Django test FileField using test fixtures

I'm trying to build tests for some models that have a FileField. The model looks like this:

class SolutionFile(models.Model):
    A file from a solution.
    solution = models.ForeignKey(Solution)
    file = models.FileField(upload_to=make_solution_file_path)

I have encountered two problems:

  1. When saving data to a fixture using ./ dumpdata, the file contents are not saved, only the file name is saved into the fixture. While I find this to be the expected behavior as the file contents are not saved into the database, I'd like to somehow include this information in the fixture for tests.

  2. I have a test case for uploading a file that looks like this:

    def test_post_solution_file(self):
        import tempfile
        import os
        filename = tempfile.mkstemp()[1]
        f = open(filename, 'w')
        f.write('These are the file contents')
        f = open(filename, 'r')
        post_data = {'file': f}
        response ='add_solution_file/', post_data,
        self.assertTemplateUsed(response, 'tests/solution_detail.html')
        self.assertContains(response, os.path.basename(filename))

While this test works just fine, it leaves the uploaded file in the media directory after finishing. Of course, the deletion could be taken care of in tearDown(), but I was wondering if Django had another way of dealing with this.

One solution I was thinking of was using a different media folder for tests which must be kept synced with the test fixtures. Is there any way to specify another media directory in when tests are being run? And can I include some sort of hook to dumpdata so that it syncs the files in the media folders?

So, is there a more Pythonic or Django-specific way of dealing with unit tests involving files?


Django provides a great way to write tests on FileFields without mucking about in the real filesystem - use a SimpleUploadedFile.

from django.core.files.uploadedfile import SimpleUploadedFile

my_model.file_field = SimpleUploadedFile('best_file_eva.txt', 'these are the file contents!')

It's one of django's magical features-that-don't-show-up-in-the-docs :). However it is referred to here.

You can override the MEDIA_ROOT setting for your tests using the @override_settings() decorator as documented:

from django.test import override_settings

def test_post_solution_file(self):
  # your code here

I've written unit tests for an entire gallery app before, and what worked well for me was using the python tempfile and shutil modules to create copies of the test files in temporary directories and then delete them all afterwards.

The following example is not working/complete, but should get you on the right path:

import os, shutil, tempfile

PATH_TEMP = tempfile.mkdtemp(dir=os.path.join(MY_PATH, 'temp'))

def make_objects():
    filenames = os.listdir(TEST_FILES_DIR)

    if not os.access(PATH_TEMP, os.F_OK):

    for filename in filenames:
        name, extension = os.path.splitext(filename)
        new = os.path.join(PATH_TEMP, filename)
        shutil.copyfile(os.path.join(TEST_FILES_DIR, filename), new)

        #Do something with the files/FileField here

def remove_objects():

I run those methods in the setUp() and tearDown() methods of my unit tests and it works great! You've got a clean copy of your files to test your filefield that are reusable and predictable.

This is what I did for my test. After uploading the file it should end up in the photo property of my organization model object:

    import tempfile
    filename = tempfile.mkstemp()[1]
    f = open(filename, 'w')
    f.write('These are the file contents')
    f = open(filename, 'r')
    post_data = {'file': f}
    response ="/org/%d/photo" % new_org_data["id"], post_data)
    self.assertEqual(response.status_code, 200)

    ## Check the file
    ## org is where the file should end up
    org = models.Organization.objects.get(pk=new_org_data["id"])
    self.assertEqual("These are the file contents",

    ## Remove the file
    import os

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