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Nose django helper plugin

With this plugin you can write standard Nose unit tests inside a Django application.

The plugin takes care of finding your applications file and creating/tearing down test database. It also has support for fixtures and it has experimental mechanism that wraps the tests in transactions to speed up testing.

This plugin works with Django versions 1.0 or newer.


Unit tests can be run with following command:

nosetests --with-django [nose-options]

Custom settings be used by setting DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE environmental variable.

Command line options

In addition to default nose command line options, nosedjango offers following options:

 Specify a custom Django settings MODULE. The specified MODULE needs to be found in sys.path.
 If set, use in-memory sqlite database for tests.
 Run tests in interactive mode (see DjangoTestSuiteRunner documentation). Default: false.


The project sample Django project was created using Django 1.0b1.

Using a more recent version of Django may cause problems. You've been warned.

If you change directory into the 'project' directory, you should be able to run the nose test runner and get reasonable results.

Note that you won't be running your doctests unless you tell nose to do so.

As usual, you need to tell nose to run doctest test strings in modules that contain standard test classes.

A successful run should hit 14 test cases excercising :

  • race conditions between test cases that create objects in test methods
  • race conditions between test cases that create objects in fixture loading
  • doctests
  • test functions
  • mixes of doctests and test modules
  • docstrings in models

Transaction support

As default, nosedjango plugin runs the tests within a transaction. This behaviour can be altered in two ways:

  • Having DISABLE_TRANSACTION_MANAGEMENT in makes nosedjango not to use transactions

  • Having use_transaction = False in test's context prevents using transaction for the test. Note: this can not override DISABLE_TRANSACTION_MANAGEMENT. Example:

    class SomeTests(object):
        use_transaction = False
        def test_simple(self):

    Note, that this implies to all tests in the same context (ie. class).

Using fixtures

Nosedjango supports loading fixtures from test's context. Fixtures are generated the same way as they are in the traditional Django test system: using dumpdata. Example:

fixtures = ['cheese.json', 'cakes']

def test_cheesecake():
   # do something...

Note, that this implies to all tests in the same context (ie. module or class)

Sample test run

$ nosetests -v --with-django --with-doctest --doctest-tests --doctest-tests

Doctest: project.zoo.models.Zoo ... ok
Doctest: project.zoo.models.Zoo.__str__ ... ok
Doctest: project.zoo.models.func ... ok
This is just a stub for a regular test method ... ok
Doctest: project.zoo.test_doctest_modules.test_docstring ... ok
Doctest: project.zoo.test_doctest_modules.test_docstring ... ok
project.zoo.test_fixtures.TestFixture1.test_count ... ok
project.zoo.test_fixtures.TestFixture2.test_count ... ok
project.zoo.test_race.TestDBRace1.test1 ... ok
project.zoo.test_race.TestDBRace2.test1 ... ok
We're customizing the ROOT_URLCONF with zoo.urls, ... ok
We're using the standard ROOT_URLCONF, so we need to ... ok
testcase1 (project.zoo.tests.TestDjango) ... ok
testcase2 (project.zoo.tests.TestDjango) ... ok

Ran 14 tests in 1.219s

Destroying test database...


This version is maintained by Jyrki Pulliainen <>.

Original plugin courtesy of Victor Ng <> who rewrote Jason Pellerin's original nose-django plugin.

For all contributors, see AUTHORS file.


This project and it's issues are currently hosted in github. If you find a bug or have a feature request, use github's issue tracker for that.

Patches are welcome :)

Debian packaging

Prebuild Debian packages are available at PPA. These are build for Ubuntu 10.04 (also known as Lucid Lynx). Debianization is done using git-buildpackage. Debianization resides in git in branch called debian.


This software is licensed with GNU LESSER GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE version 3 or (at your option) any later version. See COPYING for more details.

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