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Test and Troubleshoot Locally


As you develop data pipelines on Astro, we strongly recommend running and testing your DAGs locally before deploying your project to a Deployment on Astro. This document provides information about testing and troubleshooting DAGs in a local Apache Airflow environment with the Astro CLI.

Run a Project Locally

Whenever you want to test your code, the first step is always to start a local Airflow environment. To run your project in a local Airflow environment, follow the steps in Build and Run a Project.

Test DAGs with the Astro CLI

To enhance the testing experience for data pipelines, Astro enables users to run DAG unit tests with two different Astro CLI commands:

  • astrocloud dev parse
  • astrocloud dev pytest

Parse DAGs

To quickly parse your DAGs, you can run:

astrocloud dev parse

This command parses your DAGs to ensure that they don't contain any basic syntax or import errors and that they can successfully render in the Airflow UI.

Generally speaking, astrocloud dev parse is a more convenient but less customizable version of astrocloud dev pytest. If you don't have any specific test files that you want to run on your DAGs, then we recommend using astrocloud dev parse as your primary testing tool. For more information about this command, see the CLI Command Reference.

Run Tests with Pytest

To perform unit tests on your Astro project, you can run:

astrocloud dev pytest

This command runs all tests in your project's tests directory with pytest, a testing framework for Python. With pytest, you can test custom Python code and operators locally without having to start a local Airflow environment.

By default, the tests directory in your Astro project includes a default DAG integrity test called This test checks that:

  • All Airflow tasks have required arguments.
  • DAG IDs are unique across the Astro project.
  • DAGs have no cycles.
  • There are no general import or syntax errors.

astrocloud dev pytest runs this default test alongside any other custom tests that you add to the tests directory. For more information about this command, see the CLI Command Reference.

View Airflow Task Logs

You can view logs for individual tasks in the Airflow UI. This is useful if you want to troubleshoot a specific task instance that failed or retried.

To access these logs:

  1. Access the Airflow UI in your local Airflow environment by going to http://localhost:8080.

  2. Open the DAG you want to troubleshoot:

    Access DAG from Airflow UI
  3. In the Tree View, click on the task run you want to see logs for:

    Task runs in the tree view
  4. Click Instance Details:

    Instance details button in the task log menu
  5. Click Log:

    Log button from a task instance

Access Airflow Component Logs

To show logs for your Airflow Scheduler, Webserver, or metadata database locally, run the following command:

astrocloud dev logs

Once you run this command, the most recent logs for these components appear in your terminal window.

By default, running astrocloud dev logs shows logs for all Airflow components. If you want to see logs for a specific component, add any of the following flags to your command:

  • --scheduler
  • --webserver
  • --triggerer

To continue monitoring logs, run astrocloud dev logs --follow. The --follow flag ensures that the latest logs continue to appear in your terminal window. For more information about this command, see CLI Command Reference

Run Airflow CLI Commands

To run Apache Airflow CLI commands locally, run the following:

astrocloud dev run <airflow-cli-command>

For example, the Airflow CLI command for viewing the values of your airflow.cfg file is airflow config list. To run this command with the Astro CLI, you would run astrocloud dev run config list instead.

In practice, running astro dev run is the equivalent of running docker exec in local containers and then running an Airflow CLI command within those containers.


You can only use astro dev run in a local Airflow environment. To automate Airflow actions on Astro, you can use the Airflow REST API. For example, you can make a request to the dagRuns endpoint to trigger a DAG run programmatically, which is equivalent to running airflow dags trigger via the Airflow CLI.

Test the KubernetesPodOperator Locally

Testing DAGs with the KubernetesPodOperator locally requires a local Kubernetes environment. Follow the steps in this topic to create a local Kubernetes environment and monitor the status and logs of individual Kubernetes pods running your task.

Step 1: Start Running Kubernetes

To run Kubernetes locally:

  1. In Docker Desktop, go to Settings > Kubernetes.
  2. Check the Enable Kubernetes checkbox.
  3. Save your changes and restart Docker.

Step 2: Get Your Kubernetes Configuration

  1. Open the $HOME/.kube directory that was created when you enabled Kubernetes in Docker.
  2. Open the config file in this directory.
  3. Under clusters, you should see one cluster with server: http://localhost:8080. Change this to server: https://kubernetes.docker.internal:6443. If this doesn't work, try server: https://host.docker.internal:6445.
  4. In your Astro project, open your include directory and create a new directory called .kube. Copy the config file that you edited into this directory.

Step 3: Instantiate the KubernetesPodOperator

To instantiate the KubernetesPodOperator in a given DAG, update your DAG file to include the following code:

from airflow.contrib.operators.kubernetes_pod_operator import KubernetesPodOperator
from airflow import configuration as conf
# ...

namespace = conf.get('kubernetes', 'NAMESPACE')

# This will detect the default namespace locally and read the
# environment namespace when deployed to Astronomer.
if namespace =='default':
config_file = '/usr/local/airflow/include/.kube/config'

with dag:
k = KubernetesPodOperator(
labels={"foo": "bar"},
in_cluster=in_cluster, # if set to true, will look in the cluster for configuration. if false, looks for file
cluster_context='docker-desktop', # is ignored when in_cluster is set to True

Specifically, your operator must have cluster_context='docker-desktop and config_file=config_file.

Step 4: Run and Monitor the KubernetesPodOperator

After updating your DAG, run astro dev restart from the Astro CLI to rebuild your image and run your project in a local Airflow environment.

To examine the logs for any pods that were created by the operator, you can use the following kubectl commands:

  • kubectl get pods -n $namespace
  • kubectl logs {pod_name} -n $namespace

By default, Docker for Desktop will run pods in a namespace called default.

Hard Reset Your Local Environment

In most cases, restarting your local project is sufficient for testing and making changes to your project. However, it is sometimes necessary to kill your Docker containers and metadata database for testing purposes. To do so, run the following command:

astrocloud dev kill

This command forces your running containers to stop and deletes all data associated with your local Postgres metadata database, including Airflow Connections, logs, and task history.