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A tool to create class dependency graphs from test suites

Sample output

This is the result of running rubydeps on the Rake tests:

rubydeps testunit --class_name_filter='^Rake'

Rake dependencies

Command line usage

Rubydeps will run your test suite to record the call graph of your project and use it to create a dot graph.

First of all, be sure to step into the root directory of your project, rubydeps searches for ./spec or ./test dirs from there. For example, if we want to graph the Rails activemodel dependency graph we'd cd to rails/activemodel and from there we'd write:

rubydeps testunit #to run Test::Unit tests


rubydeps rspec #to run RSpec tests


rubydeps rspec2 #to run RSpec 2 tests

This will output a You can convert the dot file to any image format you like using the dot utility that comes with the graphviz installation e.g.:

dot -Tsvg > rubydeps.svg

Notice that sometimes you may have missing dependencies as we graph the dependencies exercised by your tests so it's a quick bird's eye view to check your project coverage.

Command line options

The --path_filter option specifies a regexp that matches the path of the files you are interested in analyzing. For example you could have filters like 'project_name/app|project_name/lib' to analyze only code that is located in the app and lib dirs or as an alternative you could just exclude some directory you are not interested using a negative regexp like 'project_name(?!.*test)'

The --class_name_filter option is similar to the --path_filter options except that the regexp is matched against the class names (i.e. graph node names).

The --to_file option dumps the dependency graph data to a file so you can do filtering later, it does not create a dot file.

The --from_file option is only available when you don't specify a test command. Its argument is the file dumped through --to_file in a previous run. When you use this option the tests (or block) are not ran, the dependency graph is loaded directly from the file. This is useful to avoid rerunning code that didn't change just for the purpose of filtering with different combinations e.g.:

rubydeps rspec2 --to_file='dependencies.dump'
rubydeps --from_file='dependencies.dump' --path_filter='app/models'
rubydeps --from_file='dependencies.dump' --path_filter='app/models|app/controllers'

Library usage

Just require rubydeps and pass a block to analyze to the analyze method.

require 'rubydeps'

Rubydeps.analyze(:path_filter => path_filter_regexp, :class_name_filter => class_name_filter_regexp, :to_file => "dependencies.dump") do
    # your code goes here


gem install rubydeps --pre

Rubydeps now only supports ruby 1.9. If you need 1.8.x support then:

gem install rubydeps -v0.2.0

Notice that in 0.2.0 you should use dot_for instead of analyze.


  • rcov (only for version 0.2.0)
  • graphviz
  • ruby-graphviz

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.


Copyright (c) 2012 Daniel Cadenas. See LICENSE for details.

Development sponsored by Cubox

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