Simple testing in Python¶

What we should test ?¶

If possible everything in our codebase, each and every function. But it depends as a choice of the developers. You can skip it if it is not practical to write a robust test. As Nick Coghlan said in a guest session – … with a solid test suite, you can make big changes, confident that the externally visible behavior will remain the same

To have effective tests, you should remember to write/split your code in smaller functions which can be tested separately. It is very easy to keep writing longer functions, which can do a lot of things at once. But, it will be increasingly difficult to test those functions. If you keep them short, and make sure that one function does one thing well, it will help to write better test cases.

Unit testing¶

A method by which individual units of source code. Wikipedia says In computer programming, unit testing is a method by which individual units of source code, sets of one or more computer program modules together with associated control data, usage procedures, and operating procedures, are tested to determine if they are fit for use.

unittest module¶

In Python we have unittest module to help us.

Factorial code¶

In this example we will write a file factorial.py.

import sys

def fact(n):
"""
Factorial function

:arg n: Number
:returns: factorial of n

"""
if n == 0:
return 1
return n * fact(n -1)

def div(n):
"""
Just divide
"""
res = 10 / n
return res

def main(n):
res = fact(n)
print(res)

if __name__ == '__main__':
if len(sys.argv) > 1:
main(int(sys.argv))

Output

\$ python factorial.py 5

Which function to test ?¶

As you can see fact(n) is function which is doing all calculations, so we should test that at least.

Our first test case¶

Now we will write our first test case.

import unittest
from factorial import fact

class TestFactorial(unittest.TestCase):
"""
Our basic test class
"""

def test_fact(self):
"""
The actual test.
Any method which starts with ``test_`` will considered as a test case.
"""
res = fact(5)
self.assertEqual(res, 120)

if __name__ == '__main__':
unittest.main()

Running the test:

\$ python factorial_test.py
.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ran 1 test in 0.000s

OK

Description¶

We are importing unittest module first and then the required functions which we want to test.

A testcase is created by subclassing unittest.TestCase.

Now open the test file and change 120 to 121 and see what happens :)

Different assert statements¶

Method Checks that New in
assertEqual(a, b) a == b
assertNotEqual(a, b) a != b
assertTrue(x) bool(x) is True
assertFalse(x) bool(x) is False
assertIs(a, b) a is b 2.7
assertIsNot(a, b) a is not b 2.7
assertIsNone(x) x is None 2.7
assertIsNotNone(x) x is not None 2.7
assertIn(a, b) a in b 2.7
assertNotIn(a, b) a not in b 2.7
assertIsInstance(a, b) isinstance(a, b) 2.7
assertNotIsInstance(a, b) not isinstance(a, b) 2.7

Testing exceptions¶

If we call div(0) in factorial.py , we can see if raises an exception.

We can also test these exceptions, like:

self.assertRaises(ZeroDivisionError, div, 0)

Full code

import unittest
from factorial import fact, div

class TestFactorial(unittest.TestCase):
"""
Our basic test class
"""

def test_fact(self):
"""
The actual test.
Any method which starts with ``test_`` will considered as a test case.
"""
res = fact(5)
self.assertEqual(res, 120)

def test_error(self):
"""
To test exception raise due to run time error
"""
self.assertRaises(ZeroDivisionError, div, 0)

if __name__ == '__main__':
unittest.main()

Note

The following example is for Linux only, you will have to modify the code so that it can find mount details in other operating systems properly.

mounttab.py¶

Here we have only one function mount_details() doing the parsing and printing mount details.

import os

def mount_details():
"""
Prints the mount details
"""
if os.path.exists('/proc/mounts'):
fd = open('/proc/mounts')
for line in fd:
line = line.strip()
words = line.split()
print(f'{words} on {words} type {words}', end=' ')
if len(words) > 5:
print('(%s)' % ' '.join(words[3:-2]))
else:
print('')

if __name__ == '__main__':
mount_details()

After refactoring¶

Now we refactored the code and have one new function parse_mounts which we can test easily.

import os

def parse_mounts():
"""
It parses /proc/mounts and returns a list of tuples
"""
result = []
if os.path.exists('/proc/mounts'):
fd = open('/proc/mounts')
for line in fd:
line = line.strip()
words = line.split()
if len(words) > 5:
res = (words,words,words, '(%s)' % ' '.join(words[3:-2]))
else:
res = (words,words,words)
result.append(res)
return result

def mount_details():
"""
Prints the mount details
"""
result = parse_mounts()
for line in result:
if len(line) == 4:
print('%s on %s type %s %s' % line)
else:
print('%s on %s type %s' % line)

if __name__ == '__main__':
mount_details()

and the test code for the same.

#!/usr/bin/env python
import unittest
from mounttab2 import parse_mounts

class TestMount(unittest.TestCase):
"""
Our basic test class
"""

def test_parsemount(self):
"""
The actual test.
Any method which starts with ``test_`` will considered as a test case.
"""
result = parse_mounts()
self.assertIsInstance(result, list)
self.assertIsInstance(result, tuple)

def test_rootext4(self):
"""
Test to find root filesystem
"""
result = parse_mounts()
for line in result:
if line == '/' and line != 'rootfs':
self.assertEqual(line, 'ext4')

if __name__ == '__main__':
unittest.main()
\$ python mounttest.py
..
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ran 2 tests in 0.001s

OK

Test coverage¶

Test coverage is a simple way to find untested parts of a codebase. It does not tell you how good your tests are.

In Python we already have a nice coverage tool to help us. You can install it in Fedora

# dnf install python3-coverage

Or using pip.

\$ python3 -m pip install coverage

Coverage Example¶

\$ coverage -x mounttest.py
<OUTPUT snipped>

\$ coverage -rm
Name        Stmts   Miss  Cover   Missing
-----------------------------------------
mounttab2      21      7    67%   16, 24-29, 33
mounttest      14      0   100%
-----------------------------------------
TOTAL          35      7    80%