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Command line options and configuration file settings
You can get help on command line options and values in INI-style
configurations files by using the general help option::
pytest -h # prints options _and_ config file settings
This will display command line and configuration file settings
which were registered by installed plugins.
.. _rootdir:
.. _inifiles:
Initialization: determining rootdir and inifile
.. versionadded:: 2.7
pytest determines a ``rootdir`` for each test run which depends on
the command line arguments (specified test files, paths) and on
the existence of *ini-files*. The determined ``rootdir`` and *ini-file* are
printed as part of the pytest header during startup.
Here's a summary what ``pytest`` uses ``rootdir`` for:
* Construct *nodeids* during collection; each test is assigned
a unique *nodeid* which is rooted at the ``rootdir`` and takes in account full path,
class name, function name and parametrization (if any).
* Is used by plugins as a stable location to store project/test run specific information;
for example, the internal :ref:`cache <cache>` plugin creates a ``.cache`` subdirectory
in ``rootdir`` to store its cross-test run state.
Important to emphasize that ``rootdir`` is **NOT** used to modify ``sys.path``/``PYTHONPATH`` or
influence how modules are imported. See :ref:`pythonpath` for more details.
``--rootdir=path`` command-line option can be used to force a specific directory.
The directory passed may contain environment variables when it is used in conjunction
with ``addopts`` in a ``pytest.ini`` file.
Finding the ``rootdir``
Here is the algorithm which finds the rootdir from ``args``:
- determine the common ancestor directory for the specified ``args`` that are
recognised as paths that exist in the file system. If no such paths are
found, the common ancestor directory is set to the current working directory.
- look for ``pytest.ini``, ``tox.ini`` and ``setup.cfg`` files in the ancestor
directory and upwards. If one is matched, it becomes the ini-file and its
directory becomes the rootdir.
- if no ini-file was found, look for ```` upwards from the common
ancestor directory to determine the ``rootdir``.
- if no ```` was found, look for ``pytest.ini``, ``tox.ini`` and
``setup.cfg`` in each of the specified ``args`` and upwards. If one is
matched, it becomes the ini-file and its directory becomes the rootdir.
- if no ini-file was found, use the already determined common ancestor as root
directory. This allows the use of pytest in structures that are not part of
a package and don't have any particular ini-file configuration.
If no ``args`` are given, pytest collects test below the current working
directory and also starts determining the rootdir from there.
:warning: custom pytest plugin commandline arguments may include a path, as in
``pytest --log-output ../../test.log args``. Then ``args`` is mandatory,
otherwise pytest uses the folder of test.log for rootdir determination
(see also `issue 1435 <>`_).
A dot ``.`` for referencing to the current working directory is also
Note that an existing ``pytest.ini`` file will always be considered a match,
whereas ``tox.ini`` and ``setup.cfg`` will only match if they contain a
``[pytest]`` or ``[tool:pytest]`` section, respectively. Options from multiple ini-files candidates are never
merged - the first one wins (``pytest.ini`` always wins, even if it does not
contain a ``[pytest]`` section).
The ``config`` object will subsequently carry these attributes:
- ``config.rootdir``: the determined root directory, guaranteed to exist.
- ``config.inifile``: the determined ini-file, may be ``None``.
The rootdir is used a reference directory for constructing test
addresses ("nodeids") and can be used also by plugins for storing
per-testrun information.
pytest path/to/testdir path/other/
will determine the common ancestor as ``path`` and then
check for ini-files as follows::
# first look for pytest.ini files
path/setup.cfg # must also contain [tool:pytest] section to match
path/tox.ini # must also contain [pytest] section to match
... # all the way down to the root
# now look for
... # all the way down to the root
.. _`how to change command line options defaults`:
.. _`adding default options`:
How to change command line options defaults
It can be tedious to type the same series of command line options
every time you use ``pytest``. For example, if you always want to see
detailed info on skipped and xfailed tests, as well as have terser "dot"
progress output, you can write it into a configuration file:
.. code-block:: ini
# content of pytest.ini
# (or tox.ini or setup.cfg)
addopts = -ra -q
Alternatively, you can set a ``PYTEST_ADDOPTS`` environment variable to add command
line options while the environment is in use::
export PYTEST_ADDOPTS="-v"
Here's how the command-line is built in the presence of ``addopts`` or the environment variable::
<pytest.ini:addopts> $PYTEST_ADDOTPS <extra command-line arguments>
So if the user executes in the command-line::
pytest -m slow
The actual command line executed is::
pytest -ra -q -v -m slow
Note that as usual for other command-line applications, in case of conflicting options the last one wins, so the example
above will show verbose output because ``-v`` overwrites ``-q``.
Builtin configuration file options
For the full list of options consult the :ref:`reference documentation <ini options ref>`.