Mutatest: Python mutation testing

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Are you confident in your tests? Try out mutatest and see if your tests will detect small modifications (mutations) in the code. Surviving mutations represent subtle changes that are undetectable by your tests. These mutants are potential modifications in source code that continuous integration checks would miss.


Quick Start

mutatest requires Python 3.7 or 3.8.

Install from PyPI:

$ pip install mutatest

Install from conda-forge:

$ conda install -c conda-forge mutatest

Alternatively, clone the repo from GitHub and install from the source code:

$ cd mutatest
$ pip install .

mutatest is designed to work when your test files are separated from your source directory and are prefixed with test_. See Pytest Test Layout for more details.

mutatest is a diagnostic command line tool for your test coverage assessment. If you have a Python package in with an associated tests/ folder, or internal test_ prefixed files, that are auto-detected with pytest, then you can run mutatest without any arguments.

$ mutatest

See more examples with additional configuration options in Command Line Controls.


Run mutatest --help to see command line arguments and supported operations:

$ mutatest --help

usage: Mutatest [-h] [-b [STR [STR ...]]] [-e PATH] [-m {f,s,d,sd}] [-n INT]
                [-o PATH] [-r INT] [-s PATH] [-t STR_CMDS]
                [-w [STR [STR ...]]] [-x INT] [--debug] [--nocov] [--parallel]
                [--timeout_factor FLOAT > 1]

Python mutation testing. Mutatest will manipulate local __pycache__ files.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -b [STR [STR ...]], --blacklist [STR [STR ...]]
                        Blacklisted mutation categories for trials. (default: empty list)
  -e PATH, --exclude PATH
                        Path to .py file to exclude, multiple -e entries supported. (default: None)
  -m {f,s,d,sd}, --mode {f,s,d,sd}
                        Running modes, see the choice option descriptions below. (default: s)
  -n INT, --nlocations INT
                        Number of locations in code to randomly select for mutation from possible targets. (default: 10)
  -o PATH, --output PATH
                        Output RST file location for results. (default: No output written)
  -r INT, --rseed INT   Random seed to use for sample selection.
  -s PATH, --src PATH   Source code (file or directory) for mutation testing. (default: auto-detection attempt).
  -t STR_CMDS, --testcmds STR_CMDS
                        Test command string to execute. (default: 'pytest')
  -w [STR [STR ...]], --whitelist [STR [STR ...]]
                        Whitelisted mutation categories for trials. (default: empty list)
  -x INT, --exception INT
                        Count of survivors to raise Mutation Exception for system exit.
  --debug               Turn on DEBUG level logging output.
  --nocov               Ignore coverage files for optimization.
  --parallel            Run with multiprocessing (Py3.8 only).
  --timeout_factor FLOAT > 1
                        If a mutation trial running time is beyond this factor multiplied by the first
                        clean trial running time then that mutation trial is aborted and logged as a timeout.

Example Output

This is an output example running mutation trials against the API Tutorial example folder.

$ mutatest -s example/ -t "pytest" -r 314

Running clean trial
2 mutation targets found in example/ AST.
1 mutation targets found in example/ AST.
Setting random.seed to: 314
Total sample space size: 2
10 exceeds sample space, using full sample: 2.

Starting individual mutation trials!
Current target location:, LocIndex(ast_class='BinOp', lineno=6, col_offset=11, op_type=<class '_ast.Add'>)
Detected mutation at example/ (6, 11)
Detected mutation at example/ (6, 11)
Surviving mutation at example/ (6, 11)
Break on survival: stopping further mutations at location.

Current target location:, LocIndex(ast_class='CompareIs', lineno=6, col_offset=11, op_type=<class '_ast.Is'>)
Detected mutation at example/ (6, 11)
Running clean trial

Mutatest diagnostic summary
 - Source location: /home/user/Github/mutatest/docs/api_tutorial/example
 - Test commands: ['pytest']
 - Mode: s
 - Excluded files: []
 - N locations input: 10
 - Random seed: 314

Random sample details
 - Total locations mutated: 2
 - Total locations identified: 2
 - Location sample coverage: 100.00 %

Running time details
 - Clean trial 1 run time: 0:00:00.348999
 - Clean trial 2 run time: 0:00:00.350213
 - Mutation trials total run time: 0:00:01.389095

Trial Summary Report:

Overall mutation trial summary
 - RUN DATETIME: 2019-10-17 16:57:08.645355

Detected mutations:

 - example/ (l: 6, c: 11) - mutation from <class '_ast.Add'> to <class '_ast.Sub'>
 - example/ (l: 6, c: 11) - mutation from <class '_ast.Add'> to <class '_ast.Mod'>
 - example/ (l: 6, c: 11) - mutation from <class '_ast.Is'> to <class '_ast.IsNot'>

Surviving mutations:

 - example/ (l: 6, c: 11) - mutation from <class '_ast.Add'> to <class '_ast.Mult'>


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