Where To Put Test Fixtures Golang

Go Programming

When it comes to writing tests in Golang, one of the important decisions to make is where to put the test fixtures. In my experience, finding the right place for test fixtures can greatly impact the maintainability and readability of the test code. Let’s dive into the details of where to put test fixtures in Golang and explore the best practices.

Understanding Test Fixtures

Before delving into the placement of test fixtures, it’s essential to understand what test fixtures are. In Golang, test fixtures refer to the data or state setup required for unit tests, integration tests, or any other type of automated tests. These fixtures can include sample data, mock objects, or any other necessary setup to ensure consistent and reliable test execution.

Package-Level Fixtures

One approach to managing test fixtures is to place them at the package level. This means creating dedicated files within the package specifically for test fixtures. Personally, I find this approach beneficial for keeping the fixtures closely related to the code they are testing. It also makes it easier to maintain and update the fixtures alongside the corresponding code.

Separate Testdata Directory

Another common practice in the Golang community is to create a separate directory named testdata at the root level of the project. This directory is then used to store all the test fixtures across different packages. I’ve found this approach particularly useful for organizing fixtures in a centralized location, especially when multiple packages share the same fixtures.

Embedded Test Data

For smaller test fixtures, embedding the data directly within the test file using Go’s literals can be a pragmatic approach. This method is helpful when the fixtures are simple and don’t warrant separate files or directories. However, it’s important to strike a balance and avoid cluttering the test files with excessive embedded data.


Ultimately, the placement of test fixtures in Golang depends on the specific context of the project and the nature of the fixtures. Whether it’s at the package level, within a dedicated directory, or embedded within test files, the goal is to ensure that the test fixtures are easily accessible, maintainable, and scalable. By carefully considering the appropriate location for test fixtures, developers can streamline the testing process and contribute to the overall quality of the codebase.