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Test Client

The test client allows you to make requests against your ASGI application, using the httpx library.

from starlette.responses import HTMLResponse
from starlette.testclient import TestClient

async def app(scope, receive, send):
    assert scope['type'] == 'http'
    response = HTMLResponse('<html><body>Hello, world!</body></html>')
    await response(scope, receive, send)

def test_app():
    client = TestClient(app)
    response = client.get('/')
    assert response.status_code == 200

The test client exposes the same interface as any other httpx session. In particular, note that the calls to make a request are just standard function calls, not awaitables.

You can use any of httpx standard API, such as authentication, session cookies handling, or file uploads.

For example, to set headers on the TestClient you can do:

client = TestClient(app)

# Set headers on the client for future requests
client.headers = {"Authorization": "..."}
response = client.get("/")

# Set headers for each request separately
response = client.get("/", headers={"Authorization": "..."})

And for example to send files with the TestClient:

client = TestClient(app)

# Send a single file
with open("example.txt", "rb") as f:
    response ="/form", files={"file": f})

# Send multiple files
with open("example.txt", "rb") as f1:
    with open("example.png", "rb") as f2:
        files = {"file1": f1, "file2": ("filename", f2, "image/png")}
        response ="/form", files=files)

For more information you can check the httpx documentation.

By default the TestClient will raise any exceptions that occur in the application. Occasionally you might want to test the content of 500 error responses, rather than allowing client to raise the server exception. In this case you should use client = TestClient(app, raise_server_exceptions=False).


If you want the TestClient to run the lifespan handler, you will need to use the TestClient as a context manager. It will not be triggered when the TestClient is instantiated. You can learn more about it here.

Selecting the Async backend

TestClient takes arguments backend (a string) and backend_options (a dictionary). These options are passed to anyio.start_blocking_portal(). See the anyio documentation for more information about the accepted backend options. By default, asyncio is used with default options.

To run Trio, pass backend="trio". For example:

def test_app()
    with TestClient(app, backend="trio") as client:

To run asyncio with uvloop, pass backend_options={"use_uvloop": True}. For example:

def test_app()
    with TestClient(app, backend_options={"use_uvloop": True}) as client:

Testing WebSocket sessions

You can also test websocket sessions with the test client.

The httpx library will be used to build the initial handshake, meaning you can use the same authentication options and other headers between both http and websocket testing.

from starlette.testclient import TestClient
from starlette.websockets import WebSocket

async def app(scope, receive, send):
    assert scope['type'] == 'websocket'
    websocket = WebSocket(scope, receive=receive, send=send)
    await websocket.accept()
    await websocket.send_text('Hello, world!')
    await websocket.close()

def test_app():
    client = TestClient(app)
    with client.websocket_connect('/') as websocket:
        data = websocket.receive_text()
        assert data == 'Hello, world!'

The operations on session are standard function calls, not awaitables.

It's important to use the session within a context-managed with block. This ensure that the background thread on which the ASGI application is properly terminated, and that any exceptions that occur within the application are always raised by the test client.

Establishing a test session

  • .websocket_connect(url, subprotocols=None, **options) - Takes the same set of arguments as httpx.get().

May raise starlette.websockets.WebSocketDisconnect if the application does not accept the websocket connection.

websocket_connect() must be used as a context manager (in a with block).


The params argument is not supported by websocket_connect. If you need to pass query arguments, hard code it directly in the URL.

with client.websocket_connect('/path?foo=bar') as websocket:

Sending data

  • .send_text(data) - Send the given text to the application.
  • .send_bytes(data) - Send the given bytes to the application.
  • .send_json(data, mode="text") - Send the given data to the application. Use mode="binary" to send JSON over binary data frames.

Receiving data

  • .receive_text() - Wait for incoming text sent by the application and return it.
  • .receive_bytes() - Wait for incoming bytestring sent by the application and return it.
  • .receive_json(mode="text") - Wait for incoming json data sent by the application and return it. Use mode="binary" to receive JSON over binary data frames.

May raise starlette.websockets.WebSocketDisconnect.

Closing the connection

  • .close(code=1000) - Perform a client-side close of the websocket connection.

Asynchronous tests

Sometimes you will want to do async things outside of your application. For example, you might want to check the state of your database after calling your app using your existing async database client / infrastructure.

For these situations, using TestClient is difficult because it creates it's own event loop and async resources (like a database connection) often cannot be shared across event loops. The simplest way to work around this is to just make your entire test async and use an async client, like httpx.AsyncClient.

Here is an example of such a test:

from httpx import AsyncClient
from starlette.applications import Starlette
from starlette.routing import Route
from starlette.requests import Request
from starlette.responses import PlainTextResponse

def hello(request: Request) -> PlainTextResponse:
    return PlainTextResponse("Hello World!")

app = Starlette(routes=[Route("/", hello)])

# if you're using pytest, you'll need to to add an async marker like:
# @pytest.mark.anyio  # using
# or install and configure pytest-asyncio (
async def test_app() -> None:
    # note: you _must_ set `base_url` for relative urls like "/" to work
    async with AsyncClient(app=app, base_url="http://testserver") as client:
        r = await client.get("/")
        assert r.status_code == 200
        assert r.text == "Hello World!"