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A command-line native utility for launching and observing NeoLoad performance tests

Project description

NeoLoad CLI Build Status


This command-line interface helps you launch and observe performance tests on the Neotys Web Platform. Since NeoLoad is very flexible to many deployment models (SaaS, self-hosted, cloud or local containers, etc.), configuration and test execution parameters depend on your licensing and infrastructure provisioning options.

Property Value
Maturity Stable
Author Neotys
License BSD 2-Clause "Simplified"
NeoLoad Licensing License FREE edition, or Enterprise edition, or Professional
Supported versions Tested with NeoLoad Web from version 2.3.2
Download Binaries See the latest release on pypi

TL;DR ... What

The goal of this guide is to demonstrate how you can:

  1. create API load tests using code (YAML)
  2. run them from any environment
  3. visualize test results in web dashboards

TL;DR ... How

pip3 install neoload
neoload login $NLW_TOKEN \
        test-settings --zone $NLW_ZONE_DYNAMIC --lgs 5 --scenario sanityScenario createorpatch NewTest1 \
        project --path tests/neoload_projects/example_1 upload NewTest1 \

NOTE: For Windows command line, replace the '\' multi-line separators above with '^'



The CLI requires Python3

  • Download and install python3 for Windows 10 from
    • Make sure you check the option 'Add Python to the environment variables' option
    • Install pip: python -m pip install -U pip
  • Download and install python3 for Mac OS X from - Python3 on Mac OS X

Optional: Install Docker for hosting the test infra on your machine (this feature does not work with Docker for Windows).


pip3 install neoload
neoload --help

NOTE: if you receive SSL download errors when running the above command, you may also need to install sources using the following command:

pip3 install certifi

Login to Neoload Web

NeoLoad CLI defaults to using the NeoLoad Web APIs for most operations. That's why you need to login.

neoload login [TOKEN]
neoload login --url --workspace "Default Workspace" your-token

The CLI will connect by default to Neoload Web SaaS to lease license.
For self-hosted enterprise license, you must specify the Neoload Web Api url with --url.

The CLI stores data locally like api url, token, the workspace ID and the test ID you are working on. The commands can be chained !

neoload status          # Displays stored data

Setup a test

Optionally Choose a workspace to work with

Usage: neoload workspaces [OPTIONS] [[ls|use]] [NAME_OR_ID]
neoload workspaces use "Default Workspace"

Since Neoload Web 2.5 (August 2020), assets are scoped to workspaces. The CLI allows you to choose your workspace at login or with the "use" sub-command, otherwise the "Default Workspace" is used.
/!\ The zones are shared between workspaces.

Setup resources in Neoload Web

Run a test requires an infrastructure that is defined in Neoload Web Zones section (see documentation how to manage zones) You must at least have either a dynamic or a static zone with one controller and one load generator. At First, you could add resources to the "Default zone" since the CLI use it by default.

Define a test settings

Test settings are how to run a test, a sort of template. Tests are stored in Neoload Web.

Usage: neoload test-settings [OPTIONS] [[ls|create|put|patch|delete|use]] [NAME]
neoload test-settings --zone defaultzone --lgs 5 --scenario sanityScenario create NewTest1

You must define :

  • Which scenario of the Neoload project to use

You can optionally define :

  • The test-settings description
  • The controller and load generator's zone to use (defaultzone is set by default)
  • How many load generators to use for the zone (1 LG on the defaultzone is set by default)
  • Advanced users who already have several zones with available resources in it, specify all zones and the number of LGs with --controller-zone-id and lg-zone-ids

To work with a specific test already created and be able to chain commands

neoload test-settings use NewTest1
neoload test-settings use 4a5e7707-75c0-4106-bbd4-68962ac7f2b3

Upload a Neoload project

See basic projects examples on github tests/neoload_projects folder To upload a NeoLoad project zip file or a standalone as code file into a test-settings

Usage: neoload project [OPTIONS] [up|upload|meta] NAME_OR_ID
neoload project --path tests/neoload_projects/example_1/ upload

You must specify in which test the project will be uploaded:

  • either by doing this command first
    neoload test-settings use NewTest1
  • or by adding the name or id of the test to the project command
    neoload project --path tests/neoload_projects/example_1/ upload NewTest1

To Validate the syntax and schema of the as-code project yaml files

neoload validate sample_projects/example_1/default.yaml

Excluding files from the project upload

If you are uploading a project directory that contains non NeoLoad as-code YAML files (such as .gitlab-ci.yml) you will need to create a .nlignore file (exactly the same as .gitignore) that excludes these files from the project upload process so that NeoLoad Web does not parse them and fail them as if they should be the NeoLoad DSL.

Please see Gitlab and Azure pipeline examples for more detail.

Run a test

This command runs a test, it produces blocking, unbuffered output about test execution process, including readout of current data points. At the end, displays the summary and the SLA passed & failed.

Usage: neoload run [OPTIONS] [NAME_OR_ID]
neoload run \         # Runs the currently used test-settings (see neoload status and neoload test-settings use)
     --as-code default.yaml,slas/uat.yaml \
     --name "MyCustomTestName_${JOB_ID}" \
     --description "A custom test description containing hashtags like #latest or #issueNum"
  • detach option kick off a test and returns immediately. Logs are displayed in Neoload Web (follow the url).
  • as-code option specify as-code yaml files to use for the test. They should already be uploaded with the project.
  • Test result name and description can be customized to include CI specific details (e.g. CI job, build number...).
  • Reservations can be used with either the reservationID or a reservation duration and a number of Virtual users.

If you are running in interactive console mode, the NeoLoad CLI will automatically open the system default browser to your live test results.
When hitting Ctrl+C, the CLI will try to stop the test gracefully

Stop a running test

neoload stop             # Send the stop signal to the test and wait until it ends.


There is basic support in the NeoLoad CLI for viewing and exporting results.

View results

Usage: neoload test-results [OPTIONS] [[ls|summary|junitsla|put|delete|use]] [NAME]
neoload test-results ls                 # Lists test results                                            .
neoload test-results use                # Remember the test result you want to work on.                           .
neoload test-results summary            # The Json result summary, with SLAs
neoload test-results junitsla           # Output the summary in a JUnit xml file

Metadata on a test can be modified after the test is complete, such as name, description, and status.\

To filter test results based on project, scenario, or status:

neoload test-results --filter "project=MyProject;scenario=fullTest" ls
neoload test-results --filter "status=TERMINATED|qualityStatus=FAILED" ls

NOTE: you can use either a semicolon OR a pipe, but not both interchangeably in the same filter.

To work with a specific test result and be able to chain commands

neoload test-results use 4a5e7707-75c0-4106-bbd4-68962ac7f2b3

Detailed logs and results are available on Neoload Web. To get the url of the current result :

neoload logs-url                        # The URL to the test in Neoload Web

The test-results vs. report subcommands

The 'test-results' subcommand is intended for direct operational queries against high-level API data.

The 'report' subcommand is intended to simplify not only common data exporting needs, but also provide templating capabilities over a standard, correlated data model. In contrast to the test-results subcommand, 'report' can be used to generate as well as transform test result data.

Exporting Transaction CSV data

Usage: neoload report [OPTIONS]
neoload report --template builtin:transactions-csv > temp.csv

Filtering export data by timespan

In many load tests, ramp-up and spin-down time is considered irrelevant to calculate into aggregate statistics, such as how when warming up, systems may produce higher-than-expected latencies until a steady state is reached.

Therefore, the NeoLoad CLI allows for export of particular time ranges by providing a timespan filter.

neoload report --template builtin:transactions-csv --filter "timespan=5m-95%"
neoload report --template builtin:transactions-csv --filter "timespan=15%"
neoload report --template builtin:transactions-csv --filter "timespan=-90%"

Timespan format is [Time], then '-' representing to, then another [Time]. Time format can be either a human readable duration or percentage of overall test duration.

Human readable time duration format is hour|minute|second such as '1h5m30s' or a sub-portion such as '5m'.

Omitting the end [Time] segment will filter results beginning with the time specified to the end of the test.

Similarly, ommiting the start [Time] segment will filter results beginning with the start of the test to the end time specified.

Filtering export data by element

It is often useful to narrow analysis and statistics to a particular group of activities, such as Login processes across multiple workflows (user paths) or other common key business transactions.

Therefore, the NeoLoad CLI allows for exports of specific transcations whose name, parent, or User Path name matches specific values or patterns.

neoload report --template builtin:transactions-csv --filter "elements=Login"

You can filter to specific transactions or requests by specifying 'elements' and then a pipe-delimited list of element GUIDs, full names, or partial name matches. This can also include python-compliant regular expressions.

Combining timespan and element filters

neoload report --template builtin:transactions-csv --filter "timespan=50%-95%;elements=AddToCart"

Both timespan and elements filters can be combined in order to get statistics for specific elements within a precise portion of the test duration. Per the example above, transaction data will be computed for elements that have 'AddToCart' somewhere in their name, user path, or parent element and calculate aggregates based on data starting from halfway through the test up to just about the very end.

Exporting All Test Data and Using Custom Templates

If you would like to use multiple templates to create separate output files for specific test data, you should dump the test result data using the standard JSON scheme first:

neoload report --out-file ~/Downloads/temp.json

NOTE: by default, this queries all entity data in test results and may cause multiple API calls to occur depending on the structure of the user paths and monitoring data in the test result set.

Then you can produce multiple output files from a single data snapshot:

neoload report --json-in ~/Downloads/temp.json \
               --template builtin:transactions-csv \
               --out-file ~/Downloads/temp.csv

neoload report --json-in ~/Downloads/temp.json \
               --template /path/to/a/jinja/template.j2 \
               --out-file ~/Downloads/temp.html

NOTE: built-in reports produce a reduced-scope JSON data model and are therefore faster that exporting all test data for various templates and output specs.

View zones

neoload zones --human

Display in a human readable way the list of all static and dynamic zones registered on Neoload Web, and the resources attached (controllers and load generators).

Create local docker infrastructure to run a test [EXPERIMENTAL]

WARNING: Docker features are not officially supported by Neotys as they rely heavily on your own Docker setup and environment. This command is only for local/dev test scenarios to simplify infrastructure requirements.

NOTE: this functionality is not in the 1.0.0 version (May 2020 on Pypi), but is scheduled for inclusion by June 16th 2020. If you want to obtain this version before that time, please intall the version 1.1.0 release candidate from pypi:

pip install neoload==1.1.0rc1

If you want to use the latest commit of this feature, please pull this Git repo, checkout the topic-docker-command branch and install locally. You may need to uninstall your existing version of this CLI first:

python3 -m pip uninstall neoload
git clone
cd neoload-cli
git checkout topic-docker-command
python3 -m pip install -e .

In certain environments, such as on a local dev workstation or in a Docker-in-Docker CI build node, it is useful to "bring your own infrastructure". In other words, when you don't already have a controller and load generators available in a zone, you can spin some up using Docker before the test starts. An example of an all-on-one approach:

neoload login $NLW_TOKEN \
        test-settings --zone $NLW_ZONE_STATIC --lgs 2 --scenario sanityScenario create NewTest1 \
        project --path tests/neoload_projects/example_1 upload \
        docker prepare

What the 'docker prepare' CLI command does is to look at the test-settings for what zones and how many resources we need, then create local Docker containers and attach them to NeoLoad Web accordingly in preparation for 'run'.

Usage: neoload test-results [OPTIONS] [[prepare|attach|detach|forget]]

neoload docker prepare       # uses test-settings for 'run' command
neoload docker attach        # spin up Docker network and containers to be used for the test run
neoload docker detach        # remove Docker resources created to facilitate the test run
neoload docker forget        # disassociate 'run' command with docker; otherwise spin up/down Docker containers when run


--tag                        # the Docker tag (i.e. version) to use for ctrlimage and lgimage
--ctrlImage                  # the Docker image to use for the controller
--ctrlImage                  # the Docker image to use for the load generator(s)
--all                        # used in conjunction with 'detach' command; remove containers with label 'neoload-cli'
--add-hosts                  # add hosts overrides to containers; format is hostA=IP;hostB=IP

NOTE: Docker CLI must be installed on the system using these commands. This will use the Docker daemon, however it is configured. In a Docker-in-Docker context, this is inferred. For local workstations, it is sufficient to install Docker Desktop or Docker for Mac.

NOTE: If the 'prepare' or 'attach' actions are used before the 'run' command, the test will use or reuse the Docker configuration for infrastructure. This requires that all zones in test-settings be static zones.

NOTE: The 'forget' action undos the above note, in cases where static zones were in use by test-settings at first, but then were changed to use dynamic zones where Docker attaches make no sense.

NOTE: When using the 'detach' or 'forget' actions and containers are running, they will be stopped. There will be a prompt/check if stdin is attached to this process (typically not the case in CI)

Pre-connecting Docker in Preparation for Consecutive Test Runs

You may also want to spin up Docker containers and keep them around for multiple test runs using the same infrastructure, such that:

neoload login $NLW_TOKEN

# configures for max number of LGs, starts with a sanity scenario (usually a 1-2min test)
neoload test-settings --zone $NLW_ZONE_STATIC --lgs 5 --scenario sanityScenario use NewTest1 \
        project --path tests/neoload_projects/example_1 upload

# spins up 5 LGs
neoload docker attach

# runs the configured sanityScenario, verifies infrastructure, routing, and project is ready for fullTest
neoload run

# reconfigure for fullTest and run, uses all 5 load generators
neoload test-settings --scenario fullTest use NewTest1 \

# put this in an 'always' or 'finally' closure (in pipelines) to ensure Docker containers are spun down
neoload docker --all detach

Continuous Testing Examples

The main goal of the NeoLoad-CLI is to standardize the semantics of how load tests are executed across development, non-prod, and production environments. While the above instructions could be run from a contributor workstation, they can easily be translated to various continuous build and deployment orchestration environments, as exampled:

NB: When chaining commands, the return code of the whole command is the return code of the last command. That's why you should not chain the two commands "run" and "test-results junitsla".

NOTE: When combining NeoLoad projects and YAML-based pipeline declarations, please see [Excluding files from the project upload] (#excluding-files-from-the-project-upload) to ensure that unecessary artifacts aren't included in the project upload process.

Support for fast-fail based on SLAs

Not all tests succeed. Sometimes environments are down. Sometimes 3rd parties are surprisingly slow. You don't want to wait for your build pipelines to conduct the whole test duration if it's possible to identify these issues early. Applying proper SLAs to your tests allows you to monitor for errors and latency during the test.

Consider the following SLA:

- name: geo_3rdparty_sla
  description: Avg Resp Time >=100ms >= 250ms for cached queries
  - avg-resp-time warn >= 100ms fail >= 250ms per interval
  - error-rate warn >= 5% fail >= 10% per test

If you want to fail the pipeline if either of these thresholds are exceeded over a certain percent of their times, you must:

  • run the test in 'detached' mode to allow for non-blocking execution of a test
  • use the fastfail command to monitor for early signals to stop the test if SLAs are violated
  • finally wait for the test results

To run the test in detached mode:

neoload run \

Then immediately afterwards, use the fastfail command:

neoload fastfail --max-failure 25 slas cur

In the above example, '25' represents the percent of times where the SLA was violated, such as 'on a particular request with an SLA applied, 10 out of 50 times it was executed, the SLA failed'.

Finally, because the test was executed in non-blocking mode, you should wait for the final test result.

neoload wait cur

An example for Jenkins pipeline is found here.

Packaging the CLI with Build Agents

Many of the above CI examples include a step to explicitly install the NeoLoad CLI as part of the build steps. However, if you want the CLI baked into some build agent directly so that it is ready for use during a job, here's a Docker example:

For Docker builds See the test harness Alpine-based Dockerfile

IDE Integrations

Since most of what we do in an IDE is create/edit code, we're mostly interested in how to:

  • make it easy to write API tests in YAML (automatic syntax validation)
  • validate that tests do not contain unanticipated errors even at small scale
  • dry-run small (smoke) load tests locally so that code check-ins will work in CI/pipeline tests

Since the latter two cases are already covered by command-line semantics, our primary focus is to accelerate test authoring by providing NeoLoad as-code DSL (Domain-specific Language) validation and in some cases editor auto-complete.

Status of IDE / editor integrations

IDE / Editor Syntax checks Auto-complete Setup steps
Visual Studio Code [x] [x] see instructions
PyCharm [x] [x] Mark 'neoload' directory as "Sources Root"


Feel free to fork this repo, make changes, test locally, and create a pull request.


As part of your testing, you should run the built-in test suite with the following command:
NOTE: for testing from Mac, please change the PYTHONPATH separators below to colons (:) instead of semicolons (;).

PYTHONPATH="neoload;tests/helpers" pytest -v
PYTHONPATH="neoload;tests/helpers" pytest -v -m "not slow"          # Skip slow tests that run tests

# Run on a real Neoload. Mocks are disabled
PYTHONPATH="neoload;tests/helpers" pytest -v --token <your_personal_token> --url

Additionally, any contributions to the DSL validation functionality, such as on the JSON schema or the validate command, should execute the following tests locally before pushing to this repo:


This command executes a number of NEGATIVE tests to prove that changes to the JSON schema or validation process produce failures when their input is malformed in very specific ways (common mistakes).

Version management on pypi

Suppose X, Y, Z and N are integers, versions will be named as following on pypi:
Final release version = X.Y.Z Example 1.4.0 Install it with pip install neoload
Release candidate version = X.Y.ZrcN Example 1.5.0rc1 for the next candidate version. Install it with pip install neoload --pre
Development versions = X.Y.Z.devN Example 1.4.0.dev1 for a development version based on the final release 1.4.0. Install it with pip install neoload==1.4.0.dev1

Release candidate version contains all features planned and in testing by Quality Assurance team.

Development versions may contains work not planned by R&D and not tested by Quality Assurance team. They should always be based on an official release, not on the next release.

Increment policy:

  • Minor version increment when major feature, for example new top-level command
  • Fix version increment when executable changes, for example fixing an existing feature, or update a subcommand to an existing top-level command or update options to an existing command
  • No release needed when the executable is not modified, for example when updating the following: automated CI tests, unit tests, README, Pipeline examples, report templates...

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