🚀 Futuristic JavaScript test runner
3 authors Add recipe for AVA & Puppeteer (#1913)
Co-authored-by: Sindre Sorhus <sindresorhus@gmail.com>
Co-authored-by: Mark Wubben <mark@novemberborn.net>
Latest commit 6ab6d35 Oct 15, 2018



Futuristic test runner

Build Status: Linux Build status: Windows Coverage Status XO code style Join the community on Spectrum Mentioned in Awesome Node.js

Even though JavaScript is single-threaded, IO in Node.js can happen in parallel due to its async nature. AVA takes advantage of this and runs your tests concurrently, which is especially beneficial for IO heavy tests. In addition, test files are run in parallel as separate processes, giving you even better performance and an isolated environment for each test file. Switching from Mocha to AVA in Pageres brought the test time down from 31 to 11 seconds. Having tests run concurrently forces you to write atomic tests, meaning tests don't depend on global state or the state of other tests, which is a great thing!

Read our contributing guide if you're looking to contribute (issues/PRs/etc).

Follow the AVA Twitter account for updates.

This documentation covers the 1.0 beta releases, which use Babel 7. The last release that uses Babel 6 is v0.25.0.

Translations: Español, Français, Italiano, 日本語, 한국어, Português, Русский, 简体中文


Why AVA?

Test syntax

import test from 'ava';

test('arrays are equal', t => {
	t.deepEqual([1, 2], [1, 2]);


Add AVA to your project

To install and set up AVA, run:

$ npx create-ava --next

Your package.json will then look like this:

	"name": "awesome-package",
	"scripts": {
		"test": "ava"
	"devDependencies": {
		"ava": "1.0.0-beta.4"

Initialization will work with npm and Yarn, but running npx requires npm@5.2.0 or greater to be installed. Otherwise, you'll have to manually install ava and configure the test script in your package.json as per above:

$ npm install --save-dev --save-exact ava@next

Or if you prefer using Yarn:

$ yarn add ava@next --dev --exact

Create your test file

Create a file named test.js in the project root directory:

import test from 'ava';

test('foo', t => {

test('bar', async t => {
	const bar = Promise.resolve('bar');

	t.is(await bar, 'bar');

Run it

$ npm test

Watch it

$ npm test -- --watch

AVA comes with an intelligent watch mode. Learn more in its recipe.

Supported Node.js versions

AVA supports the latest release of any major version that is supported by Node.js itself. Read more in our support statement.


$ ava --help

    ava [<file|directory|glob> ...]

    --watch, -w             Re-run tests when tests and source files change
    --match, -m             Only run tests with matching title (Can be repeated)
    --update-snapshots, -u  Update snapshots
    --fail-fast             Stop after first test failure
    --timeout, -T           Set global timeout
    --serial, -s            Run tests serially
    --concurrency, -c       Max number of test files running at the same time (Default: CPU cores)
    --verbose, -v           Enable verbose output
    --tap, -t               Generate TAP output
    --color                 Force color output
    --no-color              Disable color output
    --reset-cache           Reset AVA's compilation cache and exit

    ava test.js test2.js
    ava test-*.js
    ava test

  Default patterns when no arguments:
  test.js test-*.js test/**/*.js **/__tests__/**/*.js **/*.test.js

Note that the CLI will use your local install of AVA when available, even when run globally.

Directories are recursed, with all *.js files being treated as test files. Directories named fixtures, helpers and node_modules are always ignored. So are files starting with _ which allows you to place helpers in the same directory as your test files.

When using npm test, you can pass positional arguments directly npm test test2.js, but flags needs to be passed like npm test -- --verbose.


AVA runs tests in child processes, so to debug tests, you need to do this workaround:

$ node --inspect node_modules/ava/profile.js some/test/file.js

Debugger-specific tips



The mini-reporter is the default reporter.

Verbose reporter

Use the --verbose flag to enable the verbose reporter. This is always used in CI environments unless the TAP reporter is enabled.

TAP reporter

AVA supports the TAP format and thus is compatible with any TAP reporter. Use the --tap flag to enable TAP output.

$ ava --tap | tap-nyan

Please note that the TAP reporter is unavailable when using watch mode.

Magic assert

AVA adds code excerpts and clean diffs for actual and expected values. If values in the assertion are objects or arrays, only a diff is displayed, to remove the noise and focus on the problem. The diff is syntax-highlighted too! If you are comparing strings, both single and multi line, AVA displays a different kind of output, highlighting the added or missing characters.

Clean stack traces

AVA automatically removes unrelated lines in stack traces, allowing you to find the source of an error much faster, as seen above.


All of the CLI options can be configured in the ava section of either your package.json or an ava.config.js file. This allows you to modify the default behavior of the ava command, so you don't have to repeatedly type the same options on the command prompt.

To ignore a file or directory, prefix the pattern with an ! (exclamation mark).


	"ava": {
		"files": [
		"sources": [
		"match": [
		"cache": true,
		"concurrency": 5,
		"failFast": true,
		"failWithoutAssertions": false,
		"tap": true,
		"verbose": true,
		"compileEnhancements": false,
		"require": [
		"babel": {
			"extensions": ["jsx"],
			"testOptions": {
				"babelrc": false

Arguments passed to the CLI will always take precedence over the configuration in package.json.


  • files: file & directory paths and glob patterns that select which files AVA will run tests from. Files with an underscore prefix are ignored. All matched files in selected directories are run. By default only selects files with js extensions, even if the glob pattern matches other files. Specify extensions and babel.extensions to allow other file extensions
  • source: files that, when changed, cause tests to be re-run in watch mode. See the watch mode recipe for details
  • match: not typically useful in the package.json configuration, but equivalent to specifying --match on the CLI
  • cache: cache compiled test and helper files under node_modules/.cache/ava. If false, files are cached in a temporary directory instead
  • failFast: stop running further tests once a test fails
  • failWithoutAssertions: if false, does not fail a test if it doesn't run assertions
  • tap: if true, enables the TAP reporter
  • verbose: if true, enables verbose output
  • snapshotDir: specifies a fixed location for storing snapshot files. Use this if your snapshots are ending up in the wrong location
  • compileEnhancements: if false, disables power-assert — which otherwise helps provide more descriptive error messages — and detection of improper use of the t.throws() assertion
  • extensions: extensions of test files that are not precompiled using AVA's Babel presets. Note that files are still compiled to enable power-assert and other features, so you may also need to set compileEnhancements to false if your files are not valid JavaScript. Setting this overrides the default "js" value, so make sure to include that extension in the list, as long as it's not included in babel.extensions
  • require: extra modules to require before tests are run. Modules are required in the worker processes
  • babel: test file specific Babel options. See our Babel recipe for more details
  • babel.extensions: extensions of test files that will be precompiled using AVA's Babel presets. Setting this overrides the default "js" value, so make sure to include that extension in the list

Note that providing files on the CLI overrides the files option. If you've configured a glob pattern, for instance test/**/*.test.js, you may want to repeat it when using the CLI: ava 'test/integration/*.test.js'.

Using ava.config.js

To use an ava.config.js file:

  1. It must be in the same directory as your package.json
  2. Your package.json must not contain an ava property (or, if it does, it must be an empty object)

The config file must have a default export, using ES modules. It can either be a plain object or a factory function which returns a plain object:

export default {
	require: ['esm']
export default function factory() {
	return {
		require: ['esm']

The factory function is called with an object containing a projectDir property, which you could use to change the returned configuration:

export default ({projectDir}) => {
	if (projectDir === '/Users/username/projects/my-project') {
		return {
			// Config A

	return {
		// Config B

Note that the final configuration must not be a promise.

Resetting AVA's cache

AVA caches the compiled test and helper files. It automatically recompiles these files when you change them. AVA tries its best to detect changes to your Babel configuration files, plugins and presets. If it seems like your latest Babel configuration isn't being applied, however, you can run AVA with the --reset-cache flag to reset AVA's cache. If set, all files in the node_modules/.cache/ava directory are deleted. Run AVA as normal to apply your new Babel configuration.


Tests are run concurrently. You can specify synchronous and asynchronous tests. Tests are considered synchronous unless you return a promise or observable.

We highly recommend the use of async functions. They make asynchronous code concise and readable, and they implicitly return a promise so you don't have to.

If you're unable to use promises or observables, you may enable "callback mode" by defining your test with test.cb([title], fn). Tests declared this way must be manually ended with t.end(). This mode is mainly intended for testing callback-style APIs. However, we would strongly recommend promisifying callback-style APIs instead of using "callback mode", as this results in more correct and readable tests.

You must define all tests synchronously. They can't be defined inside setTimeout, setImmediate, etc.

AVA tries to run test files with their current working directory set to the directory that contains your package.json file.

Creating tests

To create a test you call the test function you imported from AVA. Provide the required title and implementation function. Titles must be unique within each test file. The function will be called when your test is run. It's passed an execution object as its first argument.

Note: In order for the enhanced assertion messages to behave correctly, the first argument must be named t.

import test from 'ava';

test('my passing test', t => {

Assertion planning

Assertion plans ensure tests only pass when a specific number of assertions have been executed. They'll help you catch cases where tests exit too early. They'll also cause tests to fail if too many assertions are executed, which can be useful if you have assertions inside callbacks or loops.

If you do not specify an assertion plan, your test will still fail if no assertions are executed. Set the failWithoutAssertions option to false in AVA's package.json configuration to disable this behavior.

Note that, unlike tap and tape, AVA does not automatically end a test when the planned assertion count is reached.

These examples will result in a passed test:

test('resolves with 3', t => {

	return Promise.resolve(3).then(n => {
		t.is(n, 3);

test.cb('invokes callback', t => {

	someAsyncFunction(() => {

These won't:

test('loops twice', t => {

	for (let i = 0; i < 3; i++) {
		t.true(i < 3);
}); // Fails, 3 assertions are executed which is too many

test('invokes callback synchronously', t => {

	someAsyncFunction(() => {
}); // Fails, the test ends synchronously before the assertion is executed

Running tests serially

Tests are run concurrently by default, however, sometimes you have to write tests that cannot run concurrently. In these rare cases you can use the .serial modifier. It will force those tests to run serially before the concurrent ones.

test.serial('passes serially', t => {

Note that this only applies to tests within a particular test file. AVA will still run multiple tests files at the same time unless you pass the --serial CLI flag.

You can use the .serial modifier with all tests, hooks and even .todo(), but it's only available on the test function.

Running specific tests

During development it can be helpful to only run a few specific tests. This can be accomplished using the .only modifier:

test('will not be run', t => {

test.only('will be run', t => {

You can use the .only modifier with all tests. It cannot be used with hooks or .todo().

Note: The .only modifier applies to the test file it's defined in, so if you run multiple test files, tests in other files will still run. If you want to only run the test.only test, provide just that test file to AVA.

Running tests with matching titles

The --match flag allows you to run just the tests that have a matching title. This is achieved with simple wildcard patterns. Patterns are case insensitive. See matcher for more details.

Match titles ending with foo:

$ ava --match='*foo'

Match titles starting with foo:

$ ava --match='foo*'

Match titles containing foo:

$ ava --match='*foo*'

Match titles that are exactly foo (albeit case insensitively):

$ ava --match='foo'

Match titles not containing foo:

$ ava --match='!*foo*'

Match titles starting with foo and ending with bar:

$ ava --match='foo*bar'

Match titles starting with foo or ending with bar:

$ ava --match='foo*' --match='*bar'

Note that a match pattern takes precedence over the .only modifier. Only tests with an explicit title are matched. Tests without titles or whose title is derived from the implementation function will be skipped when --match is used.

Here's what happens when you run AVA with a match pattern of *oo* and the following tests:

test('foo will run', t => {

test('moo will also run', t => {

test.only('boo will run but not exclusively', t => {

// Won't run, no title
test(function (t) {

// Won't run, no explicit title
test(function foo(t) {

Skipping tests

Sometimes failing tests can be hard to fix. You can tell AVA to skip these tests using the .skip modifier. They'll still be shown in the output (as having been skipped) but are never run.

test.skip('will not be run', t => {

You must specify the implementation function. You can use the .skip modifier with all tests and hooks, but not with .todo(). You can not apply further modifiers to .skip.

Test placeholders ("todo")

You can use the .todo modifier when you're planning to write a test. Like skipped tests these placeholders are shown in the output. They only require a title; you cannot specify the implementation function.

test.todo('will think about writing this later');

You can signal that you need to write a serial test:

test.serial.todo('will think about writing this later');

Failing tests

You can use the .failing modifier to document issues with your code that need to be fixed. Failing tests are run just like normal ones, but they are expected to fail, and will not break your build when they do. If a test marked as failing actually passes, it will be reported as an error and fail the build with a helpful message instructing you to remove the .failing modifier.

This allows you to merge .failing tests before a fix is implemented without breaking CI. This is a great way to recognize good bug report PR's with a commit credit, even if the reporter is unable to actually fix the problem.

// See: github.com/user/repo/issues/1234
test.failing('demonstrate some bug', t => {
	t.fail(); // Test will count as passed

Before & after hooks

AVA lets you register hooks that are run before and after your tests. This allows you to run setup and/or teardown code.

test.before() registers a hook to be run before the first test in your test file. Similarly test.after() registers a hook to be run after the last test. Use test.after.always() to register a hook that will always run once your tests and other hooks complete. .always() hooks run regardless of whether there were earlier failures, so they are ideal for cleanup tasks. Note however that uncaught exceptions, unhandled rejections or timeouts will crash your tests, possibly preventing .always() hooks from running.

test.beforeEach() registers a hook to be run before each test in your test file. Similarly test.afterEach() a hook to be run after each test. Use test.afterEach.always() to register an after hook that is called even if other test hooks, or the test itself, fail.

If a test is skipped with the .skip modifier, the respective .beforeEach(), .afterEach() and .afterEach.always() hooks are not run. Likewise, if all tests in a test file are skipped .before(), .after() and .after.always() hooks for the file are not run.

Like test() these methods take an optional title and an implementation function. The title is shown if your hook fails to execute. The implementation is called with an execution object. You can use assertions in your hooks. You can also pass a macro function and additional arguments.

.before() hooks execute before .beforeEach() hooks. .afterEach() hooks execute before .after() hooks. Within their category the hooks execute in the order they were defined. By default hooks execute concurrently, but you can use test.serial to ensure only that single hook is run at a time. Unlike with tests, serial hooks are not run before other hooks:

test.before(t => {
	// This runs before all tests

test.before(t => {
	// This runs concurrently with the above

test.serial.before(t => {
	// This runs after the above

test.serial.before(t => {
	// This too runs after the above, and before tests

test.after('cleanup', t => {
	// This runs after all tests

test.after.always('guaranteed cleanup', t => {
	// This will always run, regardless of earlier failures

test.beforeEach(t => {
	// This runs before each test

test.afterEach(t => {
	// This runs after each test

test.afterEach.always(t => {
	// This runs after each test and other test hooks, even if they failed

test('title', t => {
	// Regular test

Hooks can be synchronous or asynchronous, just like tests. To make a hook asynchronous return a promise or observable, use an async function, or enable callback mode via test.before.cb(), test.beforeEach.cb() etc.

test.before(async t => {
	await promiseFn();

test.after(t => {
	return new Promise(/* ... */);

test.beforeEach.cb(t => {

test.afterEach.cb(t => {

Keep in mind that the .beforeEach() and .afterEach() hooks run just before and after a test is run, and that by default tests run concurrently. This means each multiple .beforeEach() hooks may run concurrently. Using test.serial.beforeEach() does not change this. If you need to set up global state for each test (like spying on console.log for example), you'll need to make sure the tests themselves are run serially.

Remember that AVA runs each test file in its own process. You may not have to clean up global state in a .after()-hook since that's only called right before the process exits.

Test context

Hooks can share context with the test:

test.beforeEach(t => {
	t.context.data = generateUniqueData();

test('context data is foo', t => {
	t.is(t.context.data + 'bar', 'foobar');

Context created in .before() hooks is cloned before it is passed to .beforeEach() hooks and / or tests. The .after() and .after.always() hooks receive the original context value.

For .beforeEach(), .afterEach() and .afterEach.always() hooks the context is not shared between different tests, allowing you to set up data such that it will not leak to other tests.

By default t.context is an object but you can reassign it:

test.before(t => {
	t.context = 'unicorn';

test('context is unicorn', t => {
	t.is(t.context, 'unicorn');

Test macros

Additional arguments passed to the test declaration will be passed to the test implementation. This is useful for creating reusable test macros.

function macro(t, input, expected) {
	t.is(eval(input), expected);

test('2 + 2 = 4', macro, '2 + 2', 4);
test('2 * 3 = 6', macro, '2 * 3', 6);

You can build the test title programmatically by attaching a title function to the macro:

function macro(t, input, expected) {
	t.is(eval(input), expected);

macro.title = (providedTitle, input, expected) => `${providedTitle} ${input} = ${expected}`.trim();

test(macro, '2 + 2', 4);
test(macro, '2 * 3', 6);
test('providedTitle', macro, '3 * 3', 9);

The providedTitle argument defaults to an empty string if the user does not supply a string title. This allows for easy concatenation without having to worry about null / undefined. It is worth remembering that the empty string is considered a falsy value, so you can still use if(providedTitle) {...}.

You can also pass arrays of macro functions:

const safeEval = require('safe-eval');

function evalMacro(t, input, expected) {
	t.is(eval(input), expected);

function safeEvalMacro(t, input, expected) {
	t.is(safeEval(input), expected);

test([evalMacro, safeEvalMacro], '2 + 2', 4);
test([evalMacro, safeEvalMacro], '2 * 3', 6);

We encourage you to use macros instead of building your own test generators (here is an example of code that should be replaced with a macro). Macros are designed to perform static analysis of your code, which can lead to better performance, IDE integration, and linter rules.

Custom assertions

You can use any assertion library instead of or in addition to the built-in one, provided it throws exceptions when the assertion fails.

This won't give you as nice an experience as you'd get with the built-in assertions though, and you won't be able to use the assertion planning (see #25).

You'll have to configure AVA to not fail tests if no assertions are executed, because AVA can't tell if custom assertions pass. Set the failWithoutAssertions option to false in AVA's package.json configuration.

import assert from 'assert';

test('custom assertion', t => {

Latest JavaScript support

AVA uses Babel 7 so you can use the latest JavaScript syntax in your tests. There is no extra setup required. You don't need to be using Babel in your own project for this to work either.

We aim support all finished syntax proposals, as well as all syntax from ratified JavaScript versions (e.g. ES2017). See our @ava/stage-4 preset for the currently supported proposals.

Please note that we do not add or modify built-ins. For example, if you use Object.entries() in your tests, they will crash in Node.js 6 which does not implement this method.

You can disable this syntax support, or otherwise customize AVA's Babel pipeline. See our Babel recipe for more details.

TypeScript support

AVA includes typings for TypeScript. You have to set up transpilation yourself. When you set module to commonjs in your tsconfig.json file, TypeScript will automatically find the type definitions for AVA. You should set target to es2015 to use promises and async functions.

See AVA's TypeScript recipe for a more detailed explanation.

Transpiling imported modules

AVA currently only transpiles the tests you ask it to run, as well as test helpers (files starting with _ or in helpers directory) inside the test directory. It will not transpile modules you import from outside of the test. This may be unexpected but there are workarounds.

If you use Babel you can use its require hook to transpile imported modules on-the-fly. To add it, configure it in your package.json.

You can also transpile your modules in a separate process and refer to the transpiled files rather than the sources from your tests. Example here.

Promise support

If you return a promise in the test you don't need to explicitly end the test as it will end when the promise resolves.

test('resolves with unicorn', t => {
	return somePromise().then(result => {
		t.is(result, 'unicorn');

Async function support

AVA comes with built-in support for async functions (async/await).

test(async function (t) {
	const value = await promiseFn();

// Async arrow function
test('promises the truth', async t => {
	const value = await promiseFn();

Observable support

AVA comes with built-in support for observables. If you return an observable from a test, AVA will automatically consume it to completion before ending the test.

You do not need to use "callback mode" or call t.end().

test('handles observables', t => {
	return Observable.of(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
		.filter(n => {
			// Only even numbers
			return n % 2 === 0;
		.map(() => t.pass());

Callback support

AVA supports using t.end as the final callback when using node-style error-first callback APIs. AVA will consider any truthy value passed as the first argument to t.end to be an error. Note that t.end requires "callback mode", which can be enabled by using the test.cb chain.

test.cb('data.txt can be read', t => {
	// `t.end` automatically checks for error as first argument
	fs.readFile('data.txt', t.end);

Global timeout

A global timeout can be set via the --timeout option. Timeout in AVA behaves differently than in other test frameworks. AVA resets a timer after each test, forcing tests to quit if no new test results were received within the specified timeout. This can be used to handle stalled tests.

You can set timeouts in a human-readable way:

$ ava --timeout=10s # 10 seconds
$ ava --timeout=2m # 2 minutes
$ ava --timeout=100 # 100 milliseconds

Parallel runs in CI

AVA automatically detects whether your CI environment supports parallel builds. Each build will run a subset of all test files, while still making sure all tests get executed. See the ci-parallel-vars package for a list of supported CI environments.


test([title], implementation)

test.serial([title], implementation)

test.cb([title], implementation)

test.only([title], implementation)

test.skip([title], implementation)


test.failing([title], implementation)

test.before([title], implementation)

test.after([title], implementation)

test.beforeEach([title], implementation)

test.afterEach([title], implementation)


Type: string

Test title.


Type: function

Should contain the actual test.


Type: object

The execution object of a particular test. Each test implementation receives a different object. Contains the assertions as well as .plan(count) and .end() methods. t.context can contain shared state from hooks. t.title returns the test's title.


Plan how many assertion there are in the test. The test will fail if the actual assertion count doesn't match the number of planned assertions. See assertion planning.


End the test. Only works with test.cb().


Log values contextually alongside the test result instead of immediately printing them to stdout. Behaves somewhat like console.log, but without support for placeholder tokens.


Assertions are mixed into the execution object provided to each test implementation:

test('unicorns are truthy', t => {
	t.truthy('unicorn'); // Assertion

Assertions are bound to their test so you can assign them to a variable or pass them around:

test('unicorns are truthy', t => {
	const truthy = t.truthy;

Assertions can be skipped by adding .skip():

test('unicorns are truthy', t => {

If multiple assertion failures are encountered within a single test, AVA will only display the first one.


Passing assertion.


Failing assertion.

.truthy(value, [message])

Assert that value is truthy.

.falsy(value, [message])

Assert that value is falsy.

.true(value, [message])

Assert that value is true.

.false(value, [message])

Assert that value is false.

.is(value, expected, [message])

Assert that value is the same as expected. This is based on Object.is().

.not(value, expected, [message])

Assert that value is not the same as expected. This is based on Object.is().

.deepEqual(value, expected, [message])

Assert that value is deeply equal to expected. See Concordance for details. Works with React elements and react-test-renderer.

.notDeepEqual(value, expected, [message])

Assert that value is not deeply equal to expected. The inverse of .deepEqual().

.throws(fn, [expected, [message]])

Assert that an error is thrown. fn must be a function which should throw. The thrown value must be an error. It is returned so you can run more assertions against it.

expected can be a constructor, in which case the thrown error must be an instance of the constructor. It can be a string, which is compared against the thrown error's message, or a regular expression which is matched against this message. You can also specify a matcher object with one or more of the following properties:

  • instanceOf: a constructor, the thrown error must be an instance of
  • is: the thrown error must be strictly equal to expected.is
  • message: either a string, which is compared against the thrown error's message, or a regular expression, which is matched against this message
  • name: the expected .name value of the thrown error
  • code: the expected .code value of the thrown error

expected does not need to be specified. If you don't need it but do want to set an assertion message you have to specify null.


const fn = () => {
	throw new TypeError('🦄');

test('throws', t => {
	const error = t.throws(() => {
	}, TypeError);

	t.is(error.message, '🦄');

.throwsAsync(thrower, [expected, [message]])

Assert that an error is thrown. thrower can be an async function which should throw, or a promise that should reject. This assertion must be awaited.

The thrown value must be an error. It is returned so you can run more assertions against it.

expected can be a constructor, in which case the thrown error must be an instance of the constructor. It can be a string, which is compared against the thrown error's message, or a regular expression which is matched against this message. You can also specify a matcher object with one or more of the following properties:

  • instanceOf: a constructor, the thrown error must be an instance of
  • is: the thrown error must be strictly equal to expected.is
  • message: either a string, which is compared against the thrown error's message, or a regular expression, which is matched against this message
  • name: the expected .name value of the thrown error
  • code: the expected .code value of the thrown error

expected does not need to be specified. If you don't need it but do want to set an assertion message you have to specify null.


test('throws', async t => {
	await t.throwsAsync(async () => {
		throw new TypeError('🦄');
	}, {instanceOf: TypeError, message: '🦄'});
const promise = Promise.reject(new TypeError('🦄'));

test('rejects', async t => {
	const error = await t.throwsAsync(promise);
	t.is(error.message, '🦄');

.notThrows(fn, [message])

Assert that no error is thrown. fn must be a function which shouldn't throw.

.notThrowsAsync(nonThrower, [message])

Assert that no error is thrown. nonThrower can be an async function which shouldn't throw, or a promise that should resolve.

Like the .throwsAsync() assertion, you must wait for the assertion to complete:

test('resolves', async t => {
	await t.notThrowsAsync(promise);

.regex(contents, regex, [message])

Assert that contents matches regex.

.notRegex(contents, regex, [message])

Assert that contents does not match regex.

.snapshot(expected, [message])

.snapshot(expected, [options], [message])

Compares the expected value with a previously recorded snapshot. Snapshots are stored for each test, so ensure you give your tests unique titles. Alternatively pass an options object to select a specific snapshot, for instance {id: 'my snapshot'}.

Snapshot assertions cannot be skipped when snapshots are being updated.

Snapshot testing

AVA supports snapshot testing, as introduced by Jest, through its Assertions interface. You can snapshot any value as well as React elements:

// Your component
const HelloWorld = () => <h1>Hello World...!</h1>;

export default HelloWorld;
// Your test
import test from 'ava';
import render from 'react-test-renderer';
import HelloWorld from '.';

test('HelloWorld component', t => {
	const tree = render.create(<HelloWorld/>).toJSON();

Try it out in this example project.

Snapshots are stored alongside your test files. If your tests are in a test or tests folder the snapshots will be stored in a snapshots folder. If your tests are in a __tests__ folder then they they'll be stored in a __snapshots__ folder.

Say you have ~/project/test/main.js which contains snapshot assertions. AVA will create two files:

  • ~/project/test/snapshots/main.js.snap
  • ~/project/test/snapshots/main.js.md

The first file contains the actual snapshot and is required for future comparisons. The second file contains your snapshot report. It's regenerated when you update your snapshots. If you commit it to source control you can diff it to see the changes to your snapshot.

AVA will show why your snapshot assertion failed:

You can then check your code. If the change was intentional you can use the --update-snapshots (or -u) flag to update the snapshots:

$ ava --update-snapshots

You can specify a fixed location for storing the snapshot files in AVA's package.json configuration:


	"ava": {
		"snapshotDir": "custom-directory"

The snapshot files will be saved in a directory structure that mirrors that of your test files.

If you are running AVA against precompiled test files, AVA will try and use source maps to determine the location of the original files. Snapshots will be stored next to these files, following the same rules as if AVA had executed the original files directly. This is great if you're writing your tests in TypeScript (see our TypeScript recipe).

Skipping assertions

Any assertion can be skipped using the skip modifier. Skipped assertions are still counted, so there is no need to change your planned assertion count.

test('skip assertion', t => {
	t.is.skip(foo(), 5); // No need to change your plan count when skipping
	t.is(1, 1);

Enhanced assertion messages

AVA comes with power-assert built-in, giving you more descriptive assertion messages. It reads your test and tries to infer more information from the code.

Let's take this example, using Node's standard assert library:

const a = /foo/;
const b = 'bar';
const c = 'baz';
require('assert').ok(a.test(b) || b === c);

If you paste that into a Node REPL it'll return:

AssertionError: false == true

In AVA however, this test:

test('enhanced assertions', t => {
	const a = /foo/;
	const b = 'bar';
	const c = 'baz';
	t.true(a.test(b) || b === c);

Will output:

t.true(a.test(b) || b === c)
       |      |     |     |
       |      "bar" "bar" "baz"

Process isolation

Each test file is run in a separate Node.js process. This allows you to change the global state or overriding a built-in in one test file, without affecting another. It's also great for performance on modern multi-core processors, allowing multiple test files to execute in parallel.

AVA will set process.env.NODE_ENV to test, unless the NODE_ENV environment variable has been set. This is useful if the code you're testing has test defaults (for example when picking what database to connect to, or environment-specific Babel options). It may cause your code or its dependencies to behave differently though. Note that 'NODE_ENV' in process.env will always be true.


Temp files

Running tests concurrently comes with some challenges, doing file IO is one.

Usually, serial tests create temp directories in the current test directory and clean them up at the end. This won't work when you run tests concurrently as tests will conflict with each other. The correct way to do it is to use a new temp directory for each test. The tempfile and temp-write modules can be helpful.

Code coverage

You can't use istanbul for code coverage as AVA spawns the test files. You can use nyc instead, which is basically istanbul with support for subprocesses.

As of version 5.0.0 it uses source maps to report coverage for your actual code, regardless of transpilation. Make sure that the code you're testing includes an inline source map or references a source map file. If you use @babel/register you can set the sourceMaps option in your Babel config to inline.

Common pitfalls

We have a growing list of common pitfalls you may experience while using AVA. If you encounter any issues you think are common, comment in this issue.


Why not mocha, tape, tap?

Mocha requires you to use implicit globals like describe and it with the default interface (which most people use). It's not very opinionated and executes tests serially without process isolation, making it slow.

Tape and tap are pretty good. AVA is highly inspired by their syntax. They too execute tests serially. Their default TAP output isn't very user-friendly though so you always end up using an external tap reporter.

In contrast AVA is highly opinionated and runs tests concurrently, with a separate process for each test file. Its default reporter is easy on the eyes and yet AVA still supports TAP output through a CLI flag.

How is the name written and pronounced?

AVA, not Ava or ava. Pronounced /ˈeɪvə/ ay-və.

What is the header background?

It's the Andromeda galaxy.

What is the difference between concurrency and parallelism?

Concurrency is not parallelism. It enables parallelism.






Mark Wubben Sindre Sorhus Vadim Demedes
Mark Wubben Sindre Sorhus Vadim Demedes