Testing: Application Tests

The application test suite uses:

The application tests consist of unit tests for the Python application code and functional tests that verify the functionality of the application code from the perspective of the user through a web browser.

The functional tests use an outdated version of Firefox chosen specifically for compatibility with Selenium 2, and a rough approximation of the most recent Tor Browser.


We’re working on running the Selenium tests in Tor Browser. See GitHub #1629 for more info.


The application tests are installed automatically in the development and app-staging VMs, based on the contents of securedrop/requirements/test-requirements.txt. If you wish to change the dependencies, see Upgrading or Adding Python Dependencies.

Running the application tests

The tests can be run inside the development VM:

vagrant ssh development
cd /vagrant/securedrop
pytest -v tests

Or the app-staging VM:

vagrant ssh app-staging
sudo su www-data -s /bin/bash
cd /var/www/securedrop
pytest -v tests

For explanation of the difference between these machines, see Virtual Environments.

If you just want to run the functional tests, you can use:

pytest -v tests/functional/

Similarly, if you want to run a single test, you can specify it through the file, class, and test name:

pytest tests/test_journalist.py::TestJournalistApp::test_invalid_credentials

Some Selenium tests are decorated to produce before and after screenshots to aid in debugging. This behavior is enabled with the SCREENSHOTS_ENABLED environment variable. Output PNG files will be placed in the tests/log/ directory.

SCREENSHOTS_ENABLED=1 pytest tests/functional/

Updating the application tests

Unit tests are stored in the securedrop/tests/ directory and functional tests are stored in the functional test directory:

├── functional
│   ├── test_admin_interface.py
│   ├── test_submit_and_retrieve_file.py
│   │               ...
│   └── submission_not_in_memory.py
├── utils
│   ├── db_helper.py
│   ├── env.py
│   └── async.py
├── test_journalist.py
├── test_source.py
│        ...
└── test_store.py

securedrop/tests/utils contains helper functions for writing tests. If you want to add a test, you should see if there is an existing file appropriate for the kind of test, e.g. a new unit testing manage.py should go in test_manage.py.