NashTech Insights

Using JMeter or K6 for Performance Test?

Dieu Phan
Dieu Phan
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When you need to do a performance test and you want to choose a tool that is open source, has effective performance, and good reporting as well but is also easy to maintain. K6 and JMeter are two popular open-source load testing tools that have unique features and advantages. In this post, I will share my view on the two above performance testing tools.

1. JMeter

It has GUI which means that the load test scripts are created and executed using a graphical interface. JMeter uses Java or other scripting languages like Groovy or Beanshell so JMeter scripts can be more complicated and harder to maintain. It can simulate a few thousand virtual users with one load generator. It supports more protocols than k6 so it can be tested with more types of applications and services. JMeter also requires more plugins or external dependencies to run plugins and configuration.   

JMeter – HTTP Request
JMeter – Graph Results

2. K6

K6 uses JavaScript as a scripting language so it is more familiar and easier to write for developers who use JavaScript in their web applications. K6 scripts are easy to maintain and reuse, as they follow the same standards and practices as the application code. It has superior performance and efficiency as it uses less CPU resources to generate the same load. K6 can simulate tens of thousands of virtual users with one load generator.

K6 – Run on VS Code Terminal
K6 – Grafana Report

3. Comparing JMeter and K6 for Performance Test

Factors JMeterK6
Open sourceYesYes
Written in LanguageJavaJavaScript ES2015 (ES6), which is implemented by the goja programming language on pure Golang
Scripting languageBeanshell, Java, GroovyJavaScript
Supporting ProtocolsSOAP, FTP, JDBC, LDAP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, shell scripts, TCP,
Java objects etc.
Modern protocols like HTTP/1.1, HTTP/2, WebSockets, and gRPC
Test as codeGUI-oriented, load test scripts are created and executed using a graphical interface.Code-driven, VSCode plugin
Scripts storedXMLJavaScript
The maintenance XML format is difficult to maintain and reuse.JavaScript is easy to maintain and reuse
Pricing It is free It is free
Mature user community Many tutorials, courses, books, pluginsLess documentation
Easy to useYes No
Performance and efficiency Simulate a few thousand virtual users with one load generator. Simulate tens of thousands of virtual users with one load generator
Reporting and analysisHave built-in reports that can be generated in HTML or CSV formats or enhance the reporting and analysis capabilities, such as generating graphs or dashboards.No built-in pre-generated reports but can integrate with analytics tools like Grafana or InfluxDB to visualize and analyze the test results.

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, you need to consider when deciding on the right performance tool which will help you to cover your requirement, analysis and provide the conclusion on your performance report. There is no best tool and it’s only the right tool for your project and context.

  • K6 recommends using for the project which has a member who is an expert in JavaScript coding and needs simple generating reports. It can use JavaScript as the scripting language. K6 is suitable for API testing.
  • JMeter is best for the team does not have much experience in coding or you are newer load testers. It supports a lot of protocols so if your project requires a protocol that k6 doesn’t support JMeter probably is considered. JMeter uses for a wide variety of applications.


Dieu Phan

Dieu Phan

I'm a Test Lead with 15+ years of experience in the software testing to manage a team of 7 members at peak time. I have strong experience in Manual tests, API tests, Performance tests, and Security Test in various domains including Finance, Education, E-commerce, Health, Advertisement, Logistic, Law, and Games. I'm expert in creating test coverage in high-level requirement and testing microservices application as well with ISTQB Foundation Certificate.

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