[Solved] Python unittest – opposite of assertRaises?

I want to write a test to establish that an Exception is not raised in a given circumstance.

It’s straightforward to test if an Exception is raised …

self.assertRaises(PathIsNotAValidOne, MyObject, sInvalidPath) 

… but how can you do the opposite.

Something like this i what I’m after …

self.assertNotRaises(PathIsNotAValidOne, MyObject, sValidPath) 
Enquirer: glaucon


Solution #1:

def run_test(self):
    except ExceptionType:"myFunc() raised ExceptionType unexpectedly!")
Respondent: DGH

Solution #2:

Hi – I want to write a test to establish that an Exception is not raised in a given circumstance.

That’s the default assumption — exceptions are not raised.

If you say nothing else, that’s assumed in every single test.

You don’t have to actually write an any assertion for that.

Respondent: S.Lott

Solution #3:

Just call the function. If it raises an exception, the unit test framework will flag this as an error. You might like to add a comment, e.g.:

# Check PathIsNotAValidOne not thrown
Respondent: user9876

Solution #4:

I am the original poster and I accepted the above answer by DGH without having first used it in the code.

Once I did use I realised that it needed a little tweaking to actually do what I needed it to do (to be fair to DGH he/she did say “or something similar” !).

I thought it was worth posting the tweak here for the benefit of others:

        a = Application("abcdef", "")
    except pySourceAidExceptions.PathIsNotAValidOne:

What I was attempting to do here was to ensure that if an attempt was made to instantiate an Application object with a second argument of spaces the pySourceAidExceptions.PathIsNotAValidOne would be raised.

I believe that using the above code (based heavily on DGH’s answer) will do that.

Respondent: glaucon

Solution #5:

You can define assertNotRaises by reusing about 90% of the original implementation of assertRaises in the unittest module. With this approach, you end up with an assertNotRaises method that, aside from its reversed failure condition, behaves identically to assertRaises.

TLDR and live demo

It turns out to be surprisingly easy to add an assertNotRaises method to unittest.TestCase (it took me about 4 times as long to write this answer as it did the code). Here’s a live demo of the assertNotRaises method in action. Just like assertRaises, you can either pass a callable and args to assertNotRaises, or you can use it in a with statement. The live demo includes a test cases that demonstrates that assertNotRaises works as intended.


The implementation of assertRaises in unittest is fairly complicated, but with a little bit of clever subclassing you can override and reverse its failure condition.

assertRaises is a short method that basically just creates an instance of the class and returns it (see its definition in the module). You can define your own _AssertNotRaisesContext class by subclassing _AssertRaisesContext and overriding its __exit__ method:

import traceback
from import _AssertRaisesContext

class _AssertNotRaisesContext(_AssertRaisesContext):
    def __exit__(self, exc_type, exc_value, tb):
        if exc_type is not None:
            self.exception = exc_value.with_traceback(None)

                exc_name = self.expected.__name__
            except AttributeError:
                exc_name = str(self.expected)

            if self.obj_name:
                self._raiseFailure("{} raised by {}".format(exc_name,
                self._raiseFailure("{} raised".format(exc_name))


        return True

Normally you define test case classes by having them inherit from TestCase. If you instead inherit from a subclass MyTestCase:

class MyTestCase(unittest.TestCase):
    def assertNotRaises(self, expected_exception, *args, **kwargs):
        context = _AssertNotRaisesContext(expected_exception, self)
            return context.handle('assertNotRaises', args, kwargs)
            context = None

all of your test cases will now have the assertNotRaises method available to them.

Respondent: tel

Solution #6:

def _assertNotRaises(self, exception, obj, attr):                                                                                                                              
         result = getattr(obj, attr)                                                                                                                                            
         if hasattr(result, '__call__'):                                                                                                                                        
     except Exception as e:                                                                                                                                                     
         if isinstance(e, exception):                                                                                                                                           
            raise AssertionError('{}.{} raises {}.'.format(obj, attr, exception)) 

could be modified if you need to accept parameters.

call like

self._assertNotRaises(IndexError, array, 'sort')
Respondent: znotdead

Solution #7:

I’ve found it useful to monkey-patch unittest as follows:

def assertMayRaise(self, exception, expr):
  if exception is None:
      info = sys.exc_info()'%s raised' % repr(info[0]))
    self.assertRaises(exception, expr)

unittest.TestCase.assertMayRaise = assertMayRaise

This clarifies intent when testing for the absence of an exception:

self.assertMayRaise(None, does_not_raise)

This also simplifies testing in a loop, which I often find myself doing:

# ValueError is raised only for op(x,x), op(y,y) and op(z,z).
for i,(a,b) in enumerate(itertools.product([x,y,z], [x,y,z])):
  self.assertMayRaise(None if i%4 else ValueError, lambda: op(a, b))
Respondent: AndyJost

Solution #8:

If you pass an Exception class to assertRaises(), a context manager is provided. This can improve the readability of your tests:

# raise exception if Application created with bad data
with self.assertRaises(pySourceAidExceptions.PathIsNotAValidOne):
    application = Application("abcdef", "")

This allows you to test error cases in your code.

In this case, you are testing the PathIsNotAValidOne is raised when you pass invalid parameters to the Application constructor.

Respondent: hiwaylon

Solution #9:

you can try like that.
self.assertRaises(None,function,arg1, arg2)
if you don’t put code inside try block it will through exception’ AssertionError: None not raised ” and test case will be failed. Test case will be pass if put inside try block which is expected behaviour.

Respondent: lalit

Solution #10:

One straight forward way to ensure the object is initialized without any error is to test the object’s type instance.

Here is an example :

p = SomeClass(param1=_param1_value)
self.assertTrue(isinstance(p, SomeClass))
Respondent: anroyus

Solution #11:

This worked for me:

def run_test(): 
          # if my_function throws an exception, this block will run and the test will fail. If this block never runs, you know that my_function did not throw an exception
"Should not happen")
Respondent: rishikarri

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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