I'm using a Kernel test in Drupal to add a new instance of my custom entity. In the postSave() method of my entity, I generate a PDF using TCPDF. In the browser, this all works well and I can see the generated PDF in my file system. My issue is that when I run PHPUnit from the CLI, it produces my entity fine but it can't assert that the file exists.

class CustomEntityAddTest extends EntityKernelTestBase 

   * A list of modules to be enabled to run this test
   * @var array
  public static $modules = ['block', 'datetime', 'custom_entity', 'entity_reference', 'file', 'migrate', 'options', 'system', 'taxonomy', 'text'];

   * The Directory where generated PDFs are stored
  const FILES_DIRECTORY = \Drupal\custom_entity\Entity\CustomEntity::DP_DIRECTORY_BASE;

  public function setUp() {


   * Undocumented function
   * @return void
  public function testAdd() {

    $custom_entity = CustomEntity::create([
      'user_id' => 1,
      'status' => 0,
      'title' => 'First Test!',
      'inventco' => CustomEntity::generateSubmissionID(),
      'abstract' => 'Test abstract',
      'created' => time(),
      'changed' => time(),

    $this->assertInstanceOf(CustomEntity::class, $custom_entity, "An entity was not created");

    $inventco = $custom_entity->get('inventco')->getString();

    // debugging
    $path = "/var/www/drupalvm/docroot/sites/default/files/private/{$inventco}/{$inventco}_frontpage.pdf";
    // Assert DP files exist
    $this->assertFileExists($path, "Generated PDF does not exist");

How can I assert that the file was produced? I've checked that the filepath is correct.

  • 2
    It looks like you've forgotten to save $custom_entity?
    – Andy
    Jul 17, 2018 at 11:35
  • That and ensure you’re running PHPUnit inside the VM and not outside.
    – Kevin
    Jul 17, 2018 at 11:58
  • Ah yes I think the issue that I wasn't calling the save() method. I have another issue about the php stream wrappers not being registered which I might need to open another question for. Also, yes running in VM Jul 18, 2018 at 10:11

1 Answer 1


It was because I hadn't called the save method on the $custom_entity object.

Credit and thanks to Andy

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