gRPC support for Motolov

I am happy to share that Molotov is getting gRPC support.

Molotov is a tool for testing HTTP services, see

I've cut a few releases in the past few years that were mostly bug fixes and dependencies upgrades -- thanks to contributors. The tool has been stable for years and I did not expect any new features.

But gRPC support is there!


One feature I often use is auto sizing. Molotov ramps up the load gradually and stops the test when the errors ratio is past a threshold.

That is quite useful to determine how much your service can handle and what resource gets exhausted first. Typically memory or CPU.

We've used it recently against the Nuclia Database to track its performances and bottlenecks -- but there was one tool missing in our armada: the ability to run the same kind of tests against gRPC endpoints.

Molotov is an HTTP load tester and each scenario gets an HTTP session. So it was a bit hackish to use it for some of the gRPC endpoints NucliaDB uses.

We had to create ad-hoc gRPC scripts but then lose the ability to run automatic ramp-up tests.

Introducing gRPC support

But adding gRPC support to Molotov was quite easy. When you create a gRPC channel using grpc.aio.insecure_channel, you get back an object that acts like a session and can be used a bit like an HTTP client session.

To make its integration as simple as possible, I've used a similar trick than Pytest does for its fixtures: declare the kind of session the test needs via the test arguments.

In practice, here's a full example:

from molotov import scenario
from molotov.tests._grpc import helloworld_pb2, helloworld_pb2_grpc

async def grpc_scenario(

    stub = helloworld_pb2_grpc.GreeterStub(session)
    response = await stub.SayHello(helloworld_pb2.HelloRequest(name="Alice"))
    assert response.message == "Hello, Alice!", response.message

The scenario gets its usual session argument, and a session_factory argument that can be either grpc or http (the default). Molotov will read the signature and pick the right session factory to create it. For grpc the grpc_url argument is the URL of the gRPC server.

I've implemented a new session_factory API to make this pluggable. The full implementation for the grpc factory is:

from grpc import aio
from molotov.api import session_factory

def grpc_session(loop, console, verbose, statsd, trace_config, **kw):
    url = kw["grpc_url"]
    channel = aio.insecure_channel(url)
    channel._trace_configs = [trace_config]
    return channel

Which means you can implement your own factory if you want. The returned object will be passed to the test as session and will be created once for each Molotov worker.

The only requirement is that this object implements a close async function that will be called when the worker has finished its work.

I hope that new feature will be useful out there.

You can try it out by installing the current main branch:

pip install git+

Happy hacking!

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