Tests reference#

Pywikibot tests#

The Pywikibot tests are based on the unittest framework.

The tests package provides a function load_tests that supports the load tests protocol. The default ordering begins with tests of underlying components, then tests site and page semantics, and finishes with tests of the scripts and finally any tests which have not been inserted into the ordered list of tests.

A function collector also exists in the ‘tests’ package.

Running tests#

Run all tests#

The entire suite of tests may be run in the following ways from the root directory:

Module unittest

python -m unittest discover -v -p "*_tests.py"


pip install pytest



Run specific tests#

Individual test components can be run using unittest, pytest or pwb. With -lang and -family or -site options pwb can be used to specify a site.


python -m unittest -v tests.api_tests tests.site_tests
python -m unittest -v tests.api_tests.TestParamInfo.test_init


py.test -s -v tests/api_tests.py tests/site_tests.py
py.test -s -v tests/api_tests.py::TestParamInfo::test_init


python pwb.py tests/api_tests -v
python pwb.py tests/site_tests -v
python pwb.py tests/api_tests -v TestParamInfo.test_init
python pwb.py -lang:de -family:wikipedia tests/page_tests -v TestPageObject


PYWIKIBOT_TEST_MODULES=api,site python -m unittest -v

AppVeyor CI#

After changes are published into a GitHub repository, tests may be run on a Microsoft Windows box provided by ci.appveyor.com according to the configuration in .appveyor.yml file. To do this:

  1. create a GitHub and AppVeyor account

  2. fork the main GitHub repository

  3. create a project in ci.appveyor.com

  4. go to https://ci.appveyor.com/project/<username>/pywikibot/settings and enter the custom configuration .yml filename: .appveyor.yml

  5. push changes into the forked git repository

  6. watch the build at https://ci.appveyor.com/<username>/pywikibot/history

The ‘user’ tests are not yet enabled on AppVeyor builds.

Environment variables#


Enable tests/gui_tests. Used for AppVeyor tests. GitHub actions would fail due to couldn't connect to display ":1.0" error. Set this environment variable to run this test locally:


Used when a test is logging out the test user. This environment variable enables tests/site_login_logout_tests. The environment setting is needed to ensure that these tests run in their own test action and does not interfere with other tests. Otherwise they could fail if the test user is logged out by the test. Only one instance must run this test script. Set this environment variable to run this test locally:


Only run tests given with this environment variable. Multiple tests must be separated by a , without any white space. For example to enable only tests/site_tests and tests/wikibase_tests set the environment variable as:



test names must be given without subsequent _tests.


This environment variable disables recent changes tests and can be used to speed up tests. GitHub actions enables this setting for that purpose:


This environment variable holds the Oauth token. It is set by oauth_tests-ci.yml CI config file and is solely used by tests/oauth_tests. You can use it for your private tests. The environment variable must contain consumer key and secret and access key and secret delimited by : as:


This environment variable can be set for quit mode. It prevents output by test package, i.e. ‘max_retries reduced from x to y’. It is used be the tests.utils.execute() test runner. To enable it for other tests use:


This environment variable skips tests instead of raising exceptions.MaxlagTimeoutError when maximum retries attempted due to maxlag without success. It is also used by tests/script_tests for code coverage. GitHub actions and AppVeyor tests activate this variable:


There are also several other ‘write’ tests which also attempt to perform write operations successfully. These will write to the wikis, and they should always only write to ‘test’ wikis.

Changed in version 9.2: Enabling them will also enable ‘edit failure’ tests which attempt to write to the wikis and should fail. If there is a bug in pywikibot or MediaWiki, these tests may actually perform a write operation.

To enable ‘write’ tests, set:


There are a set of ‘edit failure’ tests, which attempt to write to the wikis and should fail. If there is a bug in pywikibot or MediaWiki, these tests may actually perform a write operation.

To enable ‘edit failure’ tests, set:


Deprecated since version 9.2: this environment variable no longer has any effect; use PYWIKIBOT_TEST_WRITE instead.

Instead of setting the environment by the os (or os.environ as well) you can use the pwb wrapper script to set it:

pwb PYWIKIBOT_TEST_AUTORUN=1 script_tests -v TestScriptSimulate.test_archivebot

The assignment can be omitted and defaults to 1. The following is equal to the line above:

pwb PYWIKIBOT_TEST_AUTORUN script_tests -v TestScriptSimulate.test_archivebot


pywikibot’s test suite, including Python’s unittest module, provides decorators to modify the behaviour of the test cases.


Skip a test if the condition is true. Refer to unittest’s documentation.

import unittest
@unittest.skipIf(check_if_fatal(), 'Something is not okay.')
def test_skipIf(self):


Skip a test unless the condition is true. Refer to unittest’s documentation.

import unittest
@unittest.skipUnless(check_if_true(), 'Something must happen.')
def test_skipUnless(self):


Require that the given list of modules can be imported.

from tests.aspects import require_modules
@require_modules('important1', 'musthave2')
def test_require_modules(self):


Require a given MediaWiki version

from tests.aspects import require_version
def test_require_version(self):


Replaces target with object specified in new. Refer to mock’s documentation. This is especially useful in tests, where requests to third-parties should be avoided.

from unittest.mock import patch

def fake_ping(url):
  return 'pong'
@patch('http_ping', side_effect=fake_ping)
def test_patch(self):
  self.assertEqual('pong', http_ping())

Contributing tests#

Test modules should be named according to the pywikibot that is being tested. e.g. the module pywikibot.page is tested by tests.page_tests.

New test classes should be added to the existing test modules unless it tests a new component of pywikibot.

All test classes must be a subclass of tests.aspects.TestCase, which uses a metaclass to dynamically check the test can be run on a specified site, or run a test on multiple sites.

Test sites#

If a test depends on a specific site, add class attributes ‘family’ and code’.

family = 'wikipedia'
code = 'en'

Once declared, the Site object can be accessed at self.site.

If a test requires multiple specific sites, add a class attribute ‘sites’.

sites = {
    'enwiki': {
        'family': 'wikipedia',
        'code': 'en',
    'itwikt': {
        'family': 'wiktionary',
        'code': 'it',

To obtain the Site object, call self.get_site with the key given to the site.


For tests which require network access to a website which is not an APISite, the class attribute ‘sites’ may include a hostname.

sites = {
        'hostname': 'wdq.wmflabs.org',

Other class attributes#

  • net = False: test class does not use a site

  • dry = True: test class can use a fake site object

  • cached = True: test class may aggressively cache API responses

  • login = True: test class needs to login to site

  • rights = '<rights>': test class needs specific rights. Multiple rights must be delimited with ,.

  • write = True: test class needs to write to a site

Test utilities#