Simple load testing with Locust

I've been using Locust recently to run some load tests - most significantly these tests against SQLite running with Django and this test exercising Datasette and Gunicorn.

A really basic test

Locust tests are defined in a file. Here's the most basic possible test, which sends requests to the / page of a web application:

from locust import HttpUser, task

class Page(HttpUser):
    def index(self):

The web interface

With this saved as you can run it in two ways. You can start a web interface to Locust like this:


This opens a web server on (by default) which offers an interface for starting a new test:

A form with fields for number of users (peak concurrency), spawn rate (users started/second) and host (the URL to start the tests at)

You can run this for as long as you like, and it will produce both statistics on the load test and some pleasing charts:

Charts for total requests per second over time and response times in ms

Using the command-line

You can also run tests without the web server at all. I tend to use this option as it's quicker to repeat a test, and you can easily copy and paste the results into a GitHub issue thread.

locust --headless --users 4 --spawn-rate 2 -H

This runs the tests in the current against, with four concurrent users and ramping up at 2 users every second (so taking two seconds to ramp up to full concurrency).

Hit Ctrl+C to end the test. It will end up producing something like this:

Type     Name                                                                          # reqs      # fails |    Avg     Min     Max    Med |   req/s  failures/s
GET      /fixtures/sortable                                                               475     0(0.00%) |    169     110     483    170 |   23.58        0.00
         Aggregated                                                                       475     0(0.00%) |    169     110     483    170 |   23.58        0.00

Response time percentiles (approximated)
Type     Name                                                                                  50%    66%    75%    80%    90%    95%    98%    99%  99.9% 99.99%   100% # reqs
GET      /fixtures/sortable                                                                    170    170    180    180    190    200    210    250    480    480    480    475
         Aggregated                                                                            170    170    180    180    190    200    210    250    480    480    480    475

More complicated tests

Locust tests can get a lot more complex than this. The documentation provides this example:

import time
from locust import HttpUser, task, between

class QuickstartUser(HttpUser):
    wait_time = between(1, 5)

    def hello_world(self):

    def view_items(self):
        for item_id in range(10):
            self.client.get(f"/item?id={item_id}", name="/item")

    def on_start(self):"/login", json={"username":"foo", "password":"bar"})

This illustrates some neat concepts. Each "user" will constantly pick a task at random, where a task is a method decorated with the @task decorator. @task(3) here gives that task a weight of three, so it's three times more likely to be accepted.

The self.client can maintain cookie state between requests, with each user getting a separate copy. on_start is used here to log the user in, but also demonstrates how POST requests can work against APIs that accept JSON.


Created 2022-10-22T17:33:58-07:00 · Edit