HotRunner is an improved django test runner.

To install HotRunner, pip install django-hotrunner.

To use HotRunner, set TEST_RUNNER = 'hotrunner.HotRunner' in your django settings file. This enables three useful features:

  • Test exclusion: None of the django.contrib tests will be run when you run your test suite. Neither will any apps you specify in the EXCLUDED_TEST_APPS setting. You can override this without deleting your EXCLUDED_TEST_APPS, by setting TEST_ALL_APPS to a true value. django.contrib apps will still not be run. To run them, specify them by name on the command line: python test django.contrib.auth

  • Copy-paste friendly test naming: HotRunner now identifies tests with a name that can be copied and pasted to rerun that test.

  • Test timing: Find out how long each test is running simply by setting your verbosity to 2 or higher. The time it takes to run each successful test will be reported at microsecond granularity:

    $ python test --verbosity=2
    test_absolute_url (news.NewsModelAbsoluteURLTestCase.test_absolute_url) ... (0.106085s) ok
    test_empty_body_returns_empty_html (news.NewsModelMarkdownTestCase.test_empty_body_returns_empty_html) ... (0.000119s) ok
    test_markdown_saved_to_html (news.NewsModelMarkdownTestCase.test_markdown_saved_to_html) ... (0.009840s) ok
    test_unicode_markdown_converted_appropriately (news.NewsModelMarkdownTestCase.test_unicode_markdown_converted_appropriately) ... (0.000501s) ok
    test_unicode_strings_must_be_decoded (news.NewsModelMarkdownTestCase.test_unicode_strings_must_be_decoded) ... (0.000384s) ok
    test_basic_slug_creation (news.NewsModelSlugificationTestCase.test_basic_slug_creation) ... (0.000609s) ok
    test_existing_slugs_do_not_get_overridden (news.NewsModelSlugificationTestCase.test_existing_slugs_do_not_get_overridden) ... (0.000254s) ok
    test_getting_conflicting_slugs (news.NewsModelSlugificationTestCase.test_getting_conflicting_slugs) ... (0.001476s) ok
    test_slugifying_disambiguates_slugs (news.NewsModelSlugificationTestCase.test_slugifying_disambiguates_slugs) ... (0.000204s) ERROR

    Tests that get skipped will not report time, as the information is not relevant.

  • XUnit style XML output. If you set HOTRUNNER_XUNIT_FILENAME to the path to a writeable file, HotRunner will write an XML document of test results to that file. This makes it easy to integrate your project with, for instance, a Jenkins continuous integration job. For example, the test suite above would look like this (minus the pretty formatting):

    <testsuite errors="1" failures="0" name="Django Project Tests" skips="0" tests="9" time="0.121">
      <testcase classname="news.tests.NewsModelAbsoluteURLTestCase" name="test_absolute_url" time="0.106085" />
      <testcase classname="news.tests.NewsModelMarkdownTestCase" name="test_empty_body_returns_empty_html" time="0.000119" />
      <testcase classname="news.tests.NewsModelMarkdownTestCase" name="test_markdown_saved_to_html" time="0.009840" />
      <testcase classname="news.tests.NewsModelMarkdownTestCase" name="test_unicode_markdown_converted_appropriately" time="0.000501" />
      <testcase classname="news.tests.NewsModelMarkdownTestCase" name="test_unicode_strings_must_be_decoded" time="0.000384" />
      <testcase classname="news.tests.NewsModelSlugificationTestCase" name="test_basic_slug_creation" time="0.000609" />
      <testcase classname="news.tests.NewsModelSlugificationTestCase" name="test_existing_slugs_do_not_get_overridden" time="0.000254" />
      <testcase classname="news.tests.NewsModelSlugificationTestCase" name="test_getting_conflicting_slugs" time="0.001476" />
      <testcase classname="news.tests.NewsModelSlugificationTestCase" name="test_slugifying_disambiguates_slugs" time="0.000204">
        <error message="list index out of range" type="exceptions.IndexError">Traceback (most recent call last):
            File "/home/jcdyer/.virtualenvs/q2/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/", line 1190, in patched
              return func(*args, **keywargs)
            File "/home/jcdyer/projects/q2/quantile2/news/", line 69, in test_slugifying_disambiguates_slugs
              news = news_items[n]
          IndexError: list index out of range

    This functionality was previously available via the django-jux project. If you are upgrading from django-jux, you can still use the old setting name of JUXD_FILENAME, though this is now deprecated, and may disappear at some point in the future.


HotRunner is built for integration with Django as a replacement for its custom test runner. It builds on functionality in unittest2, so it only works with Django 1.3 or higher.



Test runner now shows test names in a format that allows copy-paste.


Fixed issue running tests for apps specified as '' in INSTALLED_APPS.


Added XUnit-style output, as previously implemented in django-jux.


Fixed problem that prevented graceful test abort using ^C on certain python versions.


Initial release. Features app exclusion and individual test timing.