
database is created by the user specified by :setting:`USER`, so you'll need
to make sure that the given user account has sufficient privileges to
create a new database on the system.
For fine-grained control over the character encoding of your test
database, use the :setting:`TEST_CHARSET` option. If you're using
MySQL, you can also use the :setting:`TEST_COLLATION` option to
control the particular collation used by the test database. See the
:doc:`settings documentation </ref/settings>` for details of these
advanced settings.
.. _topics-testing-masterslave:
Testing master/slave configurations
If you're testing a multiple database configuration with master/slave
replication, this strategy of creating test databases poses a problem.
When the test databases are created, there won't be any replication,
and as a result, data created on the master won't be seen on the
To compensate for this, Django allows you to define that a database is
a *test mirror*. Consider the following (simplified) example database
'default': {
'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.mysql',
'NAME': 'myproject',
'HOST': 'dbmaster',
# ... plus some other settings
'slave': {
'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.mysql',
'NAME': 'myproject',
'HOST': 'dbslave',
'TEST_MIRROR': 'default'
# ... plus some other settings
In this setup, we have two database servers: ``dbmaster``, described
by the database alias ``default``, and ``dbslave`` described by the
alias ``slave``. As you might expect, ``dbslave`` has been configured
by the database administrator as a read slave of ``dbmaster``, so in
normal activity, any write to ``default`` will appear on ``slave``.
If Django created two independent test databases, this would break any
tests that expected replication to occur. However, the ``slave``
database has been configured as a test mirror (using the
:setting:`TEST_MIRROR` setting), indicating that under testing,
``slave`` should be treated as a mirror of ``default``.
When the test environment is configured, a test version of ``slave``
will *not* be created. Instead the connection to ``slave``
will be redirected to point at ``default``. As a result, writes to
``default`` will appear on ``slave`` -- but because they are actually
the same database, not because there is data replication between the
two databases.
.. _topics-testing-creation-dependencies:
Controlling creation order for test databases
By default, Django will always create the ``default`` database first.
However, no guarantees are made on the creation order of any other
databases in your test setup.
If your database configuration requires a specific creation order, you
can specify the dependencies that exist using the
:setting:`TEST_DEPENDENCIES` setting. Consider the following
(simplified) example database configuration::
'default': {
# ... db settings
'TEST_DEPENDENCIES': ['diamonds']
'diamonds': {
# ... db settings
'clubs': {
# ... db settings
'TEST_DEPENDENCIES': ['diamonds']
'spades': {
# ... db settings
'TEST_DEPENDENCIES': ['diamonds','hearts']
'hearts': {
# ... db settings
'TEST_DEPENDENCIES': ['diamonds','clubs']
Under this configuration, the ``diamonds`` database will be created first,
as it is the only database alias without dependencies. The ``default`` and
``clubs`` alias will be created next (although the order of creation of this
pair is not guaranteed); then ``hearts``; and finally ``spades``.
If there are any circular dependencies in the
:setting:`TEST_DEPENDENCIES` definition, an ``ImproperlyConfigured``
exception will be raised.
Order in which tests are executed
In order to guarantee that all ``TestCase`` code starts with a clean database,
the Django test runner reorders tests in the following way:
* First, all unittests (including :class:`unittest.TestCase`,
:class:`~django.test.SimpleTestCase`, :class:`~django.test.TestCase` and
:class:`~django.test.TransactionTestCase`) are run with no particular ordering
guaranteed nor enforced among them.
* Then any other tests (e.g. doctests) that may alter the database without
restoring it to its original state are run.
.. versionchanged:: 1.5
Before Django 1.5, the only guarantee was that
:class:`~django.test.TestCase` tests were always ran first, before any other
.. note::
The new ordering of tests may reveal unexpected dependencies on test case
ordering. This is the case with doctests that relied on state left in the
database by a given :class:`~django.test.TransactionTestCase` test, they
must be updated to be able to run independently.
Other test conditions
Regardless of the value of the :setting:`DEBUG` setting in your configuration
file, all Django tests run with :setting:`DEBUG`\=False. This is to ensure that
the observed output of your code matches what will be seen in a production
Caches are not cleared after each test, and running " test fooapp" can
insert data from the tests into the cache of a live system if you run your
tests in production because, unlike databases, a separate "test cache" is not
used. This behavior `may change`_ in the future.
.. _may change:
Understanding the test output
When you run your tests, you'll see a number of messages as the test runner
prepares itself. You can control the level of detail of these messages with the
``verbosity`` option on the command line::
Creating test database...
Creating table myapp_animal
Creating table myapp_mineral
Loading 'initial_data' fixtures...
No fixtures found.
This tells you that the test runner is creating a test database, as described
in the previous section.
Once the test database has been created, Django will run your tests.
If everything goes well, you'll see something like this::
Ran 22 tests in 0.221s
If there are test failures, however, you'll see full details about which tests
FAIL: Doctest: ellington.core.throttle.models
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/dev/django/test/", line 2153, in runTest
raise self.failureException(self.format_failure(new.getvalue()))
AssertionError: Failed doctest test for myapp.models
File "/dev/myapp/", line 0, in models
File "/dev/myapp/", line 14, in myapp.models
Failed example:
throttle.check("actor A", "action one", limit=2, hours=1)
Ran 2 tests in 0.048s
FAILED (failures=1)
A full explanation of this error output is beyond the scope of this document,
but it's pretty intuitive. You can consult the documentation of Python's
:mod:`unittest` library for details.
Note that the return code for the test-runner script is 1 for any number of
failed and erroneous tests. If all the tests pass, the return code is 0. This
feature is useful if you're using the test-runner script in a shell script and
need to test for success or failure at that level.
Speeding up the tests
In recent versions of Django, the default password hasher is rather slow by
design. If during your tests you are authenticating many users, you may want
to use a custom settings file and set the :setting:`PASSWORD_HASHERS` setting
to a faster hashing algorithm::
Don't forget to also include in :setting:`PASSWORD_HASHERS` any hashing
algorithm used in fixtures, if any.
Integration with
Code coverage describes how much source code has been tested. It shows which
parts of your code are being exercised by tests and which are not. It's an
important part of testing applications, so it's strongly recommended to check
the coverage of your tests.
Django can be easily integrated with ``_, a tool for measuring code
coverage of Python programs. First, `install`_. Next, run the
following from your project folder containing ````::
coverage run --source='.' test myapp
This runs your tests and collects coverage data of the executed files in your
project. You can see a report of this data by typing following command::
coverage report
Note that some Django code was executed while running tests, but it is not
listed here because of the ``source`` flag passed to the previous command.
For more options like annotated HTML listings detailing missed lines, see the
``_ docs.
.. _install
Testing tools
Django provides a small set of tools that come in handy when writing tests.
.. _test-client:
The test client
.. module:: django.test.client
:synopsis: Django's test client.
The test client is a Python class that acts as a dummy Web browser, allowing
you to test your views and interact with your Django-powered application
Some of the things you can do with the test client are:
* Simulate GET and POST requests on a URL and observe the response --
everything from low-level HTTP (result headers and status codes) to
page content.
* Test that the correct view is executed for a given URL.
* Test that a given request is rendered by a given Django template, with
a template context that contains certain values.
Note that the test client is not intended to be a replacement for Selenium_ or
other "in-browser" frameworks. Django's test client has a different focus. In
* Use Django's test client to establish that the correct view is being
called and that the view is collecting the correct context data.
* Use in-browser frameworks like Selenium_ to test *rendered* HTML and the
*behavior* of Web pages, namely JavaScript functionality. Django also
provides special support for those frameworks; see the section on
:class:`~django.test.LiveServerTestCase` for more details.
A comprehensive test suite should use a combination of both test types.
Overview and a quick example
To use the test client, instantiate ``django.test.client.Client`` and retrieve
Web pages::
>>> from django.test.client import Client
>>> c = Client()
>>> response ='/login/', {'username': 'john', 'password': 'smith'})
>>> response.status_code
>>> response = c.get('/customer/details/')
>>> response.content
'<!DOCTYPE html...'
As this example suggests, you can instantiate ``Client`` from within a session
of the Python interactive interpreter.
Note a few important things about how the test client works:
* The test client does *not* require the Web server to be running. In fact,
it will run just fine with no Web server running at all! That's because
it avoids the overhead of HTTP and deals directly with the Django
framework. This helps make the unit tests run quickly.
* When retrieving pages, remember to specify the *path* of the URL, not the
whole domain. For example, this is correct::
>>> c.get('/login/')
This is incorrect::
>>> c.get('')
The test client is not capable of retrieving Web pages that are not
powered by your Django project. If you need to retrieve other Web pages,
use a Python standard library module such as :mod:`urllib` or
* To resolve URLs, the test client uses whatever URLconf is pointed-to by
your :setting:`ROOT_URLCONF` setting.
* Although the above example would work in the Python interactive
interpreter, some of the test client's functionality, notably the
template-related functionality, is only available *while tests are
The reason for this is that Django's test runner performs a bit of black
magic in order to determine which template was loaded by a given view.
This black magic (essentially a patching of Django's template system in
memory) only happens during test running.
* By default, the test client will disable any CSRF checks
performed by your site.
If, for some reason, you *want* the test client to perform CSRF
checks, you can create an instance of the test client that
enforces CSRF checks. To do this, pass in the
``enforce_csrf_checks`` argument when you construct your
>>> from django.test import Client
>>> csrf_client = Client(enforce_csrf_checks=True)
Making requests
Use the ``django.test.client.Client`` class to make requests.
.. class:: Client(enforce_csrf_checks=False, **defaults)
It requires no arguments at time of construction. However, you can use
keywords arguments to specify some default headers. For example, this will
send a ``User-Agent`` HTTP header in each request::
>>> c = Client(HTTP_USER_AGENT='Mozilla/5.0')
The values from the ``extra`` keywords arguments passed to
:meth:``, etc. have precedence over
the defaults passed to the class constructor.
The ``enforce_csrf_checks`` argument can be used to test CSRF
protection (see above).
Once you have a ``Client`` instance, you can call any of the following
.. method:: Client.get(path, data={}, follow=False, **extra)
Makes a GET request on the provided ``path`` and returns a ``Response``
object, which is documented below.
The key-value pairs in the ``data`` dictionary are used to create a GET
data payload. For example::
>>> c = Client()
>>> c.get('/customers/details/', {'name': 'fred', 'age': 7})
...will result in the evaluation of a GET request equivalent to::
The ``extra`` keyword arguments parameter can be used to specify
headers to be sent in the request. For example::
>>> c = Client()
>>> c.get('/customers/details/', {'name': 'fred', 'age': 7},
...will send the HTTP header ``HTTP_X_REQUESTED_WITH`` to the
details view, which is a good way to test code paths that use the
:meth:`django.http.HttpRequest.is_ajax()` method.
.. admonition:: CGI specification
The headers sent via ``**extra`` should follow CGI_ specification.
For example, emulating a different "Host" header as sent in the
HTTP request from the browser to the server should be passed
as ``HTTP_HOST``.
.. _CGI:
If you already have the GET arguments in URL-encoded form, you can
use that encoding instead of using the data argument. For example,
the previous GET request could also be posed as::
>>> c = Client()
>>> c.get('/customers/details/?name=fred&age=7')
If you provide a URL with both an encoded GET data and a data argument,
the data argument will take precedence.
If you set ``follow`` to ``True`` the client will follow any redirects
and a ``redirect_chain`` attribute will be set in the response object
containing tuples of the intermediate urls and status codes.
If you had a URL ``/redirect_me/`` that redirected to ``/next/``, that
redirected to ``/final/``, this is what you'd see::
>>> response = c.get('/redirect_me/', follow=True)
>>> response.redirect_chain
[(u'http://testserver/next/', 302), (u'http://testserver/final/', 302)]
.. method::, data={}, content_type=MULTIPART_CONTENT, follow=False, **extra)
Makes a POST request on the provided ``path`` and returns a
``Response`` object, which is documented below.
The key-value pairs in the ``data`` dictionary are used to submit POST
data. For example::
>>> c = Client()
>>>'/login/', {'name': 'fred', 'passwd': 'secret'})
...will result in the evaluation of a POST request to this URL::
...with this POST data::
If you provide ``content_type`` (e.g. :mimetype:`text/xml` for an XML
payload), the contents of ``data`` will be sent as-is in the POST
request, using ``content_type`` in the HTTP ``Content-Type`` header.
If you don't provide a value for ``content_type``, the values in
``data`` will be transmitted with a content type of
:mimetype:`multipart/form-data`. In this case, the key-value pairs in
``data`` will be encoded as a multipart message and used to create the
POST data payload.
To submit multiple values for a given key -- for example, to specify
the selections for a ``<select multiple>`` -- provide the values as a
list or tuple for the required key. For example, this value of ``data``
would submit three selected values for the field named ``choices``::
{'choices': ('a', 'b', 'd')}
Submitting files is a special case. To POST a file, you need only
provide the file field name as a key, and a file handle to the file you
wish to upload as a value. For example::
>>> c = Client()
>>> with open('wishlist.doc') as fp:
...'/customers/wishes/', {'name': 'fred', 'attachment': fp})
(The name ``attachment`` here is not relevant; use whatever name your
file-processing code expects.)
Note that if you wish to use the same file handle for multiple
``post()`` calls then you will need to manually reset the file
pointer between posts. The easiest way to do this is to
manually close the file after it has been provided to
``post()``, as demonstrated above.
You should also ensure that the file is opened in a way that
allows the data to be read. If your file contains binary data
such as an image, this means you will need to open the file in
``rb`` (read binary) mode.
The ``extra`` argument acts the same as for :meth:`Client.get`.
If the URL you request with a POST contains encoded parameters, these
parameters will be made available in the request.GET data. For example,
if you were to make the request::
>>>'/login/?visitor=true', {'name': 'fred', 'passwd': 'secret'})
... the view handling this request could interrogate request.POST
to retrieve the username and password, and could interrogate request.GET
to determine if the user was a visitor.
If you set ``follow`` to ``True`` the client will follow any redirects
and a ``redirect_chain`` attribute will be set in the response object
containing tuples of the intermediate urls and status codes.
.. method:: Client.head(path, data={}, follow=False, **extra)
Makes a HEAD request on the provided ``path`` and returns a
``Response`` object. This method works just like :meth:`Client.get`,
including the ``follow`` and ``extra`` arguments, except it does not
return a message body.
.. method:: Client.options(path, data='', content_type='application/octet-stream', follow=False, **extra)
Makes an OPTIONS request on the provided ``path`` and returns a
``Response`` object. Useful for testing RESTful interfaces.
When ``data`` is provided, it is used as the request body, and
a ``Content-Type`` header is set to ``content_type``.
.. versionchanged:: 1.5
:meth:`Client.options` used to process ``data`` like
The ``follow`` and ``extra`` arguments act the same as for
.. method:: Client.put(path, data='', content_type='application/octet-stream', follow=False, **extra)
Makes a PUT request on the provided ``path`` and returns a
``Response`` object. Useful for testing RESTful interfaces.
When ``data`` is provided, it is used as the request body, and
a ``Content-Type`` header is set to ``content_type``.
.. versionchanged:: 1.5
:meth:`Client.put` used to process ``data`` like
The ``follow`` and ``extra`` arguments act the same as for
.. method:: Client.delete(path, data='', content_type='application/octet-stream', follow=False, **extra)
Makes an DELETE request on the provided ``path`` and returns a
``Response`` object. Useful for testing RESTful interfaces.
When ``data`` is provided, it is used as the request body, and
a ``Content-Type`` header is set to ``content_type``.
.. versionchanged:: 1.5
:meth:`Client.delete` used to process ``data`` like
The ``follow`` and ``extra`` arguments act the same as for
.. method:: Client.login(**credentials)
If your site uses Django's :doc:`authentication system</topics/auth>`
and you deal with logging in users, you can use the test client's
``login()`` method to simulate the effect of a user logging into the
After you call this method, the test client will have all the cookies
and session data required to pass any login-based tests that may form
part of a view.
The format of the ``credentials`` argument depends on which
:ref:`authentication backend <authentication-backends>` you're using
(which is configured by your :setting:`AUTHENTICATION_BACKENDS`
setting). If you're using the standard authentication backend provided
by Django (``ModelBackend``), ``credentials`` should be the user's
username and password, provided as keyword arguments::
>>> c = Client()
>>> c.login(username='fred', password='secret')
# Now you can access a view that's only available to logged-in users.
If you're using a different authentication backend, this method may
require different credentials. It requires whichever credentials are
required by your backend's ``authenticate()`` method.
``login()`` returns ``True`` if it the credentials were accepted and
login was successful.
Finally, you'll need to remember to create user accounts before you can
use this method. As we explained above, the test runner is executed
using a test database, which contains no users by default. As a result,
user accounts that are valid on your production site will not work
under test conditions. You'll need to create users as part of the test
suite -- either manually (using the Django model API) or with a test
fixture. Remember that if you want your test user to have a password,
you can't set the user's password by setting the password attribute
directly -- you must use the
:meth:`~django.contrib.auth.models.User.set_password()` function to
store a correctly hashed password. Alternatively, you can use the
:meth:`~django.contrib.auth.models.UserManager.create_user` helper
method to create a new user with a correctly hashed password.
.. method:: Client.logout()
If your site uses Django's :doc:`authentication system</topics/auth>`,
the ``logout()`` method can be used to simulate the effect of a user
logging out of your site.
After you call this method, the test client will have all the cookies
and session data cleared to defaults. Subsequent requests will appear
to come from an AnonymousUser.
Testing responses
The ``get()`` and ``post()`` methods both return a ``Response`` object. This
``Response`` object is *not* the same as the ``HttpResponse`` object returned
Django views; the test response object has some additional data useful for
test code to verify.
Specifically, a ``Response`` object has the following attributes:
.. class:: Response()
.. attribute:: client
The test client that was used to make the request that resulted in the
.. attribute:: content
The body of the response, as a string. This is the final page content as
rendered by the view, or any error message.
.. attribute:: context
The template ``Context`` instance that was used to render the template that
produced the response content.
If the rendered page used multiple templates, then ``context`` will be a
list of ``Context`` objects, in the order in which they were rendered.
Regardless of the number of templates used during rendering, you can
retrieve context values using the ``[]`` operator. For example, the
context variable ``name`` could be retrieved using::
>>> response = client.get('/foo/')
>>> response.context['name']
.. attribute:: request
The request data that stimulated the response.
.. attribute:: status_code
The HTTP status of the response, as an integer. See
:rfc:`2616#section-10` for a full list of HTTP status codes.
.. attribute:: templates
A list of ``Template`` instances used to render the final content, in
the order they were rendered. For each template in the list, use
```` to get the template's file name, if the template was
loaded from a file. (The name is a string such as
You can also use dictionary syntax on the response object to query the value
of any settings in the HTTP headers. For example, you could determine the
content type of a response using ``response['Content-Type']``.
If you point the test client at a view that raises an exception, that exception
will be visible in the test case. You can then use a standard ``try ... except``
block or :meth:`~unittest.TestCase.assertRaises` to test for exceptions.
The only exceptions that are not visible to the test client are ``Http404``,
``PermissionDenied`` and ``SystemExit``. Django catches these exceptions
internally and converts them into the appropriate HTTP response codes. In these
cases, you can check ``response.status_code`` in your test.
Persistent state
The test client is stateful. If a response returns a cookie, then that cookie
will be stored in the test client and sent with all subsequent ``get()`` and
``post()`` requests.
Expiration policies for these cookies are not followed. If you want a cookie
to expire, either delete it manually or create a new ``Client`` instance (which
will effectively delete all cookies).
A test client has two attributes that store persistent state information. You
can access these properties as part of a test condition.
.. attribute:: Client.cookies
A Python :class:`~Cookie.SimpleCookie` object, containing the current values
of all the client cookies. See the documentation of the :mod:`Cookie` module
for more.
.. attribute:: Client.session
A dictionary-like object containing session information. See the
:doc:`session documentation</topics/http/sessions>` for full details.
To modify the session and then save it, it must be stored in a variable
first (because a new ``SessionStore`` is created every time this property
is accessed)::
def test_something(self):
session = self.client.session
session['somekey'] = 'test'
The following is a simple unit test using the test client::
from django.utils import unittest
from django.test.client import Client
class SimpleTest(unittest.TestCase):
def setUp(self):
# Every test needs a client.
self.client = Client()
def test_details(self):
# Issue a GET request.
response = self.client.get('/customer/details/')
# Check that the response is 200 OK.
self.assertEqual(response.status_code, 200)
# Check that the rendered context contains 5 customers.
self.assertEqual(len(response.context['customers']), 5)
The request factory
.. class:: RequestFactory
The :class:`~django.test.client.RequestFactory` shares the same API as
the test client. However, instead of behaving like a browser, the
RequestFactory provides a way to generate a request instance that can
be used as the first argument to any view. This means you can test a
view function the same way as you would test any other function -- as
a black box, with exactly known inputs, testing for specific outputs.
The API for the :class:`~django.test.client.RequestFactory` is a slightly
restricted subset of the test client API:
* It only has access to the HTTP methods :meth:`~Client.get()`,
:meth:``, :meth:`~Client.put()`,
:meth:`~Client.delete()`, :meth:`~Client.head()` and
* These methods accept all the same arguments *except* for
``follows``. Since this is just a factory for producing
requests, it's up to you to handle the response.
* It does not support middleware. Session and authentication
attributes must be supplied by the test itself if required
for the view to function properly.
The following is a simple unit test using the request factory::
from django.utils import unittest
from django.test.client import RequestFactory
class SimpleTest(unittest.TestCase):
def setUp(self):
# Every test needs access to the request factory.
self.factory = RequestFactory()
def test_details(self):
# Create an instance of a GET request.
request = self.factory.get('/customer/details')
# Test my_view() as if it were deployed at /customer/details
response = my_view(request)
self.assertEqual(response.status_code, 200)
Test cases
Provided test case classes
.. currentmodule:: django.test
Normal Python unit test classes extend a base class of
:class:`unittest.TestCase`. Django provides a few extensions of this base class:
.. _testcase_hierarchy_diagram:
.. figure:: _images/django_unittest_classes_hierarchy.png
:alt: Hierarchy of Django unit testing classes (TestCase subclasses)
Hierarchy of Django unit testing classes
.. class:: TestCase()
This class provides some additional capabilities that can be useful for testing
Web sites.
Converting a normal :class:`unittest.TestCase` to a Django :class:`TestCase` is
easy: Just change the base class of your test from `'unittest.TestCase'` to
`'django.test.TestCase'`. All of the standard Python unit test functionality
will continue to be available, but it will be augmented with some useful
additions, including:
* Automatic loading of fixtures.
* Wraps each test in a transaction.
* Creates a TestClient instance.
* Django-specific assertions for testing for things like redirection and form
.. versionchanged:: 1.5
The order in which tests are run has changed. See `Order in which tests are
``TestCase`` inherits from :class:`~django.test.TransactionTestCase`.
.. class:: TransactionTestCase()
Django ``TestCase`` classes make use of database transaction facilities, if
available, to speed up the process of resetting the database to a known state
at the beginning of each test. A consequence of this, however, is that the
effects of transaction commit and rollback cannot be tested by a Django
``TestCase`` class. If your test requires testing of such transactional
behavior, you should use a Django ``TransactionTestCase``.
``TransactionTestCase`` and ``TestCase`` are identical except for the manner
in which the database is reset to a known state and the ability for test code
to test the effects of commit and rollback:
* A ``TransactionTestCase`` resets the database after the test runs by
truncating all tables. A ``TransactionTestCase`` may call commit and rollback
and observe the effects of these calls on the database.
* A ``TestCase``, on the other hand, does not truncate tables after a test.
Instead, it encloses the test code in a database transaction that is rolled
back at the end of the test. It also prevents the code under test from
issuing any commit or rollback operations on the database, to ensure that the
rollback at the end of the test restores the database to its initial state.
When running on a database that does not support rollback (e.g. MySQL with the
MyISAM storage engine), ``TestCase`` falls back to initializing the database
by truncating tables and reloading initial data.
.. note::
.. versionchanged:: 1.5
Prior to 1.5, ``TransactionTestCase`` flushed the database tables *before*
each test. In Django 1.5, this is instead done *after* the test has been run.
When the flush took place before the test, it was guaranteed that primary
key values started at one in :class:`~django.test.TransactionTestCase`
Tests should not depend on this behaviour, but for legacy tests that do, the
:attr:`~TransactionTestCase.reset_sequences` attribute can be used until
the test has been properly updated.
.. versionchanged:: 1.5
The order in which tests are run has changed. See `Order in which tests are
``TransactionTestCase`` inherits from :class:`~django.test.SimpleTestCase`.
.. attribute:: TransactionTestCase.reset_sequences
.. versionadded:: 1.5
Setting ``reset_sequences = True`` on a ``TransactionTestCase`` will make
sure sequences are always reset before the test run::
class TestsThatDependsOnPrimaryKeySequences(TransactionTestCase):
reset_sequences = True
def test_animal_pk(self):
lion = Animal.objects.create(name="lion", sound="roar")
# is guaranteed to always be 1
self.assertEqual(, 1)
Unless you are explicitly testing primary keys sequence numbers, it is
recommended that you do not hard code primary key values in tests.
Using ``reset_sequences = True`` will slow down the test, since the primary
key reset is an relatively expensive database operation.
.. class:: SimpleTestCase()
.. versionadded:: 1.4
A very thin subclass of :class:`unittest.TestCase`, it extends it with some
basic functionality like:
* Saving and restoring the Python warning machinery state.
* Checking that a callable :meth:`raises a certain exception <SimpleTestCase.assertRaisesMessage>`.
* :meth:`Testing form field rendering <SimpleTestCase.assertFieldOutput>`.
* Testing server :ref:`HTML responses for the presence/lack of a given fragment <assertions>`.
* The ability to run tests with :ref:`modified settings <overriding-settings>`
If you need any of the other more complex and heavyweight Django-specific
features like:
* Using the :attr:`~TestCase.client` :class:`~django.test.client.Client`.
* Testing or using the ORM.
* Database :attr:`~TestCase.fixtures`.
* Custom test-time :attr:`URL maps <TestCase.urls>`.
* Test :ref:`skipping based on database backend features <skipping-tests>`.
* The remaining specialized :ref:`assert* <assertions>` methods.
then you should use :class:`~django.test.TransactionTestCase` or
:class:`~django.test.TestCase` instead.
``SimpleTestCase`` inherits from :class:`django.utils.unittest.TestCase`.
Default test client
.. attribute:: TestCase.client
Every test case in a ``django.test.TestCase`` instance has access to an
instance of a Django test client. This client can be accessed as
``self.client``. This client is recreated for each test, so you don't have to
worry about state (such as cookies) carrying over from one test to another.
This means, instead of instantiating a ``Client`` in each test::
from django.utils import unittest
from django.test.client import Client
class SimpleTest(unittest.TestCase):
def test_details(self):
client = Client()
response = client.get('/customer/details/')
self.assertEqual(response.status_code, 200)
def test_index(self):
client = Client()
response = client.get('/customer/index/')
self.assertEqual(response.status_code, 200) can just refer to ``self.client``, like so::
from django.test import TestCase
class SimpleTest(TestCase):
def test_details(self):
response = self.client.get('/customer/details/')
self.assertEqual(response.status_code, 200)
def test_index(self):
response = self.client.get('/customer/index/')
self.assertEqual(response.status_code, 200)
Customizing the test client
.. attribute:: TestCase.client_class
If you want to use a different ``Client`` class (for example, a subclass
with customized behavior), use the :attr:`~TestCase.client_class` class
from django.test import TestCase
from django.test.client import Client
class MyTestClient(Client):
# Specialized methods for your environment...
class MyTest(TestCase):
client_class = MyTestClient
def test_my_stuff(self):
# Here self.client is an instance of MyTestClient...
.. _topics-testing-fixtures:
Fixture loading
.. attribute:: TestCase.fixtures
A test case for a database-backed Web site isn't much use if there isn't any
data in the database. To make it easy to put test data into the database,
Django's custom ``TestCase`` class provides a way of loading **fixtures**.
A fixture is a collection of data that Django knows how to import into a
database. For example, if your site has user accounts, you might set up a
fixture of fake user accounts in order to populate your database during tests.
The most straightforward way of creating a fixture is to use the
:djadmin:` dumpdata <dumpdata>` command. This assumes you
already have some data in your database. See the :djadmin:`dumpdata
documentation<dumpdata>` for more details.
.. note::
If you've ever run :djadmin:` syncdb<syncdb>`, you've
already used a fixture without even knowing it! When you call
:djadmin:`syncdb` in the database for the first time, Django
installs a fixture called ``initial_data``. This gives you a way
of populating a new database with any initial data, such as a
default set of categories.
Fixtures with other names can always be installed manually using
the :djadmin:` loaddata<loaddata>` command.
.. admonition:: Initial SQL data and testing
Django provides a second way to insert initial data into models --
the :ref:`custom SQL hook <initial-sql>`. However, this technique
*cannot* be used to provide initial data for testing purposes.
Django's test framework flushes the contents of the test database
after each test; as a result, any data added using the custom SQL
hook will be lost.
Once you've created a fixture and placed it in a ``fixtures`` directory in one
of your :setting:`INSTALLED_APPS`, you can use it in your unit tests by
specifying a ``fixtures`` class attribute on your :class:`django.test.TestCase`
from django.test import TestCase
from myapp.models import Animal
class AnimalTestCase(TestCase):
fixtures = ['mammals.json', 'birds']
def setUp(self):
# Test definitions as before.
def testFluffyAnimals(self):
# A test that uses the fixtures.
Here's specifically what will happen:
* At the start of each test case, before ``setUp()`` is run, Django will
flush the database, returning the database to the state it was in
directly after :djadmin:`syncdb` was called.
* Then, all the named fixtures are installed. In this example, Django will
install any JSON fixture named ``mammals``, followed by any fixture named
``birds``. See the :djadmin:`loaddata` documentation for more
details on defining and installing fixtures.
This flush/load procedure is repeated for each test in the test case, so you
can be certain that the outcome of a test will not be affected by another test,
or by the order of test execution.
URLconf configuration
.. attribute:: TestCase.urls
If your application provides views, you may want to include tests that use the
test client to exercise those views. However, an end user is free to deploy the
views in your application at any URL of their choosing. This means that your
tests can't rely upon the fact that your views will be available at a
particular URL.
In order to provide a reliable URL space for your test,
``django.test.TestCase`` provides the ability to customize the URLconf
configuration for the duration of the execution of a test suite. If your
``TestCase`` instance defines an ``urls`` attribute, the ``TestCase`` will use
the value of that attribute as the :setting:`ROOT_URLCONF` for the duration
of that test.
For example::
from django.test import TestCase
class TestMyViews(TestCase):
urls = 'myapp.test_urls'
def testIndexPageView(self):
# Here you'd test your view using ``Client``.
This test case will use the contents of ``myapp.test_urls`` as the
URLconf for the duration of the test case.
.. _emptying-test-outbox:
Multi-database support
.. attribute:: TestCase.multi_db
Django sets up a test database corresponding to every database that is
defined in the :setting:`DATABASES` definition in your settings
file. However, a big part of the time taken to run a Django TestCase
is consumed by the call to ``flush`` that ensures that you have a
clean database at the start of each test run. If you have multiple
databases, multiple flushes are required (one for each database),
which can be a time consuming activity -- especially if your tests
don't need to test multi-database activity.
As an optimization, Django only flushes the ``default`` database at
the start of each test run. If your setup contains multiple databases,
and you have a test that requires every database to be clean, you can
use the ``multi_db`` attribute on the test suite to request a full
For example::
class TestMyViews(TestCase):
multi_db = True
def testIndexPageView(self):
This test case will flush *all* the test databases before running
.. _overriding-settings:
Overriding settings
.. method:: TestCase.settings
.. versionadded:: 1.4
For testing purposes it's often useful to change a setting temporarily and
revert to the original value after running the testing code. For this use case
Django provides a standard Python context manager (see :pep:`343`)
:meth:`~django.test.TestCase.settings`, which can be used like this::
from django.test import TestCase
class LoginTestCase(TestCase):
def test_login(self):
# First check for the default behavior
response = self.client.get('/sekrit/')
self.assertRedirects(response, '/accounts/login/?next=/sekrit/')
# Then override the LOGIN_URL setting
with self.settings(LOGIN_URL='/other/login/'):
response = self.client.get('/sekrit/')
self.assertRedirects(response, '/other/login/?next=/sekrit/')
This example will override the :setting:`LOGIN_URL` setting for the code
in the ``with`` block and reset its value to the previous state afterwards.
.. currentmodule:: django.test.utils
.. function:: override_settings
In case you want to override a setting for just one test method or even the
whole :class:`TestCase` class, Django provides the
:func:`~django.test.utils.override_settings` decorator (see :pep:`318`). It's
used like this::
from django.test import TestCase
from django.test.utils import override_settings
class LoginTestCase(TestCase):
def test_login(self):
response = self.client.get('/sekrit/')
self.assertRedirects(response, '/other/login/?next=/sekrit/')
The decorator can also be applied to test case classes::
from django.test import TestCase
from django.test.utils import override_settings
class LoginTestCase(TestCase):
def test_login(self):
response = self.client.get('/sekrit/')
self.assertRedirects(response, '/other/login/?next=/sekrit/')
.. note::
When given a class, the decorator modifies the class directly and
returns it; it doesn't create and return a modified copy of it. So if
you try to tweak the above example to assign the return value to a
different name than ``LoginTestCase``, you may be surprised to find that
the original ``LoginTestCase`` is still equally affected by the
.. note::
When overriding settings, make sure to handle the cases in which your app's
code uses a cache or similar feature that retains state even if the
setting is changed. Django provides the
:data:`django.test.signals.setting_changed` signal that lets you register
callbacks to clean up and otherwise reset state when settings are changed.
Note that this signal isn't currently used by Django itself, so changing
built-in settings may not yield the results you expect.
Emptying the test outbox
If you use Django's custom ``TestCase`` class, the test runner will clear the
contents of the test email outbox at the start of each test case.
For more detail on email services during tests, see `Email services`_.
.. _assertions:
.. currentmodule:: django.test
As Python's normal :class:`unittest.TestCase` class implements assertion methods
such as :meth:`~unittest.TestCase.assertTrue` and
:meth:`~unittest.TestCase.assertEqual`, Django's custom :class:`TestCase` class
provides a number of custom assertion methods that are useful for testing Web
The failure messages given by most of these assertion methods can be customized
with the ``msg_prefix`` argument. This string will be prefixed to any failure
message generated by the assertion. This allows you to provide additional
details that may help you to identify the location and cause of an failure in
your test suite.
.. method:: SimpleTestCase.assertRaisesMessage(expected_exception, expected_message, callable_obj=None, *args, **kwargs)
.. versionadded:: 1.4
Asserts that execution of callable ``callable_obj`` raised the
``expected_exception`` exception and that such exception has an
``expected_message`` representation. Any other outcome is reported as a
failure. Similar to unittest's :meth:`~unittest.TestCase.assertRaisesRegexp`
with the difference that ``expected_message`` isn't a regular expression.
.. method:: SimpleTestCase.assertFieldOutput(self, fieldclass, valid, invalid, field_args=None, field_kwargs=None, empty_value=u'')
.. versionadded:: 1.4
Asserts that a form field behaves correctly with various inputs.
:param fieldclass: the class of the field to be tested.
:param valid: a dictionary mapping valid inputs to their expected cleaned
:param invalid: a dictionary mapping invalid inputs to one or more raised
error messages.
:param field_args: the args passed to instantiate the field.
:param field_kwargs: the kwargs passed to instantiate the field.
:param empty_value: the expected clean output for inputs in ``EMPTY_VALUES``.
For example, the following code tests that an ``EmailField`` accepts
"" as a valid email address, but rejects "aaa" with a reasonable
error message::
self.assertFieldOutput(EmailField, {'': ''}, {'aaa': [u'Enter a valid email address.']})
.. method:: TestCase.assertContains(response, text, count=None, status_code=200, msg_prefix='', html=False)
Asserts that a ``Response`` instance produced the given ``status_code`` and
that ``text`` appears in the content of the response. If ``count`` is
provided, ``text`` must occur exactly ``count`` times in the response.
.. versionadded:: 1.4
Set ``html`` to ``True`` to handle ``text`` as HTML. The comparison with
the response content will be based on HTML semantics instead of
character-by-character equality. Whitespace is ignored in most cases,
attribute ordering is not significant. See
:meth:`~SimpleTestCase.assertHTMLEqual` for more details.
.. method:: TestCase.assertNotContains(response, text, status_code=200, msg_prefix='', html=False)
Asserts that a ``Response`` instance produced the given ``status_code`` and
that ``text`` does not appears in the content of the response.
.. versionadded:: 1.4
Set ``html`` to ``True`` to handle ``text`` as HTML. The comparison with
the response content will be based on HTML semantics instead of
character-by-character equality. Whitespace is ignored in most cases,
attribute ordering is not significant. See
:meth:`~SimpleTestCase.assertHTMLEqual` for more details.
.. method:: TestCase.assertFormError(response, form, field, errors, msg_prefix='')
Asserts that a field on a form raises the provided list of errors when
rendered on the form.
``form`` is the name the ``Form`` instance was given in the template
``field`` is the name of the field on the form to check. If ``field``
has a value of ``None``, non-field errors (errors you can access via
``form.non_field_errors()``) will be checked.
``errors`` is an error string, or a list of error strings, that are
expected as a result of form validation.
.. method:: TestCase.assertTemplateUsed(response, template_name, msg_prefix='')
Asserts that the template with the given name was used in rendering the
The name is a string such as ``'admin/index.html'``.
.. versionadded:: 1.4
You can use this as a context manager, like this::
with self.assertTemplateUsed('index.html'):
with self.assertTemplateUsed(template_name='index.html'):
.. method:: TestCase.assertTemplateNotUsed(response, template_name, msg_prefix='')
Asserts that the template with the given name was *not* used in rendering
the response.
.. versionadded:: 1.4
You can use this as a context manager in the same way as
.. method:: TestCase.assertRedirects(response, expected_url, status_code=302, target_status_code=200, msg_prefix='')
Asserts that the response return a ``status_code`` redirect status, it
redirected to ``expected_url`` (including any GET data), and the final
page was received with ``target_status_code``.
If your request used the ``follow`` argument, the ``expected_url`` and
``target_status_code`` will be the url and status code for the final
point of the redirect chain.
.. method:: TestCase.assertQuerysetEqual(qs, values, transform=repr, ordered=True)
Asserts that a queryset ``qs`` returns a particular list of values ``values``.
The comparison of the contents of ``qs`` and ``values`` is performed using
the function ``transform``; by default, this means that the ``repr()`` of
each value is compared. Any other callable can be used if ``repr()`` doesn't
provide a unique or helpful comparison.
By default, the comparison is also ordering dependent. If ``qs`` doesn't
provide an implicit ordering, you can set the ``ordered`` parameter to
``False``, which turns the comparison into a Python set comparison.
.. versionchanged:: 1.4
The ``ordered`` parameter is new in version 1.4. In earlier versions,
you would need to ensure the queryset is ordered consistently, possibly
via an explicit ``order_by()`` call on the queryset prior to
.. method:: TestCase.assertNumQueries(num, func, *args, **kwargs)
Asserts that when ``func`` is called with ``*args`` and ``**kwargs`` that
``num`` database queries are executed.
If a ``"using"`` key is present in ``kwargs`` it is used as the database
alias for which to check the number of queries. If you wish to call a
function with a ``using`` parameter you can do it by wrapping the call with
a ``lambda`` to add an extra parameter::
self.assertNumQueries(7, lambda: my_function(using=7))
You can also use this as a context manager::
with self.assertNumQueries(2):
.. method:: SimpleTestCase.assertHTMLEqual(html1, html2, msg=None)
.. versionadded:: 1.4
Asserts that the strings ``html1`` and ``html2`` are equal. The comparison
is based on HTML semantics. The comparison takes following things into
* Whitespace before and after HTML tags is ignored.
* All types of whitespace are considered equivalent.
* All open tags are closed implicitly, e.g. when a surrounding tag is
closed or the HTML document ends.
* Empty tags are equivalent to their self-closing version.
* The ordering of attributes of an HTML element is not significant.
* Attributes without an argument are equal to attributes that equal in
name and value (see the examples).
The following examples are valid tests and don't raise any
self.assertHTMLEqual('<p>Hello <b>world!</p>',
Hello <b>world! <b/>
'<input type="checkbox" checked="checked" id="id_accept_terms" />',
'<input id="id_accept_terms" type='checkbox' checked>')
``html1`` and ``html2`` must be valid HTML. An ``AssertionError`` will be
raised if one of them cannot be parsed.
.. method:: SimpleTestCase.assertHTMLNotEqual(html1, html2, msg=None)
.. versionadded:: 1.4
Asserts that the strings ``html1`` and ``html2`` are *not* equal. The
comparison is based on HTML semantics. See
:meth:`~SimpleTestCase.assertHTMLEqual` for details.
``html1`` and ``html2`` must be valid HTML. An ``AssertionError`` will be
raised if one of them cannot be parsed.
.. method:: SimpleTestCase.assertXMLEqual(xml1, xml2, msg=None)
.. versionadded:: 1.5
Asserts that the strings ``xml1`` and ``xml2`` are equal. The
comparison is based on XML semantics. Similarily to
:meth:`~SimpleTestCase.assertHTMLEqual`, the comparison is
made on parsed content, hence only semantic differences are considered, not
syntax differences. When unvalid XML is passed in any parameter, an
``AssertionError`` is always raised, even if both string are identical.
.. method:: SimpleTestCase.assertXMLNotEqual(xml1, xml2, msg=None)
.. versionadded:: 1.5
Asserts that the strings ``xml1`` and ``xml2`` are *not* equal. The
comparison is based on XML semantics. See
:meth:`~SimpleTestCase.assertXMLEqual` for details.
.. _topics-testing-email:
Email services
If any of your Django views send email using :doc:`Django's email
functionality </topics/email>`, you probably don't want to send email each time
you run a test using that view. For this reason, Django's test runner
automatically redirects all Django-sent email to a dummy outbox. This lets you
test every aspect of sending email -- from the number of messages sent to the
contents of each message -- without actually sending the messages.
The test runner accomplishes this by transparently replacing the normal
email backend with a testing backend.
(Don't worry -- this has no effect on any other email senders outside of
Django, such as your machine's mail server, if you're running one.)
.. currentmodule:: django.core.mail
.. data:: django.core.mail.outbox
During test running, each outgoing email is saved in
``django.core.mail.outbox``. This is a simple list of all
:class:`~django.core.mail.EmailMessage` instances that have been sent.
The ``outbox`` attribute is a special attribute that is created *only* when
the ``locmem`` email backend is used. It doesn't normally exist as part of the
:mod:`django.core.mail` module and you can't import it directly. The code
below shows how to access this attribute correctly.
Here's an example test that examines ``django.core.mail.outbox`` for length
and contents::
from django.core import mail
from django.test import TestCase
class EmailTest(TestCase):
def test_send_email(self):
# Send message.
mail.send_mail('Subject here', 'Here is the message.',
'', [''],
# Test that one message has been sent.
self.assertEqual(len(mail.outbox), 1)
# Verify that the subject of the first message is correct.
self.assertEqual(mail.outbox[0].subject, 'Subject here')
As noted :ref:`previously <emptying-test-outbox>`, the test outbox is emptied
at the start of every test in a Django ``TestCase``. To empty the outbox
manually, assign the empty list to ``mail.outbox``::
from django.core import mail
# Empty the test outbox
mail.outbox = []
.. _skipping-tests:
Skipping tests
.. currentmodule:: django.test
The unittest library provides the :func:`@skipIf <unittest.skipIf>` and
:func:`@skipUnless <unittest.skipUnless>` decorators to allow you to skip tests
if you know ahead of time that those tests are going to fail under certain
For example, if your test requires a particular optional library in order to
succeed, you could decorate the test case with :func:`@skipIf
<unittest.skipIf>`. Then, the test runner will report that the test wasn't
executed and why, instead of failing the test or omitting the test altogether.
To supplement these test skipping behaviors, Django provides two
additional skip decorators. Instead of testing a generic boolean,
these decorators check the capabilities of the database, and skip the
test if the database doesn't support a specific named feature.
The decorators use a string identifier to describe database features.
This string corresponds to attributes of the database connection
features class. See :class:`~django.db.backends.BaseDatabaseFeatures`
class for a full list of database features that can be used as a basis
for skipping tests.
.. function:: skipIfDBFeature(feature_name_string)
Skip the decorated test if the named database feature is supported.
For example, the following test will not be executed if the database
supports transactions (e.g., it would *not* run under PostgreSQL, but
it would under MySQL with MyISAM tables)::
class MyTests(TestCase):
def test_transaction_behavior(self):
# ... conditional test code
.. function:: skipUnlessDBFeature(feature_name_string)
Skip the decorated test if the named database feature is *not*
For example, the following test will only be executed if the database
supports transactions (e.g., it would run under PostgreSQL, but *not*
under MySQL with MyISAM tables)::
class MyTests(TestCase):
def test_transaction_behavior(self):
# ... conditional test code
Live test server
.. versionadded:: 1.4
.. currentmodule:: django.test
.. class:: LiveServerTestCase()
``LiveServerTestCase`` does basically the same as
:class:`~django.test.TransactionTestCase` with one extra feature: it launches a
live Django server in the background on setup, and shuts it down on teardown.
This allows the use of automated test clients other than the
:ref:`Django dummy client <test-client>` such as, for example, the Selenium_
client, to execute a series of functional tests inside a browser and simulate a
real user's actions.
By default the live server's address is `'localhost:8081'` and the full URL
can be accessed during the tests with ``self.live_server_url``. If you'd like
to change the default address (in the case, for example, where the 8081 port is
already taken) then you may pass a different one to the :djadmin:`test` command
via the :djadminopt:`--liveserver` option, for example:
.. code-block:: bash
./ test --liveserver=localhost:8082
Another way of changing the default server address is by setting the
`DJANGO_LIVE_TEST_SERVER_ADDRESS` environment variable somewhere in your
code (for example, in a :ref:`custom test runner<topics-testing-test_runner>`):
.. code-block:: python
import os
os.environ['DJANGO_LIVE_TEST_SERVER_ADDRESS'] = 'localhost:8082'
In the case where the tests are run by multiple processes in parallel (for
example, in the context of several simultaneous `continuous integration`_
builds), the processes will compete for the same address, and therefore your
tests might randomly fail with an "Address already in use" error. To avoid this
problem, you can pass a comma-separated list of ports or ranges of ports (at
least as many as the number of potential parallel processes). For example:
.. code-block:: bash
./ test --liveserver=localhost:8082,8090-8100,9000-9200,7041
Then, during test execution, each new live test server will try every specified
port until it finds one that is free and takes it.
.. _continuous integration:
To demonstrate how to use ``LiveServerTestCase``, let's write a simple Selenium
test. First of all, you need to install the `selenium package`_ into your
Python path:
.. code-block:: bash
pip install selenium
Then, add a ``LiveServerTestCase``-based test to your app's tests module
(for example: ``myapp/``). The code for this test may look as follows:
.. code-block:: python
from django.test import LiveServerTestCase
from selenium.webdriver.firefox.webdriver import WebDriver
class MySeleniumTests(LiveServerTestCase):
fixtures = ['user-data.json']
def setUpClass(cls):
cls.selenium = WebDriver()
super(MySeleniumTests, cls).setUpClass()
def tearDownClass(cls):
super(MySeleniumTests, cls).tearDownClass()
def test_login(self):
self.selenium.get('%s%s' % (self.live_server_url, '/login/'))
username_input = self.selenium.find_element_by_name("username")
password_input = self.selenium.find_element_by_name("password")
self.selenium.find_element_by_xpath('//input[@value="Log in"]').click()
Finally, you may run the test as follows:
.. code-block:: bash
./ test myapp.MySeleniumTests.test_login
This example will automatically open Firefox then go to the login page, enter
the credentials and press the "Log in" button. Selenium offers other drivers in
case you do not have Firefox installed or wish to use another browser. The
example above is just a tiny fraction of what the Selenium client can do; check
out the `full reference`_ for more details.
.. _Selenium:
.. _selenium package:
.. _full reference:
.. _Firefox:
.. note::
``LiveServerTestCase`` makes use of the :doc:`staticfiles contrib app
</howto/static-files>` so you'll need to have your project configured
accordingly (in particular by setting :setting:`STATIC_URL`).
.. note::
When using an in-memory SQLite database to run the tests, the same database
connection will be shared by two threads in parallel: the thread in which
the live server is run and the thread in which the test case is run. It's
important to prevent simultaneous database queries via this shared
connection by the two threads, as that may sometimes randomly cause the
tests to fail. So you need to ensure that the two threads don't access the
database at the same time. In particular, this means that in some cases
(for example, just after clicking a link or submitting a form), you might
need to check that a response is received by Selenium and that the next
page is loaded before proceeding with further test execution.
Do this, for example, by making Selenium wait until the `<body>` HTML tag
is found in the response (requires Selenium > 2.13):
.. code-block:: python
def test_login(self):
from import WebDriverWait
self.selenium.find_element_by_xpath('//input[@value="Log in"]').click()
# Wait until the response is received
WebDriverWait(self.selenium, timeout).until(
lambda driver: driver.find_element_by_tag_name('body'))
The tricky thing here is that there's really no such thing as a "page load,"
especially in modern Web apps that generate HTML dynamically after the
server generates the initial document. So, simply checking for the presence
of `<body>` in the response might not necessarily be appropriate for all
use cases. Please refer to the `Selenium FAQ`_ and
`Selenium documentation`_ for more information.
.. _Selenium FAQ:
.. _Selenium documentation:
Using different testing frameworks
Clearly, :mod:`doctest` and :mod:`unittest` are not the only Python testing
frameworks. While Django doesn't provide explicit support for alternative
frameworks, it does provide a way to invoke tests constructed for an
alternative framework as if they were normal Django tests.
When you run ``./ test``, Django looks at the :setting:`TEST_RUNNER`
setting to determine what to do. By default, :setting:`TEST_RUNNER` points to
``'django.test.simple.DjangoTestSuiteRunner'``. This class defines the default Django
testing behavior. This behavior involves:
#. Performing global pre-test setup.
#. Looking for unit tests and doctests in the ```` and
```` files in each installed application.
#. Creating the test databases.
#. Running ``syncdb`` to install models and initial data into the test
#. Running the unit tests and doctests that are found.
#. Destroying the test databases.
#. Performing global post-test teardown.
If you define your own test runner class and point :setting:`TEST_RUNNER` at
that class, Django will execute your test runner whenever you run
``./ test``. In this way, it is possible to use any test framework
that can be executed from Python code, or to modify the Django test execution
process to satisfy whatever testing requirements you may have.
.. _topics-testing-test_runner:
Defining a test runner
.. currentmodule:: django.test.simple
A test runner is a class defining a ``run_tests()`` method. Django ships
with a ``DjangoTestSuiteRunner`` class that defines the default Django
testing behavior. This class defines the ``run_tests()`` entry point,
plus a selection of other methods that are used to by ``run_tests()`` to
set up, execute and tear down the test suite.
.. class:: DjangoTestSuiteRunner(verbosity=1, interactive=True, failfast=True, **kwargs)
``verbosity`` determines the amount of notification and debug information
that will be printed to the console; ``0`` is no output, ``1`` is normal
output, and ``2`` is verbose output.
If ``interactive`` is ``True``, the test suite has permission to ask the
user for instructions when the test suite is executed. An example of this
behavior would be asking for permission to delete an existing test
database. If ``interactive`` is ``False``, the test suite must be able to
run without any manual intervention.
If ``failfast`` is ``True``, the test suite will stop running after the
first test failure is detected.
Django will, from time to time, extend the capabilities of
the test runner by adding new arguments. The ``**kwargs`` declaration
allows for this expansion. If you subclass ``DjangoTestSuiteRunner`` or
write your own test runner, ensure accept and handle the ``**kwargs``
.. versionadded:: 1.4
Your test runner may also define additional command-line options.
If you add an ``option_list`` attribute to a subclassed test runner,
those options will be added to the list of command-line options that
the :djadmin:`test` command can use.
.. attribute:: DjangoTestSuiteRunner.option_list
.. versionadded:: 1.4
This is the tuple of ``optparse`` options which will be fed into the
management command's ``OptionParser`` for parsing arguments. See the
documentation for Python's ``optparse`` module for more details.
.. method:: DjangoTestSuiteRunner.run_tests(test_labels, extra_tests=None, **kwargs)
Run the test suite.
``test_labels`` is a list of strings describing the tests to be run. A test
label can take one of three forms:
* ``app.TestCase.test_method`` -- Run a single test method in a test
* ``app.TestCase`` -- Run all the test methods in a test case.
* ``app`` -- Search for and run all tests in the named application.
If ``test_labels`` has a value of ``None``, the test runner should run
search for tests in all the applications in :setting:`INSTALLED_APPS`.
``extra_tests`` is a list of extra ``TestCase`` instances to add to the
suite that is executed by the test runner. These extra tests are run
in addition to those discovered in the modules listed in ``test_labels``.
This method should return the number of tests that failed.
.. method:: DjangoTestSuiteRunner.setup_test_environment(**kwargs)
Sets up the test environment ready for testing.
.. method:: DjangoTestSuiteRunner.build_suite(test_labels, extra_tests=None, **kwargs)
Constructs a test suite that matches the test labels provided.
``test_labels`` is a list of strings describing the tests to be run. A test
label can take one of three forms:
* ``app.TestCase.test_method`` -- Run a single test method in a test
* ``app.TestCase`` -- Run all the test methods in a test case.
* ``app`` -- Search for and run all tests in the named application.
If ``test_labels`` has a value of ``None``, the test runner should run
search for tests in all the applications in :setting:`INSTALLED_APPS`.
``extra_tests`` is a list of extra ``TestCase`` instances to add to the
suite that is executed by the test runner. These extra tests are run
in addition to those discovered in the modules listed in ``test_labels``.
Returns a ``TestSuite`` instance ready to be run.
.. method:: DjangoTestSuiteRunner.setup_databases(**kwargs)
Creates the test databases.
Returns a data structure that provides enough detail to undo the changes
that have been made. This data will be provided to the ``teardown_databases()``
function at the conclusion of testing.
.. method:: DjangoTestSuiteRunner.run_suite(suite, **kwargs)
Runs the test suite.
Returns the result produced by the running the test suite.
.. method:: DjangoTestSuiteRunner.teardown_databases(old_config, **kwargs)
Destroys the test databases, restoring pre-test conditions.
``old_config`` is a data structure defining the changes in the
database configuration that need to be reversed. It is the return
value of the ``setup_databases()`` method.
.. method:: DjangoTestSuiteRunner.teardown_test_environment(**kwargs)
Restores the pre-test environment.
.. method:: DjangoTestSuiteRunner.suite_result(suite, result, **kwargs)
Computes and returns a return code based on a test suite, and the result
from that test suite.
Testing utilities
.. module:: django.test.utils
:synopsis: Helpers to write custom test runners.
To assist in the creation of your own test runner, Django provides a number of
utility methods in the ``django.test.utils`` module.
.. function:: setup_test_environment()
Performs any global pre-test setup, such as the installing the
instrumentation of the template rendering system and setting up
the dummy email outbox.
.. function:: teardown_test_environment()
Performs any global post-test teardown, such as removing the black
magic hooks into the template system and restoring normal email
.. currentmodule:: django.db.connection.creation
The creation module of the database backend (``connection.creation``)
also provides some utilities that can be useful during testing.
.. function:: create_test_db([verbosity=1, autoclobber=False])
Creates a new test database and runs ``syncdb`` against it.
``verbosity`` has the same behavior as in ``run_tests()``.
``autoclobber`` describes the behavior that will occur if a
database with the same name as the test database is discovered:
* If ``autoclobber`` is ``False``, the user will be asked to
approve destroying the existing database. ``sys.exit`` is
called if the user does not approve.
* If autoclobber is ``True``, the database will be destroyed
without consulting the user.
Returns the name of the test database that it created.
``create_test_db()`` has the side effect of modifying the value of
:setting:`NAME` in :setting:`DATABASES` to match the name of the test
.. function:: destroy_test_db(old_database_name, [verbosity=1])
Destroys the database whose name is the value of :setting:`NAME` in
:setting:`DATABASES`, and sets :setting:`NAME` to the value of
The ``verbosity`` argument has the same behavior as for
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