Fork Testing

Forge supports testing in a forked environment with two different approaches:

Which approach to use? Forking mode affords running an entire test suite against a specific forked environment, while forking cheatcodes provide more flexibility and expressiveness to work with multiple forks in your tests. Your particular use case and testing strategy will help inform which approach to use.

Forking Mode

To run all tests in a forked environment, such as a forked Ethereum mainnet, pass an RPC URL via the --fork-url flag:

forge test --fork-url <your_rpc_url>

The following values are changed to reflect those of the chain at the moment of forking:

It is possible to specify a block from which to fork with --fork-block-number:

forge test --fork-url <your_rpc_url> --fork-block-number 1

Forking is especially useful when you need to interact with existing contracts. You may choose to do integration testing this way, as if you were on an actual network.

Caching

If both --fork-url and --fork-block-number are specified, then data for that block is cached for future test runs.

The data is cached in ~/.foundry/cache/<chain id>/<block number>. To clear the cache, simply remove the directory or run forge clean (removes all build artifacts and cache directories).

It is also possible to ignore the cache entirely by passing --no-storage-caching, or with foundry.toml by configuring no_storage_caching and rpc_storage_caching.

Improved traces

Forge supports identifying contracts in a forked environment with Etherscan.

To use this feature, pass the Etherscan API key via the --etherscan-api-key flag:

forge test --fork-url <your_rpc_url> --etherscan-api-key <your_etherscan_api_key>

Alternatively, you can set the ETHERSCAN_API_KEY environment variable.

Forking Cheatcodes

Forking cheatcodes allow you to enter forking mode programatically in your Solidity test code. Instead of configuring forking mode via forge CLI arguments, these cheatcodes allow you to use forking mode on a test-by-test basis and work with multiple forks in your tests. Each fork is identified via its own unique uint256 identifier.

Usage

Important to keep in mind that all test functions are isolated, meaning each test function is executed with a copy of the state after setUp and is executed in its own stand-alone EVM.

Therefore forks created during setUp are available in tests. The code example below uses createFork to create two forks, but does not select one initially. Each fork is identified with a unique identifier (uint256 forkId), which is assigned when it is first created.

Enabling a specific fork is done via passing that forkId to selectFork.

createSelectFork is a one-liner for createFork plus selectFork.

There can only be one fork active at a time, and the identifier for the currently active fork can be retrieved via activeFork.

Similar to roll, you can set block.timestamp of a fork with rollFork.

To understand what happens when a fork is selected, it is important to know how the forking mode works in general:

Each fork is a standalone EVM, i.e. all forks use completely independent storage. The only exception is the state of the msg.sender and the test contract itself, which are persistent across fork swaps. In other words all changes that are made while fork A is active (selectFork(A)) are only recorded in fork A's storage and are not available if another fork is selected. However, changes recorded in the test contract itself (variables) are still available because the test contract is a persistent account.

The selectFork cheatcode sets the remote section with the fork's data source, however the local memory remains persistent across fork swaps. This also means selectFork can be called at all times with any fork, to set the remote data source. However, it is important to keep in mind the above rules for read/write access always apply, meaning writes are persistent across fork swaps.

Examples

Create and Select Forks
contract ForkTest is Test {
    // the identifiers of the forks
    uint256 mainnetFork;
    uint256 optimismFork;
    
    //Access variables from .env file via vm.envString("varname")
    //Replace ALCHEMY_KEY by your alchemy key or Etherscan key, change RPC url if need
    //inside your .env file e.g: 
    //MAINNET_RPC_URL = 'https://eth-mainnet.g.alchemy.com//v2/ALCHEMY_KEY'
    //string MAINNET_RPC_URL = vm.envString("MAINNET_RPC_URL");
    //string OPTIMISM_RPC_URL = vm.envString("OPTIMISM_RPC_URL");

    // create two _different_ forks during setup
    function setUp() public {
        mainnetFork = vm.createFork(MAINNET_RPC_URL);
        optimismFork = vm.createFork(OPTIMISM_RPC_URL);
    }

    // demonstrate fork ids are unique
    function testForkIdDiffer() public {
        assert(mainnetFork != optimismFork);
    }

    // select a specific fork
    function testCanSelectFork() public {
        // select the fork
        vm.selectFork(mainnetFork);
        assertEq(vm.activeFork(), mainnetFork);

        // from here on data is fetched from the `mainnetFork` if the EVM requests it and written to the storage of `mainnetFork`
    }

    // manage multiple forks in the same test
    function testCanSwitchForks() public {
        vm.selectFork(mainnetFork);
        assertEq(vm.activeFork(), mainnetFork);

        vm.selectFork(optimismFork);
        assertEq(vm.activeFork(), optimismFork);
    }

    // forks can be created at all times
    function testCanCreateAndSelectForkInOneStep() public {
        // creates a new fork and also selects it
        uint256 anotherFork = vm.createSelectFork(MAINNET_RPC_URL);
        assertEq(vm.activeFork(), anotherFork);
    }

    // set `block.timestamp` of a fork
    function testCanSetForkBlockTimestamp() public {
        vm.selectFork(mainnetFork);
        vm.rollFork(1_337_000);

        assertEq(block.number, 1_337_000);
    }
}
Separated and persistent storage

As mentioned each fork is essentially an independent EVM with separated storage.

Only the accounts of msg.sender and the test contract (ForkTest) are persistent when forks are selected. But any account can be turned into a persistent account: makePersistent.

An account that is persistent is unique, i.e. it exists on all forks

contract ForkTest is Test {
    // the identifiers of the forks
    uint256 mainnetFork;
    uint256 optimismFork;
    
    //Access variables from .env file via vm.envString("varname")
    //Replace ALCHEMY_KEY by your alchemy key or Etherscan key, change RPC url if need
    //inside your .env file e.g: 
    //MAINNET_RPC_URL = 'https://eth-mainnet.g.alchemy.com//v2/ALCHEMY_KEY'
    //string MAINNET_RPC_URL = vm.envString("MAINNET_RPC_URL");
    //string OPTIMISM_RPC_URL = vm.envString("OPTIMISM_RPC_URL");

    // create two _different_ forks during setup
    function setUp() public {
        mainnetFork = vm.createFork(MAINNET_RPC_URL);
        optimismFork = vm.createFork(OPTIMISM_RPC_URL);
    }

    // creates a new contract while a fork is active
    function testCreateContract() public {
        vm.selectFork(mainnetFork);
        assertEq(vm.activeFork(), mainnetFork);
        
        // the new contract is written to `mainnetFork`'s storage
        SimpleStorageContract simple = new SimpleStorageContract();
        
        // and can be used as normal
        simple.set(100);
        assertEq(simple.value(), 100);
        
        // after switching to another contract we still know `address(simple)` but the contract only lives in `mainnetFork` 
        vm.selectFork(optimismFork);
        
        /* this call will therefore revert because `simple` now points to a contract that does not exist on the active fork
        * it will produce following revert message:
        * 
        * "Contract 0xCe71065D4017F316EC606Fe4422e11eB2c47c246 does not exist on active fork with id `1`
        *       But exists on non active forks: `[0]`"
        */
        simple.value();
    }
    
     // creates a new _persistent_ contract while a fork is active
     function testCreatePersistentContract() public {
        vm.selectFork(mainnetFork);
        SimpleStorageContract simple = new SimpleStorageContract();
        simple.set(100);
        assertEq(simple.value(), 100);
        
        // mark the contract as persistent so it is also available when other forks are active
        vm.makePersistent(address(simple));
        assert(vm.isPersistent(address(simple))); 
        
        vm.selectFork(optimismFork);
        assert(vm.isPersistent(address(simple))); 
        
        // This will succeed because the contract is now also available on the `optimismFork`
        assertEq(simple.value(), 100);
     }
}

contract SimpleStorageContract {
    uint256 public value;

    function set(uint256 _value) public {
        value = _value;
    }
}

For more details and examples, see the forking cheatcodes reference.