Kubernetes integration tests in Python
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CircleCI PyPI Documentation Status

Kubetest is a pytest plugin that makes it easier to manage a Kubernetes cluster within your integration tests. While you can use the Kubernetes Python client directly, this plugin provides some cluster and object management on top of that so you can spend less time setting up and tearing down tests and more time actually writing your tests. In particular, this plugin is useful for testing your Kubernetes infrastructure (e.g., ensure it deploys and behaves correctly) and for testing disaster recovery scenarios (e.g. delete a pod or deployment and inspect the aftermath).


  • Simple API for common cluster interactions.
  • Uses the Kubernetes Python client as the backend, so more complex custom actions are possible.
  • Load Kubernetes manifest YAMLs into their Kubernetes models.
  • Each test is run in its own namespace and the namespace is created and deleted automatically.
  • Detailed logging to help debug error cases.
  • Wait functions for object readiness and for object deletion.
  • Get container logs and search for expected logging output.
  • Plugin-managed RBAC permissions at test-case granularity using pytest markers.

For more information, see the kubetest documentation.


This plugin can be installed with pip

pip install kubetest

Note that the kubetest package has entrypoint hooks defined in its setup.py which allow it to be automatically made available to pytest. This means that it will run whenever pytest is run. Since kubetest expects a cluster to be set up and to be given configuration for that cluster, pytest will fail if those are not present. It is therefore recommended to only install kubetest in a virtual environment or other managed environment, such as a CI pipeline, where you can assure that cluster access and configuration are available.


Once installed, the following pytest command-line parameters become available:

pytest \
    [--kube-config <path-to-config>] \
    [--kube-error-log-lines <count>] \
    [--kube-log-level <level>] \
  • --kube-config: The path to the config file to use for your cluster. If not specified, it defaults to the same config that kubectl uses at ~/.kube/config
  • --kube-error-log-lines: Set the number of lines to tail from the container logs for a test namespace when a test fails. By default this is set to 50. If you want to show all container logs, set this to -1. If you do not wish to show container logs, set this to 0.
  • --kube-log-level: Set the logging level for kubetest. The default log level is warning. Setting the log level to info will provide logging for kubetest actions. Setting the log level to debug will log out the Kubernetes object state for various actions as well.
  • --kube-disable: Disable kubetest from running initial cluster configuration.

Note that kubetest expects a cluster to be available and requires some form of configuration in order to interface with that cluster.

Pytest Integration

Below, a brief overview is given for the various components of kubetest exposed via pytest. For more detailed information, see the kubetest documentation.



The kube fixture is the "entrypoint" into using kubetest. It provides a basic API for managing your cluster.

def test_deployment(kube):
    """Example test case for creating and deleting a deployment."""
    d = kube.load_deployment('path/to/deployment.yaml')
    # test some deployment state

The above example shows a simplified test case using kubetest to load a deployment from file, create it on the cluster, wait until it is in the ready state, delete the deployment, and then wait until it is deleted.

The two final steps - delete and wait_until_deleted can be useful when testing a failure scenario, but does not need to be specified at the end of a test case as a means of cluster cleanup. Because each test will run in its own namespace, once the test completes, the namespace will be deleted from the cluster, which will in turn delete all objects in that namespace, cleaning out all test artifacts.


To see all markers, run pytest --kube-disable --markers with kubetest installed. This will list the kubetest-provided markers along with a detailed description of what they do.


Allows you to specify manifest directories or files that should be used for the test case. This will automatically load the manifest and create the API object on the cluster.


def test_something(kube):


Allows you to specify different cluster roles that should be applied to the cluster for the test case.


def test_something(kube):


Allows you to specify different roles that should be applied to the cluster for the test namespace of the test case.


def test_something(kube):


Feedback for kubetest is greatly appreciated! If you experience any issues, find the documentation unclear, have feature requests, or just have questions about it, we'd love to know. Feel free to open an issue for any feedback you may have.


kubetest is released under the GPL-3.0 license.