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About RubySpec

RubySpec is a project to write a complete, executable specification for the Ruby programming language. The specs describe Ruby language syntax as well as the core and standard library classes.

Running RubySpec

The RubySpec specification files are written using RSpec-compatible syntax. RubySpec provides a purpose-built framework, named MSpec, for running the specs.

The easiest way to run the RubySpecs suite is to install the MSpec gem.

$ [sudo] gem install mspec

However, RubySpec often utilizes the latest MSpec features, so you may want to use MSpec directly from the Git repository.

$ cd /somewhere
$ git clone git://

MSpec is now available in /somewhere/mspec.

To make the MSpec scripts available, add the MSpec bin directory to you PATH:

$ export PATH=/somewhere/mspec/bin:$PATH

Once you have MSpec installed, clone the RubySpec Git repository to run the specs.

$ cd /somewhere
$ git clone git://

To run the RubySpec suite:

$ cd /somewhere/rubyspec
$ mspec

This will execute all the RubySpec specs using the executable named ruby on your current PATH.

Running RubySpec against a specific Ruby interpreter

Use the -t option to specify the Ruby implementation with which to run the specs. The argument may be a full path to the Ruby binary. For example, to run RubySpec against /opt/ruby-enterprise/bin/ruby:

$ mspec -t /opt/ruby-enterprise/bin/ruby

There are some arguments that are abbreviations for known Ruby implementations. For example, if you specify j, then MSpec will look for jruby in PATH and run RubySpec against that:

$ mspec -t j

See mspec --help for a list of -t abbreviations.

Running parts of the spec

To run a single spec file, pass the filename to mspec:

$ mspec core/kernel/kind_of_spec.rb

You can also pass a directory, in which case all specs in that directories will be run:

$ mspec core/kernel

Note however that passing a directory to MSpec may not always be a good idea, because some specs aren't supposed to be run against the active Ruby interpreter. For example, if you run mspec -t /usr/bin/ruby1.8 library, then MSpec will run the 1.9-specific library specs as well, even though you specified Ruby 1.8 as the Ruby interpreter. Instead, you can specify pseudo-directories, which are defined in ruby.1.8.mspec and ruby.1.9.mspec. These pseudo-directories only include files appropriate for the active Ruby interpreter.

$ mspec :core
$ mspec :library
$ mspec :language