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Novice Karate Group (ages 8 & up)

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Luca Jackson
Luca Jackson

Learn load testing with A free and open source solution

Download A Guide to Load Testing for Engineering Teams

If you are looking for a load testing tool that is easy to use, developer-friendly, and extensible, you might want to check out In this article, we will explain what is, what are its key features and common use cases, and how to install and run your first test.


What is is an open-source load testing tool that makes performance testing easy and productive for engineering teams. It is developed by Grafana Labs and the community. Using, you can test the reliability and performance of your APIs, microservices, and websites, and catch performance problems and regressions earlier. will help you to build resilient and performant applications that scale.

Key features of is packed with features, which you can learn all about in the . Some of the 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.

  • Load testing by developers - test early and continuously, break the QA silo in performance testing.

  • On your machines, our cloud, or both - scale from solo developers to large enterprises.

  • Use the same script for local, distributed, and cloud tests - migrate from local tests to the cloud using the same script for both environments.

  • Run tests from 21 load zones - simulate real global traffic patterns.

  • More testing with one tool - is designed for load testing, but extensible to support other types of testing, such as end-to-end web testing, chaos testing, synthetic testing, infrastructure testing, and regression testing.

  • Integrations and Extensions - integrates with your dev tools, such as Postman, Grafana, New Relic, Datadog, etc. Extensions add new capabilities to, such as Kubernetes, Prometheus, Kafka, OpenTelemetry, etc.

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

  • Load testing: Verify that applications can handle the expected traffic. Different goals require different tests: stress tests, spike tests, soak tests, smoke tests, etc.

  • End-to-end web testing: Mix browser and API testing - interact with real browsers and collect frontend metrics to get a holistic user view.

  • Chaos and resilience testing: Enhance your chaos experiments by simulating real-world traffic with Inject faults into Kubernetes-based systems to recreate application errors.

  • Synthetic testing: Traditional synthetic/ping testing is not enough anymore. Reuse your tests to ensure availability in production.

  • Infrastructure testing: Test how cloud-native systems scale. Isolate bottlenecks. Plan and provision infrastructure capacity.

  • Regression testing: Test continuously to track changes in performance and reliability. Prevent software regressions from reaching production.

How to install is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and Docker How to install is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and Docker. You can choose the installation method that suits your needs and preferences. Here are the steps to install on each platform:

How to download for load testing

Download and Grafana for performance monitoring download and installation guide for Windows download and installation guide for Linux download and installation guide for Mac

Download Docker image for easy deployment

Download k6 browser extension for end-to-end web testing

Download k6 cloud service for scalable load testing

Download k6 open source load testing tool

Download k6 JavaScript API documentation

Download k6 examples and tutorials

Download k6 integrations and extensions

Download k6 CLI tool and commands reference

Download k6 results output and analysis guide

Download k6 checks and thresholds guide

Download k6 script editor and debugger

Download k6 best practices and tips

Download k6 load testing manifesto

Download k6 comparison with other load testing tools

Download k6 user reviews and testimonials

Download k6 case studies and success stories

Download k6 roadmap and feature requests

Download k6 support and community resources

Download k6 pricing and plans

Download k6 free trial and demo

How to download for browser testing

How to download for chaos and resilience testing

How to download for performance and synthetic monitoring

How to download for infrastructure testing

How to download for regression testing

How to download for stress testing

How to download for spike testing

How to download for soak testing

How to download for smoke testing

How to download for API testing

How to download for microservices testing

How to download for website testing

How to download for Kubernetes testing

How to download for Prometheus testing

How to download for Grafana testing

How to download for Postman testing

How to download for New Relic testing

How to download for Visual Studio testing

How to download for IntelliJ IDEA testing

How to download for Datadog testing

How to download xk6-disruptor extension for fault injection with

How to migrate from JMeter to

How to migrate from LoadRunner to

How to migrate from Locust to


If you use the Chocolatey package manager, you can install the unofficial k6 package with:

choco install k6

If you use the Windows Package Manager, install the official packages from the k6 manifests (created by the community):

winget install k6

Alternatively, you can download and run the latest official installer from the .

Linux has packages for Debian/Ubuntu and Fedora/CentOS. To install on Debian/Ubuntu, run the following commands in a terminal:

sudo gpg -k sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/k6-archive-keyring.gpg --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys C5AD17C747E3415A3642D57D77C6C491D6AC1D69 echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/k6-archive-keyring.gpg] [6]( stable main" sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/k6.list sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install k6

To install on Fedora/CentOS, run the following commands in a terminal:

sudo dnf install [5]( sudo dnf install k6

Mac OS

If you use Homebrew, you can install with:

brew install k6


You can also run as a Docker container. To pull the latest image from Docker Hub, run:

docker pull grafana/k6

How to run your first test?

Now that you have installed, you are ready to run your first load test. Here are the steps to follow:

Write a test script in JavaScript uses JavaScript as the scripting language for writing load tests. You can use ES2015/ES6 syntax and features, as well as import modules from local or remote sources. You can also use the to define various aspects of your test, such as virtual users, scenarios, requests, checks, thresholds, etc.

For example, here is a simple test script that makes an HTTP GET request to a website and checks if the response status is 200:

// Import the http module import http from 'k6/http'; // Import the check module import check from 'k6'; // Define the URL to test const URL = ' // Define the options for the test export let options = // Define one scenario with 10 virtual users scenarios: example_scenario: executor: 'constant-vus', vus: 10, duration: '30s', , , ; // Define the main function that will run for each virtual user export default function () // Make an HTTP GET request and store the response object let response = http.get(URL); // Check if the response status is 200 check(response, 'status is 200': (r) => r.status === 200, );

You can save this script as example.js in your local directory.

Execute the test locally or in the cloud

To execute the test locally, you can use the k6 CLI tool. In your terminal, navigate to the directory where you saved your script and run:

k6 run example.js

This will start the test and show you some metrics in real-time. You can also use various flags and options to customize your test execution. For example, you can specify a different number of virtual users or duration with:

k6 run -u 20 -d 60s example.js

This will run the test with 20 virtual users for 60 seconds.

If you want to execute your test in the cloud, you can use , a SaaS platform that offers advanced features and integrations for load testing. You can sign up for a free account and get 50 test runs per month. To run your test in the cloud, you need to install the k6 Cloud CLI tool and authenticate with your account. Then, you can run:

k6 cloud example.js

This will upload your script to the cloud and start the test. Yo


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