Getting Started with Slash

Writing Tests

Slash loads and runs tests from Python files. To get started, let’s create an example test file and name it


import slash

def test_addition():

As you can see in the above example, Slash can load tests written as functions. Simlarly to unittest and py.test, only functions starting with the prefix test_ are assumed to be runnable tests.

Running Tests

Once we have our file written, we can run it using slash run:

$ slash run

There’s a lot to cover regarding slash run, and we will get to it soon enough. For now all we have to know is that it finds, loads and runs the tests in the files or directories we provide, and reports the result.

A single run of slash run is called a session. A session contains tests that were run in its duration.


You can debug failing tests using the --pdb flag, which automatically runs the best available debugger on exceptions. You can also filter the exceptions which run the debugger by using --pdb-filter in addition to the --pdb flag.

Assertions and Errors

Tests don’t do much without making sure things are like they expect. Slash borrows the awesome technology behind py.test, allowing us to just write assert statements where we want to test conditions of all sorts:


def test_addition():
    assert 2 + 2 == 4

Slash also analyzes assertions using assertion rewriting borrowed from the pytest project, so you can get more details as for what exactly failed.

Test Parameters

Slash tests can be easily parametrized, iterating parameter values and creating separate cases for each value:

@slash.parametrize('x', [1, 2, 3])
def test_something(x):
    # use x here

For boolean values, a shortcut exists for toggling between True and False:

def test_power_of_two(with_power_operator):
    num = 2
    if with_power_operator:
        result = num ** 2
        result = num * num
    assert result == 4


Testing complete products usually means you may not have a second chance to reproduce an issue. This is why Slash puts a strong emphasis on logging, managing log files and directories, and fine tuning your logging setup.

Slash uses Logbook for logging. It has many advantages over Python’s own logging package, and is much more flexible.

Slash exposes a global logger intended for tests, which is recommended for use in simple logging tasks:

import slash

def test_1():

Console Log

By default logs above WARNING get emitted to the console when slash run is executed. You can use -v/-q to increase/decrease console verbosity accordingly.

Saving Logs to Files

By default logs are not saved anywhere. This is easily changed with the -l flag to slash run. Point this flag to a directory, and Slash will organize logs inside, in subdirectories according to the session and test run (e.g. /path/to/logdir/<session id>/<test id>/debug.log).

See also



Slash provides a facility for cleanups. These get called whenever a test finishes, successfully or not. Adding cleanups is done with slash.add_cleanup():

def test_product_power_on_sequence():
    product = ...
    slash.add_cleanup(product.pack_for_shipping, success_only=True)


When a test is interrupted, most likely due to a KeyboardInterrupt, cleanups are not called unless added with the critical keyword argument. This is in order to save time during interruption handling. See interruptions.


A cleanup added with success_only=True will be called only if the test ends successfully

Cleanups also receive an optional scope parameter, which can be either 'session', 'module' or 'test' (the default). The scope parameter controls when the cleanup should take place. Session cleanups happen at the end of the test session, module cleanups happen before Slash switches between test files during execution and test cleanups happen at the end of the test which added the cleanup callback.


In some case you want to skip certain methods. This is done by raising the SkipTest exception, or by simply calling slash.skip_test() function:

def test_microwave_has_supercool_feature():
    if microwave.model() == "Microtech Shitbox":
        slash.skip_test("Microwave model too old")

Slash also provides slash.skipped(), which is a decorator to skip specific tests:

def test_1():
    # ...

@slash.skipped # no reason
def test_2():
    # ...

In some cases you may want to register a custom exception to be recognized as a skip. You can do this by registering your exception type first with slash.register_skip_exception().


In many cases you want to depend in our test on a certain precondition in order to run. Requirements provide an explicit way of stating those requirements. Use slash.requires() to specify requirements:

def is_some_condition_met():
    return True

def test_something():

Requirements are stronger than skips, since they can be reported separately and imply a basic precondition that is not met in the current testing environment.

slash.requires can receive either:

  1. A boolean value (useful for computing on import-time)
  2. A function returning a boolean value, to be called when loading tests
  3. A function returning a tuple of (boolean, message) - the message being the description of the unmet requirements when False is returned

When a requirement fails, the test is skipped without even being started, and appears in the eventual console summary along with the unmet requirements. If you want to control the message shown if the requirement is not met, you can pass the message parameter:

@slash.requires(is_some_condition_met, message='My condition is not met!')
def test_something():


Requirements are evaluated during the load phase of the tests, so they are usually checked before any test started running. This means that if you’re relying on a transient state that can be altered by other tests, you have to use skips instead. Requirements are useful for checking environmental constraints that are unlikely to change as a result of the session being run.

Storing Additional Test Details

It is possible for a test to store some objects that may help investigation in cause of failure.

This is possible using the slash.set_test_detail() method. This method accepts a hashable key object and a printable object. In case the test fails, the stored objects will be printed in the test summary:

def test_one():
    slash.set_test_detail('log', '/var/log/foo.log')
    slash.set_error("Some condition is not met!")

def test_two():
    # Every test has its own unique storage, so it's possible to use the same key in multiple tests
    slash.set_test_detail('log', '/var/log/bar.log')

In this case we probably won’t see the details of test_two, as it should finish successfully.

slash.set_test_detail(key, value)[source]

Store an object providing additional information about the current running test in a certain key. Each test has its own storage.

  • key – a hashable object
  • value – can be either an object or a string representing additional details

Global State

Slash maintains a set of globals for convenience. The most useful one is slash.g, which is an attribute holder that can be used to hold environment objects set up by plugins or hooks for use in tests.

Misc. Utilities

Repeating Tests

Use the slash.repeat() decorator to make a test repeat several times:

def test_probabilistic():
    assert still_works()


You can also use the --repeat-each=X argument to slash run, causing it to repeat each test being loaded a specified amount of times, or --repeat-all=X to repeat the entire suite several times