Simple parallel testing execution... with some goodies for functional tests.

v1.5.0 2017-10-12 12:40 UTC


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Only one thing

Execute parallel commands, creating a Process for each Processor (with some goodies for functional tests).

find tests/ -name "*Test.php" | ./vendor/liuggio/fastest/fastest "vendor/phpunit/phpunit/phpunit -c app {};"

Fastest works with any available testing tool! It just executes it in parallel.

It is optimized for functional tests, giving an easy way to work with N databases in parallel.


"I had a problem,
so I decided to use threads.
tNwoowp rIo bhlaevmes.


We were tired of not being able to run paratest with our project (big complex functional project).
Parallel is a great tool but not so nice for functional tests.
There were no simple tool available for functional tests.

Our old codebase run in 30 minutes, now in 7 minutes with 4 Processors.


  1. Functional tests could use a database per processor using the environment variable.
  2. Tests are randomized by default.
  3. Is not coupled with PhpUnit you could run any command.
  4. Is developed in PHP with no dependencies.
  5. As input you could use a phpunit.xml.dist file or use pipe (see below).
  6. Includes a Behat extension to easily pipe scenarios into fastest.
  7. Increase Verbosity with -v option.


It creates N threads where N is the number of the core in the computer.
Really fast, 100% written in PHP, inspired by Parallel.


Configure paths to binaries

Examples shown below use paths to binaries installed in the vendor/ directory. You can use symlinks in the bin/ directory by defining the bin-dir parameter of Composer:

composer config "bin-dir" "bin"

Then you'll be able to call binaries in the bin/ directory:

  • bin/fastest instead of vendor/liuggio/fastest/fastest
  • bin/phpunit instead of vendor/phpunit/phpunit/phpunit

Parallelize everything

ls | ./fastest "echo slow operation on {}" -vvv

Using the placeholders

{} is the current test file.
{p} is the current processor number.
{n} is the unique number of the current test. phpunit {} is used as default command.


A. Using ls, list of folders as input suggested

ls -d test/* | ./vendor/liuggio/fastest/fastest "vendor/phpunit/phpunit/phpunit {};"

B. using find, list of php files as input

find tests/ -name "*Test.php" | ./vendor/liuggio/fastest/fastest  "vendor/phpunit/phpunit/phpunit {};"

C. Using phpunit.xml.dist as input

You can use the option -x and import the test suites from the phpunit.xml.dist

./vendor/liuggio/fastest/fastest -x phpunit.xml.dist "vendor/phpunit/phpunit/phpunit {};"

If you use this option make sure the test-suites contains a lot of directories: this feature should be improved, don't blame help instead.

Functional tests and database

Inside your tests you could use the env. variables,
if you are running tests on a computer that has 4 core, fastest will create 4 threads in parallel, and inside your test you could use those variables to better identify the current process:

echo getenv('ENV_TEST_CHANNEL');          // The number of the current channel that is using the current test eg.2
echo getenv('ENV_TEST_CHANNEL_READABLE'); // Name used to make the database name unique, is a readable name eg. test_2
echo getenv('ENV_TEST_CHANNELS_NUMBER');  // Max channel number on a system (the core number) eg. 4
echo getenv('ENV_TEST_ARGUMENT');         // The current running test eg. tests/UserFunctionalTest.php
echo getenv('ENV_TEST_INC_NUMBER');       // Unique number of the current test eg. 32
echo getenv('ENV_TEST_IS_FIRST_ON_CHANNEL'); // Is 1 if is the first test on its thread useful for clear cache.

Setup the database before

You can also run a script per process before the tests, useful for init schema and fixtures loading.

find tests/ -name "*Test.php" | ./vendor/liuggio/fastest/fastest -b"app/console doc:sch:create -e test" "vendor/phpunit/phpunit/phpunit {};";

Generate and merge code coverage

# Install phpcov in order to merge the code coverage
composer require --dev "phpunit/phpcov:~3.0"
# Create a directory where the coverage files will be put
mkdir -p cov/fastest/
# Generate as many files than tests, since {n} is an unique number for each test
find tests/ -name "*Test.php" | vendor/liuggio/fastest/fastest "vendor/phpunit/phpunit/phpunit -c app {} --coverage-php cov/fastest/{n}.cov;"
# Merge the code coverage files
phpcov merge cov/fastest/ --html cov/merge/fastest/

Code coverage will be available in the cov/merge/fastest/ directory.

Storage adapters

If you want to parallel functional tests, and if you have a machine with 4 CPUs, the best think you could do is create a db foreach parallel process, fastest gives you the opportunity to work easily with Symfony.

Modifying the config_test.yml config file in Symfony, each functional test will look for a database called <database_name>_test_x automatically (x is from 1 to CPUs number).

Doctrine DBAL


    # Stubs
    doctrine.dbal.connection_factory.class: Liuggio\Fastest\Doctrine\DBAL\ConnectionFactory

Doctrine MongoDB Connection


    # Stubs
    doctrine_mongodb.odm.connection.class: Liuggio\Fastest\Doctrine\MongoDB\Connection

SQLite databases

SQLite databases don't have names. It's always 1 database per file. If SQLite driver is detected, instead switching the database name, database path will be changed. To make it work simply add __DBNAME__ placeholder in your database path.


        driver:   pdo_sqlite
        path:     "%kernel.cache_dir%/__DBNAME__.db"
    doctrine.dbal.connection_factory.class: Liuggio\Fastest\Doctrine\DBAL\ConnectionFactory

Where __DBNAME__ will be replaced with ENV_TEST_CHANNEL_READABLE value.

Behat.* extension

A Behat extension is included that provides the ability for Behat to output a list of feature files or individual scenarios that would be executed without actually executing them. This list can be piped into fastest to run the scenarios in parallel.

To install the extension just add it to your behat.yml file:

    Liuggio\Fastest\Behat\ListFeaturesExtension\Extension: ~

for Behat2:

    Liuggio\Fastest\Behat2\ListFeaturesExtension\Extension: ~

After this you will have two additional command line options: --list-features and --list-scenarios. The former will output a list of *.feature files and the later will output each scenario of each feature file, including its line number (e.g. /full/path/Features/myfeature.feature:lineNumber)

This will let you pipe the output directly into fastest to parallelize its execution:

/my/path/behat --list-scenarios | ./vendor/liuggio/fastest/fastest "/my/path/behat {}"

Using --list-scenarios is preferred over --list-features because it will give a more granular scenario-by-scenario output, allowing fastest to shuffle and balance individual tests in a better way.

About browser-based tests (Selenium, Mink, etc)

When a browser is controlled remotely via PHPUnit, Behat or another test suite that is being used by Fastest, the browser makes requests back to the server. The problem is that when the server process the request it has no idea of which fastest channel called it, so there must be a way to set this information before connecting to the database (in order to choose the correct database that corresponds to the channel).

One possible way is to implement the following steps:

1. Set a cookie, GET query parameter or HTTP header with the appropiate channel value

When your test scenario begins, maybe at the authentication phase, set one of the following to the value of the environment variable ENV_TEST_CHANNEL_READABLE:

  • If it's a cookie or a GET query parameter name it ENV_TEST_CHANNEL_READABLE
    • Beware that if you use the GET query parameter option and via automation you click on a link of the browser that doesn't have that query parameter, the request won't have the query parameter the server won't know the channel to initialize.
  • If it's a HTTP header name it X-FASTEST-ENV-TEST-CHANNEL-READABLE and send it on every request to the server.

2. Configure the entry point of your application to set the environment variables for the request

For this is enough to add the following code before booting your application:


This will detect the presence of the ENV_TEST_CHANNEL_READABLE value in any of the contexts mentioned in #1 and set the corresponding environment variable.

For example, in the case of the Symfony framework you may just add it in web/app_dev.php just before require_once __DIR__.'/../app/AppKernel.php':

// ... code
$loader = require_once __DIR__.'/../app/bootstrap.php.cache';


require_once __DIR__.'/../app/AppKernel.php';
$kernel = new AppKernel('dev', true);
// ... code


If you use Composer just run composer require --dev 'liuggio/fastest:~1.4'

or simply add a dependency on liuggio/fastest to your project's composer.json file:

    "require-dev": {
	    "liuggio/fastest": "~1.4"

For a system-wide installation via Composer, you can run:

composer global require "liuggio/fastest=~1.4"

Make sure you have ~/.composer/vendor/bin/ in your path, read more at

If you want to use it with phpunit you may want to install phpunit/phpunit as dependency.

Run this test with fastest

Easy see .travis.yml file

The arguments:

 fastest [-p|--process="..."] [-b|--before="..."] [-x|--xml="..."] [-o|--preserve-order] [--no-errors-summary] [execute]

 execute               Optional command to execute.

 --process (-p)        Number of parallel processes, default: available CPUs.
 --before (-b)         Execute a process before consuming the queue, it executes this command once per process, useful for init schema and load fixtures.
 --xml (-x)            Read input from a phpunit xml file from the '<testsuites>' collection. Note: it is not used for consuming.
 --preserve-order (-o) Queue is randomized by default, with this option the queue is read preserving the order.
 --no-errors-summary   Do not display all errors after the test run. Useful with --vv because it already displays errors immediately after they happen.
 --help (-h)           Display this help message.
 --quiet (-q)          Do not output any message.
 --verbose (-v|vv|vvv) Increase the verbosity of messages: 1 for normal output, 2 for more verbose output and 3 for debug
 --version (-V)        Display this application version.
 --ansi                Force ANSI output.
 --no-ansi             Disable ANSI output.
 --no-interaction (-n) Do not ask any interactive question.

Known problems

If you're faceing problems with unknown command errors, make sure your variables-order php.ini setting contains E. If not, your enviroment variables are not set, and commands that are in your PATH will not work.


Please help with code, love, feedback and bug reporting.

Thanks to:

  • @giorrrgio for the mongoDB adapter
  • @diegosainz for the Behat2 adapter
  • you?

License License

Read LICENSE for more information.