Configuring Django settings

There are a couple of different ways Django settings can be provided for the tests.

The environment variable DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE

Running the tests with DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE defined will find the Django settings the same way Django does by default.

Example:

$ export DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=test_settings
$ pytest

or:

$ DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=test_settings pytest

Command line option --ds=SETTINGS

Example:

$ pytest --ds=test_settings

pytest.ini settings

Example contents of pytest.ini:

[pytest]
DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE = test_settings

Order of choosing settings

The order of precedence is, from highest to lowest:

  • The command line option --ds

  • The environment variable DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE

  • The DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE option in the configuration file - pytest.ini, or other file that Pytest finds such as tox.ini

If you want to use the highest precedence in the configuration file, you can use addopts = --ds=yourtestsettings.

Using django-configurations

There is support for using django-configurations.

To do so configure the settings class using an environment variable, the --dc flag, or pytest.ini option DJANGO_CONFIGURATION.

Environment Variable:

$ export DJANGO_CONFIGURATION=MySettings
$ pytest

Command Line Option:

$ pytest --dc=MySettings

INI File Contents:

[pytest]
DJANGO_CONFIGURATION=MySettings

Using django.conf.settings.configure()

In case there is no DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE, the settings object can be created by calling django.conf.settings.configure().

This can be done from your project’s conftest.py file:

from django.conf import settings

def pytest_configure():
    settings.configure(DATABASES=...)

Overriding individual settings

Settings can be overridden by using the settings fixture:

@pytest.fixture(autouse=True)
def use_dummy_cache_backend(settings):
    settings.CACHES = {
        "default": {
            "BACKEND": "django.core.cache.backends.dummy.DummyCache",
        }
    }

Here autouse=True is used, meaning the fixture is automatically applied to all tests, but it can also be requested individually per-test.

Changing your app before Django gets set up

pytest-django calls django.setup() automatically. If you want to do anything before this, you have to create a pytest plugin and use the pytest_load_initial_conftests() hook, with tryfirst=True, so that it gets run before the hook in pytest-django itself:

@pytest.hookimpl(tryfirst=True)
def pytest_load_initial_conftests(early_config, parser, args):
    import project.app.signals

    def noop(*args, **kwargs):
        pass

    project.app.signals.something = noop

This plugin can then be used e.g. via -p in addopts.