Integration tests

How to run and write integration tests.

LocalStack has an extensive set of integration tests. This document describes how to run and write integration tests.

Running the test suite

To run the tests you can use the make target and set the TEST_PATH variable.

TEST_PATH="tests/integration" make test

or run it manually within the virtual environment:

python -m pytest --log-cli-level=INFO tests/integration

Running individual tests

You can further specify the file and test class you want to run in the test path:

TEST_PATH="tests/integration/docker/" make test

Test against a running LocalStack instance

When you run the integration tests, LocalStack is automatically started (via the pytest conftest mechanism in tests/integration/ You can disable this behavior by setting the environment variable TEST_SKIP_LOCALSTACK_START=1.

Test against real AWS

It can be useful to run an integration test against the real AWS cloud using your credentials. You can do this by setting the environment variable TEST_TARGET="AWS_CLOUD".

Writing a test

We use pytest for our testing framework. Older tests were written using the unittest framework, but its use is discouraged.

If your test matches the pattern tests/integration/**/test_*.py it will be picked up by the integration test suite.

Functional-style tests

You can write functional style tests by defining a function with the prefix test_ with basic asserts:

def test_something():
  assert True is not False

Class-style tests

Or you can write class-style tests by grouping tests that logically belong together in a class:

class TestMyThing:
  def test_something(self):
    assert True is not False


We use the pytest fixture concept, and provide several fixtures you can use when writing AWS tests. For example, to inject a Boto client for SQS, you can specify the sqs_client in your test method:

class TestMyThing:
  def test_something(self, sqs_client):
    assert len(sqs_client.list_queues()["QueueUrls"]) == 0

We also provide fixtures for certain disposable resources, like buckets:

def test_something_on_a_bucket(s3_bucket):
  # s3_bucket is a boto s3 bucket object that is created before
  # the test runs, and removed after it returns.

Another pattern we use is the factory as fixture pattern.

def test_something_on_multiple_buckets(s3_create_bucket):
  bucket1 = s3_create_bucket()
  bucket2 = s3_create_bucket()
  # both buckets will be deleted after the test returns

You can find the list of available fixtures in the

Last modified October 8, 2021: overhaul of developer guide (435e4ca5)