k6 provides multiple places to set options:
- In CLI flags
- In environment variables
- In the script options object
- In a configuration file
Most likely, your use case will determine where you want to set the particular options for a particular test. You can also access option values as your test runs.
You can set options in multiple places. If there are conflicts, k6 uses the option from the place with the highest order of precedence.
- First, k6 uses the option's default value.
- Next, k6 uses the options set in a configuration file via the --config flag.
- Then, k6 uses the script value (if set).
- After, k6 uses the environment variable (if set).
- Finally, k6 takes the value from the CLI flag (if set).
That is, command-line flags have the highest order of precedence.
Sometimes, how you set options is a matter of personal preference. Other times, the context of your test dictates the most sensible place to put your options.
- Options in the script to version control and keep tests tidy.
- The script options object is generally the best place to put your options. This provides automatic version control, allows for easy reuse, and lets you modularize your script.
- CLI flags to set options on the fly
- When you want to run a quick test, command-line flags are convenient.
- You can also use command-line flags to override files in your script (as determined by the order of precedence). For example, if your script file sets the test duration at 60 seconds, you could use a CLI flag to run a one-time shorter test. With a flag like --duration 30s, the test would be half as long but otherwise identical.
- Environment variables to set options from your build chain
- For example, you could derive the option from a variable in your Docker container definition, CI UI, or vault—wherever you declare environment variables.
- The block hostnames option is an example of an option that works well with environment variables.
The following JS snippets show some examples of how you can set options.
You can also set the options from the previous example through environment variables and command-line flags:
With the --env flag, you can use the CLI to define k6 variables. Then, you can use the variable to dynamically define an option's value in the script file.
For example, you could define a variable for your user agent like this:
Then, your script could then set the userAgent option based on the variable's value. This allows for quick configuration.
Note: Though this method uses the --env flag, this is not the same as using an environment variable. For an explanation, refer to the environment variables document.
k6 includes a default configuration file that you can edit, or you can create a new file and then use a CLI flag to point to that file. If you use it, the options take the second lowest order of precedence (after defaults). If you set options anywhere else, they will override the --config flag options.
Use the --config flag to declare the file path to your options.
This command would set test options according to the values in the options.json file.
For an alternative way to separate configuration from logic, you can use the JSON.parse() method in your script file:
The k6/execution API provides a test.options object. With test.options, you can access the consolidated and derived options of your script as the test runs.
A common use of this feature is to log the value of a tag, but there are many possibilities. For example, this script accesses the value of the test's current stage: