Using pytest-order with other pytest plugins

Relationship with pytest-dependency

The pytest-dependency plugin also manages dependencies between tests (skips tests that depend on skipped or failed tests), but doesn’t do any ordering. If you want to execute the tests in a specific order to each other, you can use pytest-order. If you want to skip or xfail tests dependent on other tests you can use pytest-dependency. If you want to have both behaviors combined, you can use both plugins together with the option --order-dependencies. As mentioned before, only static dependency markers are considered for ordering.

Usage with other ordering plugins

There is a number of other pytest plugins that change the order in which tests are executed. Most of these plugins only reorder tests if given some command line options or in the presence of specific markers (as does pytest-order). These plugins will not have any effect on pytest-order if not actively used. A few plugins always do reordering, most notably pytest-randomly.


This plugin executes tests in a random order to avoid unknown test dependencies. The plugin is effective if installed and not actively disabled. pytest-order should still work correctly, because it is executed after pytest-randomly (except if you use the option --indulgent-ordering). The marked tests will be ordered correctly, but the order of the unordered tests will change unpredictably. For example, if you run the following tests:

import pytest

def test_second():
    assert True

def test_third():
    assert True

def test_fourth():
    assert True

def test_first():
    assert True

the output could either be: PASSED PASSED PASSED PASSED


The same is true for relative ordering. The tests will be correctly ordered before and after the tests as configured, but all other tests will be in an arbitrary order. If you want the tests to execute in a random order except the ones that you know depend on each other, this can be a good strategy to prevent test dependencies.

If you don’t want the installed pytest-randomly be effective in a test run, you can exclude it explicitly on the command line:

python -m pytest -p no:randomly


pytest-reverse is another plugin by the same author to find test dependencies by running tests in the reverse order. Other than pytest-randomly, it is only effective if the tests are called with the command line option --reverse. As with pytest-randomly, you can use this plugin combined with pytest-ordering to make sure that all known test dependencies are handled, and possible unknown dependencies are found.


pytest-random-order is very similar to pytest-randomly, except that the tests are only reordered if the option --random-order is given. Except from that, what was mentioned for pytest-randomly is also true for this plugin.


As mentioned, pytest-ordering can coexist with pytest-order due to the different marker names, but using markers of both plugins in the same test run is not recommended. One plugin may partially revert the effects of the other plugin in unpredictable ways, because the order in which they are executed is not deterministic. The same is true for other plugins that define the test order and are run last.


pytest-depends has a goal somewhat similar to pytest-dependency with additional ordering, but due to a known issue it always reorders the tests. If you have installed this plugin, the order of the unordered tests will change even without using it actively.


This is a small plugin by the same author as pytest-order that tries to find specific dependencies between tests by running a subset of them repeatedly in reverse order until the dependencies are found. This plugin would run the tests as ordered by any ordering plugin in the first run, but reverse the test order in the second run, so that already ordered tests are not run in the correct order. You have the possibility to exclude ordered tests completely by using the --markers-to-ignore option:

python -m pytest --find-dependencies --markers-to-ignore=order

Usage with pytest-xdist

The pytest-xdist plugin schedules tests unordered, and the order configured by pytest-order will normally not be preserved. But if we use the --dist=loadfile option, provided by xdist, all tests from one file will be run in the same thread. So, to make the two plugins work together, we have to put each group of dependent tests in one file, and call pytest with --dist=loadfile (this is taken from this issue).