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AutoTest.NET is a cross-platform continuous testing Visual Studio Add-in, console
application, and desktop application for the .NET and Mono frameworks.

It improves test-driven development (TDD) by automatically compiling code and running tests
in the background.  It can be configured to determine exactly which tests are affected from
the code changes since the last build and only run those tests to provide real-time
feedback faster than running all the tests in the project.  Automatically generated graphs
help visualize the relations between methods and the tests that call them.  Annotations
alongside the code help to immediately see the level of risk when changing pieces of code.

Supported Visual Studio versions:

Supported build frameworks:

Supported projects:
  Visual Basic

Supported test runners:

Supported notification systems:
  notify-send (Linux)
  Snarl through it's tcp interface (Windows)
  Growl (Mac, Windows)

File system watchers:
  Solution file
  Files \ Assemblies

Getting started

Download the windows installer or binaries from or clone or fork
and build from the source code repository

The Windows installer will install the Visual Studio Add-in, console application, and
desktop application.  Once installed, a dialog will be displayed the next time a solution
file is opened to allow configuring the settings for the solution.  Refer to the
ContinuousTests menu item in Visual Studio to change configuration settings, perform
actions, display output windows, and get additional help.

AutoTest.NET can be configured to detect changes to files in the project once they are
saved and automatically start to build the code and run the affected tests.  It can also be
configured to start running tests only when assemblies are built.  Changes from specific
files and paths can be ignored to avoid an infinite loop for example.

NUnit and XUnit are configured out of the box with AutoTest.NET’s internal runner.

See the instructional videos on for working with ContinuousTests
inside Visual Studio.

The console and desktop applications can be used to run continuous tests outside of Visual 

A watch directory must be specified which is the root directory from where AutoTest.NET
recursively watches for file/assembly changes.

The watch directory path can be passed as the first command line parameter to
AutoTest.Console.exe and AutoTest.WinForms.exe.

Configuration Files

There are two types of configuration files, global and project.  Project configuration
settings will be merged with the global configuration.

The global configuration file can be found here:

Solution configuration files are specific to each solution file and can be found here:

An AutoTest.config can be placed in the root of the watch directory when using the console
or desktop application.

AutoTest.config template:

A project specific configuration file can look something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
  <!-- Exclude all build executable configuration all together -->
  <BuildExecutable override="exclude"></BuildExecutable>

  <!-- Merge these changes in with what's already in the base configuration -->
  <!-- The override attribute will be read for the first occurrence in the setting family --> 
  <NUnitTestRunner framework="v3.5" override="merge">NewTestRunner for v3.5</NUnitTestRunner>
  <NUnitTestRunner framework="v4.0">NewTestRunner for v4.0</NUnitTestRunner>

  <!-- This will just override whatever XUnit config is in the base configuration -->

  <!-- merges in some extra assemblies to ignore -->
  <ShouldIgnoreTestAssembly override="merge">


On non-Windows operating systems notify-send can be installed by running: sudo apt-get
install notify-osd.  The Growl application can be configured with the growlnotify
configuration setting.  AutoTest.NET can automatically send notifications when test runs
have started and finished.

Ignore File Configuration

The IgnoreFile option can be set to an absolute path or a path relative to the watch
directory of the file where paths AutoTest.NET should ignore when detecting changes are
configured.  This file uses .gitignore syntax and existing .gitignore files are compatible
with AutoTest.NET.

An example ignore file:

# Making sure the file IgnoreThisOne.xml is ignored

# Should ignore any file or directory called TestResults

# Should ignore all output xmls

Building from source

1. Clone or fork the repository.
2. Run package.bat (Windows) or (non-Windows)

The built binaries will be located under the ReleaseBinaries folder.
On Windows, the windows installer will be located in the Installer subfolder.


Keyboard Shortcuts CheatSheet:

Discussion Group:

Special Thanks:

Thanks to Philip Laureano for letting us embed the Linfu Dynamic Proxy source into the
MSpec runner enabling us to support all MSpec versions out of the box.

AutoTest.NET is based off of autotest which is a popular Ruby tool for running unit tests
as soon as your save your files. This project was originally started by James Avery at