Sending tests to remote SSH accounts

Deprecated since version 3.0.


The rsync feature is deprecated because its implementation is faulty in terms of reproducing the development environment in the remote worker, and there is no clear solution moving forward.

For that reason, rsync is scheduled to be removed in release 4.0, to let the team focus on a smaller set of features.

Note that SSH and socket server are not planned for removal, as they are part of the execnet feature set.

Suppose you have a package mypkg which contains some tests that you can successfully run locally. And you have a ssh-reachable machine myhost. Then you can ad-hoc distribute your tests by typing:

pytest -d  --rsyncdir mypkg --tx ssh=myhostpopen mypkg/tests/unit/

This will synchronize your mypkg package directory to a remote ssh account and then locally collect tests and send them to remote places for execution.

You can specify multiple --rsyncdir directories to be sent to the remote side.


For pytest to collect and send tests correctly you not only need to make sure all code and tests directories are rsynced, but that any test (sub) directory also has an file because internally pytest references tests as a fully qualified python module path. You will otherwise get strange errors during setup of the remote side.

You can specify multiple --rsyncignore glob patterns to be ignored when file are sent to the remote side. There are also internal ignores: .*, *.pyc, *.pyo, *~ Those you cannot override using rsyncignore command-line or ini-file option(s).

Sending tests to remote Socket Servers

Download the single-module Python program and run it like this:


It will tell you that it starts listening on the default port. You can now on your home machine specify this new socket host with something like this:

pytest -d --tx socket= --rsyncdir mypkg

Running tests on many platforms at once

The basic command to run tests on multiple platforms is:

pytest --dist=each --tx=spec1 --tx=spec2

If you specify a windows host, an OSX host and a Linux environment this command will send each tests to all platforms - and report back failures from all platforms at once. The specifications strings use the xspec syntax.