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Testing: Getting Started

Introduction

Laravel is built with testing in mind. In fact, support for testing with PHPUnit is included out of the box and a phpunit.xml file is already set up for your application. The framework also ships with convenient helper methods that allow you to expressively test your applications.

By default, your application's tests directory contains two directories: Feature and Unit. Unit tests are tests that focus on a very small, isolated portion of your code. In fact, most unit tests probably focus on a single method. Tests within your "Unit" test directory do not boot your Laravel application and therefore are unable to access your application's database or other framework services.

Feature tests may test a larger portion of your code, including how several objects interact with each other or even a full HTTP request to a JSON endpoint. Generally, most of your tests should be feature tests. These types of tests provide the most confidence that your system as a whole is functioning as intended.

An ExampleTest.php file is provided in both the Feature and Unit test directories. After installing a new Laravel application, execute the vendor/bin/phpunit or php artisan test commands to run your tests.

Environment

When running tests, Laravel will automatically set the configuration environment to testing because of the environment variables defined in the phpunit.xml file. Laravel also automatically configures the session and cache to the array driver while testing, meaning no session or cache data will be persisted while testing.

You are free to define other testing environment configuration values as necessary. The testing environment variables may be configured in your application's phpunit.xml file, but make sure to clear your configuration cache using the config:clear Artisan command before running your tests!

The .env.testing Environment File

In addition, you may create a .env.testing file in the root of your project. This file will be used instead of the .env file when running PHPUnit tests or executing Artisan commands with the --env=testing option.

The CreatesApplication Trait

Laravel includes a CreatesApplication trait that is applied to your application's base TestCase class. This trait contains a createApplication method that bootstraps the Laravel application before running your tests. It's important that you leave this trait at its original location as some features, such as Laravel's parallel testing feature, depend on it.

Creating Tests

To create a new test case, use the make:test Artisan command. By default, tests will be placed in the tests/Feature directory:

php artisan make:test UserTest

If you would like to create a test within the tests/Unit directory, you may use the --unit option when executing the make:test command:

php artisan make:test UserTest --unit

If you would like to create a Pest PHP test, you may provide the --pest option to the make:test command:

php artisan make:test UserTest --pest
php artisan make:test UserTest --unit --pest

{tip} Test stubs may be customized using stub publishing.

Once the test has been generated, you may define test methods as you normally would using PHPUnit. To run your tests, execute the vendor/bin/phpunit or php artisan test command from your terminal:

<?php

namespace Tests\Unit;

use PHPUnit\Framework\TestCase;

class ExampleTest extends TestCase
{
    /**
     * A basic test example.
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function test_basic_test()
    {
        $this->assertTrue(true);
    }
}

{note} If you define your own setUp / tearDown methods within a test class, be sure to call the respective parent::setUp() / parent::tearDown() methods on the parent class.

Running Tests

As mentioned previously, once you've written tests, you may run them using phpunit:

./vendor/bin/phpunit

In addition to the phpunit command, you may use the test Artisan command to run your tests. The Artisan test runner provides verbose test reports in order to ease development and debugging:

php artisan test

Any arguments that can be passed to the phpunit command may also be passed to the Artisan test command:

php artisan test --testsuite=Feature --stop-on-failure

Running Tests In Parallel

By default, Laravel and PHPUnit execute your tests sequentially within a single process. However, you may greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to run your tests by running tests simultaneously across multiple processes. To get started, ensure your application depends on version ^5.3 or greater of the nunomaduro/collision package. Then, include the --parallel option when executing the test Artisan command:

php artisan test --parallel

By default, Laravel will create as many processes as there are available CPU cores on your machine. However, you may adjust the number of processes using the --processes option:

php artisan test --parallel --processes=4

{note} When running tests in parallel, some PHPUnit options (such as --do-not-cache-result) may not be available.

Parallel Testing & Databases

Laravel automatically handles creating and migrating a test database for each parallel process that is running your tests. The test databases will be suffixed with a process token which is unique per process. For example, if you have two parallel test processes, Laravel will create and use your_db_test_1 and your_db_test_2 test databases.

By default, test databases persist between calls to the test Artisan command so that they can be used again by subsequent test invocations. However, you may re-create them using the --recreate-databases option:

php artisan test --parallel --recreate-databases

Parallel Testing Hooks

Occasionally, you may need to prepare certain resources used by your application's tests so they may be safely used by multiple test processes.

Using the ParallelTesting facade, you may specify code to be executed on the setUp and tearDown of a process or test case. The given closures receive the $token and $testCase variables that contain the process token and the current test case, respectively:

<?php

namespace App\Providers;

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Artisan;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\ParallelTesting;
use Illuminate\Support\ServiceProvider;

class AppServiceProvider extends ServiceProvider
{
    /**
     * Bootstrap any application services.
     *
     * @return void
     */
    public function boot()
    {
        ParallelTesting::setUpProcess(function ($token) {
            // ...
        });

        ParallelTesting::setUpTestCase(function ($token, $testCase) {
            // ...
        });

        // Executed when a test database is created...
        ParallelTesting::setUpTestDatabase(function ($database, $token) {
            Artisan::call('db:seed');
        });

        ParallelTesting::tearDownTestCase(function ($token, $testCase) {
            // ...
        });

        ParallelTesting::tearDownProcess(function ($token) {
            // ...
        });
    }
}

Accessing The Parallel Testing Token

If you would like to access to current parallel process "token" from any other location in your application's test code, you may use the token method. This token is a unique, integer identifier for an individual test process and may be used to segment resources across parallel test processes. For example, Laravel automatically appends this token to the end of the test databases created by each parallel testing process:

$token = ParallelTesting::token();