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Easy declaration of optional tests (i.e., that are not run by default)

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PyPI version Python versions See Build Status on Travis CI

Provides easy declaration of optional tests using pytest markers. Optional tests are run only on request via the config file or command line.


Some classes of tests should not be run with every test invocation. It is often useful to define tests that be run only when specifically requested, such as tests that are slow, require network access, or work only in certain environments.

Pytest provides mechanisms to run tests based on test names (-k) and to filter tests based on markers (-m). Neither mechanism makes it easy to surpress certain tests by default. For example, one might decorate tests with, but disabling it by default requires a marker expression like -m “not network” with every invocation. Markers and marker expressions become unwieldy when there are many markers.

This plugin enables users to declare that certain markers are “optional markers”. When tests are decorated with an optional marker, the test is skipped by default. Tests may be decorated with multiple markers, including multiple optional markers. Optional tests may be enabled in the pytest ini file or the command line.


You can install “pytest-optional-tests” via pip from PyPI:

$ pip install pytest-optional-tests


Optional markers must be declared in inicfg using the same syntax as the markers option. For example:

  slow: slow tests
  network: network tests
  bug: regression tests against previous bugs

Optional markers should NOT be declared using the markers attribute, even when using pytest’s strict mode.

Optional test decorators are pytest markers, and the semantics are identical.

If a test is decorated with multiple optional markers, the test will be executed when any of the markers is requested. For example:
def test_slow_network_function(): ...

will be tested if either or both of the optional slow or network tests are requested.

Optional tests may be requested in the inicfg:

  slow: slow tests
  network: network tests
  bug: regression tests against previous bugs

or on the command line:

pytest --run-option-tests=network,slow


Contributions are very welcome. Tests can be run with tox, please ensure the coverage at least stays the same before you submit a pull request.


Distributed under the terms of the MIT license.


If you encounter any problems, please file an issue along with a detailed description.

This pytest plugin was generated with Cookiecutter along with @hackebrot’s cookiecutter-pytest-plugin template.

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