How to use fixtures

See also

About fixtures

“Requesting” fixtures

At a basic level, test functions request fixtures they require by declaring them as arguments.

When pytest goes to run a test, it looks at the parameters in that test function’s signature, and then searches for fixtures that have the same names as those parameters. Once pytest finds them, it runs those fixtures, captures what they returned (if anything), and passes those objects into the test function as arguments.

Quick example

import pytest


class Fruit:
    def __init__(self, name):
        self.name = name
        self.cubed = False

    def cube(self):
        self.cubed = True


class FruitSalad:
    def __init__(self, *fruit_bowl):
        self.fruit = fruit_bowl
        self._cube_fruit()

    def _cube_fruit(self):
        for fruit in self.fruit:
            fruit.cube()


# Arrange
@pytest.fixture
def fruit_bowl():
    return [Fruit("apple"), Fruit("banana")]


def test_fruit_salad(fruit_bowl):
    # Act
    fruit_salad = FruitSalad(*fruit_bowl)

    # Assert
    assert all(fruit.cubed for fruit in fruit_salad.fruit)

In this example, test_fruit_saladrequestsfruit_bowl (i.e. def test_fruit_salad(fruit_bowl):), and when pytest sees this, it will execute the fruit_bowl fixture function and pass the object it returns into test_fruit_salad as the fruit_bowl argument.

Here’s roughly what’s happening if we were to do it by hand:

def fruit_bowl():
    return [Fruit("apple"), Fruit("banana")]


def test_fruit_salad(fruit_bowl):
    # Act
    fruit_salad = FruitSalad(*fruit_bowl)

    # Assert
    assert all(fruit.cubed for fruit in fruit_salad.fruit)


# Arrange
bowl = fruit_bowl()
test_fruit_salad(fruit_bowl=bowl)

Fixtures can request other fixtures

One of pytest’s greatest strengths is its extremely flexible fixture system. It allows us to boil down complex requirements for tests into more simple and organized functions, where we only need to have each one describe the things they are dependent on. We’ll get more into this further down, but for now, here’s a quick example to demonstrate how fixtures can use other fixtures:

# contents of test_append.py
import pytest


# Arrange
@pytest.fixture
def first_entry():
    return "a"


# Arrange
@pytest.fixture
def order(first_entry):
    return [first_entry]


def test_string(order):
    # Act
    order.append("b")

    # Assert
    assert order == ["a", "b"]

Notice that this is the same example from above, but very little changed. The fixtures in pytest request fixtures just like tests. All the same requesting rules apply to fixtures that do for tests. Here’s how this example would work if we did it by hand:

def first_entry():
    return "a"


def order(first_entry):
    return [first_entry]


def test_string(order):
    # Act
    order.append("b")

    # Assert
    assert order == ["a", "b"]


entry = first_entry()
the_list = order(first_entry=entry)
test_string(order=the_list)

Fixtures are reusable

One of the things that makes pytest’s fixture system so powerful, is that it gives us the ability to define a generic setup step that can be reused over and over, just like a normal function would be used. Two different tests can request the same fixture and have pytest give each test their own result from that fixture.

This is extremely useful for making sure tests aren’t affected by each other. We can use this system to make sure each test gets its own fresh batch of data and is starting from a clean state so it can provide consistent, repeatable results.

Here’s an example of how this can come in handy:

# contents of test_append.py
import pytest


# Arrange
@pytest.fixture
def first_entry():
    return "a"


# Arrange
@pytest.fixture
def order(first_entry):
    return [first_entry]


def test_string(order):
    # Act
    order.append("b")

    # Assert
    assert order == ["a", "b"]


def test_int(order):
    # Act
    order.append(2)

    # Assert
    assert order == ["a", 2]

Each test here is being given its own copy of that list object, which means the order fixture is getting executed twice (the same is true for the first_entry fixture). If we were to do this by hand as well, it would look something like this:

def first_entry():
    return "a"


def order(first_entry):
    return [first_entry]


def test_string(order):
    # Act
    order.append("b")

    # Assert
    assert order == ["a", "b"]


def test_int(order):
    # Act
    order.append(2)

    # Assert
    assert order == ["a", 2]


entry = first_entry()
the_list = order(first_entry=entry)
test_string(order=the_list)

entry = first_entry()
the_list = order(first_entry=entry)
test_int(order=the_list)

A test/fixture can request more than one fixture at a time

Tests and fixtures aren’t limited to requesting a single fixture at a time. They can request as many as they like. Here’s another quick example to demonstrate:

# contents of test_append.py
import pytest


# Arrange
@pytest.fixture
def first_entry():
    return "a"


# Arrange
@pytest.fixture
def second_entry():
    return 2


# Arrange
@pytest.fixture
def order(first_entry, second_entry):
    return [first_entry, second_entry]


# Arrange
@pytest.fixture
def expected_list():
    return ["a", 2, 3.0]


def test_string(order, expected_list):
    # Act
    order.append(3.0)

    # Assert
    assert order == expected_list

Fixtures can be requested more than once per test (return values are cached)

Fixtures can also be requested more than once during the same test, and pytest won’t execute them again for that test. This means we can request fixtures in multiple fixtures that are dependent on them (and even again in the test itself) without those fixtures being executed more than once.

# contents of test_append.py
import pytest


# Arrange
@pytest.fixture
def first_entry():
    return "a"


# Arrange
@pytest.fixture
def order():
    return []


# Act
@pytest.fixture
def append_first(order, first_entry):
    return order.append(first_entry)


def test_string_only(append_first, order, first_entry):
    # Assert
    assert order == [first_entry]

If a requested fixture was executed once for every time it was requested during a test, then this test would fail because both append_first and test_string_only would see order as an empty list (i.e. []), but since the return value of order was cached (along with any side effects executing it may have had) after the first time it was called, both the test and append_first were referencing the same object, and the test saw the effect append_first had on that object.

Autouse fixtures (fixtures you don’t have to request)

Sometimes you may want to have a fixture (or even several) that you know all your tests will depend on. “Autouse” fixtures are a convenient way to make all tests automatically request them. This can cut out a lot of redundant requests, and can even provide more advanced fixture usage (more on that further down).

We can make a fixture an autouse fixture by passing in autouse=True to the fixture’s decorator. Here’s a simple example for how they can be used:

# contents of test_append.py
import pytest


@pytest.fixture
def first_entry():
    return "a"


@pytest.fixture
def order(first_entry):
    return []


@pytest.fixture(autouse=True)
def append_first(order, first_entry):
    return order.append(first_entry)


def test_string_only(order, first_entry):
    assert order == [first_entry]


def test_string_and_int(order, first_entry):
    order.append(2)
    assert order == [first_entry, 2]

In this example, the append_first fixture is an autouse fixture. Because it happens automatically, both tests are affected by it, even though neither test requested it. That doesn’t mean they can’t be requested though; just that it isn’t necessary.

Scope: sharing fixtures across classes, modules, packages or session

Fixtures requiring network access depend on connectivity and are usually time-expensive to create. Extending the previous example, we can add a scope="module" parameter to the @pytest.fixture invocation to cause a smtp_connection fixture function, responsible to create a connection to a preexisting SMTP server, to only be invoked once per test module (the default is to invoke once per test function). Multiple test functions in a test module will thus each receive the same smtp_connection fixture instance, thus saving time. Possible values for scope are: function, class, module, package or session.

The next example puts the fixture function into a separate conftest.py file so that tests from multiple test modules in the directory can access the fixture function:

# content of conftest.py
import pytest
import smtplib


@pytest.fixture(scope="module")
def smtp_connection():
    return smtplib.SMTP("smtp.gmail.com", 587, timeout=5)
# content of test_module.py


def test_ehlo(smtp_connection):
    response, msg = smtp_connection.ehlo()
    assert response == 250
    assert b"smtp.gmail.com" in msg
    assert 0  # for demo purposes


def test_noop(smtp_connection):
    response, msg = smtp_connection.noop()
    assert response == 250
    assert 0  # for demo purposes

Here, the test_ehlo needs the smtp_connection fixture value. pytest will discover and call the @pytest.fixture marked smtp_connection fixture function. Running the test looks like this:

$ pytest test_module.py
=========================== test session starts ============================
platform linux -- Python 3.x.y, pytest-6.x.y, py-1.x.y, pluggy-1.x.y
cachedir: $PYTHON_PREFIX/.pytest_cache
rootdir: $REGENDOC_TMPDIR
collected 2 items

test_module.py FF                                                    [100%]

================================= FAILURES =================================
________________________________ test_ehlo _________________________________

smtp_connection = <smtplib.SMTP object at 0xdeadbeef>

    def test_ehlo(smtp_connection):
        response, msg = smtp_connection.ehlo()
        assert response == 250
        assert b"smtp.gmail.com" in msg
>       assert 0  # for demo purposes
E       assert 0

test_module.py:7: AssertionError
________________________________ test_noop _________________________________

smtp_connection = <smtplib.SMTP object at 0xdeadbeef>

    def test_noop(smtp_connection):
        response, msg = smtp_connection.noop()
        assert response == 250
>       assert 0  # for demo purposes
E       assert 0

test_module.py:13: AssertionError
========================= short test summary info ==========================
FAILED test_module.py::test_ehlo - assert 0
FAILED test_module.py::test_noop - assert 0
============================ 2 failed in 0.12s =============================

You see the two assert 0 failing and more importantly you can also see that the exactly same smtp_connection object was passed into the two test functions because pytest shows the incoming argument values in the traceback. As a result, the two test functions using smtp_connection run as quick as a single one because they reuse the same instance.

If you decide that you rather want to have a session-scoped smtp_connection instance, you can simply declare it:

@pytest.fixture(scope="session")
def smtp_connection():
    # the returned fixture value will be shared for
    # all tests requesting it
    ...

Fixture scopes

Fixtures are created when first requested by a test, and are destroyed based on their scope:

  • function: the default scope, the fixture is destroyed at the end of the test.

  • class: the fixture is destroyed during teardown of the last test in the class.

  • module: the fixture is destroyed during teardown of the last test in the module.

  • package: the fixture is destroyed during teardown of the last test in the package.

  • session: the fixture is destroyed at the end of the test session.

Note

Pytest only caches one instance of a fixture at a time, which means that when using a parametrized fixture, pytest may invoke a fixture more than once in the given scope.

Dynamic scope

New in version 5.2.

In some cases, you might want to change the scope of the fixture without changing the code. To do that, pass a callable to scope. The callable must return a string with a valid scope and will be executed only once - during the fixture definition. It will be called with two keyword arguments - fixture_name as a string and config with a configuration object.

This can be especially useful when dealing with fixtures that need time for setup, like spawning a docker container. You can use the command-line argument to control the scope of the spawned containers for different environments. See the example below.

def determine_scope(fixture_name, config):
    if config.getoption("--keep-containers", None):
        return "session"
    return "function"


@pytest.fixture(scope=determine_scope)
def docker_container():
    yield spawn_container()

Teardown/Cleanup (AKA Fixture finalization)

When we run our tests, we’ll want to make sure they clean up after themselves so they don’t mess with any other tests (and also so that we don’t leave behind a mountain of test data to bloat the system). Fixtures in pytest offer a very useful teardown system, which allows us to define the specific steps necessary for each fixture to clean up after itself.

This system can be leveraged in two ways.

2. Adding finalizers directly

While yield fixtures are considered to be the cleaner and more straightforward option, there is another choice, and that is to add “finalizer” functions directly to the test’s request-context object. It brings a similar result as yield fixtures, but requires a bit more verbosity.

In order to use this approach, we have to request the request-context object (just like we would request another fixture) in the fixture we need to add teardown code for, and then pass a callable, containing that teardown code, to its addfinalizer method.

We have to be careful though, because pytest will run that finalizer once it’s been added, even if that fixture raises an exception after adding the finalizer. So to make sure we don’t run the finalizer code when we wouldn’t need to, we would only add the finalizer once the fixture would have done something that we’d need to teardown.

Here’s how the previous example would look using the addfinalizer method:

# content of test_emaillib.py
import pytest

from emaillib import Email, MailAdminClient


@pytest.fixture
def mail_admin():
    return MailAdminClient()


@pytest.fixture
def sending_user(mail_admin):
    user = mail_admin.create_user()
    yield user
    mail_admin.delete_user(user)


@pytest.fixture
def receiving_user(mail_admin, request):
    user = mail_admin.create_user()

    def delete_user():
        mail_admin.delete_user(user)

    request.addfinalizer(delete_user)
    return user


@pytest.fixture
def email(sending_user, receiving_user, request):
    _email = Email(subject="Hey!", body="How's it going?")
    sending_user.send_email(_email, receiving_user)

    def empty_mailbox():
        receiving_user.clear_mailbox()

    request.addfinalizer(empty_mailbox)
    return _email


def test_email_received(receiving_user, email):
    assert email in receiving_user.inbox

It’s a bit longer than yield fixtures and a bit more complex, but it does offer some nuances for when you’re in a pinch.

$ pytest -q test_emaillib.py
.                                                                    [100%]
1 passed in 0.12s

Safe teardowns

The fixture system of pytest is very powerful, but it’s still being run by a computer, so it isn’t able to figure out how to safely teardown everything we throw at it. If we aren’t careful, an error in the wrong spot might leave stuff from our tests behind, and that can cause further issues pretty quickly.

For example, consider the following tests (based off of the mail example from above):

# content of test_emaillib.py
import pytest

from emaillib import Email, MailAdminClient


@pytest.fixture
def setup():
    mail_admin = MailAdminClient()
    sending_user = mail_admin.create_user()
    receiving_user = mail_admin.create_user()
    email = Email(subject="Hey!", body="How's it going?")
    sending_user.send_email(email, receiving_user)
    yield receiving_user, email
    receiving_user.clear_mailbox()
    mail_admin.delete_user(sending_user)
    mail_admin.delete_user(receiving_user)


def test_email_received(setup):
    receiving_user, email = setup
    assert email in receiving_user.inbox

This version is a lot more compact, but it’s also harder to read, doesn’t have a very descriptive fixture name, and none of the fixtures can be reused easily.

There’s also a more serious issue, which is that if any of those steps in the setup raise an exception, none of the teardown code will run.

One option might be to go with the addfinalizer method instead of yield fixtures, but that might get pretty complex and difficult to maintain (and it wouldn’t be compact anymore).

$ pytest -q test_emaillib.py
.                                                                    [100%]
1 passed in 0.12s

Safe fixture structure

The safest and simplest fixture structure requires limiting fixtures to only making one state-changing action each, and then bundling them together with their teardown code, as the email examples above showed.

The chance that a state-changing operation can fail but still modify state is negligible, as most of these operations tend to be transaction-based (at least at the level of testing where state could be left behind). So if we make sure that any successful state-changing action gets torn down by moving it to a separate fixture function and separating it from other, potentially failing state-changing actions, then our tests will stand the best chance at leaving the test environment the way they found it.

For an example, let’s say we have a website with a login page, and we have access to an admin API where we can generate users. For our test, we want to:

  1. Create a user through that admin API

  2. Launch a browser using Selenium

  3. Go to the login page of our site

  4. Log in as the user we created

  5. Assert that their name is in the header of the landing page

We wouldn’t want to leave that user in the system, nor would we want to leave that browser session running, so we’ll want to make sure the fixtures that create those things clean up after themselves.

Here’s what that might look like:

Note

For this example, certain fixtures (i.e. base_url and admin_credentials) are implied to exist elsewhere. So for now, let’s assume they exist, and we’re just not looking at them.

from uuid import uuid4
from urllib.parse import urljoin

from selenium.webdriver import Chrome
import pytest

from src.utils.pages import LoginPage, LandingPage
from src.utils import AdminApiClient
from src.utils.data_types import User


@pytest.fixture
def admin_client(base_url, admin_credentials):
    return AdminApiClient(base_url, **admin_credentials)


@pytest.fixture
def user(admin_client):
    _user = User(name="Susan", username=f"testuser-{uuid4()}", password="P4$$word")
    admin_client.create_user(_user)
    yield _user
    admin_client.delete_user(_user)


@pytest.fixture
def driver():
    _driver = Chrome()
    yield _driver
    _driver.quit()


@pytest.fixture
def login(driver, base_url, user):
    driver.get(urljoin(base_url, "/login"))
    page = LoginPage(driver)
    page.login(user)


@pytest.fixture
def landing_page(driver, login):
    return LandingPage(driver)


def test_name_on_landing_page_after_login(landing_page, user):
    assert landing_page.header == f"Welcome, {user.name}!"

The way the dependencies are laid out means it’s unclear if the user fixture would execute before the driver fixture. But that’s ok, because those are atomic operations, and so it doesn’t matter which one runs first because the sequence of events for the test is still linearizable. But what does matter is that, no matter which one runs first, if the one raises an exception while the other would not have, neither will have left anything behind. If driver executes before user, and user raises an exception, the driver will still quit, and the user was never made. And if driver was the one to raise the exception, then the driver would never have been started and the user would never have been made.

Running multiple assert statements safely

Sometimes you may want to run multiple asserts after doing all that setup, which makes sense as, in more complex systems, a single action can kick off multiple behaviors. pytest has a convenient way of handling this and it combines a bunch of what we’ve gone over so far.

All that’s needed is stepping up to a larger scope, then having the act step defined as an autouse fixture, and finally, making sure all the fixtures are targeting that higher level scope.

Let’s pull an example from above, and tweak it a bit. Let’s say that in addition to checking for a welcome message in the header, we also want to check for a sign out button, and a link to the user’s profile.

Let’s take a look at how we can structure that so we can run multiple asserts without having to repeat all those steps again.

Note

For this example, certain fixtures (i.e. base_url and admin_credentials) are implied to exist elsewhere. So for now, let’s assume they exist, and we’re just not looking at them.

# contents of tests/end_to_end/test_login.py
from uuid import uuid4
from urllib.parse import urljoin

from selenium.webdriver import Chrome
import pytest

from src.utils.pages import LoginPage, LandingPage
from src.utils import AdminApiClient
from src.utils.data_types import User


@pytest.fixture(scope="class")
def admin_client(base_url, admin_credentials):
    return AdminApiClient(base_url, **admin_credentials)


@pytest.fixture(scope="class")
def user(admin_client):
    _user = User(name="Susan", username=f"testuser-{uuid4()}", password="P4$$word")
    admin_client.create_user(_user)
    yield _user
    admin_client.delete_user(_user)


@pytest.fixture(scope="class")
def driver():
    _driver = Chrome()
    yield _driver
    _driver.quit()


@pytest.fixture(scope="class")
def landing_page(driver, login):
    return LandingPage(driver)


class TestLandingPageSuccess:
    @pytest.fixture(scope="class", autouse=True)
    def login(self, driver, base_url, user):
        driver.get(urljoin(base_url, "/login"))
        page = LoginPage(driver)
        page.login(user)

    def test_name_in_header(self, landing_page, user):
        assert landing_page.header == f"Welcome, {user.name}!"

    def test_sign_out_button(self, landing_page):
        assert landing_page.sign_out_button.is_displayed()

    def test_profile_link(self, landing_page, user):
        profile_href = urljoin(base_url, f"/profile?id={user.profile_id}")
        assert landing_page.profile_link.get_attribute("href") == profile_href

Notice that the methods are only referencing self in the signature as a formality. No state is tied to the actual test class as it might be in the unittest.TestCase framework. Everything is managed by the pytest fixture system.

Each method only has to request the fixtures that it actually needs without worrying about order. This is because the act fixture is an autouse fixture, and it made sure all the other fixtures executed before it. There’s no more changes of state that need to take place, so the tests are free to make as many non-state-changing queries as they want without risking stepping on the toes of the other tests.

The login fixture is defined inside the class as well, because not every one of the other tests in the module will be expecting a successful login, and the act may need to be handled a little differently for another test class. For example, if we wanted to write another test scenario around submitting bad credentials, we could handle it by adding something like this to the test file:

class TestLandingPageBadCredentials:
    @pytest.fixture(scope="class")
    def faux_user(self, user):
        _user = deepcopy(user)
        _user.password = "badpass"
        return _user

    def test_raises_bad_credentials_exception(self, login_page, faux_user):
        with pytest.raises(BadCredentialsException):
            login_page.login(faux_user)

Fixtures can introspect the requesting test context

Fixture functions can accept the request object to introspect the “requesting” test function, class or module context. Further extending the previous smtp_connection fixture example, let’s read an optional server URL from the test module which uses our fixture:

# content of conftest.py
import pytest
import smtplib


@pytest.fixture(scope="module")
def smtp_connection(request):
    server = getattr(request.module, "smtpserver", "smtp.gmail.com")
    smtp_connection = smtplib.SMTP(server, 587, timeout=5)
    yield smtp_connection
    print("finalizing {} ({})".format(smtp_connection, server))
    smtp_connection.close()

We use the request.module attribute to optionally obtain an smtpserver attribute from the test module. If we just execute again, nothing much has changed:

$ pytest -s -q --tb=no test_module.py
FFfinalizing <smtplib.SMTP object at 0xdeadbeef> (smtp.gmail.com)

========================= short test summary info ==========================
FAILED test_module.py::test_ehlo - assert 0
FAILED test_module.py::test_noop - assert 0
2 failed in 0.12s

Let’s quickly create another test module that actually sets the server URL in its module namespace:

# content of test_anothersmtp.py

smtpserver = "mail.python.org"  # will be read by smtp fixture


def test_showhelo(smtp_connection):
    assert 0, smtp_connection.helo()

Running it:

$ pytest -qq --tb=short test_anothersmtp.py
F                                                                    [100%]
================================= FAILURES =================================
______________________________ test_showhelo _______________________________
test_anothersmtp.py:6: in test_showhelo
    assert 0, smtp_connection.helo()
E   AssertionError: (250, b'mail.python.org')
E   assert 0
------------------------- Captured stdout teardown -------------------------
finalizing <smtplib.SMTP object at 0xdeadbeef> (mail.python.org)
========================= short test summary info ==========================
FAILED test_anothersmtp.py::test_showhelo - AssertionError: (250, b'mail....

voila! The smtp_connection fixture function picked up our mail server name from the module namespace.

Using markers to pass data to fixtures

Using the request object, a fixture can also access markers which are applied to a test function. This can be useful to pass data into a fixture from a test:

import pytest


@pytest.fixture
def fixt(request):
    marker = request.node.get_closest_marker("fixt_data")
    if marker is None:
        # Handle missing marker in some way...
        data = None
    else:
        data = marker.args[0]

    # Do something with the data
    return data


@pytest.mark.fixt_data(42)
def test_fixt(fixt):
    assert fixt == 42

Factories as fixtures

The “factory as fixture” pattern can help in situations where the result of a fixture is needed multiple times in a single test. Instead of returning data directly, the fixture instead returns a function which generates the data. This function can then be called multiple times in the test.

Factories can have parameters as needed:

@pytest.fixture
def make_customer_record():
    def _make_customer_record(name):
        return {"name": name, "orders": []}

    return _make_customer_record


def test_customer_records(make_customer_record):
    customer_1 = make_customer_record("Lisa")
    customer_2 = make_customer_record("Mike")
    customer_3 = make_customer_record("Meredith")

If the data created by the factory requires managing, the fixture can take care of that:

@pytest.fixture
def make_customer_record():

    created_records = []

    def _make_customer_record(name):
        record = models.Customer(name=name, orders=[])
        created_records.append(record)
        return record

    yield _make_customer_record

    for record in created_records:
        record.destroy()


def test_customer_records(make_customer_record):
    customer_1 = make_customer_record("Lisa")
    customer_2 = make_customer_record("Mike")
    customer_3 = make_customer_record("Meredith")

Parametrizing fixtures

Fixture functions can be parametrized in which case they will be called multiple times, each time executing the set of dependent tests, i.e. the tests that depend on this fixture. Test functions usually do not need to be aware of their re-running. Fixture parametrization helps to write exhaustive functional tests for components which themselves can be configured in multiple ways.

Extending the previous example, we can flag the fixture to create two smtp_connection fixture instances which will cause all tests using the fixture to run twice. The fixture function gets access to each parameter through the special request object:

# content of conftest.py
import pytest
import smtplib


@pytest.fixture(scope="module", params=["smtp.gmail.com", "mail.python.org"])
def smtp_connection(request):
    smtp_connection = smtplib.SMTP(request.param, 587, timeout=5)
    yield smtp_connection
    print("finalizing {}".format(smtp_connection))
    smtp_connection.close()

The main change is the declaration of params with @pytest.fixture, a list of values for each of which the fixture function will execute and can access a value via request.param. No test function code needs to change. So let’s just do another run:

$ pytest -q test_module.py
FFFF                                                                 [100%]
================================= FAILURES =================================
________________________ test_ehlo[smtp.gmail.com] _________________________

smtp_connection = <smtplib.SMTP object at 0xdeadbeef>

    def test_ehlo(smtp_connection):
        response, msg = smtp_connection.ehlo()
        assert response == 250
        assert b"smtp.gmail.com" in msg
>       assert 0  # for demo purposes
E       assert 0

test_module.py:7: AssertionError
________________________ test_noop[smtp.gmail.com] _________________________

smtp_connection = <smtplib.SMTP object at 0xdeadbeef>

    def test_noop(smtp_connection):
        response, msg = smtp_connection.noop()
        assert response == 250
>       assert 0  # for demo purposes
E       assert 0

test_module.py:13: AssertionError
________________________ test_ehlo[mail.python.org] ________________________

smtp_connection = <smtplib.SMTP object at 0xdeadbeef>

    def test_ehlo(smtp_connection):
        response, msg = smtp_connection.ehlo()
        assert response == 250
>       assert b"smtp.gmail.com" in msg
E       AssertionError: assert b'smtp.gmail.com' in b'mail.python.org\nPIPELINING\nSIZE 51200000\nETRN\nSTARTTLS\nAUTH DIGEST-MD5 NTLM CRAM-MD5\nENHANCEDSTATUSCODES\n8BITMIME\nDSN\nSMTPUTF8\nCHUNKING'

test_module.py:6: AssertionError
-------------------------- Captured stdout setup ---------------------------
finalizing <smtplib.SMTP object at 0xdeadbeef>
________________________ test_noop[mail.python.org] ________________________

smtp_connection = <smtplib.SMTP object at 0xdeadbeef>

    def test_noop(smtp_connection):
        response, msg = smtp_connection.noop()
        assert response == 250
>       assert 0  # for demo purposes
E       assert 0

test_module.py:13: AssertionError
------------------------- Captured stdout teardown -------------------------
finalizing <smtplib.SMTP object at 0xdeadbeef>
========================= short test summary info ==========================
FAILED test_module.py::test_ehlo[smtp.gmail.com] - assert 0
FAILED test_module.py::test_noop[smtp.gmail.com] - assert 0
FAILED test_module.py::test_ehlo[mail.python.org] - AssertionError: asser...
FAILED test_module.py::test_noop[mail.python.org] - assert 0
4 failed in 0.12s

We see that our two test functions each ran twice, against the different smtp_connection instances. Note also, that with the mail.python.org connection the second test fails in test_ehlo because a different server string is expected than what arrived.

pytest will build a string that is the test ID for each fixture value in a parametrized fixture, e.g. test_ehlo[smtp.gmail.com] and test_ehlo[mail.python.org] in the above examples. These IDs can be used with -k to select specific cases to run, and they will also identify the specific case when one is failing. Running pytest with --collect-only will show the generated IDs.

Numbers, strings, booleans and None will have their usual string representation used in the test ID. For other objects, pytest will make a string based on the argument name. It is possible to customise the string used in a test ID for a certain fixture value by using the ids keyword argument:

# content of test_ids.py
import pytest


@pytest.fixture(params=[0, 1], ids=["spam", "ham"])
def a(request):
    return request.param


def test_a(a):
    pass


def idfn(fixture_value):
    if fixture_value == 0:
        return "eggs"
    else:
        return None


@pytest.fixture(params=[0, 1], ids=idfn)
def b(request):
    return request.param


def test_b(b):
    pass

The above shows how ids can be either a list of strings to use or a function which will be called with the fixture value and then has to return a string to use. In the latter case if the function returns None then pytest’s auto-generated ID will be used.

Running the above tests results in the following test IDs being used:

$ pytest --collect-only
=========================== test session starts ============================
platform linux -- Python 3.x.y, pytest-6.x.y, py-1.x.y, pluggy-1.x.y
cachedir: $PYTHON_PREFIX/.pytest_cache
rootdir: $REGENDOC_TMPDIR
collected 11 items

<Module test_anothersmtp.py>
  <Function test_showhelo[smtp.gmail.com]>
  <Function test_showhelo[mail.python.org]>
<Module test_emaillib.py>
  <Function test_email_received>
<Module test_ids.py>
  <Function test_a[spam]>
  <Function test_a[ham]>
  <Function test_b[eggs]>
  <Function test_b[1]>
<Module test_module.py>
  <Function test_ehlo[smtp.gmail.com]>
  <Function test_noop[smtp.gmail.com]>
  <Function test_ehlo[mail.python.org]>
  <Function test_noop[mail.python.org]>

======================= 11 tests collected in 0.12s ========================

Using marks with parametrized fixtures

pytest.param() can be used to apply marks in values sets of parametrized fixtures in the same way that they can be used with @pytest.mark.parametrize.

Example:

# content of test_fixture_marks.py
import pytest


@pytest.fixture(params=[0, 1, pytest.param(2, marks=pytest.mark.skip)])
def data_set(request):
    return request.param


def test_data(data_set):
    pass

Running this test will skip the invocation of data_set with value 2:

$ pytest test_fixture_marks.py -v
=========================== test session starts ============================
platform linux -- Python 3.x.y, pytest-6.x.y, py-1.x.y, pluggy-1.x.y -- $PYTHON_PREFIX/bin/python
cachedir: $PYTHON_PREFIX/.pytest_cache
rootdir: $REGENDOC_TMPDIR
collecting ... collected 3 items

test_fixture_marks.py::test_data[0] PASSED                           [ 33%]
test_fixture_marks.py::test_data[1] PASSED                           [ 66%]
test_fixture_marks.py::test_data[2] SKIPPED (unconditional skip)     [100%]

======================= 2 passed, 1 skipped in 0.12s =======================

Modularity: using fixtures from a fixture function

In addition to using fixtures in test functions, fixture functions can use other fixtures themselves. This contributes to a modular design of your fixtures and allows re-use of framework-specific fixtures across many projects. As a simple example, we can extend the previous example and instantiate an object app where we stick the already defined smtp_connection resource into it:

# content of test_appsetup.py

import pytest


class App:
    def __init__(self, smtp_connection):
        self.smtp_connection = smtp_connection


@pytest.fixture(scope="module")
def app(smtp_connection):
    return App(smtp_connection)


def test_smtp_connection_exists(app):
    assert app.smtp_connection

Here we declare an app fixture which receives the previously defined smtp_connection fixture and instantiates an App object with it. Let’s run it:

$ pytest -v test_appsetup.py
=========================== test session starts ============================
platform linux -- Python 3.x.y, pytest-6.x.y, py-1.x.y, pluggy-1.x.y -- $PYTHON_PREFIX/bin/python
cachedir: $PYTHON_PREFIX/.pytest_cache
rootdir: $REGENDOC_TMPDIR
collecting ... collected 2 items

test_appsetup.py::test_smtp_connection_exists[smtp.gmail.com] PASSED [ 50%]
test_appsetup.py::test_smtp_connection_exists[mail.python.org] PASSED [100%]

============================ 2 passed in 0.12s =============================

Due to the parametrization of smtp_connection, the test will run twice with two different App instances and respective smtp servers. There is no need for the app fixture to be aware of the smtp_connection parametrization because pytest will fully analyse the fixture dependency graph.

Note that the app fixture has a scope of module and uses a module-scoped smtp_connection fixture. The example would still work if smtp_connection was cached on a session scope: it is fine for fixtures to use “broader” scoped fixtures but not the other way round: A session-scoped fixture could not use a module-scoped one in a meaningful way.

Automatic grouping of tests by fixture instances

pytest minimizes the number of active fixtures during test runs. If you have a parametrized fixture, then all the tests using it will first execute with one instance and then finalizers are called before the next fixture instance is created. Among other things, this eases testing of applications which create and use global state.

The following example uses two parametrized fixtures, one of which is scoped on a per-module basis, and all the functions perform print calls to show the setup/teardown flow:

# content of test_module.py
import pytest


@pytest.fixture(scope="module", params=["mod1", "mod2"])
def modarg(request):
    param = request.param
    print("  SETUP modarg", param)
    yield param
    print("  TEARDOWN modarg", param)


@pytest.fixture(scope="function", params=[1, 2])
def otherarg(request):
    param = request.param
    print("  SETUP otherarg", param)
    yield param
    print("  TEARDOWN otherarg", param)


def test_0(otherarg):
    print("  RUN test0 with otherarg", otherarg)


def test_1(modarg):
    print("  RUN test1 with modarg", modarg)


def test_2(otherarg, modarg):
    print("  RUN test2 with otherarg {} and modarg {}".format(otherarg, modarg))

Let’s run the tests in verbose mode and with looking at the print-output:

$ pytest -v -s test_module.py
=========================== test session starts ============================
platform linux -- Python 3.x.y, pytest-6.x.y, py-1.x.y, pluggy-1.x.y -- $PYTHON_PREFIX/bin/python
cachedir: $PYTHON_PREFIX/.pytest_cache
rootdir: $REGENDOC_TMPDIR
collecting ... collected 8 items

test_module.py::test_0[1]   SETUP otherarg 1
  RUN test0 with otherarg 1
PASSED  TEARDOWN otherarg 1

test_module.py::test_0[2]   SETUP otherarg 2
  RUN test0 with otherarg 2
PASSED  TEARDOWN otherarg 2

test_module.py::test_1[mod1]   SETUP modarg mod1
  RUN test1 with modarg mod1
PASSED
test_module.py::test_2[mod1-1]   SETUP otherarg 1
  RUN test2 with otherarg 1 and modarg mod1
PASSED  TEARDOWN otherarg 1

test_module.py::test_2[mod1-2]   SETUP otherarg 2
  RUN test2 with otherarg 2 and modarg mod1
PASSED  TEARDOWN otherarg 2

test_module.py::test_1[mod2]   TEARDOWN modarg mod1
  SETUP modarg mod2
  RUN test1 with modarg mod2
PASSED
test_module.py::test_2[mod2-1]   SETUP otherarg 1
  RUN test2 with otherarg 1 and modarg mod2
PASSED  TEARDOWN otherarg 1

test_module.py::test_2[mod2-2]   SETUP otherarg 2
  RUN test2 with otherarg 2 and modarg mod2
PASSED  TEARDOWN otherarg 2
  TEARDOWN modarg mod2


============================ 8 passed in 0.12s =============================

You can see that the parametrized module-scoped modarg resource caused an ordering of test execution that lead to the fewest possible “active” resources. The finalizer for the mod1 parametrized resource was executed before the mod2 resource was setup.

In particular notice that test_0 is completely independent and finishes first. Then test_1 is executed with mod1, then test_2 with mod1, then test_1 with mod2 and finally test_2 with mod2.

The otherarg parametrized resource (having function scope) was set up before and teared down after every test that used it.

Use fixtures in classes and modules with usefixtures

Sometimes test functions do not directly need access to a fixture object. For example, tests may require to operate with an empty directory as the current working directory but otherwise do not care for the concrete directory. Here is how you can use the standard tempfile and pytest fixtures to achieve it. We separate the creation of the fixture into a conftest.py file:

# content of conftest.py

import os
import tempfile

import pytest


@pytest.fixture
def cleandir():
    with tempfile.TemporaryDirectory() as newpath:
        old_cwd = os.getcwd()
        os.chdir(newpath)
        yield
        os.chdir(old_cwd)

and declare its use in a test module via a usefixtures marker:

# content of test_setenv.py
import os
import pytest


@pytest.mark.usefixtures("cleandir")
class TestDirectoryInit:
    def test_cwd_starts_empty(self):
        assert os.listdir(os.getcwd()) == []
        with open("myfile", "w") as f:
            f.write("hello")

    def test_cwd_again_starts_empty(self):
        assert os.listdir(os.getcwd()) == []

Due to the usefixtures marker, the cleandir fixture will be required for the execution of each test method, just as if you specified a “cleandir” function argument to each of them. Let’s run it to verify our fixture is activated and the tests pass:

$ pytest -q
..                                                                   [100%]
2 passed in 0.12s

You can specify multiple fixtures like this:

@pytest.mark.usefixtures("cleandir", "anotherfixture")
def test():
    ...

and you may specify fixture usage at the test module level using pytestmark:

pytestmark = pytest.mark.usefixtures("cleandir")

It is also possible to put fixtures required by all tests in your project into an ini-file:

# content of pytest.ini
[pytest]
usefixtures = cleandir

Warning

Note this mark has no effect in fixture functions. For example, this will not work as expected:

@pytest.mark.usefixtures("my_other_fixture")
@pytest.fixture
def my_fixture_that_sadly_wont_use_my_other_fixture():
    ...

Currently this will not generate any error or warning, but this is intended to be handled by #3664.

Overriding fixtures on various levels

In relatively large test suite, you most likely need to override a global or root fixture with a locally defined one, keeping the test code readable and maintainable.

Override a fixture on a folder (conftest) level

Given the tests file structure is:

tests/
    __init__.py

    conftest.py
        # content of tests/conftest.py
        import pytest

        @pytest.fixture
        def username():
            return 'username'

    test_something.py
        # content of tests/test_something.py
        def test_username(username):
            assert username == 'username'

    subfolder/
        __init__.py

        conftest.py
            # content of tests/subfolder/conftest.py
            import pytest

            @pytest.fixture
            def username(username):
                return 'overridden-' + username

        test_something.py
            # content of tests/subfolder/test_something.py
            def test_username(username):
                assert username == 'overridden-username'

As you can see, a fixture with the same name can be overridden for certain test folder level. Note that the base or super fixture can be accessed from the overriding fixture easily - used in the example above.

Override a fixture on a test module level

Given the tests file structure is:

tests/
    __init__.py

    conftest.py
        # content of tests/conftest.py
        import pytest

        @pytest.fixture
        def username():
            return 'username'

    test_something.py
        # content of tests/test_something.py
        import pytest

        @pytest.fixture
        def username(username):
            return 'overridden-' + username

        def test_username(username):
            assert username == 'overridden-username'

    test_something_else.py
        # content of tests/test_something_else.py
        import pytest

        @pytest.fixture
        def username(username):
            return 'overridden-else-' + username

        def test_username(username):
            assert username == 'overridden-else-username'

In the example above, a fixture with the same name can be overridden for certain test module.

Override a fixture with direct test parametrization

Given the tests file structure is:

tests/
    __init__.py

    conftest.py
        # content of tests/conftest.py
        import pytest

        @pytest.fixture
        def username():
            return 'username'

        @pytest.fixture
        def other_username(username):
            return 'other-' + username

    test_something.py
        # content of tests/test_something.py
        import pytest

        @pytest.mark.parametrize('username', ['directly-overridden-username'])
        def test_username(username):
            assert username == 'directly-overridden-username'

        @pytest.mark.parametrize('username', ['directly-overridden-username-other'])
        def test_username_other(other_username):
            assert other_username == 'other-directly-overridden-username-other'

In the example above, a fixture value is overridden by the test parameter value. Note that the value of the fixture can be overridden this way even if the test doesn’t use it directly (doesn’t mention it in the function prototype).

Override a parametrized fixture with non-parametrized one and vice versa

Given the tests file structure is:

tests/
    __init__.py

    conftest.py
        # content of tests/conftest.py
        import pytest

        @pytest.fixture(params=['one', 'two', 'three'])
        def parametrized_username(request):
            return request.param

        @pytest.fixture
        def non_parametrized_username(request):
            return 'username'

    test_something.py
        # content of tests/test_something.py
        import pytest

        @pytest.fixture
        def parametrized_username():
            return 'overridden-username'

        @pytest.fixture(params=['one', 'two', 'three'])
        def non_parametrized_username(request):
            return request.param

        def test_username(parametrized_username):
            assert parametrized_username == 'overridden-username'

        def test_parametrized_username(non_parametrized_username):
            assert non_parametrized_username in ['one', 'two', 'three']

    test_something_else.py
        # content of tests/test_something_else.py
        def test_username(parametrized_username):
            assert parametrized_username in ['one', 'two', 'three']

        def test_username(non_parametrized_username):
            assert non_parametrized_username == 'username'

In the example above, a parametrized fixture is overridden with a non-parametrized version, and a non-parametrized fixture is overridden with a parametrized version for certain test module. The same applies for the test folder level obviously.

Using fixtures from other projects

Usually projects that provide pytest support will use entry points, so just installing those projects into an environment will make those fixtures available for use.

In case you want to use fixtures from a project that does not use entry points, you can define pytest_plugins in your top conftest.py file to register that module as a plugin.

Suppose you have some fixtures in mylibrary.fixtures and you want to reuse them into your app/tests directory.

All you need to do is to define pytest_plugins in app/tests/conftest.py pointing to that module.

pytest_plugins = "mylibrary.fixtures"

This effectively registers mylibrary.fixtures as a plugin, making all its fixtures and hooks available to tests in app/tests.

Note

Sometimes users will import fixtures from other projects for use, however this is not recommended: importing fixtures into a module will register them in pytest as defined in that module.

This has minor consequences, such as appearing multiple times in pytest --help, but it is not recommended because this behavior might change/stop working in future versions.