Using behave

The command-line tool behave has a bunch of command-line arguments and is also configurable using configuration files.

Values defined in the configuration files are used as defaults which the command-line arguments may override.

Command-Line Arguments

You may see the same information presented below at any time using behave -h.

-c, --no-color

Disable the use of ANSI color escapes.

--color

Use ANSI color escapes. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

-d, --dry-run

Invokes formatters without executing the steps.

-D, --define

Define user-specific data for the config.userdata dictionary. Example: -D foo=bar to store it in config.userdata[“foo”].

-e, --exclude

Don’t run feature files matching regular expression PATTERN.

-i, --include

Only run feature files matching regular expression PATTERN.

--no-junit

Don’t output JUnit-compatible reports.

--junit

Output JUnit-compatible reports. When junit is enabled, all stdout and stderr will be redirected and dumped to the junit report, regardless of the “–capture” and “–no-capture” options.

--junit-directory

Directory in which to store JUnit reports.

-f, --format

Specify a formatter. If none is specified the default formatter is used. Pass “–format help” to get a list of available formatters.

--steps-catalog

Show a catalog of all available step definitions. SAME AS: –format=steps.catalog –dry-run –no-summary -q

-k, --no-skipped

Don’t print skipped steps (due to tags).

--show-skipped

Print skipped steps. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

--no-snippets

Don’t print snippets for unimplemented steps.

--snippets

Print snippets for unimplemented steps. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

-m, --no-multiline

Don’t print multiline strings and tables under steps.

--multiline

Print multiline strings and tables under steps. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

-n, --name

Only execute the feature elements which match part of the given name. If this option is given more than once, it will match against all the given names.

--no-capture

Don’t capture stdout (any stdout output will be printed immediately.)

--capture

Capture stdout (any stdout output will be printed if there is a failure.) This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

--no-capture-stderr

Don’t capture stderr (any stderr output will be printed immediately.)

--capture-stderr

Capture stderr (any stderr output will be printed if there is a failure.) This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

--no-logcapture

Don’t capture logging. Logging configuration will be left intact.

--logcapture

Capture logging. All logging during a step will be captured and displayed in the event of a failure. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

--logging-level

Specify a level to capture logging at. The default is INFO - capturing everything.

--logging-format

Specify custom format to print statements. Uses the same format as used by standard logging handlers. The default is “%(levelname)s:%(name)s:%(message)s”.

--logging-datefmt

Specify custom date/time format to print statements. Uses the same format as used by standard logging handlers.

--logging-filter

Specify which statements to filter in/out. By default, everything is captured. If the output is too verbose, use this option to filter out needless output. Example: –logging-filter=foo will capture statements issued ONLY to foo or foo.what.ever.sub but not foobar or other logger. Specify multiple loggers with comma: filter=foo,bar,baz. If any logger name is prefixed with a minus, eg filter=-foo, it will be excluded rather than included.

--logging-clear-handlers

Clear all other logging handlers.

--no-summary

Don’t display the summary at the end of the run.

--summary

Display the summary at the end of the run.

-o, --outfile

Write to specified file instead of stdout.

-q, --quiet

Alias for –no-snippets –no-source.

-s, --no-source

Don’t print the file and line of the step definition with the steps.

--show-source

Print the file and line of the step definition with the steps. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

--stage

Defines the current test stage. The test stage name is used as name prefix for the environment file and the steps directory (instead of default path names).

--stop

Stop running tests at the first failure.

-t, --tags

Only execute features or scenarios with tags matching TAG_EXPRESSION. Pass “–tags-help” for more information.

-T, --no-timings

Don’t print the time taken for each step.

--show-timings

Print the time taken, in seconds, of each step after the step has completed. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

-v, --verbose

Show the files and features loaded.

-w, --wip

Only run scenarios tagged with “wip”. Additionally: use the “plain” formatter, do not capture stdout or logging output and stop at the first failure.

-x, --expand

Expand scenario outline tables in output.

--lang

Use keywords for a language other than English.

--lang-list

List the languages available for –lang.

--lang-help

List the translations accepted for one language.

--tags-help

Show help for tag expressions.

--version

Show version.

Tag Expression

Scenarios inherit tags declared on the Feature level. The simplest TAG_EXPRESSION is simply a tag:

--tags @dev

You may even leave off the “@” - behave doesn’t mind.

When a tag in a tag expression starts with a ~, this represents boolean NOT:

--tags ~@dev

A tag expression can have several tags separated by a comma, which represents logical OR:

--tags @dev,@wip

The –tags option can be specified several times, and this represents logical AND, for instance this represents the boolean expression “(@foo or not @bar) and @zap”:

--tags @foo,~@bar --tags @zap.

Beware that if you want to use several negative tags to exclude several tags you have to use logical AND:

--tags ~@fixme --tags ~@buggy.

Configuration Files

Configuration files for behave are called either ”.behaverc”, “behave.ini” or “setup.cfg” (your preference) and are located in one of three places:

  1. the current working directory (good for per-project settings),
  2. your home directory ($HOME), or
  3. on Windows, in the %APPDATA% directory.

If you are wondering where behave is getting its configuration defaults from you can use the “-v” command-line argument and it’ll tell you.

Configuration files must start with the label “[behave]” and are formatted in the Windows INI style, for example:

[behave]
format=plain
logging_clear_handlers=yes
logging_filter=-suds

Configuration Parameter Types

The following types are supported (and used):

text
This just assigns whatever text you supply to the configuration setting.
bool
This assigns a boolean value to the configuration setting. The text describes the functionality when the value is true. True values are “1”, “yes”, “true”, and “on”. False values are “0”, “no”, “false”, and “off”.
sequence<text>

These fields accept one or more values on new lines, for example a tag expression might look like:

tags=@foo,~@bar
    @zap

which is the equivalent of the command-line usage:

--tags @foo,~@bar --tags @zap

Configuration Parameters

color : bool

Use ANSI color escapes. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

dry_run : bool

Invokes formatters without executing the steps.

userdata_defines : sequence<text>

Define user-specific data for the config.userdata dictionary. Example: -D foo=bar to store it in config.userdata[“foo”].

exclude_re : text

Don’t run feature files matching regular expression PATTERN.

include_re : text

Only run feature files matching regular expression PATTERN.

junit : bool

Output JUnit-compatible reports. When junit is enabled, all stdout and stderr will be redirected and dumped to the junit report, regardless of the “–capture” and “–no-capture” options.

junit_directory : text

Directory in which to store JUnit reports.

default_format : text

Specify default formatter (default: pretty).

format : sequence<text>

Specify a formatter. If none is specified the default formatter is used. Pass “–format help” to get a list of available formatters.

steps_catalog : bool

Show a catalog of all available step definitions. SAME AS: –format=steps.catalog –dry-run –no-summary -q

scenario_outline_annotation_schema : text

Specify name annotation schema for scenario outline (default=”{name} – @{row.id} {examples.name}”).

show_skipped : bool

Print skipped steps. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

show_snippets : bool

Print snippets for unimplemented steps. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

show_multiline : bool

Print multiline strings and tables under steps. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

name : sequence<text>

Only execute the feature elements which match part of the given name. If this option is given more than once, it will match against all the given names.

stdout_capture : bool

Capture stdout (any stdout output will be printed if there is a failure.) This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

stderr_capture : bool

Capture stderr (any stderr output will be printed if there is a failure.) This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

log_capture : bool

Capture logging. All logging during a step will be captured and displayed in the event of a failure. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

logging_level : text

Specify a level to capture logging at. The default is INFO - capturing everything.

logging_format : text

Specify custom format to print statements. Uses the same format as used by standard logging handlers. The default is “%(levelname)s:%(name)s:%(message)s”.

logging_datefmt : text

Specify custom date/time format to print statements. Uses the same format as used by standard logging handlers.

logging_filter : text

Specify which statements to filter in/out. By default, everything is captured. If the output is too verbose, use this option to filter out needless output. Example: logging_filter = foo will capture statements issued ONLY to “foo” or “foo.what.ever.sub” but not “foobar” or other logger. Specify multiple loggers with comma: logging_filter = foo,bar,baz. If any logger name is prefixed with a minus, eg logging_filter = -foo, it will be excluded rather than included.

logging_clear_handlers : bool

Clear all other logging handlers.

summary : bool

Display the summary at the end of the run.

outfiles : sequence<text>

Write to specified file instead of stdout.

paths : sequence<text>

Specify default feature paths, used when none are provided.

quiet : bool

Alias for –no-snippets –no-source.

show_source : bool

Print the file and line of the step definition with the steps. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

stage : text

Defines the current test stage. The test stage name is used as name prefix for the environment file and the steps directory (instead of default path names).

stop : bool

Stop running tests at the first failure.

default_tags : text

Define default tags when non are provided. See –tags for more information.

tags : sequence<text>

Only execute certain features or scenarios based on the tag expression given. See below for how to code tag expressions in configuration files.

show_timings : bool

Print the time taken, in seconds, of each step after the step has completed. This is the default behaviour. This switch is used to override a configuration file setting.

verbose : bool

Show the files and features loaded.

wip : bool

Only run scenarios tagged with “wip”. Additionally: use the “plain” formatter, do not capture stdout or logging output and stop at the first failure.

expand : bool

Expand scenario outline tables in output.

lang : text

Use keywords for a language other than English.