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HTTP server integration for testing

Project description


This package provides an HTTP server for testing your application with normal HTTP clients (e.g. a real browser). This is done using test layers, which are a feature of zope.testrunner.

gocept.httpserverlayer uses plone.testing for the test layer implementation, and exposes the following resources (accessible in your test case as self.layer[RESOURCE_NAME]):


The hostname of the HTTP server (Default: localhost)


The port of the HTTP server (Default: 0, which means chosen automatically by the operating system)


hostname:port, convenient to use in URLs (e.g. 'http://user:password@%s/path' % self.layer['http_address'])

This package is compatible with Python version 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, and 3.9.


This test layer takes a WSGI callable and runs it in a temporary HTTP server:

import gocept.httpserverlayer.wsgi
from mypackage import App
import unittest

HTTP_LAYER = gocept.httpserverlayer.wsgi.Layer()
HTTP_LAYER.wsgi_app = App()

class WSGIExample(unittest.TestCase):

    layer = HTTP_LAYER

    def test_something(self):
        r = urllib.urlopen('http://{0.layer[http_address]}/'.format(self))
        self.assertIn('Hello world',

You can also have a base layer provide the WSGI callable (in the wsgi_app resource):

import gocept.httpserverlayer.wsgi
from mypackage import App
import plone.testing

class WSGILayer(plone.testing.Layer):

    def setUp(self):
        self['wsgi_app'] = App()


HTTP_LAYER = gocept.httpserverlayer.wsgi.Layer(
    name='HTTPLayer', bases=(WSGI_LAYER,))

Static files

This test layer serves up the contents of a directory:

import gocept.httpserverlayer.static
import pkg_resources
import unittest

HTTP_LAYER = gocept.httpserverlayer.static.Layer(
    pkg_resources.resource_filename('my.package.tests', 'fixtures'))

class DirecoryExample(unittest.TestCase):

    layer = HTTP_LAYER

    def test_something(self):
        r = urllib.urlopen('http://{0.layer[http_address]}/'.format(self))
        self.assertIn('Hello world',

If you don’t pass in a directory, a temporary directory will be created/removed automatically. The directory is provided in the documentroot resource. For convenience, a layer instance is already provided as STATIC_FILES:

import gocept.httpserverlayer.static
import os.path
import unittest

HTTP_LAYER = gocept.httpserverlayer.static.STATIC_FILES

class TemporaryExample(unittest.TestCase):

    layer = HTTP_LAYER

    def test_something(self):
        path = os.path.join(self.testlayer['documentroot'], 'index')
        with open(path, 'w') as f:
            f.write('Hello World!')
        r = urllib.urlopen(
        self.assertIn('Hello world',

Custom request handler

This test layer allows you to provide your own HTTP request handler for very fine-grained control:

import gocept.httpserverlayer.custom
import unittest

class RequestHandler(gocept.httpserverlayer.custom.RequestHandler):

    response_code = 200
    response_body = ''
    posts_received = []

    def do_POST(self):
        length = int(self.headers['content-length'])

HTTP_LAYER = gocept.httpserverlayer.custom.Layer(RequestHandler)

class POSTExample(unittest.TestCase):

    layer = HTTP_LAYER

    def test_something(self):
                       urllib.urlencode({'foo': 'bar'}))

Framework integration

gocept.httpserverlayer also provides integration with some web frameworks. Different frameworks require different dependencies; this is handled via setuptools extras of gocept.httpserverlayer (e.g. for Grok integration you need to require gocept.httpserverlayer[zopeappwsgi]).

Zope 3 / ZTK / Grok (

Requires gocept.httpserverlayer[zopeappwsgi]

If your ZTK application uses (which is the recommended test setup for Grok, for example), you can use gocept.httpserverlayer.zopeappwsgi.Layer to create a WSGI app that integrates ZODB isolation, and gocept.httpserverlayer.wsgi.Layer to provide the actual HTTP server. No special TestCase is required, unittest.TestCase is enough.

The zopeappwsgi.Layer expects to find the current ZODB in the plone.testing resource zodbDB (which is used by plone.testing.zodb.EMPTY_ZODB), or you can inherit and override get_current_zodb. Here’s an example setup for Grok (which uses

import gocept.httpserverlayer.wsgi
import gocept.httpserverlayer.zopeappwsgi
import unittest

    gocept.httpserverlayer.zopeappwsgi, 'testing.zcml')

class WSGILayer(gocept.httpserverlayer.zopeappwsgi.Layer):

    defaultBases = (ZODB_LAYER,)

    def get_current_zodb(self):
        return ZODB_LAYER.db


HTTP_LAYER = gocept.httpserverlayer.wsgi.Layer(
    name='HTTPLayer', bases=(WSGI_LAYER,))

class GrokExample(unittest.TestCase):

    layer = HTTP_LAYER

    def test(self):
        r = urllib.urlopen('http://%s/' % self.layer['http_address'])
        self.assertIn('Hello world',

Zope via WSGI

If your Zope setup supports WSGI, you can use the WSGI integration instead of a specialised Zope integration to run your tests.

You might see an exception complaining about the Connection header. To fix this issue you can use an additional middleware around your WSGI application: gocept.httpserverlayer.wsgi.FixupMiddleware.

Zope / Plone via plone.testing.zope

Requires gocept.httpserverlayer[plonetestingzope].

gocept.httpserverlayer provides a plone.testing.Layer at gocept.httpserverlayer.plonetestingzope.HTTP_SERVER that you can mix and match with your base layers. No special TestCase is required, unittest.TestCase is enough.

For a plain Zope application this might look like this (uses plone.testing[zope]):

import gocept.httpserverlayer.plonetestingzope
import plone.testing
import plone.testing.zope

class Layer(plone.testing.Layer):

    defaultBases = (plone.testing.zope.STARTUP,)

    def setUp(self):
            'testing.zcml', package=mypackage,

ZOPE_LAYER = Layer()

HTTP_LAYER = plone.testing.Layer(

Developing gocept.httpserverlayer


gocept <>

PyPI page:

Issue tracker:

Source code:

Current change log:

Run tests:

Use tox, for info see:

Change log for gocept.httpserverlayer

4.0 (2021-04-07)

  • Drop support for Python 2.

  • Add support for Python 3.8 and 3.9.

  • Migrate to GitHub and GitHub Actions.

3.2 (2019-04-03)

  • Fix usage of pending deprecated Thread.isAlive().

3.1 (2019-01-15)

  • Create a wheel of the package.

  • Add support for Python 3.7.

3.0 (2018-06-29)

  • Add support for Python 3.6.

  • Drop support for Zope 2.x

  • Rename the extra plonetestingz2 into plonetestingzope.

  • Rename the module .plonetestingz2 into .plonetestingzope.

2.2 (2016-12-02)

  • Ensure compatibility with setuptools >= 30.0.

2.1 (2016-12-01)

2.0 (2016-04-12)

  • Drop support for:

    • (extras_require: [zopeapptesting])

    • Testing.ZopeTestCase (extras_require: [zope2testcase])

    • (extras_require: [test_plonetestingz2])

    • Products.PloneTestCase (extras_require: [plonetestcase])

  • Drop support for Python 2.6.

  • Use tox as testrunner.

  • Remove zc.buildout infrastructure.

1.5.3 (2015-01-09)

  • Don’t overwrite self.port when it was 0.

1.5.2 (2014-05-22)

  • Silence “error 32: Broken pipe” errors in custom.Layer, too.

1.5.1 (2014-02-10)

  • Silence “error 32: Broken pipe” errors in wsgi.Layer, they just mean the client closed the connection prematurely, which is as harmless as it is normal.

1.5.0 (2013-11-07)

  • Make it possible to dictate the hostname for the httpserver via environment variable GOCEPT_HTTP_APP_HOST. You will need this if you run your tests in a selenium grid on different machines.

1.4.1 (2013-10-01)

  • 1.4.0 was a brown-bag, let’s try again.

1.4.0 (2013-10-01)

  • Make HTTP server and thread objects used by layers available as a resource.

1.3.0 (2013-07-18)

  • Replace dependency on distribute with setuptools, since the projects have merged.

1.2.1 (2013-02-07)

  • Fix custom layer test tear down.

1.2 (2013-02-06)

  • Fixed tests run on MacOS.

  • Use the server_address instead of server_name of HTTPServer to be compatible with MacOS.

  • Dropped compatability with Zope < 2.12.

  • Removed customized HTTPServer, the BaseHTTPServer.HTTPServer does everything we need.

1.1 (2013-02-03)

  • Add custom.Layer that uses a BaseHTTPServer with a custom RequestHandler, and static.Layer that server the contents of a directory.

  • Dropped compatability with Python < 2.6.

1.0.1 (2012-12-21)

  • Avoid the property.setter spelling in the wsgi layer’s code for Python 2.5 compatibility.

  • Conditionally require wsgiref to make the wsgi layer work with Python 2.4.

  • Fixed an import in the plonetestcase layer’s tests.

1.0 (2012-12-19)

initial release (extracted from gocept.selenium-1.0)

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