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Welcome to the k6 documentation

This documentation will help you go from a total beginner to a seasoned k6 expert!

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What is k6?

Grafana k6 is an open-source load testing tool that makes performance testing easy and productive for engineering teams. k6 is free, developer-centric, and extensible.

Using k6, you can test the reliability and performance of your systems and catch performance regressions and problems earlier. k6 will help you to build resilient and performant applications that scale.

k6 is developed by Grafana Labs and the community.

Key features

k6 is packed with features, which you can learn all about in the documentation. Key features include:

CLI tool with developer-friendly APIs.
Scripting in JavaScript ES2015/ES6 - with support for local and remote modules
Checks and Thresholds - for goal-oriented, automation-friendly load testing

Use cases

k6 users are typically Developers, QA Engineers, SDETs, and SREs. They use k6 for testing the performance and reliability of APIs, microservices, and websites. Common k6 use cases are:

  • Load testing

    k6 is optimized for minimal resource consumption and designed for running high load tests (spike, stress, soak tests) .

  • Browser testing

    Through k6 browser, you can run browser-based performance testing and catch issues related to browsers only which can be skipped entirely from the protocol level.

  • Chaos and resilience testing

    You can use k6 to simulate traffic as part of your chaos experiments, trigger them from your k6 tests or inject different types of faults in Kubernetes with xk6-disruptor.

  • Performance and synthetic monitoring

    With k6, you can automate and schedule to trigger tests very frequently with a small load to continuously validate the performance and availability of your production environment.

Load Testing Manifesto

Our load testing manifesto is the result of having spent years hip deep in the trenches, doing performance- and load testing. We’ve created it to be used as guidance, helping you in getting your performance testing on the right track!

What k6 does not

k6 is a high-performing load testing tool, scriptable in JavaScript. The architectural design to have these capabilities brings some trade-offs:

  • Does not run natively in a browser

    By default, k6 does not render web pages the same way a browser does. Browsers can consume significant system resources. Skipping the browser allows running more load within a single machine.

    However, with k6 browser, you can interact with real browsers and collect frontend metrics as part of your k6 tests.

  • Does not run in NodeJS

    JavaScript is not generally well suited for high performance. To achieve maximum performance, the tool itself is written in Go, embedding a JavaScript runtime allowing for easy test scripting.

    If you want to import npm modules or libraries using NodeJS APIs, you can bundle npm modules with webpack and import them in your tests.