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Package abide is a testing utility for http response snapshots inspired by Facebook's Jest. It is designed to be used alongside Go's existing testing package and enable broader coverage of http APIs. When included in version control it can provide a historical log of API and application changes over time. A snapshot is essentially a lockfile representing an http response. In addition to testing `http.Response`, abide provides methods for testing `io.Reader` and any object that implements `Assertable`. Snapshots are saved in a directory named __snapshots__ at the root of the package. These files are intended to be saved and included in version control. Snapshots are automatically generated during the initial test run. For example this will create a snapshot identified by "example" for this http.Response. In subsequent test runs the existing snapshot is compared to the new results. In the event they do not match, the test will fail, and the diff will be printed. If the change was intentional, the snapshot can be updated.

Version published




A testing utility for http response snapshots. Inspired by Jest.

Build Status GoDoc


  1. Include abide in your project.
import ""
  1. Within your test function, capture the response to an http request, set a unique identifier, and assert.
func TestFunction(t *testing.T) {
  req := httptest.NewRequest("GET", "", nil)
  w := httptest.NewRecorder()
  exampleHandler(w, req)
  res := w.Result()
  abide.AssertHTTPResponse(t, "example route", res)
  1. Run your tests.
$ go test -v
  1. If the output of your http response does not equal the existing snapshot, the difference will be printed in the test output. If this change was intentional, the snapshot can be updated by including the -u flag.
$ go test -v -- -u

Any snapshots created/updated will be located in package/__snapshots__.

  1. Cleanup

To ensure only the snapshots in-use are included, add the following to TestMain. If your application does not have one yet, you can read about TestMain usage here.

func TestMain(m *testing.M) {
  exit := m.Run()

Once included, if the update -u flag is used when running tests, any snapshot that is no longer in use will be removed. Note: if a single test is run, pruning will not occur.

Alternatively CleanupOrFail can be used to fail a test run if a snapshot needs cleaning up but the -u flag wasn't given (and it's not a single-test run):

func TestMain(m *testing.M) {
  if m.Run() == 0 {
    if err := abide.CleanupOrFail(); err != nil {
      fmt.Fprintln(os.Stderr, err.Error())


A snapshot is essentially a lock file for an http response. Instead of having to manually compare every aspect of an http response to it's expected value, it can be automatically generated and used for matching in subsequent testing.

Here's an example snapshot:

/* snapshot: example route */
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Connection: close
Content-Type: application/json

  "key": "value"

When working with snapshots in a git repository, you could face some end line replacements that can cause comparison issues (warning: CRLF will be replaced by LF in ...). To solve that just configure the snapshots as binary files in .gitattributes of your project root:

*.snapshot binary

abide also supports testing outside of http responses, by providing an Assert(*testing.T, string, Assertable) method which will create snapshots for any type that implements String() string.


See /example for the usage of abide in a basic web server. To run tests, simply $ go test -v


In some cases, attributes in a JSON response can by dynamic (e.g unique id's, dates, etc.), which can disrupt snapshot testing. To resolve this, an abide.json file config can be included to override values with defaults. Consider the config in the supplied example project:

  "defaults": {
    "Etag": "default-etag-value",
    "updated_at": 0,
    "foo": "foobar"

When used with AssertHTTPResponse, for any response with Content-Type: application/json, the key-value pairs in defaults will be used to override the JSON response, allowing for consistent snapshot testing. Any HTTP headers will also be override for key matches in defaults.

Using custom __snapshot__ directory

To write snapshots to a directory other than the default __snapshot__, adjust abide.SnapshotDir before any call to an Assert function. See example/models package for a working example

func init() {
  abide.SnapshotDir = "testdata"


Last updated on 19 Nov 2021

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