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Declarative HTTP testing library

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Gabbi is a tool for running HTTP tests where requests and responses are represented in a declarative YAML-based form. The simplest test looks like this:

- name: A test
  GET: /api/resources/id

See the docs for more details on the many features and formats for setting request headers and bodies and evaluating responses.

Gabbi is tested with Python 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10, 3.11, 3.12 and pypy3.

Tests can be run using unittest style test runners, pytest or from the command line with a gabbi-run script.

There is a gabbi-demo repository which provides a tutorial via its commit history. The demo builds a simple API using gabbi to facilitate test driven development.


Gabbi works to bridge the gap between human readable YAML files that represent HTTP requests and expected responses and the obscured realm of Python-based, object-oriented unit tests in the style of the unittest module and its derivatives.

Each YAML file represents an ordered list of HTTP requests along with the expected responses. This allows a single file to represent a process in the API being tested. For example:

  • Create a resource.

  • Retrieve a resource.

  • Delete a resource.

  • Retrieve a resource again to confirm it is gone.

At the same time it is still possible to ask gabbi to run just one request. If it is in a sequence of tests, those tests prior to it in the YAML file will be run (in order). In any single process any test will only be run once. Concurrency is handled such that one file runs in one process.

These features mean that it is possible to create tests that are useful for both humans (as tools for improving and developing APIs) and automated CI systems.

Testing and Developing Gabbi

To get started, after cloning the repository, you should install the development dependencies:

$ pip install -r requirements-dev.txt

If you prefer to keep things isolated you can create a virtual environment:

$ virtualenv gabbi-venv
$ . gabbi-venv/bin/activate
$ pip install -r requirements-dev.txt

Gabbi is set up to be developed and tested using tox (installed via requirements-dev.txt). To run the built-in tests (the YAML files are in the directories gabbi/tests/gabbits_* and loaded by the file gabbi/test_*.py), you call tox:

tox -epep8,py37

If you have the dependencies installed (or a warmed up virtualenv) you can run the tests by hand and exit on the first failure:

python -m discover -f gabbi | subunit2pyunit

Testing can be limited to individual modules by specifying them after the tox invocation:

tox -epep8,py37 -- test_driver test_handlers

If you wish to avoid running tests that connect to internet hosts, set GABBI_SKIP_NETWORK to True.

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