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 - request database access

This is used to mark a test function as requiring the database. It will ensure the database is set up 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, transactional_db or django_db_reset_sequences 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
type reset_sequences:
param reset_sequences:
 The reset_sequences argument will ask to reset auto increment sequence values (e.g. primary keys) before running the test. Defaults to False. Must be used together with transaction=True to have an effect. Please be aware that not all databases support this feature. For details see django.test.TransactionTestCase.reset_sequences.


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, transactional_db or django_db_reset_sequences 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 (str) – 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/').content

pytest.mark.ignore_template_errors - ignore invalid template variables


Ignore errors when using the --fail-on-template-vars option, i.e. do not cause tests to fail if your templates contain invalid variables.

This marker sets the string_if_invalid template option, or the older settings.TEMPLATE_STRING_IF_INVALID=None (Django up to 1.10). See How invalid variables are handled.

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'

To use client as an authenticated standard user, call its login() method before accessing a URL:

def test_with_authenticated_client(client, django_user_model):
    username = "user1"
    password = "bar"
    django_user_model.objects.create_user(username=username, password=password)
    client.login(username=username, password=password)
    response = client.get('/private')
    assert response.content == 'Protected Area'

admin_client - django.test.Client logged in as admin

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


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

Using the admin_client fixture will cause the test to automatically be marked for database use (no need to specify the django_db mark).

admin_user - an admin user (superuser)

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

Using the admin_user fixture will cause the test to automatically be marked for database use (no need to specify the django_db mark).


A shortcut to the User model configured for use by the current Django project (aka the model referenced by settings.AUTH_USER_MODEL). Use this fixture to make pluggable apps testable regardless what User model is configured in the containing Django project.


def test_new_user(django_user_model):
    django_user_model.objects.create(username="someone", password="something")


This fixture extracts the field name used for the username on the user model, i.e. resolves to the current settings.USERNAME_FIELD. Use this fixture to make pluggable apps testable regardless what the username field is configured to be in the containing Django project.


This fixture will ensure the Django database is set up. Only required for fixtures that want to use the database themselves. A test function should normally use the pytest.mark.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 should normally use the pytest.mark.django_db mark with transaction=True.


This fixture provides the same transactional database access as transactional_db, with additional support for reset of auto increment sequences (if your database supports it). This is only required for fixtures which need database access themselves. A test function should normally use the pytest.mark.django_db mark with transaction=True and reset_sequences=True.


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.


Combining database access fixtures.

When using multiple database fixtures together, only one of them is used. Their order of precedence is as follows (the last one wins):

  • db
  • transactional_db
  • django_db_reset_sequences

In addition, using live_server will also trigger transactional database access, if not specified.


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


This fixture allows to check for an expected number of DB queries.

It wraps django.test.utils.CaptureQueriesContext. A non-default DB connection can be passed in using the connection keyword argument, and it will yield the wrapped CaptureQueriesContext instance.


def test_queries(django_assert_num_queries):
    with django_assert_num_queries(3) as captured:

    assert 'foo' in captured.captured_queries[0]['sql']


This fixture allows to check for an expected maximum number of DB queries.

It is a specialized version of django_assert_num_queries.


def test_max_queries(django_assert_max_num_queries):
    with django_assert_max_num_queries(3):


A clean email outbox to which Django-generated emails are 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( == ['']

This uses the django_mail_patch_dns fixture, which patches DNS_NAME used by django.core.mail with the value from the django_mail_dnsname fixture, which defaults to “”.

Automatic cleanup

pytest-django provides some functionality to assure a clean and consistent 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 causing the 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 each new test an empty mailbox to work with. However, it’s more “pytestic” to use the mailoutbox fixture described above than to access mail.outbox.