A fancy man's spork
Ruby Cucumber
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Flatware Build Status Code Climate

Flatware parallelizes your test suite to significantly reduce test time.


  • ZeroMQ > 4.0



Linux Ubuntu

sudo apt-get install -qq libzmq3-dev

(Never you mind the 3. This package contains ZMQ version 4.)


brew install zeromq


Add the runners you need to your Gemfile:

gem 'flatware-rspec'    # one
gem 'flatware-cucumber' # or both

then run

bundle install



To run your entire suite with the default cucumber options, add the flatware-cucumber gem and just:

$ flatware cucumber


To run your entire suite with the default rspec options add the flatware-rspec gem and just:

$ flatware rspec


If you'd like to limit the number of forked workers, you can pass the 'w' flag:

$ flatware -w 3

You can also pass most cucumber/rspec options to Flatware. For example, to run only features that are not tagged 'javascript', you can:

$ flatware cucumber -t ~@javascript

Additionally, for either cucumber or rspec you can specify a directory:

$ flatware rspec spec/features

Typical Usage in a Rails App

Add the following to your config/database.yml:

  database: foo_test


  database: foo_test<%=ENV['TEST_ENV_NUMBER']%>

Run the following:

$ rake db:setup # if not already done
$ flatware fan rake db:test:prepare

Now you are ready to rock:

$ flatware rspec && flatware cucumber

Planned Features

  • Use heuristics to run your slowest tests first

Design Goals


  • Fully test at an integration level. Don't be afraid to change the code. If you break it you'll know.
  • Couple as loosely as possible, and only to the most stable/public bits of Cucumber and RSpec.


  • Projects define their own preparation scripts
  • Only distribute to local cores (for now)


  • Depend on a dedicated messaging library
  • Be accountable for completed work; provide progress report regardless of completing the suite.


Flatware is tested with [aruba][]. In order to get a demo cucumber project you can add the @no-clobber tag to features/flatware.feature and run the test with cucumber features/flatware.feature. Now you should have a ./tmp/aruba directory. CD there and flatware will be in your path so you can tinker away.

How it works

Flatware relies on a message passing system to enable concurrency. The main process declares a worker for each cpu in the computer. Each worker forks from the main process and is then assigned a portion of the test suite. As the worker runs the test suite it sends progress messages to the main process. These messages are collected and when the last worker is finished the main process provides a report on the collected progress messages.


To learn more about the messaging system that Flatware uses, take a look at the excellent ZeroMQ guide.

Contributing to Flatware

  • Check out the latest master to make sure the feature hasn't been implemented or the bug hasn't been fixed yet
  • Check out the issue tracker to make sure someone already hasn't requested it and/or contributed it
  • Fork the project
  • Start a feature/bugfix branch
  • Commit and push until you are happy with your contribution
  • Make sure to add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Please try not to mess with the Rakefile, version, or history. If you want to have your own version, or is otherwise necessary, that is fine, but please isolate to its own commit so I can cherry-pick around it.