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A timer plugin for nosetests

Project description

A timer plugin for nosetests that answers the question: how much time does every test take?


To install the latest release from PyPI:

pip install nose-timer

Or to install the latest development version from Git:

pip install git+git://

Or to install the latest from source:

git clone
cd nose-timer
pip install .

You can also make a developer install if you plan on modifying the source frequently:

pip install -e .


Run nosetests with the --with-timer flag, and you will see a list of the tests and the time spent by each one (in seconds):

myapp.tests.ABigTestCase.test_the_world_is_running: 56.0010s
myapp.tests.ABigTestCase.test_the_rest_of_the_galaxy_is_running: 2356.0010s

How do I show only the n slowest tests?

For example, to show only the 10 slowest tests, run nosetests with the --timer-top-n flag:

nosetests --with-timer --timer-top-n 10

How do I color the output and have pretty colors?

You can highlight slower tests using --timer-ok and --timer-warning flags. Default time unit is the second, but you can specify it explicitly, e.g. 1s, 100ms.

  • Tests which take less time than --timer-ok will be highlighted in green.
  • Tests which take less time than --timer-warning will be highlighted in yellow.
  • All other tests will be highlighted in red.

How do I turn off pretty colors?

In some cases, you may want to disable colors completely. This is done by using the --timer-no-color flag. This is useful when running tests in a headless console.

How do I filter results by colors?

It is possible to filter results by color. To do so, you can use the --timer-filter flag:

nosetests --with-timer --timer-filter ok
nosetests --with-timer --timer-filter warning
nosetests --with-timer --timer-filter error

Or to apply several filters at once:

nosetests --with-timer --timer-filter warning,error

How do I cause slow tests to fail?

You can cause any tests that exceed a threshold to fail by specifying the --timer-fail option:

  • If you specify --timer-fail warning, slow tests which would be displayed as a warning (i.e. that take more time than --timer-ok) will fail.
  • If you specify --timer-fail error, slow tests which would be displayed as an error (i.e. that take more time than --timer-warning) will fail.

For example, to fail any tests that take more than 5 seconds:

nosetests --with-timer --timer-warning 5.0 --timer-fail error

How do I export the results ?

Use the --timer-json-file <myfile.json> flag, it will save the result in the following format:

  '<test key 1>':
      'status': 'success'|'error'|'fail,
      'time': <float in s>
  '<test key 2>':
      'status': 'success'|'error'|'fail,
      'time': <float in s>


nose-timer is MIT Licensed library.


  • Check for open issues or open a fresh issue to start a discussion around a feature idea or a bug.
  • Fork the repository on GitHub to start making your changes to the master branch (or branch off of it).
  • Write a test which shows that the bug was fixed or that the feature works as expected.
  • Send a pull request and bug the maintainer until it gets merged and published.
  • Make sure to add yourself to the author’s file in and the Contributors section below :)

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