Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

CircleCI Documentation codecov Go Report Card License

Moqueries - Lock-free interface and function mocks for Go

Moqueries makes mocks, but not just interface mocks — moqueries builds mocks for functions too. And these aren't your typical mocks!

Moqueries mocks are, as mentioned above, lock free. Why would that matter? A single lock per mock shouldn't slow down your unit tests that much, right? The problem isn't speed but semantics. Having all interactions in your tests synchronized by locking just to protect mock state changes the nature of the test. That lock in your old mock could be hiding subtle bugs from Go's race detector!

If you would like to learn more about the internals of a lock-free mock, take a look at the Anatomy of a Lock-free Mock.

These mocks are also true to the interface and function types they mock — several mock generators record your intentions with method signatures like DoIt(arg0, arg1, arg2 interface{}) (or worse DoIt(args ...interface{})) when your interface is something like DoIt(lFac, rFac *xyz.Factor, msg string). This applies to both parameters passed into the recorder and result values. Having a true implementation means that your IDE and the compiler both know what the types should be which improves your cycle time.

Installing moqueries

go install

Generating mocks

Mocks are generated by directly invoking moqueries from your terminal but typically you want to capture the command in a //go:generate directive. The following directive (in a working example here) generates a mock for Go's ubiquitous io.Writer interface:

//go:generate moqueries --import io Writer

Based on the name of the type being mocked, the mock is written to a file called moq_writer_test.go in the same directory containing this directive. Also note that since we presumably didn't put this directive in Go's standard library io package, we have to include a --import io option so that Moqueries can find the type.

Generating mocks for function types is just as easy. In the same example (a few lines further down), we put a Go generate directive directly above the type definition (the best place for the directive unless you are mocking third-party types):

//go:generate moqueries IsFavorite

type IsFavorite func(n int) bool

Using mocks

Creating a mock instance

Code generation creates a newMoqXXX factory function for each mock you generate. Simply invoke the function and hold on to the new mock for further testing:

isFavMoq := newMoqIsFavorite(scene, nil)
writerMoq := newMoqWriter(scene, nil)

You might be curious what that scene parameter is. A scene provides an abstraction on a collection of mocks. It allows your tests to control all of its mocks at once. There are more details on the use of scenes below but for now, you can create a scene like this:

scene := moq.NewScene(t)


To get a mock to perform specific behaviors, you have to tell it what to expect and how to behave. For function mocks, the onCall function (generated for you) has the same parameter signature as the function itself. The return value of the onCall function is a type that (via its returnResults method) informs the mock what to return when invoked with the given set of parameters. For our IsFavorite function mock, we tell it to expect to be called with parameters 1, 2 and then 3 but only 3 is our favorite number like so:


Working with interface mocks is very similar to working with function mocks. For interface mocks, the generated onCall method returns the expectation recorder of the mocked interface (a full implementation of the interface for recording expectations). For our Writer mock example, we tell it to expect a call to Write with the following code:

    returnResults(1, nil)

Note in the above code, we told the mock to return 1 and nil with a call to the generated returnResults method. Per the interface definition of a writer, we wrote one byte successfully with no errors. Alternatively, we could indicate an error with a small change:

    returnResults(0, fmt.Errorf("couldn't write"))

Arbitrary (any) parameters

Sometimes it's hard to know what exactly the parameter values will be when setting expectations. You want to say "ignore this parameter" when setting some expectations. The generated any function does exactly that — the specified parameter will be ignored (in the recorded expectation and again later when the mock is invoked). The following code sets the expectation for a function called GadgetsByWidgetId that takes a single int parameter called widgetId. With this expectation, the mock will return the same result regardless of the value of widgetId:

    returnResults(nil, nil).repeat(moq.Times(2))

Expectations with more matching parameters are given precedence over expectations with fewer matching parameters. In another test, we work with another mocked method called LightGadgetsByWidgetId that presumably returns gadgets associated with a specified widget that are less than a specified weight. The following snippet returns the g1 and g2 gadgets when LightGadgetsByWidgetId is called with a widgetId of 42 regardless of the value specified for maxWeight:

storeMoq.onCall().LightGadgetsByWidgetId(42, 0).any().maxWeight().
    returnResults([]demo.Gadget{g1, g2}, nil)

In the same test, these lines return g3 and g4 regardless of either parameter specified to LightGadgetsByWidgetId:

storeMoq.onCall().LightGadgetsByWidgetId(0, 0).
    returnResults([]demo.Gadget{g3, g4}, nil)

Callers will be returned g3 and g4 unless the widgetId is 42, in which case they will be returned g1 and g2.

Parameter indexing

Each expectation is indexed by its parameters. Moqueries has two indexing mechanisms: indexing by value and indexing by hash. Indexing by value simply places the parameter value into the parameters key — a structure used to store and retrieve expectations. Indexing by hash first performs a deep hash on a given parameter value and instead stores values hash in the parameters key.

Indexing by value is preferred but there are cases that can't use indexing by value. For instance, if a slice is used as a parameter (map) key, Go would panic (or just fail to compile). Conversely, there are occasions where indexing by hash is preferred. Perhaps your test doesn't have access to the exact value used in the production code but your test code can make an identical instance — one that will have an identical hash value.

The parameter indexing for a given parameter is determined by the following rules:

  1. Builtin types (except for the error interface) are indexed by value.
  2. Arrays (with a specified length) containing builtin types are indexed by value.
  3. Structures (including structures within structures) containing builtin types are indexed by value.
  4. Any composition of rules #1 through #3 (structures containing arrays or arrays containing structures all containing builtin types) are indexed by value.
  5. Slices, maps and ellipses (...) parameters are indexed by hash.
  6. References and interfaces are indexed by hash.

All the above rules can be overridden except for #5 — as mentioned above, indexing by value here would cause a panic. To change the indexing mechanism for a given parameter, use the runtime.parameterIndexing configuration:

storeMoq.runtime.parameterIndexing.LightGadgetsByWidgetId.widgetId = moq.ParamIndexByHash

Repeated results

When expectations need to be returned repeatedly, the repeat function can be called with a list of repeaters. Some examples of repeaters are Times and AnyTimes can be used to control how often a particular result is returned. For instance, the following code instructs the mock function to return false five times and then true one time (one time is the default):


AnyTimes instructs the mock to repeatedly return the same values regardless of how many times the function is called with the given parameters. Note that AnyTimes can only be used once for a given set of parameters.

Times and AnyTimes can be used together as well. This code returns true twice and then always returns false regardless of how many times the function is called with the parameter 7:


Using MinTimes and/or MaxTimes, you can assert a minimum number, maximum number or range (min and max) of calls were made:

    repeat(moq.MinTimes(1), moq.MaxTimes(3))

Optional can be used to indicate that none of the calls are required (the equivalent of MinTimes(0)). Optional can be called by itself (with MaxTimes(1) assumed), or with an explicit call to MaxTimes or with an explicit call to Times:

    repeat(moq.Optional(), moq.MaxTimes(3))
    repeat(moq.Optional(), moq.Times(3))

Note that some repeated result combinations are not supported and will cause a test failure during setup. For instance, specifying that a call should be made MinTimes(3) and Optional is not allowed.

Asserting call sequences

Some test writers want to make sure not only were certain calls made but also that the calls were made in an exact order. If you want to assert that all calls for a test are to be in order, just set the mock's default to use sequences on all calls via the Config value:

config := moq.Config{Sequence: moq.SeqDefaultOn}

Now the calls to all mocks using the above config must be in the exact sequence. The sequence of expectations must match the sequence of calls to the mock.

If there are just a few calls that must be in a specific order relative to each other, call the seq method when recording expectations:


This is basically overriding the default so that just the calls specified use a sequence. You can also turn off sequences on a per-call basis when the default is to use sequences on all calls using the noSeq method:

    returnResults(1, nil)

Do functions

Sometimes you need to tap into what your mock is doing. You may need to capture a value that was passed to a mock, or you may need to have some logic calculate what a mock's response should be. Do functions do just that. If you just need to listen in to a returnResults expectation, you provide a function that matches the mocked functions parameters (in this case the mocked function takes a single int parameter):

sum := 0
sumFn := func(n int) {
    sum += n

Then chain an andDo call after the returnResults call:


If on the other hand you need to calculate a mock's return values, start with a function that has the same signature as the mocked function (both parameters and result values):

isFavFn := func(n int) bool {
    return n%2 == 0

Now you can replace both the returnResults and andDo calls with a single call to doReturnResults:


Note this expectation will return the calculated value (n%2 == 0) regardless of the input parameters and regardless of how may times it is invoked.

Passing the mock to production code

Each mock gets a generated mock method. This function accesses the implementation of the interface or function invoked by production code. In our example, we have a type called FavWriter that needs an IsFavorite function and a Writer:

d := demo.FavWriter{
    IsFav: isFavMoq.mock(),
    W:     writerMoq.mock(),

Nice vs. Strict

Sometimes your mocks will get lots of function calls with lots of different parameters — maybe more calls than you can (or want) to configure. Nice mocks trigger special logic that allow them to return zero values for any unexpected calls. Creating a nice mock is as simple as supplying a little configuration to the new method (the value was nil above which defaults to creating strict mocks):

isFavMoq := newMoqIsFavorite(
    scene, &moq.Config{Expectation: moq.Nice})

Now we only need to set expectations when returning non-zero values (returnResults(false) is now the default):


Calling this mock with any value besides 3 will now return false (without having to register any other expectations).

Asserting all expectations are met

After your test runs, you may want to verify that all of your expectations were actually met. Each mock implements AssertExpectationsMet to do just that:


Resetting the state

Occasionally you need reset the state of a mock. Re-creating the mock is preferred but there are situations where that isn't possible (maybe a long-running test, or the mock has already been handed off to other code). In any case, calling Reset does just that — it resets the mock:


Working with multiple mocks

Quite often tests will require several mocks. A Scene is a collection of mocks, and it allows you to perform actions on all the mocks with a single call. Both AssertExpectationsMet and Reset are supported:


Bulk generation

Generating mock can be CPU intensive! Additionally, Moqueries only knows the package where to look for a type so the entire package has to be parsed. And to top it off, you will quite often mock several types from the same package. To avoid re-parsing the same package repeatedly, Moqueries has a bulk mode that can best be described by these three steps:

  1. Initialize the bulk processing file
  2. go generate ./...
  3. Finalize the bulk processing (and generate all the mocks)

Moqueries CI/CD pipeline accomplishes this with the following few commands:

export MOQ_BULK_STATE_FILE=$(mktemp --tmpdir= moq-XXXXXX)
moqueries bulk-initialize
go generate ./...
moqueries bulk-finalize

The first line creates a new temporary file to hold the state. The second line initializes the file (holds on to some global attributes to ensure consistency). The third line is the standard go generate line but because MOQ_BULK_STATE_FILE is defined, it only records the intent to generate a new mock. The forth and final line is where the work actually occurs, and it might take some time depending on how many mocks you want to generate. See more details below in the Command line reference.

Package generation

Adding //go:generate directive for every type can be quite tedious. Maybe you have a library, and you just want to provide a mock for everything. Using the package subcommand, you can do exactly that — generate mocks for every exported interface and function type in an entire package or module:

moqueries package --destination-dir .

Use a suffix of ... to mock all export types in all sub-packages:

moqueries package --destination-dir .

Note the package or module must should not contain any exported mocks. Moqueries mocks contain several function types and the results would include mocks of these function types. Repeated calls might actually cause an explosion of generated calls!

More command line options

Below is a loose collection of out-of-the-ordinary command line options for use in out-of-the-ordinary situations.

Mocking interfaces and function types in test packages

When the type you want to mock is defined in a test package, use one of the following two solutions:

  1. Specify the test package (with its _test suffix) in the --import option:

    //go:generate moqueries --import IsFavorite

    Note: This solution requires the --import option even if your Go generate directive is in the same package being imported.

    — OR —

  2. Use the --test-import option:

    //go:generate moqueries --test-import IsFavorite

Exported (public) mocks

Mocks are typically generated in the test package of the destination directory. This works well in most cases including when the code you want to test lives in the same package as the code you wan to mock out. When you have lots of different packages all using the same mocks, it's better to generate the mocks once and import the mocks where needed. This is where the --export command line option comes into play:

//go:generate moqueries --export --import io Writer

Now all of the mock's structs and methods are exported, so they can be used from any package:

writerMoq := mockpkg.NewMoqWriter()

writerMoq.OnCall().Write([]byte("3")).ReturnResults(0, fmt.Errorf("couldn't write"))

Command line reference

The Moqueries command line has the following form:

moqueries [options] [interfaces and/or function types to mock] [options]

Interfaces and function types are separated by whitespace. Multiple types may be specified.

Option Type Default value Usage
--debug bool false If true, debugging output will be logged (also see MOQ_DEBUG in Environment Variables below)
--destination <file> string ./moq_<type>.go when exported or ./moq_<type>_test.go when not exported The file path where mocks are generated relative to directory containing generate directive (or relative to the current directory)
--destination-dir <dir> string . The file directory where mocks are generated relative to the directory containing the generate directive (or relative to the current directory)
--export bool false If true, generated mocks will be exported and accessible from other packages
-h or --help bool false Display command help
--import <name> string . (the directory containing generate directive) The package containing the type (interface or function type) to be mocked
--package <name> string The test package of the destination directory when --export=false or the package of the destination directory when --export=true The package to generate code into
--skip-pkg-dirs int 0 When using the package subcommand, skips the specified number of package directories before re-creating the directory structure
--test-import bool false Indicates that the types are defined in the test package

Values specified after an option are separated from the option by whitespace (--destination moq_isfavorite_test.go) or by an equal sign (--destination=moq_isfavorite_test.go).

If a non-repeating option is specified more than one time, the last value is used.

Options with a value type of bool are set (turned on) by specifying the option directly (--debug) or by specifying a boolean value after the option (--debug=true or --debug true). To turn a boolean option off, a value must be specified (--debug=false).

Environment Variables

The Moqueries command line can also be controlled by the following environment variables:

Name Usage
MOQ_BULK_STATE_FILE If set, defines the bulk state file in which generate requests will be stored for bulk generation. See Bulk generation above.
MOQ_DEBUG If set to a "true" value (see strconv.ParseBool), debugging output will be logged (also see --debug in Command line reference above)



The default subcommand generates one or more mocks based on the command specified. As described above, this is typically invoked by a go:generate directive. The default subcommand is invoked when no subcommand is specified.

If the MOQ_BULK_STATE_FILE environment variable is defined (see above), the default subcommand does not immediately generate the mocks, but instead appends the generate request to the state file. See Bulk generation above.

Bulk initialize

Initializes the bulk state file defined by the MOQ_BULK_STATE_FILE environment variable. MOQ_BULK_STATE_FILE is required. Note that the bulk state file is overwritten if it exists.

moqueries bulk-initialize

Bulk finalize

Finalizes bulk processing by generating multiple mocks at once. The MOQ_BULK_STATE_FILE environment variable is required and specifies which mocks to generate.

moqueries bulk-finalize


Generates mocks for a complete package or module as described above. The package or module specified is passed as-is to as a pattern.

Summarize metrics

The summarize-metrics subcommand takes the debug logs from multiple generate runs (using the default subcommand), reads metrics from each individual run, and outputs summary metrics. This subcommand takes a single, optional argument specifying the log file to read. If no file is specified or if the file is specified as `-', standard in is read.

The following command generates all mocks specified in go:generate directives and summarizes the metrics for all runs:

MOQ_DEBUG=true go generate ./... | moqueries summarize-metrics