Installing and Using plugins

This section talks about installing and using third party plugins. For writing your own plugins, please refer to Writing plugins.

Installing a third party plugin can be easily done with pip:

pip install pytest-NAME
pip uninstall pytest-NAME

If a plugin is installed, pytest automatically finds and integrates it, there is no need to activate it.

Here is a little annotated list for some popular plugins:

  • pytest-django: write tests for django apps, using pytest integration.
  • pytest-twisted: write tests for twisted apps, starting a reactor and processing deferreds from test functions.
  • pytest-cov: coverage reporting, compatible with distributed testing
  • pytest-xdist: to distribute tests to CPUs and remote hosts, to run in boxed mode which allows to survive segmentation faults, to run in looponfailing mode, automatically re-running failing tests on file changes.
  • pytest-instafail: to report failures while the test run is happening.
  • pytest-bdd and pytest-konira to write tests using behaviour-driven testing.
  • pytest-timeout: to timeout tests based on function marks or global definitions.
  • pytest-pep8: a --pep8 option to enable PEP8 compliance checking.
  • pytest-flakes: check source code with pyflakes.
  • oejskit: a plugin to run javascript unittests in live browsers.

To see a complete list of all plugins with their latest testing status against different pytest and Python versions, please visit plugincompat.

You may also discover more plugins through a pytest- search.

Requiring/Loading plugins in a test module or conftest file

You can require plugins in a test module or a conftest file like this:

pytest_plugins = ("myapp.testsupport.myplugin",)

When the test module or conftest plugin is loaded the specified plugins will be loaded as well.


Requiring plugins using a pytest_plugins variable in non-root files is deprecated. See full explanation in the Writing plugins section.

Finding out which plugins are active

If you want to find out which plugins are active in your environment you can type:

pytest --trace-config

and will get an extended test header which shows activated plugins and their names. It will also print local plugins aka files when they are loaded.

Deactivating / unregistering a plugin by name

You can prevent plugins from loading or unregister them:

pytest -p no:NAME

This means that any subsequent try to activate/load the named plugin will not work.

If you want to unconditionally disable a plugin for a project, you can add this option to your pytest.ini file:

addopts = -p no:NAME

Alternatively to disable it only in certain environments (for example in a CI server), you can set PYTEST_ADDOPTS environment variable to -p no:name.

See Finding out which plugins are active for how to obtain the name of a plugin.