Skip and xfail: dealing with tests that cannot succeed¶
If you have test functions that cannot be run on certain platforms or that you expect to fail you can mark them accordingly or you may call helper functions during execution of setup or test functions.
A skip means that you expect your test to pass unless the environment (e.g. wrong Python interpreter, missing dependency) prevents it to run. And xfail means that your test can run but you expect it to fail because there is an implementation problem.
pytest counts and lists skip and xfail tests separately. Detailed
information about skipped/xfailed tests is not shown by default to avoid
cluttering the output. You can use the
-r option to see details
corresponding to the “short” letters shown in the test progress:
pytest -rxs # show extra info on skips and xfails
Marking a test function to be skipped¶
New in version 2.9.
The simplest way to skip a test function is to mark it with the
which may be passed an optional
@pytest.mark.skip(reason="no way of currently testing this") def test_the_unknown(): ...
New in version 2.0,: 2.4
If you wish to skip something conditionally then you can use
Here is an example of marking a test function to be skipped
when run on a Python3.3 interpreter:
import sys @pytest.mark.skipif(sys.version_info < (3,3), reason="requires python3.3") def test_function(): ...
During test function setup the condition (“sys.version_info >= (3,3)”) is
checked. If it evaluates to True, the test function will be skipped
with the specified reason. Note that pytest enforces specifying a reason
in order to report meaningful “skip reasons” (e.g. when using
If the condition is a string, it will be evaluated as python expression.
You can share skipif markers between modules. Consider this test module:
# content of test_mymodule.py import mymodule minversion = pytest.mark.skipif(mymodule.__versioninfo__ < (1,1), reason="at least mymodule-1.1 required") @minversion def test_function(): ...
You can import it from another test module:
# test_myothermodule.py from test_mymodule import minversion @minversion def test_anotherfunction(): ...
For larger test suites it’s usually a good idea to have one file where you define the markers which you then consistently apply throughout your test suite.
Alternatively, the pre pytest-2.4 way to specify condition strings instead of booleans will remain fully supported in future versions of pytest. It couldn’t be easily used for importing markers between test modules so it’s no longer advertised as the primary method.
Skip all test functions of a class or module¶
You can use the
skipif decorator (and any other marker) on classes:
@pytest.mark.skipif(sys.platform == 'win32', reason="does not run on windows") class TestPosixCalls: def test_function(self): "will not be setup or run under 'win32' platform"
If the condition is true, this marker will produce a skip result for each of the test methods.
If you want to skip all test functions of a module, you must use
pytestmark name on the global level:
# test_module.py pytestmark = pytest.mark.skipif(...)
If multiple “skipif” decorators are applied to a test function, it will be skipped if any of the skip conditions is true.
Mark a test function as expected to fail¶
You can use the
xfail marker to indicate that you
expect a test to fail:
@pytest.mark.xfail def test_function(): ...
This test will be run but no traceback will be reported
when it fails. Instead terminal reporting will list it in the
“expected to fail” (
XFAIL) or “unexpectedly passing” (
New in version 2.9.
XPASS don’t fail the test suite, unless the
parameter is passed as
@pytest.mark.xfail(strict=True) def test_function(): ...
This will make
XPASS (“unexpectedly passing”) results from this test to fail the test suite.
You can change the default value of the
strict parameter using the
xfail_strict ini option:
As with skipif you can also mark your expectation of a failure on a particular platform:
@pytest.mark.xfail(sys.version_info >= (3,3), reason="python3.3 api changes") def test_function(): ...
If you want to be more specific as to why the test is failing, you can specify
a single exception, or a list of exceptions, in the
@pytest.mark.xfail(raises=RuntimeError) def test_function(): ...
Then the test will be reported as a regular failure if it fails with an
exception not mentioned in
If a test should be marked as xfail and reported as such but should not be
even executed, use the
run parameter as
@pytest.mark.xfail(run=False) def test_function(): ...
This is specially useful for marking crashing tests for later inspection.
Ignoring xfail marks¶
By specifying on the commandline:
you can force the running and reporting of an
xfail marked test
as if it weren’t marked at all.
Here is a simple test file with the several usages:
import pytest xfail = pytest.mark.xfail @xfail def test_hello(): assert 0 @xfail(run=False) def test_hello2(): assert 0 @xfail("hasattr(os, 'sep')") def test_hello3(): assert 0 @xfail(reason="bug 110") def test_hello4(): assert 0 @xfail('pytest.__version__ != "17"') def test_hello5(): assert 0 def test_hello6(): pytest.xfail("reason") @xfail(raises=IndexError) def test_hello7(): x =  x = 1
Running it with the report-on-xfail option gives this output:
example $ pytest -rx xfail_demo.py ======= test session starts ======== platform linux -- Python 3.5.2, pytest-3.0.7, py-1.4.32, pluggy-0.4.0 rootdir: $REGENDOC_TMPDIR/example, inifile: collected 7 items xfail_demo.py xxxxxxx ======= short test summary info ======== XFAIL xfail_demo.py::test_hello XFAIL xfail_demo.py::test_hello2 reason: [NOTRUN] XFAIL xfail_demo.py::test_hello3 condition: hasattr(os, 'sep') XFAIL xfail_demo.py::test_hello4 bug 110 XFAIL xfail_demo.py::test_hello5 condition: pytest.__version__ != "17" XFAIL xfail_demo.py::test_hello6 reason: reason XFAIL xfail_demo.py::test_hello7 ======= 7 xfailed in 0.12 seconds ========
xfail signature summary¶
Here’s the signature of the
xfail marker, using Python 3 keyword-only
def xfail(condition=None, *, reason=None, raises=None, run=True, strict=False):
Skip/xfail with parametrize¶
It is possible to apply markers like skip and xfail to individual test instances when using parametrize:
import pytest @pytest.mark.parametrize(("n", "expected"), [ (1, 2), pytest.mark.xfail((1, 0)), pytest.mark.xfail(reason="some bug")((1, 3)), (2, 3), (3, 4), (4, 5), pytest.mark.skipif("sys.version_info >= (3,0)")((10, 11)), ]) def test_increment(n, expected): assert n + 1 == expected
Imperative xfail from within a test or setup function¶
If you cannot declare xfail- of skipif conditions at import time you can also imperatively produce an according outcome imperatively, in test or setup code:
def test_function(): if not valid_config(): pytest.xfail("failing configuration (but should work)") # or pytest.skip("unsupported configuration")
Note that calling
pytest.skip at the module level
is not allowed since pytest 3.0. If you are upgrading
pytest.skip was being used at the module level, you can set a
# before pytest 3.0 pytest.skip('skipping all tests because of reasons') # after pytest 3.0 pytestmark = pytest.mark.skip('skipping all tests because of reasons')
pytestmark applies a mark or list of marks to all tests in a module.
Skipping on a missing import dependency¶
You can use the following import helper at module level or within a test or test setup function:
docutils = pytest.importorskip("docutils")
docutils cannot be imported here, this will lead to a
skip outcome of the test. You can also skip based on the
version number of a library:
docutils = pytest.importorskip("docutils", minversion="0.3")
The version will be read from the specified
specifying conditions as strings versus booleans¶
Prior to pytest-2.4 the only way to specify skipif/xfail conditions was to use strings:
import sys @pytest.mark.skipif("sys.version_info >= (3,3)") def test_function(): ...
During test function setup the skipif condition is evaluated by calling
eval('sys.version_info >= (3,0)', namespace). The namespace contains
all the module globals, and
sys as a minimum.
Since pytest-2.4 condition booleans are considered preferable because markers can then be freely imported between test modules. With strings you need to import not only the marker but all variables everything used by the marker, which violates encapsulation.
The reason for specifying the condition as a string was that
report a summary of skip conditions based purely on the condition string.
With conditions as booleans you are required to specify a
Note that string conditions will remain fully supported and you are free to use them if you have no need for cross-importing markers.
The evaluation of a condition string in
pytest.mark.xfail(conditionstring) takes place in a namespace
dictionary which is constructed as follows:
- the namespace is initialized by putting the
osmodules and the pytest
configobject into it.
- updated with the module globals of the test function for which the expression is applied.
config object allows you to skip based on a test
configuration value which you might have added:
@pytest.mark.skipif("not config.getvalue('db')") def test_function(...): ...
The equivalent with “boolean conditions” is:
@pytest.mark.skipif(not pytest.config.getvalue("db"), reason="--db was not specified") def test_function(...): pass
You cannot use
pytest.config.getvalue() in code
imported before pytest’s argument parsing takes place. For example,
conftest.py files are imported before command line parsing and thus
config.getvalue() will not execute correctly.
Here’s a quick guide on how to skip tests in a module in different situations:
- Skip all tests in a module unconditionally:
pytestmark = pytest.mark.skip('all tests still WIP')
- Skip all tests in a module based on some condition:
pytestmark = pytest.mark.skipif(sys.platform == 'win32', 'tests for linux only')
- Skip all tests in a module if some import is missing:
pexpect = pytest.importorskip('pexpect')