How to Run Locust

Once you have the library installed, you can simply follow the output from running locust -h to run your test. Note that if you don’t specify a locustfile with -f FILE_NAME, locust will look for a file called locustfile in the current directory by default.

Command Line Flow

If you’re running Locust somewhere where there is no web ui, or you don’t want to bother with the web flow, I tend to run Locust like so:

locust -f examples/ -u 1 -r 10 -t 3600 --headless

Required Arguments

This is the bare minimum to run a Locust test without the web view. You’ll notice you need to specify:

  • The hatch rate (-r is for rate)

  • The number of users (-u is for users)

  • The time of the test (-t) in seconds

  • The –headless flag

Once you run this command, the test will start immediately, and start logging output. It should run for the duration you run the test, and hitting ctrl+c may orphan some locusts. Some arguments that we use are

  • –csv-full-history -> prints out the different percentile changes every 30 seconds

It’s recommended to capture log file output when running Locust as well, i.e. | tee run.log

Web Flow

If you supply no arguments to locust other than the locustfile, Locust will launch in a web mode. This is not recommended, mainly because you can’t automate running it as it requires manual interaction as well as access to the flask application.

locust -f

If you navigate to http://localhost:8089/ you’ll see the following:

Locust web view

These arguments map to the same arguments described in the Required Arguments section.

Once you hit “start swarming”, you’ll see graphs reporting latencies, errors, and other data. These can be useful for visually understanding how a load test is performing.