How to install and use 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: 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.

  • allure-pytest: report test results via allure-framework.

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

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 using pytest_plugins:

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.


The name pytest_plugins is reserved and should not be used as a name for a custom plugin module.

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.