Django helpers


pytest-django registers and uses markers. See the pytest documentation on what marks are and for notes on using them.

pytest.mark.django_db(transaction=False) - request database access

This is used to mark a test function as requiring the database. It will ensure the database is setup correctly for the test. Each test will run in its own transaction which will be rolled back at the end of the test. This behavior is the same as Django’s standard django.test.TestCase class.

In order for a test to have access to the database it must either be marked using the django_db mark or request one of the db or transactional_db fixtures. Otherwise the test will fail when trying to access the database.

type transaction:
param transaction:
 The transaction argument will allow the test to use real transactions. With transaction=False (the default when not specified), transaction operations are noops during the test. This is the same behavior that django.test.TestCase uses. When transaction=True, the behavior will be the same as django.test.TransactionTestCase


If you want access to the Django database inside a fixture this marker will not help even if the function requesting your fixture has this marker applied. To access the database in a fixture, the fixture itself will have to request the db or transactional_db fixture. See below for a description of them.


Automatic usage with django.test.TestCase.

Test classes that subclass django.test.TestCase will have access to the database always to make them compatible with existing Django tests. Test classes that subclass Python’s unittest.TestCase need to have the marker applied in order to access the database.

pytest.mark.urls - override the urlconf


Specify a different settings.ROOT_URLCONF module for the marked tests.

Parameters:urls (string) – The urlconf module to use for the test, e.g. myapp.test_urls. This is similar to Django’s TestCase.urls attribute.

Example usage:

def test_something(client):
    assert 'Success!' in client.get('/some_url_defined_in_test_urls/')

pytest.mark.ignore_template_errors - ignore invalid template variables


If you run pytest using the --fail-on-template-vars option, tests will fail should your templates contain any invalid variables. This marker will disable this feature by setting settings.TEMPLATE_STRING_IF_INVALID=None or the string_if_invalid template option in Django>=1.7

Example usage:

def test_something(client):


pytest-django provides some pytest fixtures to provide dependencies for tests. More information on fixtures is available in the pytest documentation.

rf - RequestFactory

An instance of a django.test.RequestFactory


from myapp.views import my_view

def test_details(rf):
    request = rf.get('/customer/details')
    response = my_view(request)
    assert response.status_code == 200

client - django.test.Client

An instance of a django.test.Client


def test_with_client(client):
    response = client.get('/')
    assert response.content == 'Foobar'

admin_client - django.test.Client logged in as admin

An instance of a django.test.Client, that is logged in as an admin user.


def test_an_admin_view(admin_client):
    response = admin_client.get('/admin/')
    assert response.status_code == 200

As an extra bonus this will automatically mark the database using the django_db mark.

admin_user - a admin user (superuser)

An instance of a superuser, with username “admin” and password “password” (in case there is no “admin” user yet).

As an extra bonus this will automatically mark the database using the django_db mark.


The user model used by Django. This handles different versions of Django.


The field name used for the username on the user model.


This fixture will ensure the Django database is set up. This only required for fixtures which want to use the database themselves. A test function should normally use the django_db() mark to signal it needs the database.


This fixture can be used to request access to the database including transaction support. This is only required for fixtures which need database access themselves. A test function would normally use the django_db() mark to signal it needs the database.


This fixture runs a live Django server in a background thread. The server’s URL can be retrieved using the live_server.url attribute or by requesting it’s string value: unicode(live_server). You can also directly concatenate a string to form a URL: live_server + '/foo.


This fixture will provide a handle on the Django settings module, and automatically revert any changes made to the settings (modifications, additions and deletions).


def test_with_specific_settings(settings):
    settings.USE_TZ = True
    assert settings.USE_TZ


A clean mail outbox where django emails are being sent.


from django.core import mail

def test_mail(mailoutbox):
    mail.send_mail('subject', 'body', '', [''])
    assert len(mailoutbox) == 1
    m = mailoutbox[0]
    assert m.subject == 'subject'
    assert m.body == 'body'
    assert m.from_email == ''
    assert list( == ['']

Environment autouse fixtures

pytest-django provides some pytest fixtures that are of autouse nature. They provide functionality to assure a clean environment during tests.

Clearing of site cache

If django.contrib.sites is in your INSTALLED_APPS, Site cache will be cleared for each test to avoid hitting the cache and cause wrong Site object to be returned by Site.objects.get_current().

Clearing of mail.outbox

mail.outbox will be cleared for each pytest, to give tests a empty mailbox. It is however more pytestic to use the mailoutbox fixture to access mail.outbox.