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Suite of tools and fixtures to manage daemons for testing

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Pifpaf is a suite of fixtures and a command-line tool that allows to start and stop daemons for a quick throw-away usage. This is typically useful when needing these daemons to run integration testing. It originaly evolved from its precussor overtest.

Supported daemons

Pifpaf currently supports:


To use Pifpaf, simply call the pifpaf run $daemon <command> program that you need. It will setup the temporary environment and export a few environment variable for you to accesss it:

$ pifpaf run postgresql psql template1
Expanded display is used automatically.
Line style is unicode.
psql (9.4.5)
Type "help" for help.

template1=# \l
                              List of databases
   Name    │ Owner │ Encoding │   Collate   │    Ctype    │ Access privileges
 postgres  │ jd    │ UTF8     │ en_US.UTF-8 │ en_US.UTF-8 │
 template0 │ jd    │ UTF8     │ en_US.UTF-8 │ en_US.UTF-8 │ =c/jd            ↵
           │       │          │             │             │ jd=CTc/jd
 template1 │ jd    │ UTF8     │ en_US.UTF-8 │ en_US.UTF-8 │ =c/jd            ↵
           │       │          │             │             │ jd=CTc/jd
(3 rows)

template1=# \q

You can also run it with no command line provided:

$ eval `pifpaf run memcached`
$ env | grep PIFPAF
$ pifpaf_stop

Killing the daemon whose PID is contained in $PIFPAF_PID will stop the launched daemon and clean the test environment. You can kill it yourself or use the defined function pifpaf_stop.

Environment variables

Pifpaf exports a few environment variable:

  • PIFPAF_DAEMON which contains the name of the daemon launched
  • PIFPAF_URL which contains the URL to the daemon
  • PIFPAF_PID the PID of the pifpaf daemon
  • PIFPAF_$daemon_* variables, which contains daemon specific variables, such as port, database name, URL, etc.

Running several programs at once

Pifpaf provides the ability to change the prefix of its environment variable, allowing you to nest several Pifpaf instances and therefore running several daemons at once:

$ pifpaf --env-prefix STORAGE run memcached -- pifpaf --env-prefix INDEX run postgresql $SHELL
$ env | grep STORAGE
$ env | grep INDEX

The PIFPAF_URLS environment variable will contain the list of all URLs detected and set-up by Pifpaf. You can override this variable name with the –global-urls-variable option.

How it works under the hood

Pifpaf will start the asked daemon using the current Posix user. The data file of the daemon will be placed in a temporary directory. The system-wide configured daemon that might exists is not touched at all.

Pifpaf expected to find daemon binaries on your system (like mysql, mysqld, pg_config, pg_ctl, rabbitmq-server, etc).

When the Python fixture is cleaned or when Pifpaf is terminated, the daemon is stopped and the temporary directory removed.


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