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* CLI flag --name to support special characters

* Added unit test for --name flag

* Removed semicolon

* Reverted changes. Added regex unit test. Updated docs.

* Rephrased sentence in docs

* use new bullet item for regexp example

Co-authored-by: David Goss <>
14 contributors

Users who have contributed to this file

@charlierudolph @davidjgoss @Lucas-C @aslakhellesoy @Izhaki @kmate @kamolins @gforceg @kozhevnikov @floribon @advance512 @dhgutteridge
198 lines (135 sloc) 9.58 KB


Cucumber.js includes an executable file to run the features. After installing Cucumber in your project, you can run it with:

$ ./node_modules/.bin/cucumber-js

Note on global installs: Cucumber does not work when installed globally because cucumber needs to be required in your support files and globally installed modules cannot be required.

Running specific features

  • Specify a glob pattern
    • $ cucumber-js features/**/*.feature
  • Specify a feature directory
    • $ cucumber-js features/dir
  • Specify a feature file
    • $ cucumber-js features/my_feature.feature
  • Specify a scenario by its line number
    • $ cucumber-js features/my_feature.feature:3
  • Specify a scenario by its name matching a regular expression
    • $ cucumber-js --name "topic 1"
    • $ cucumber-js --name "^start.+end$"
    • If used multiple times, the scenario name needs to match only one of the names supplied
    • To escape special regex characters in scenario name, use backslash e.g., \(Scenario Name\)
  • Use Tags

Requiring support files

Use --require <GLOB|DIR|FILE> to require support files before executing the features. Uses glob patterns. If not used, the following files are required:

  • If the features live in a features directory (at any level)
    • features/**/*.js
  • Otherwise
    • <DIR>/**/*.js for each directory containing the selected features

Automatic loading is disabled when this option is specified, and all loading becomes explicit.


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. This option may be used multiple times in order to output different formats to different files. If multiple formats are specified with the same output, only the last is used.

Built-in formatters

  • message - prints each message in NDJSON form, which can then be consumed by other tools.
  • html - prints a rich HTML report to a standalone page
  • json - prints the feature as JSON. *Note: this formatter is deprecated and will be removed in the next major release. Where you need a structured data representation of your test run, it's best to use the message formatter. For legacy tools that depend on the deprecated JSON format, a standalone formatter is available (see
  • progress - prints one character per scenario (default).
  • progress-bar - prints a progress bar and outputs errors/warnings along the way.
  • rerun - prints the paths of any non-passing scenarios (example)
    • suggested use: add the rerun formatter to your default profile and the output file to your .gitignore.
    • After a failed run, remove any arguments used for selecting feature files and add the rerun file in order to rerun just failed scenarios. The rerun file must start with an @ sign in order for cucumber to parse it as a rerun file instead of a feature file.
    • Use with --fail-fast to rerun the failure and the remaining features.
  • snippets - prints just the code snippets for undefined steps.
  • summary - prints a summary only, after all scenarios were executed.
  • usage - prints a table with data about step definitions usage.
  • usage-json - prints the step definitions usage data as JSON.

Format Options

You can pass in format options with --format-options <JSON>. The JSON string must define an object. This option is repeatable and the objects will be merged with the last instance taking precedence.

  • Suggested use: add with profiles so you can define an object and use JSON.stringify instead of writing JSON manually.


Colors can be disabled with --format-options '{"colorsEnabled": false}'


By default, cucumber exits when the event loop drains. Use the --exit flag in order to force shutdown of the event loop when the test run has finished. This is discouraged, as fixing the issues that causes the hang is a better long term solution. Some potential resources for that are:

Undefined Step Snippets

Undefined steps snippets are printed in JavaScript using the callback interface by default.


disable strict mode.

By default, cucumber works in strict mode, meaning it will fail if there are pending steps.


Override the snippet interface with --format-options '{"snippetInterface": "<interface>"}'. Valid interfaces are 'async-await', 'callback', 'generator', 'promise', or 'synchronous'.


Override the snippet syntaxes with --format-options '{"snippetSyntax": "<FILE>"}'. See here for documentation about building a custom snippet syntax.

Rerun separator

The separator used by the rerun formatter can be overwritten by specifying --format-options '{"rerun": {"separator": "<separator>"}}'. This is useful when one needs to rerun failed tests locally by copying a line from a CI log while using a space character as a separator. The default separator is a newline character. Note that the rerun file parser can only work with the default separator for now.

Parallel (experimental)

You can run your scenarios in parallel with --parallel <NUMBER_OF_WORKERS>. Each worker is run in a separate node process and receives the following env variables:

  • CUCUMBER_PARALLEL - set to 'true'
  • CUCUMBER_TOTAL_WORKERS - set to the number of workers
  • CUCUMBER_WORKER_ID - ID for worker ('0', '1', '2', etc.)


  • The reported runtime from the summary formatter is the total time from running the steps and thus be higher than the runtime for the command. The command runtime can be measured with other tools (time / Measure-Command)
  • Prior to 5.0.2, printing to stdout (using console.log or other means) will cause an error, because the worker processes communicate with the coordinator process over stdout. Instead print to stderr (using console.error or other means). In versions 5.0.2 and newer, processes communicate with IPC and this is no longer an issue.


In order to store and reuse commonly used CLI options, you can add a cucumber.js file to your project root directory. The file should export an object where the key is the profile name and the value is a string of CLI options. The profile can be applied with -p <NAME> or --profile <NAME>. This will prepend the profile's CLI options to the ones provided by the command line. Multiple profiles can be specified at a time. If no profile is specified and a profile named default exists, it will be applied.


Use --tags <EXPRESSION> to run specific features or scenarios. This option is repeatable and the expressions will be merged with an and operator. <EXPRESSION> is a cucumber tag expression.


abort the run on first failure (default: false)

By default, cucumber-js runs the entire suite and reports all the failures. This flag allows a developer workflow where you work on one failure at a time. Combining this feature with rerun files allows you to work through all failures in an efficient manner.

Retry failing tests

Use --retry <int> to rerun tests that have been failing. This can be very helpful for flaky tests. To only retry failing tests in a subset of test use --retry-tag-filter <EXPRESSION> (use the same as in Use Tags)


Step definitions and support files can be written in other languages that transpile to JavaScript.

Simple ES6 support

For instance, for ES6 support with Babel 7 add:

--require-module @babel/register

This will effectivally call require('@babel/register') prior to requiring any support files.

Non JS files

If your files end in an extension other than js, make sure to also include the --require option to state the support files to require.

For example, with TypeScript:

--require-module ts-node/register --require 'step-definitions/**/*.ts'

or CoffeeScript:

--require-module coffeescript/register --require 'features/**/*.coffee'

Extra configuration

Sometimes the required module (say @ts-node/register) needs extra configuration (e.g. you might want to configure it such that it prevents the compiled JS being written out to files, and pass some compiler options). In such cases, create a script (say, tests.setup.js):

  transpileOnly: true,
  compilerOptions: {
    // your compiler options here

And then require it using the --require option:

--require tests.setup.js --require 'features/**/*.ts'

Note that the first --require tests.setup.js overrides the default require glob, so we'll need to --require our support code explicitly too.

World Parameters

You can pass in parameters to pass to the world constructor with --world-parameters <JSON>. The JSON string must define an object. The parsed object will be passed as the parameters to the the world constructor. This option is repeatable and the objects will be merged with the last instance taking precedence.


--world-parameters '{"fancySetting":true}'
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