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Extensible server fixures for py.test

Project Description

Pytest Server Fixtures

This library provides an extensible framework for running up real network servers in your tests, as well as a suite of fixtures for some well-known webservices and databases.

Batteries Included

Fixture Extra Dependency Name
MongoDB mongodb
Postgres postgres
Redis redis
RethinkDB rethinkdb
S3 Minio s3
Apache Httpd  
Simple HTTP Server  
Jenkins jenkins
Xvfb (X-Windows Virtual Frame Buffer)  


Installation of this package varies on which parts of it you would like to use. It uses optional dependencies (specified in the table above) to reduce the number of 3rd party packages required. This way if you don’t use MongoDB, you don’t need to install PyMongo.

# Install with support for just mongodb
pip install pytest-server-fixtures[mongodb]

# Install with support for mongodb and jenkins
pip install pytest-server-fixtures[mongodb,jenkins]

# Install with only core library and support for httpd and xvfp
pip install pytest-server-fixtures

Enable the fixture explicitly in your tests or (not required when using setuptools entry points):

pytest_plugins = ['pytest_server_fixtures.httpd',


The fixtures are configured using the following evironment variables:

Setting Description Default
SERVER_FIXTURES_HOSTNAME Hostname that servers will listen on Current default hostname
SERVER_FIXTURES_DISABLE_HTTP_PROXY Disable any HTTP proxies set up in the shell environment when making HTTP requests True
SERVER_FIXTURES_MONGO_BIN Directory containing the mongodb executable /usr/bin
SERVER_FIXTURES_REDIS Redis server executable /usr/sbin/redis-server
SERVER_FIXTURES_RETHINK RethinkDB server executable /usr/bin/rethinkdb
SERVER_FIXTURES_HTTPD Httpd server executable /usr/sbin/apache2
SERVER_FIXTURES_HTTPD_MODULES Httpd modules directory /usr/lib/apache2/modules
SERVER_FIXTURES_JAVA Java executable used for running Jenkins server java
SERVER_FIXTURES_JENKINS_WAR .war file used to run Jenkins /usr/share/jenkins/jenkins.war
SERVER_FIXTURES_XVFB Xvfb server executable /usr/bin/Xvfb

Common fixture properties

All of these fixtures follow the pattern of spinning up a server on a unique port and then killing the server and cleaning up on fixture teardown.

All test fixtures share the following properties at runtime:

Property Description
hostname Hostname that server is listening on
port Port number that the server is listening on
dead True/False: am I dead yet?
workspace object for the temporary directory the server is running out of


The mongo module contains the following fixtures:

Fixture Name Description
mongo_server Function-scoped MongoDB server
mongo_server_sess Session-scoped MongoDB server
mongo_server_cls Class-scoped MongoDB server

All these fixtures have the following properties:

Property Description
api pymongo.MongoClient connected to running server

Here’s an example on how to run up one of these servers:

def test_mongo(mongo_server):
    db = mongo_server.api.mydb
    collection = db.test_coll
    test_coll.insert({'foo': 'bar'})
    assert test_coll.find_one()['foo'] == 'bar'


The postgres module contains the following fixture:

Fixture Name Description
postgres_server_sess Session-scoped Postgres server

The Postgres server fixture has the following properties:

Property Description
connect() Returns a raw psycopg2 connection object connected to the server
connection_config Returns a dict containing all the data needed for another db library to connect with.

You may wish to build another fixture on top of the session-scoped fixture; for example:

def create_full_schema(connection):
    """Create the database schema"""

def db_config_sess(postgres_server_sess: PostgresServer) -> PostgresServer:
    """Returns a DbConfig pointing at a fully-created db schema"""
    server_cfg = postgres_server_sess.connection_config
    return postgres_server_sess


The redis module contains the following fixtures:

Fixture Name Description
redis_server Function-scoped Redis server
redis_server_sess Session-scoped Redis server

All these fixtures have the following properties:

Property Description
api redis.Redis client connected to the running server

Here’s an example on how to run up one of these servers:

def test_redis(redis_server):
    redis_server.api.set('foo': 'bar')
    assert redis_server.api.get('foo') == 'bar'

S3 Minio

The s3 module contains the following fixtures:

Fixture Name Description
s3_server Session-scoped S3 server using the ‘minio’ tool.
s3_bucket Function-scoped S3 bucket

The S3 server has the following properties:

Property Description
get_s3_client() Return a boto3 Resource: (boto3.resource('s3', ...)

The S3 Bucket has the following properties:

Property Description
name Bucket name, a UUID
client Boto3 Resource from the server

Here’s an example on how to run up one of these servers:

def test_connection(s3_bucket):
    bucket = s3_bucket.client.Bucket(s3_bucket.bucket_name)
    assert bucket is not None


The rethink module contains the following fixtures:

Fixture Name Description
rethink_server Function-scoped Redis server
rethink_server_sess Session-scoped Redis server
rethink_unique_db Session-scoped unique db
rethink_module_db Module-scoped unique db
rethink_make_tables Module-scoped fixture to create named tables
rethink_empty_db Function-scoped fixture to empty tables created in rethink_make_tables

The server fixtures have the following properties

Property Description
conn rethinkdb.Connection to the test database on the running server

Here’s an example on how to run up one of these servers:

def test_rethink(rethink_server):
    conn = rethink_server.conn
    inserted = conn.table('my_table').insert({'foo': 'bar'}).run(conn)
    assert conn.get(inserted.generated_keys[0])['foo'] == 'bar

Creating Tables

You can create tables for every test in your module like so:

FIXTURE_TABLES = ['accounts','transactions']

def test_table_creation(rethink_module_db, rethink_make_tables):
    conn = rethink_module_db
    assert conn.table_list().run(conn) == ['accounts', 'transactions']

Emptying Databases

RehinkDb is annecdotally slower to create tables that it is to empty them (at least at time of writing), so we have a fixture that will empty out tables between tests for us that were created with the rethink_make_tables fixture above:

FIXTURE_TABLES = ['accounts','transactions']

def test_put_things_in_db(rethink_module_db, rethink_make_tables):
    conn = rethink_module_db
    conn.table('accounts').insert({'foo': 'bar'}).run(conn)
    conn.table('transactions').insert({'baz': 'qux'}).run(conn)

def test_empty_db(rethink_empty_db):
    conn = rethink_empty_db
    assert not conn.table('accounts').run(conn)
    assert not conn.table('transactions').run(conn)

Apache httpd

The httpd module contains the following fixtures:

Fixture Name Description
httpd_server Function-scoped httpd server to use as a web proxy

The fixture has the following properties at runtime:

Property Description
document_root path.path to the document root
log_dir path.path to the log directory

Here’s an example showing some of the features of the fixture:

def test_httpd(httpd_server):
    # Log files can be accessed by the log_dir property
    assert 'access.log' in [i.basename() for i in httpd_server.log_dir.files()]

    # Files in the document_root are accessable by HTTP
    hello = httpd_server.document_root / 'hello.txt'
    hello.write_text('Hello World!')
    response = httpd_server.get('/hello.txt')
    assert response.status_code == 200
    assert response.text == 'Hello World!'

Proxy Rules

An httpd server on its own isn’t super-useful, so the underlying class for the fixture has options for configuring it as a reverse proxy. Here’s an example where we’ve pulled in a pytest-pyramid fixture and set it up to be proxied from the httpd server:

import pytest
from pytest_server_fixtures.httpd import HTTPDServer


def proxy_server(pyramid_server):

    # Configure the proxy rules as a dict of source -> dest URLs
    proxy_rules = {'/downstream/' : pyramid_server.url

    server = HTTPDServer(proxy_rules,
                         # You can also specify any arbitrary text you want to
                         # put in the config file
                         extra_cfg = 'Alias /tmp /var/tmp\n',
    yield server

def test_proxy(proxy_server):
    # This request will be proxied to the pyramid server
    response = proxy_server.get('/downstream/accounts')
    assert response.status_code == 200

Simple HTTP Server

The http module contains the following fixtures:

Fixture Name Description
simple_http_server Function-scoped instance of Python’s SimpleHTTPServer

The fixture has the following properties at runtime:

Property Description
document_root path.path to the document root

Here’s an example showing some of the features of the fixture:

def test_simple_server(simple_http_server):
    # Files in the document_root are accessable by HTTP
    hello = simple_http_server.document_root / 'hello.txt'
    hello.write_text('Hello World!')
    response = simple_http_server.get('/hello.txt')
    assert response.status_code == 200
    assert response.text == 'Hello World!'


The jenkins module contains the following fixtures:

Fixture Name Description
jenkins_server Session-scoped Jenkins server instance

The fixture has the following methods and properties:

Property Description
api jenkins.Jenkins API client connected to the running server (see
load_plugins() Load plugins into the server from a directory

Here’s an example showing how to run up the server:


def test_jenkins(jenkins_server):
    assert not jenkins_server.api.get_jobs()


The xvfb module contains the following fixtures:

Fixture Name Description
xvfb_server Function-scoped Xvfb server
xvfb_server_sess Session-scoped Xvfb server

The fixture has the following properties:

Property Description
display X-windows DISPLAY variable

Here’s an example showing how to run up the server:

def test_xvfb(xvfb_server):
    assert xvfb_server.display

Server Framework

All the included fixtures and others in this suite of plugins are built on an extensible TCP server running framework, and as such many of them share various properties and methods.


Class Methods

The best way to understand the framework is look at the code, but here’s a quick summary on the class methods that child classes of base.TestServer can override.

Method Description
pre_setup This should execute any setup required before starting the server
run_cmd (required) This should return a list of shell commands needed to start the server
run_stdin The result of this is passed to the process as stdin
check_server_up (required) This is called to see if the server is running
post_setup This should execute any setup required after starting the server

Class Attributes

At a minimum child classes must define run_cmd and check_server_up. There are also some class attributes that can be overridden to modify server behavior:

Attribute Description Default
random_port Start the server on a guaranteed unique random TCP port True
port_seed If random_port is false, port number is semi-repeatable and based on a hash of the class name and this seed. 65535
kill_signal Signal used to kill the server SIGTERM
kill_retry_delay Number of seconds to wait between kill retries. Increase this if your server takes a while to die 1

Constructor Arguments

The base class constructor also accepts these arguments:

Argument Description
port Explicitly set the port number
hostname Explicitly set the hostname
env Dict of the shell environment passed to the server process
cwd Override the current working directory of the server process


1.3.0 (2017-11-17)

  • Fixed workspace deletion when teardown is None
  • Fixed squash of root logger in pytest-listener
  • Added S3 Minio fixture (many thanks to Gavin Bisesi)
  • Added Postgres fixture (many thanks to Gavin Bisesi)
  • Use requests for server fixtures http gets as it handles redirects and proxies properly

1.2.12 (2017-8-1)

  • Fixed regression on cacheing ephemeral hostname, some clients were relying on this. This is now optional.

1.2.11 (2017-7-21)

  • Fix for OSX binding to illegal local IP range (Thanks to Gavin Bisesi)
  • Setup and Py3k fixes for pytest-profiling (Thanks to xoviat)
  • We no longer try and bind port 5000 when reserving a local IP host, as someone could have bound it to
  • Fix for #46 sourcing gprof2dot when the local venv has not been activated

1.2.10 (2017-2-23)

  • Handle custom Pytest test items in pytest-webdriver

1.2.9 (2017-2-23)

  • Add username into mongo server fixture tempdir path to stop collisions on shared multiuser filesystems

1.2.8 (2017-2-21)

  • Return function results in

1.2.7 (2017-2-20)

  • More handling for older versions of
  • Allow virtualenv argument passing in pytest-virtualenv

1.2.6 (2017-2-16 )

  • Updated devpi server server setup for devpi-server >= 2.0
  • Improvements for random port picking
  • HTTPD server now binds to by default to aid Selenium-style testing
  • Updated mongodb server args for mongodb >= 3.2
  • Corrections for mongodb fixture config and improve startup logic
  • Added module-scoped mongodb fixture
  • Handling for older versions of
  • Fix for #40 where tests that chdir break pytest-profiling

1.2.5 (2016-12-09)

  • Improvements for server runner host and port generation, now supports random local IPs
  • Bugfix for RethinkDB fixture config

1.2.4 (2016-11-14)

  • Bugfix for pymongo extra dependency
  • Windows compatibility fix for pytest-virtualenv (Thanks to Jean-Christophe Fillion-Robin for PR)
  • Fix symlink handling for pytest-shutil.cmdline.get_real_python_executable

1.2.3 (2016-11-7)

  • Improve resiliency of Mongo fixture startup checks

1.2.2 (2016-10-27)

  • Python 3 compatibility across most of the modules
  • Fixed deprecated imports (Thanks to Bryan Moscon)
  • Fixed deprecated multicall in pytest-profiling (Thanks to Paul van der Linden for PR)
  • Added devpi-server fixture to create an index per test function
  • Added missing licence file
  • Split up httpd server fixture config so child classes can override loaded modules easier
  • Added ‘preserve_sys_path’ argument to TestServer base class which exports the current python sys.path to subprocesses.
  • Updated httpd, redis and jenkins runtime args and paths to current Ubuntu spec
  • Ignore errors when tearing down workspaces to avoid race conditions in ‘shutil.rmtree’ implementation

1.2.1 (2016-3-1)

  • Fixed pytest-verbose-parametrize for latest version of py.test

1.2.0 (2016-2-19)

  • New plugin: git repository fixture

1.1.1 (2016-2-16)

  • pytest-profiling improvement: escape illegal characters in .prof files (Thanks to Aarni Koskela for the PR)

1.1.0 (2016-2-15)

  • New plugin: devpi server fixture
  • pytest-profiling improvement: overly-long .prof files are saved as the short hash of the test name (Thanks to Vladimir Lagunov for PR)
  • Changed default behavior of to not use a subshell for security reasons
  • Corrected method to handle arguments the same as the parent method
  • Removed deprecated ‘–distribute’ from virtualenv args

1.0.1 (2015-12-23)

  • Packaging bugfix

1.0.0 (2015-12-21)

  • Initial public release

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