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Cucumber, the popular Behaviour-Driven Development tool, brought to your JavaScript stack.

It runs on both Node.js and modern web browsers.


Cucumber.js is tested on:

  • Node.js 5, 4, 0.12, 0.10, and io.js (see CI builds)
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Opera



Cucumber.js is available as an npm module.

Install globally with:

$ npm install -g cucumber

Install as a development dependency of your application with:

$ npm install --save-dev cucumber


Features are written with the Gherkin syntax

# features/myFeature.feature

Feature: Example feature
  As a user of cucumber.js
  I want to have documentation on cucumber
  So that I can concentrate on building awesome applications

  Scenario: Reading documentation
    Given I am on the Cucumber.js GitHub repository
    When I go to the README file
    Then I should see "Usage" as the page title

Support Files

Support files let you setup the environment in which steps will be run, and define step definitions.


World is a constructor function with utility properties, destined to be used in step definitions:

// features/support/world.js
var zombie = require('zombie');
function World() {
  this.browser = new zombie(); // this.browser will be available in step definitions

  this.visit = function (url, callback) {
    this.browser.visit(url, callback);

module.exports = function() {
  this.World = World;

If you need to perform operations before/after every scenario, use hooks.

Step Definitions

Step definitions are the glue between features written in Gherkin and the actual SUT (system under test). They are written in JavaScript.

All step definitions will run with this set to what is known as the World in Cucumber. It's an object exposing useful methods, helpers and variables to your step definitions. A new instance of World is created before each scenario.

Step definitions are contained within one or more wrapper functions.

Those wrappers are run before executing the feature suite. this is an object holding important properties like the Given(), When() and Then() functions. Another notable property is World; it contains a default World constructor that can be either extended or replaced.

Step definitions are run when steps match their name. this is an instance of World.

// features/step_definitions/myStepDefinitions.js

module.exports = function () {
  this.Given(/^I am on the Cucumber.js GitHub repository$/, function (callback) {
    // Express the regexp above with the code you wish you had.
    // `this` is set to a World instance.
    // i.e. you may use this.browser to execute the step:

    this.visit('', callback);

    // The callback is passed to visit() so that when the job's finished, the next step can
    // be executed by Cucumber.

  this.When(/^I go to the README file$/, function (callback) {
    // Express the regexp above with the code you wish you had. Call callback() at the end
    // of the step, or callback.pending() if the step is not yet implemented:


  this.Then(/^I should see "(.*)" as the page title$/, function (title, callback) {
    // matching groups are passed as parameters to the step definition

    var pageTitle = this.browser.text('title');
    if (title === pageTitle) {
    } else {
      callback(new Error("Expected to be on page with title " + title));

Instead of Node.js-style callbacks, promises can be returned by step definitions:

this.Given(/^I am on the Cucumber.js GitHub repository$/, function () {
  // Notice how `callback` is omitted from the parameters
  return this.visit('');

  // A promise, returned by zombie.js's `visit` method is returned to Cucumber.

Simply omit the last callback parameter and return the promise.

Synchronous step definitions

Often, asynchronous behaviour is not needed in step definitions. Simply omit the callback parameter, do not return anything and Cucumber will treat the step definition function as synchronous:

this.Given(/^I add one Cucumber$/, function () {
  // Notice how `callback` is omitted from the parameters
  this.cucumberCount += 1;
Strings instead of regular expressions

It is also possible to use simple strings instead of regexps as step definition patterns:

this.Then('I should see "$title" as the page title', function (title, callback) {
  // the above string is converted to the following Regexp by Cucumber:
  // /^I should see "([^"]*)" as the page title$/

  var pageTitle = this.browser.text('title');
  if (title === pageTitle) {
  } else {
    callback(new Error("Expected to be on page with title " + title));

'I have $count "$string"' would translate to /^I have (.*) "([^"]*)"$/.

Data Table

When steps have a data table, they are passed an object with methods that can be used to access the data.

  • with column headers
    • hashes: returns an array of objects where each row is converted to an object (column header is the key)
    • rows: returns the table as a 2-D array, without the first row
  • without column headers
    • raw: returns the table as a 2-D array
    • rowsHash: returns an object where each row corresponds to an entry (first column is the key, second column is the value)

See this feature for examples


By default, asynchronous hooks and steps timeout after 5000 milliseconds. This can be modified globally with:

// features/support/env.js

var configure = function () {
  this.setDefaultTimeout(60 * 1000);

module.exports = configure;

A specific step's timeout can be set with:

// features/step_definitions/my_steps.js

var mySteps = function () {
  this.Given(/^a slow step$/, {timeout: 60 * 1000}, function(callback) {
    // Does some slow browser/filesystem/network actions

module.exports = mySteps;


Hooks can be used to prepare and clean the environment before and after each scenario is executed. Hooks can use callbacks, return promises, or be synchronous. The first argument to hooks is always the current scenario. See Cucumber.Api.Scenario for more information.

Before hooks

To run something before every scenario, use before hooks:

// features/support/hooks.js (this path is just a suggestion)

var myHooks = function () {
  this.Before(function (scenario) {
    // Just like inside step definitions, "this" is set to a World instance.
    // It's actually the same instance the current scenario step definitions
    // will receive.

    // Let's say we have a bunch of "maintenance" methods available on our World
    // instance, we can fire some to prepare the application for the next
    // scenario:


module.exports = myHooks;

If you need to run asynchronous code, simply accept a callback in your hook function and run it when you're done:

this.Before(function (scenario, callback) {

Or return a promise:

this.Before(function (scenario) {
  // assuming this.createUsers returns a promise:
  return this.createUsers();
After hooks

The before hook counterpart is the after hook. It's similar in shape but is executed, well, after every scenario:

// features/support/after_hooks.js

var myAfterHooks = function () {
  this.After(function (scenario) {
    // Again, "this" is set to the World instance the scenario just finished
    // playing with.

    // We can then do some cleansing:


module.exports = myAfterHooks;
Around hooks

It's also possible to combine both before and after hooks in one single definition with the help of around hooks:

// features/support/advanced_hooks.js

myAroundHooks = function () {
  this.Around(function (scenario, runScenario) {
    // "this" is - as always - an instance of World promised to the scenario.

    // First do the "before scenario" tasks:


    // When the "before" duty is finished, tell Cucumber to execute the scenario
    // and pass a function to be called when the scenario is finished:

    // The first argument to runScenario is the error, if any, of the before tasks
    // The second argument is a function which performs the after tasks
    //   it can use callbacks, return a promise or be synchronous
    runScenario(null, function () {
      // Now, we can do our "after scenario" stuff:


module.exports = myAroundHooks;

As with Before and After hooks, Around hooks functions (both pre- and post-scenario functions) can accept a callback or return a promise if you need asynchronous operations.

Tagged hooks

Hooks can be conditionally elected for execution based on the tags of the scenario.

// features/support/hooks.js (this path is just a suggestion)

var myHooks = function () {
  this.Before("@foo", "@bar,@baz", function (scenario) {
    // This hook will be executed before scenarios tagged with @foo and either
    // @bar or @baz.

    // ...

module.exports = myHooks;

You can attach text, images and files to the Cucumber report using the scenario object:

this.After(function (scenario) {
  scenario.attach('Some text');

By default, text is saved with a MIME type of text/plain. You can also specify a different MIME type:

this.After(function (scenario) {
  scenario.attach('{"name": "some JSON"}', 'application/json');

Images and other binary data can be attached using a stream.Readable. In that case, passing a callback to attach() becomes mandatory:

this.After(function (scenario, callback) {
  if (scenario.isFailed()) {
    var stream = getScreenshotOfError();
    scenario.attach(stream, 'image/png', function(err) {
  else {

Images and binary data can also be attached using a Buffer:

this.After(function (scenario) {
  if (scenario.isFailed()) {
    var buffer = getScreenshotOfError();
    scenario.attach(buffer, 'image/png');

Here is an example of saving a screenshot using WebDriver when a scenario fails:

this.After(function (scenario, callback) {
  if (scenario.isFailed()) {
    webDriver.takeScreenshot().then(stream) {
      scenario.attach(stream, 'image/png', callback);
    }, function(err) {
  else {
After features event

The after features event is emitted once all features have been executed, just before the process exits. It can be used for tasks such as closing your browser after running automated browser tests with selenium or phantomjs.

note: There are "Before" and "After" events for each of the following: "Features", "Feature", "Scenario", "Step" as well as the standalone events "Background" and "StepResult". e.g. "BeforeScenario".

// features/support/after_hooks.js
var myAfterHooks = function () {
  this.registerHandler('AfterFeatures', function (event, callback) {
    // clean up!
    // Be careful, there is no World instance available on `this` here
    // because all scenarios are done and World instances are long gone.

module.exports = myAfterHooks;


Cucumber.js includes a binary file to execute the features.

If you installed cucumber.js globally, you may run it with:

$ cucumber.js

If you installed Cucumber locally, you may need to specify the path to the binary:

$ ./node_modules/.bin/cucumber.js

Note to Windows users: invoke Cucumber.js with cucumber-js instead of cucumber.js. The latter is causing the operating system to invoke JScript instead of Node.js, because of the so-called file extension.

Running specific features

  • Specify a feature file
    • $ cucumber.js features/my_feature.feature
  • Specify a scenario by its line number
    • $ cucumber.js features/my_feature.feature:3
  • Use Tags

Requiring support files

Use --require <FILE|DIR> to require files before executing the features. If not used, all "*.js" files (and other extensions specifed by --compiler) that are siblings or below the features will be loaded automatically. Automatic loading is disabled when this option is specified, and all loading becomes explicit. Files under directories named "support" are always loaded first


Use --format <TYPE[:PATH]> to specify the format of the output. If PATH is not supplied, the formatter prints to stdout. If PATH is supplied, it prints to the given file. If multiple formats are specified with the same output, only the last is used.

Built-in formatters

  • json - prints the feature as JSON
  • pretty - prints the feature as is (default)
  • progress - prints one character per scenario
  • rerun - prints the paths of the failing scenarios (example)
    • suggested use: add the rerun formatter to your default profile and the output file to your .gitignore
  • summary - prints a summary only, after all scenarios were executed


Use --tags <EXPRESSION> to run specific features or scenarios.

  • --tag @dev: tagged with @dev
  • --tag ~@dev: NOT tagged with @dev
  • --tags @foo,@bar: tagged with @foo OR bar
  • --tags @foo --tags @bar: tagged with @foo AND bar


Step definitions and support files can be written in other languages that transpile to javascript. This done with the CLI option --compiler <file_extension>:<module_name>. Below are some examples

Custom Snippet Syntax

Undefined steps snippets are printed in javascript by default. Custom snippet snytaxes can be used with --snippet-syntax <FILE>. See here for an example.

Building a custom snippet syntax
  • See the JavaScript syntax for an example. Please open an issue if you need more information.
  • Please add the keywords cucumber and snippets to your package, so it can easily be found by searching npm.


A few example apps are available for you to browse:



Help & support

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