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Strapi plugin creates a Vitest unit testing harness, that can be used to test Strapi apps and standalone plugins. It loads Strapi as a singleton that can be used by multiple test files. You don't have to require your tests from the `app.test.js` file, each test file is independent of others. It can be also used in watch mode.

Strapi plugin Vitest

Strapi plugin creates a Vitest unit testing harness, that can be used to test Strapi apps and standalone plugins. It loads Strapi as a singleton that can be used by multiple independent test files. It can also be used in watch mode.

Plugin still < v1.0.0, implementations may change.


This plugin provides a Vitest testing harness to enable easier testing with Strapi. The major advantage here is that Vitest uses Vite and therefore takes advantage of modern js that includes running ESM or TS without any transpilation. Read about Vitest & Vite to learn more. Vitest works with Jest and Chai assertions and is very, very fast with little simple config needed to use it.

The way this harness is made allows for Strapi to run a singleton that can be used by various test files without reloading it each time for each file; it loads Strapi once, and you just write tests that work in independent test files without appending them to app.test.js.

In addition to testing Strapi applications, it can also be used to test standalone plugins. It has a mini-strapi app that is exposed when you install and initialize it into a plugin project. The mini-app is started and has the root package (plugin) installed by default. You can then customize the mini-app tests/helpers/harness/test-app for anything required by the plugin.


pnpm add -D strapi-plugin-vitest

Use your preferred package manager yarn/pnpm/npm where pnpm is mentioned.


To initialize the harness, you need to run pnpm vitest-init

This command is meant to be run once to expose the testing harness. However, you can run it any time to get the fresh/updated harness, and it will overwrite any existing harness files (VCS is essential here). You can freely edit these files if you wish to customize the harness or add new features through extensions and plugins. You can migrate your previous customizations through VCS diffs if you so run this command on existing customizations.

The initialization script:

  • creates/overwrites any existing harness files/dirs in test/helpers directory (ones that it ships with). This Test harness has added plugins: expect-more-jest, jest-extended, sinon-chai
    • uses .env.test file to extend the .env file if available. This means you can fine-tune any existing environments for testing purposes. I use it to turn on or off certain plugins during testing, for example.
  • creates/overwrites app.test.ts or plugin.test.ts example file (respective if it is installed in a Strapi app/plugin)
  • creates/overwrites vitest.config.js vitest configuration file
  • creates a config/env/test/database.(js|ts) file if missing
  • adds the following scripts to your package.json assist with initialization, usage and other chores (please review them for correctness):
    • vitest:w - executes script to run vitest in watch mode (custom watcher)
    • vitest:clean - executes script to clean test application build artifacts (only available when testing standalone plugins)
    • vitest:build - executes script to build test application though not necessary, happens automatically when you run any of the following scripts (only available when testing standalone plugins)
    • vitest:develop - executes script to run the test application in develop mode (only available when testing standalone plugins)
    • vitest:start - executes script to run the test application in start mode (only available when testing standalone plugins)
    • vitest:console - executes script to run the test application in console mode (only available when testing standalone plugins)
    • vitest:diag - executes script to run your application or the test-app application (when testing standalone plugins) in start mode, but in a test environment to allow you to diagnose problems. See troubleshooting for more information.
    • vitest:dev-deps - executes script to install required dev-dependencies, just run it after every init. You can edit or remove this script once you are done with it.
    • vitest:deps - same as above but for dependencies (will only update any packages you moved to dependencies if applicable)
  • tells you important dependencies that you must install inorder to use the harness.


tsconfig.config Modifications

Create or add the following into tsconfig.json:

  "compilerOptions": {
    "types": [

plugins.js|ts Configuration

Enable the plugin in your test plugins' configuration - for applications testing only.

This plugin also cleans the DB based on configuration during tests startup/destroy.

  • At Register is meant to allow you to review your tests data after each run.
  • At Destroy is meant to be used to just clean up the database after each run.
module.exports = {
  vitest: {
    enabled: true, 
    config: {
      cleanDBAtRegister: Boolean, // use either to clean DB before or after strapi server register and destroy
      cleanDBAtDestroy: Boolean,

Running tests

To run tests do the following:

pnpm vitest 

This will run all tests in the tests directory, according to the vitest.config.js configuration. See Vitest for more information about running tests, arguments and options.

If the package under test is a standalone Strapi plugin, then this will build the test-app on each run. On the first run, the harness will create a default super admin: with password: Password123. You can use this to login to the admin backend if you run the console, develop or start scripts. See below.

Difference with Strapi Unit Testing Guide Documentation

As mentioned before, this harness allows you to run tests files independent of the app.test.js file, you can even delete this file, it's just there as a sample; unlike as documented by Strapi. (Strapi Team is free to add this package to Strapi Documentation or to Strapi suite of packages). Meaning you can run a file directly, without worrying of how the singleton will mount. Everything will be done by this harness, making it easier and standard to test Strapi code. For example, you can run specific test that match title = # validate my-service, without running other tests:

pnpm test -t "my-service"

Read Vitest filtering documentation for more information on tests filtering.

See example test file app.test.ts/plugin.test.ts, you can generate other similar test files and just run them as usual, without adding them to any main test file or worry about special treatment for test code.


Tests just quit with exist code 1

  • If tests quits with errors or not, first ensure all required plugin dependencies were installed before using this harness. You can quickly do so by running the auto-added scripts pnpm vitest:dev-deps and pnpm vitest:deps (if available), you can remove the scripts once you are done with them.
  • Sometimes it may not be clear why the harness is failing to start. To see why startup is failing, if no real followable error is showing:

    • run pnpm vitest:diag which runs NODE_ENV=test pnpm strapi start when strapi-plugin-vitest is used to test an application, or NODE_ENV=test pnpm vitest:start when testing a standalone plugin

    either commands (for applications or plugins) will run Strapi as usual, but within a test environment. Any errors being swallowed up by test suite will be thrown.

Tests Watching

For some reason the vitest watcher is not working with Strapi. Therefore, I devised a watcher to use with this plugin.

  • run vitest-watch or vitest:w to run under watch mode. Pass other Vitest arguments as required.

Noteworthy Changes

🚨 v0.3.69 😉 manually change the version in your package.json after review

  • usage of vitest-init & vitest:deps/vitest:dev-deps required
  • moved most harness implementations into the lib itself as this can become tedious you end-user to maintain whenever the harness is updated.
  • 🚨 upgraded vitest to version ^0.23.4 from ^0.22.1: manually change the version in your package.json after review because it introduces a few breaking changes, but fixes, adds features and improvements. See vitest releases
  • added a lot of test utils, will document them soon, but you can use them by importing them through import { ... } from 'strapi-plugin-vitest', most of them were adopted from strapi tests/helpers etc. Since this is ts, most of the utils will give you info you need to use them.
  • the api is almost stable to move to v1.0.0
  • manually remove "override.env" from your package.json file if you are not using it.


  • cleaned up the harness' dependencies and usage.


  • added scripts to make things easier
  • fixed a few bugs


  • Fixed usage of plugin by the test-app.
  • Reverted to earlier behaviour of overwriting existing harness files. Commit everything before running init.


  • Harness has a few fixes, therefore you need to run vitest-init to get the latest version of the harness. You don't have to back up any files, it'll be done for you.
  • The new harness can now be used to test standalone plugins


  • Harness has a few fixes, therefore you need to run vitest-init to get the latest version of the harness. Before you do, rename vitest-config.js to vitest-config.bck.js, if you have any changes, move them into the new vitest-config.js.
  • Once you re-init harness, note that it is now in tests/helpers/harness from tests/helpers. If you have any customizations in the old harness files, then you have to manually move any customizations into the new files before you delete the old files.


Emmanuel Mahuni



Install now

npm install strapi-plugin-vitest


6 GitHub stars2 weekly downloads

Last updated

617 days ago

Strapi Version



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Emmanuel Mahuni

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