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xUnit adapter for SpecFlow that allows running scenarios without code generation
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SpecFlow.xUnitAdapter is an xUnit adapter for SpecFlow that allows running scenarios without code generation.


  • SpecFlow v2.3.1
  • xUnit v2.3 or above


  • .NET Framework 4.5 or above (new project format has limited support, see below)
  • Visual Studio for Windows

License: Apache (


See my blog post ( for more information and background, you can also look at the complete example at or watch the video demo on YouTube.

Build status


If you like this plugin and would like to support developing this or similar plugins, please consider donating the project. (For receiving an invoice for your donation, please contact me upfront.)



Install plugin from NuGet into your SpecFlow project.

PM> Install-Package SpecFlow.xUnitAdapter

Disable code-behind code generation

To disable the code-behind code generation, you have to REMOVE (set it to empty) the "SpecFlowSingleFileGenerator" "Custom Tool" setting on the file properties of all feature files in Visual Studio.

If you do this, Visual Studio will automatically delete the code behind files and removes them from the project.

Make sure the feature files have a SpecFlowFeature or SpecFlowEmbeddedFeature build action.

The SpecFlow.xUnitAdapter currently processes feature files in the folder (or subfolders) of the SpecFlow project assembly (typically in bin\Debug) and when they are embedded into the assembly.

To achieve that, you should change the Build Action setting of the feature files to SpecFlowFeature if you want them to not be embedded, or SpecFlowEmbeddedFeature if you want them to be embedded in the assembly.

Setup for new project file format

When using the new project file format for .NET 4.5+ projects, the build actions SpecFlowFeature and SpecFlowEmbeddedFeature are not available. Instead of that, you need to set the Copy to Output Directory setting to Copy if newer to ensure that the feature files are copied to the output directory. (Source information will not be available in this case.)

Also to be able to use the extension, you have to manually add the file SpecFlow.xUnitAdapter.Config.cs to the project.

Install xUnit Visual Studio adapter

In order to run the tests from the Visual Studio Test Explorer Window, you can install the xUnit Visual Studio adapter.

PM> Install-Package xunit.runner.visualstudio


The adapter is currently in BETA and there are some limitations.

  1. If you use SpecFlowFeature: As Visual Studio Test Explorer window only triggers the re-discovery of tests when the output assembly changes, if you only change the feature files, but nothing else in the code, you need to Rebuild the project in order to see the changes. (This is important only if the change is related to the discovered tests, so for example if you change the scenario name or the examples section of a scenario outline.)
  2. The adapter currently does not load the project-level feature file language setting (but assumes en-US).
  3. For feature files with #language setting, the setting will only be used for data conversions if it is a specific culture (e.g. de-AT). For neutral languages (e.g. de), currently en-US is used for conversions.
  4. The new project file format is not fully supported, see details in section Setup for new project file format above.

For diagnosing test discovery errors, you can add the following setting to the App.config file of the SpecFlow project. With this setting, the test discovery errors are displayed in the Tests pane of the output window.

  <add key="xunit.diagnosticMessages" value="true"/>

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