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Guard::Jasmine Build Status

Guard::Jasmine automatically tests your Jasmine specs when files are modified.

Tested on MRI Ruby 1.9.3, 2.0.0, 2.0.1 and the latest versions of JRuby and Rubinius.

If you have any questions please join us on our Google group or on #guard (


  • Continuous testing based on file modifications by Guard, manifold configuration by writing rules with RegExp and Ruby.

  • Fast headless testing on PhantomJS, a full featured WebKit browser with native support for various web standards: DOM handling, CSS selector, JSON, Canvas, and SVG.

  • Runs the standard Jasmine test runner, which can optionally integrate Jasmine into the Rails asset pipeline, enabling you to write your specs in CoffeeScript.

  • Integrates Istanbul to instrument your code in the asset pipeline and generate coverage reports.

  • Custom console logger implementation for pretty printing JavaScript objects and DOM elements.

  • Can be used to run Jasmine-species acceptance tests provided by Jasmine Stories.

  • Thor and Rake command line helper for CI server integration.

  • Runs on Mac OS X, Linux and Windows.


If you are a RailsCast Pro subscriber, I recommend to watch #261 Testing JavaScript with Jasmine (revised) for an introduction to Jasmine, Jasminerice and Guard::Jasmine.


Guard and Guard::Jasmine

The simplest way to install Guard is to use Bundler. Please make sure to have Guard installed.

Add Guard::Jasmine to your Gemfile:

group :development, :test do
  gem 'guard-jasmine'

Add the default Guard::Jasmine template to your Guardfile by running:

$ guard init jasmine

Please have a look at the CHANGELOG when upgrading to a newer Guard::Jasmine version.


You need the PhantomJS browser installed on your system. You can download binaries for Mac OS X and Windows from the PhantomJS download section.

Alternatively you can install Homebrew on Mac OS X and install it with:

$ brew install phantomjs

If you are using Ubuntu 12.04 or above, phantomjs is in the official repositories and can be installed with apt:

$ sudo apt-get install phantomjs

For older versions of Ubuntu, you will need to add a repository first:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jerome-etienne/neoip
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install phantomjs

You can also build it from source for several other operating systems, please consult the PhantomJS build instructions.

Rails with the asset pipeline setup

With Rails 3.1 and later you can write your Jasmine specs in addition to JavaScript with CoffeeScript, fully integrated into the Rails asset pipeline. You have full access to your running Rails app, but it's a good practice to fake the server response. Check out the excellent Sinon.JS documentation to learn more about this topic.

Guard::Jasmine will start a Rails Rack server to run your specs. Step by step instructions on configuring this are below.

How it works

Guard Jasmine

  1. Guard is triggered by a file modification.
  2. Guard::Jasmine executes the PhantomJS script.
  3. The PhantomJS script requests the Jasmine test runner via HTTP.
  4. Rails uses the asset pipeline to get the Jasmine runner, the code to be tested and the specs.
  5. The asset pipeline prepares the assets, compiles the CoffeeScripts if necessary.
  6. The asset pipeline has finished to prepare the needed assets.
  7. Rails returns the Jasmine runner HTML.
  8. PhantomJS requests linked assets and runs the Jasmine tests headless.
  9. The PhantomJS script collects the Jasmine runner results and returns a JSON report.
  10. Guard::Jasmine reports the results to the console and system notifications.

Configuring Guard Jasmine to integrate with the asset pipeline.

  • Install Guard Jasmine into the Rails project's Gemfile:

    gem "guard-jasmine", "~> 2.0"

  • Install Jasmine: rails generate jasmine:install

  • (Optionally) install Jasmine examples: rails generate jasmine:examples

  • (Optionally) Edit spec/javascripts/support/jasmine.yml to enable running CoffeeScript.

    • Change the spec_files: section to '**/*[sS]pec.{js,coffee}'
  • Install GuardJasmine's sample Guardfile rails generate guard_jasmine:install

  • Run GuardJasmine: guard

A sample Rails project configured in this way is at


Please read the Guard usage documentation.


Guard::Jasmine can be adapted to all kind of projects. Please read the Guard documentation for more information about the Guardfile DSL.

guard 'jasmine' do
  watch(%r{spec/javascripts/spec\.(js\.coffee|js|coffee)$})         { "spec/javascripts" }
  watch(%r{app/assets/javascripts/(.+?)\.(js\.coffee|js|coffee)$})  { |m| "spec/javascripts/#{m[1]}_spec.#{m[2]}" }


There are many options that can customize Guard::Jasmine to your needs. Options are simply supplied as hash when defining the Guard in your Guardfile:

guard 'jasmine', all_on_start: false, specdoc: :always do

Server options

The server options configures the server environment that is needed to run Guard::Jasmine:

server:  :jasmine_gem                         # Jasmine server to use, either :auto, :none,
                                              # :webrick, :mongrel, :thin, :unicorn, :jasmine_gem, :puma
                                              # default: :auto

server_env:  :test                            # Jasmine server Rails environment to set,
                                              # e.g. :development or :test
                                              # default: RAILS_ENV is exists, otherwise :development

server_timeout:  30                           # The number of seconds to wait for the Jasmine spec server
                                              # default: 15

port:  8888                                   # Jasmine server port to use. Note that some ports (e.g. 6665) won't work.
                                              # This is due to the fact that Webkit considers them unsafe.
                                              # default: a random, free server port

phantomjs_bin:  '~/bin/phantomjs'             # Path to phantomjs.
                                              # default: auto-detect 'phantomjs'

timeout:  20                                  # The time in seconds to wait for the spec runner to finish.
                                              # default: 10

rackup_config:  'spec/dummy/'        # Path to rackup config file (i.e. for webrick, mongrel, thin, unicorn, puma).
                                              # default: ./
                                              # This option is useful when using guard-jasmine in a mountable engine
                                              # and the is within the dummy app

If you're setting the :server option to :none or need to access your specs on a other host than localhost, you can supply the Jasmine runner url manually:

jasmine_url:  ''  # URL where Jasmine is served.
                                                   # default: nil

You may want to have also a fixed port instead of the random generated one.

The reason why the Server environment is set to development by default is that in development mode the asset pipeline doesn't concatenate the JavaScripts and you'll see the line number in the real file, instead of a ridiculous high line number in a single, very large JavaScript.

Use a custom server

If you supply an unknown server name as the :server option, then Guard::Jasmine will execute a rake task with the given server name as task in a child process. For example, if you configure server: 'start_my_server', then the command rake start_my_server will be executed and you have to make sure the server starts on the port that you can get from the JASMINE_PORT environment variable.

Spec runner options

The spec runner options configures the behavior driven development (or BDD) cycle:

spec_dir:  'app/spec'                         # Directory with the Jasmine specs.
                                              # default: 'spec/javascripts'

clean:  false                                 # Clean the spec list by only keep Jasmine specs within the project.
                                              # default: true

all_on_start:  false                          # Run all suites on start.
                                              # default: true

keep_failed:  false                           # Keep failed suites and add them to the next run again.
                                              # default: true

all_after_pass:  false                        # Run all suites after a suite has passed again
                                              # after failing.
                                              # default: true

The :keep_failed failed option remembers failed suites and not failed specs. The reason for this decision is to avoid additional round trip time to request the Jasmine test runner for each single spec, which is mostly more expensive than running a whole suite.

In general you want to leave the :clean flag on, which ensures that only Jasmine specs (files ending with _spec.js, and inside your project are passed to the runner. If you have a custom project structure or spec naming convention, you can set :clean to false to skip that file filter.

Specdoc options

Guard::Jasmine can generate an RSpec like specdoc in the console after running the specs and you can set when it will be shown in the console:

specdoc: :always                              # Specdoc output options,
                                              # either :always, :never or :failure
                                              # default: :failure

focus: false                                  # Specdoc focus to hide successful specs when
                                              # at least one spec fails.
                                              # default: true

console: :always                              # Console.log output options,
                                              # either :always, :never or :failure
                                              # default: :failure

errors: :always                               # Error output options,
                                              # either :always, :never or :failure
                                              # default: :failure

With the option set to :always, the specdoc is shown with and without errors in your spec, whereas on with the option set to :never, there is no output at all, instead just a summary of the spec run is shown. The default option :failure shows the specdoc when at least one spec failed.

When :focus is enabled, only the failing specs are shown in the specdoc when at least one spec is failing.

The :errors option is partially working when using at least PhantomJS version 1.5. Please see Issue #166 for the actual status of retreiving the JavaScript stack trace.

Overwrite options when running all specs

You may want to have different options when the spec runner runs all specs. You can specify the :run_all option as a Hash that contains any valid runner option and will overwrite the general options.

run_all: { specdoc:  :never }                 # Run all options,
                                              # Takes any valid option
                                              # default: {}

Console logs

The :console options adds captured console logs from the spec runner and adds them to the specdoc. Guard:Jasmine contains its own minimalistic console implementation. The following console methods are supported:

  • console.log
  • console.warn
  • console.error
  • console.debug

The difference for each of this log methods is simply a prefix that is added to the log statement. The log also supports the common format placeholders:

  • %s
  • %i, %d
  • %f
  • %o

You can further customize the log output by implement one of these methods:

  • toString() - must return a string that describes the object
  • toJSON() - must return an object that is used instead of the actual object.

In addition, the console can log jQuery collections and outputs the HTML representation of the element by using the jQuery html() method.

Custom Report options

Guard::Jasmine supports custom jasmine reporters. In order to use them you have to configure jasmine and make sure that you add the javascript files to the available assets, in this case I use the ones from larrymyers/jasmine-reporters:

    - "junit_reporter.js"
    - "junit_reporter.boot.js"

junit_reporter.boot.js is the file where you'll have to intialize and configure the reporter:

(function() {
    var reporter = new jasmineReporters.JUnitXmlReporter({
        // Here you can set any options that the custom reporter accepts
        savePath: 'reports/junit'

Once you got everything in the right place, run guard-jasmine with --reporters

Making your own reporter write to the filesystem

If none of the existing reporters work for you, you are writing your own one and you want it to write it's output to the filesystem, you have two options:

  1. use window.__phantom_writeFile(filename, text) (the way larrymyers/jasmine-reporters works)
  2. use window.callPhantom({event: 'writeFile', filename: filename, text: text}) (the way shepmaster/jasmine-junitreporter works)

Coverage options

Guard::Jasmine supports coverage reports generated by Istanbul. You need to have istanbul in your path in order to make this feature work. You can install it with NPM

$ npm install -g istanbul

You also need to explicit enable the coverage support in the options:

coverage: true                                # Enable/disable JavaScript coverage support
                                              # default: false


Istanbul needs to instrument the implementation files so that the execution path can be detected. Guard::Jasmine comes with a tilt template that generates instrumented implementation files when using in the asset pipeline. If you do not use asset pipeline, than you need to instrument your files on your own, either manually (basic example: istanbul instrument --output instrumented_scripts scripts) or by using something like Guard::Process. You can get more information about the instrumentation with istanbul help instrument. You'll also need to update your :spec_dir or jasmine.yml/src_dir settings to point Guard::Jasmine to these instrumented source files.

Important: You need to clear the asset cache when you change this setting, so that already compiled assets will be recompiled. Just use the Sprockets supplied Rake task:

$ rake assets:clean

Check coverage

By default Guard::Jasmine just outputs the coverage when enable without any effect on the spec run result. You can make Guard::Jasmine fail the spec run when a given threshold is not met. You can set the following thresholds:

statements_threshold: 95                      # Statements coverage threshold
                                              # default: 0

functions_threshold: 85                       # Functions coverage threshold
                                              # default: 0

branches_threshold: -10                       # Branches coverage threshold
                                              # default: 0

lines_threshold: -15                          # Lines coverage threshold
                                              # default: 0

A positive threshold is taken to be the minimum percentage required, a negative threshold represents the maximum number of uncovered entities allowed.

Coverage report

Guard::Jasmine always shows the Istanbul text report after a spec run that contains the coverage results per file. You can also enable two more reports:

coverage_html: true                           # Enable Istanbul HTML coverage report
                                              # default: false

coverage_html_dir: './coverage'               # Directory to write Istanbul HTML coverage report to
                                              # default: './coverage'

coverage_summary: true                        # Enable Istanbul summary coverage report
                                              # default: false

ignore_instrumentation: 'vendor'              # Ignore files matching this regex when instrumenting
                                              # default: ''

The :coverage_summary options disables the detailed file based coverage report by a small summary coverage report.

Both of these results are more useful if they are run against the coverage data from a full spec run, so it's strongly advised to enable the :all_on_start option.

With Jasmine in the asset pipeline all instrumented implementation files are available in the runtime and when you execute a partial spec run it reports a lower coverage for the excluded files, since their associated specs aren't run. Guard::Jasmine tries to work around this by merge only the coverage data for the changed files (Istanbul knows the file name in opposite to Jasmine).

Jenkins CI integration

You can use the Cobertura format to bring coverage support to Jenkins CI, even that Guard::Jasmine has no built in support for it. The trick is to post-process the coverage data with istanbul after the spec run:

desc "Run all JavaScript specs with Istanbul"
task :jscov => :environment do
  # Run Jasmine tests with code coverage on and generate Jenkins-compatible Jasmine code coverage report file.
  # Must run assets:clean first to force re-compilation.
  # Make sure to fail this task if there are unit test failures.
  # For some reason does not work if run as separate exec's, so combine into one.
  exec('rake assets:clean; guard-jasmine --coverage --coverage-html --coverage-summary; \
        code=$?; if [ $code != "0" ]; then exit $code; fi; istanbul report cobertura')

System notifications options

These options affects what system notifications are shown after a spec run:

notification: false                           # Show success and error notifications.
                                              # default: true

hide_success: true                            # Disable successful spec run notification.
                                              # default: false

max_error_notify: 5                           # Maximum error notifications to show.
                                              # default: 3

Mapping file changes to the spec filter

Jasmine doesn't know anything about your test files, it only knows the name of your specs that you specify in the describe function. When a file change is detected, Guard::Jasmine extracts the first spec name of the file and uses that spec description as spec filter.

So if you want to have a precise spec detection, you should:

  • Use only one top-level description per spec file.
  • Make each top-level description unique.

To get a feeling how your naming strategy works, play with the web based Jasmine runner and modify the spec query parameter.

Guard::Jasmine outside of Guard

Thor command line utility

Guard::Jasmine includes a little command line utility to run your specs once and output the specdoc to the console.

$ guard-jasmine

You can get help on the available options with the help task:

$ guard-jasmine help spec

  guard-jasmine spec

  -s, [--server=SERVER]                 # Server to start, either `auto`, `webrick`, `mongrel`, `thin`, `puma`
                                        # `unicorn`, `jasmine_gem` or `none`
                                        # Default: auto
  -p, [--port=N]                        # Server port to use
                                        # Default: Random free port
      [--verbose]                       # Show the server output in the console
  -e, [--server-env=SERVER_ENV]         # The server environment to use, for example `development`, `test` etc.
                                        # Default: test
      [--server-timeout=N]              # The number of seconds to wait for the Jasmine spec server
                                        # Default: 15
  -b, [--bin=BIN]                       # The location of the PhantomJS binary
  -d, [--spec-dir=SPEC_DIR]             # The directory with the Jasmine specs
                                        # Default: spec/javascripts
  -l, [--line-number=N]                 # The line which identifies the spec to be run
  -u, [--url=URL]                       # The url of the Jasmine test runner_options
                                        # Default: nil
  -t, [--timeout=N]                     # The maximum time in seconds to wait for the spec
                                        # runner to finish
                                        # Default: 10
      [--console=CONSOLE]               # Whether to show console.log statements in the spec runner,
                                        # either `always`, `never` or `failure`
                                        # Default: failure
      [--errors=ERRORS]                 # Whether to show errors in the spec runner,
                                        # either `always`, `never` or `failure`
                                        # Default: failure
      [--focus]                         # Specdoc focus to hide successful tests when at least one test fails
                                        # Default: true
      [--specdoc=SPECDOC]               # Whether to show successes in the spec runner, either `always`, `never` or `failure`
                                        # Default: always
      [--coverage]                      # Whether to enable the coverage support or not
      [--coverage-html]                 # Whether to generate html coverage report. Implies --coverage
      [--coverage-html-dir=REPORT_DIR]  # Where to save html coverage reports. Defaults to ./coverage. Implies --coverage-html
      [--coverage-summary]              # Whether to generate html coverage summary. Implies --coverage
      [--statements-threshold=N]        # Statements coverage threshold
                                        # Default: 0
      [--functions-threshold=N]         # Functions coverage threshold
                                        # Default: 0
      [--branches-threshold=N]          # Branches coverage threshold
                                        # Default: 0
      [--lines-threshold=N]             # Lines coverage threshold
                                        # Default: 0
Run the Jasmine spec runner

By default all specs are run, but you can supply multiple paths to your specs to run only a subset:

$ guard-jasmine spec/javascripts/ spec/javascripts/

Rake task integration

Guard::Jasmine provides a Rake task wrapper around the Thor command line utility. Simply create a JasmineTask within your Rakefile:

require 'guard/jasmine/task'

You can configure the CLI options either by providing the options as parameter or use a block:

require 'guard/jasmine/task' do |task|
  task.options = '-t 15 -e test'
end, '-s none')

Now you'll set your tasks in the Rake task list:

$ rake -T guard
rake guard:jasmine            # Run all Jasmine specs
rake guard:jasmine_no_server  # Run all Jasmine specs

and you can execute the Guard::Jasmine specs on the console by running the task:

$ rake guard:jasmine

Travis CI integration

With the given guard-jasmine script you're able to configure Travis CI to run Guard::Jasmine. Simply use the script setting in your .travis.yml:

script: 'bundle exec guard-jasmine --server-timeout=60'

You can also run your Guard::Jasmine specs after your specs that are ran with rake by using &&:

script: 'rake spec && bundle exec guard-jasmine'

When using a PhantomJS version prior to 1.5, you need to start xvfb before running the specs:

  - "export DISPLAY=:99.0"
  - "sh -e /etc/init.d/xvfb start"

Tip: It's highly recommended the have a server timeout of at least 60 seconds, since the performance of the Travis VMs seems to vary quite a bit; sometimes the Jasmine server starts in 5 seconds, sometimes it takes as long as 50 seconds.

How to test a Rails engine with Jasmine Gem

When building an engine, your code lives at the root but the dummy Rails app is in another folder (like test/dummy or spec/dummy).

So you have to import the Jasmine task in your Rakefile:

$ echo "import 'lib/tasks/jasmine.rake'" > Rakefile
$ bundle exec rake -T jasmine
rake jasmine     # Run specs via server
rake jasmine:ci  # Run continuous integration tests

Given your configuration, you could also need to set:

  • jasmine_url in your Guardfile as explained above

  • the server url in the command line: bundle exec guard-jasmine -u http://localhost:8888/


Rails 5 ships with a puma configuration that may conflict with Guard Jasmine if they're both running concurrently.

To work around this, the tmp_restart plugin in config/puma.rb needs to be disabled for development mode.

# Allow puma to be restarted by `rails restart` command.
plugin :tmp_restart


# Allow puma to be restarted by `rails restart` command.
plugin :tmp_restart unless ENV['RAILS_ENV'] == 'development'

Thanks to quolpr for investigating and suggesting the fix in: #199 (comment)


There are many ways to get your Jasmine specs run within a headless environment. If Guard::Jasmine isn't for you, I recommend to check out these other brilliant Jasmine runners:

How to file an issue

You can report issues and feature requests to GitHub Issues. Try to figure out where the issue belongs to: Is it an issue with Guard itself or with Guard::Jasmine? Please don't ask question in the issue tracker, instead join us in our Google group or on #guard (

When you file an issue, please try to follow to these simple rules if applicable:

  • Make sure you have study the README carefully.
  • Make sure you run Guard with bundle exec first.
  • Add debug information to the issue by running Guard with debug: true set in the options.
  • Add your Guardfile and Gemfile to the issue.
  • Make sure that the issue is reproducible with your description.

Development information

Pull requests are very welcome! Please try to follow these simple rules if applicable:

  • Please create a topic branch for every separate change you make.
  • Make sure your patches are well tested.
  • Update the Yard documentation.
  • Update the README.
  • Update the CHANGELOG for noteworthy changes.
  • Please do not change the version number.

For questions please join us in our Google group or on #guard (

Open Commit Bit

Guard has an open commit bit policy: Anyone with an accepted pull request gets added as a repository collaborator. Please try to follow these simple rules:

  • Commit directly onto the master branch only for typos, improvements to the readme and documentation (please add [ci skip] to the commit message).
  • Create a feature branch and open a pull-request early for any new features to get feedback.
  • Make sure you adhere to the general pull request rules above.

The guard-jasmine-debug executable

This Guard comes with a small executable guard-jasmine-debug that can be used to run the Jasmine test runner on PhantomJS and see the JSON result that gets evaluated by Guard::Jasmine. This comes handy when there is an issue with your specs and you want to see the output of the PhantomJS script.

$ guard-jasmine-debug

The only argument that the script takes is the URL to the Jasmine runner, which defaults to So you can for example just run a subset of the specs by changing the URL:

$ guard-jasmine-debug


Developed by Michael Kessler, sponsored by FlinkFinger.

If you like Guard::Jasmine, you can watch the repository at GitHub.


Maintained by Nathan Stitt.


See the CHANGELOG and the GitHub list of contributors.


  • Ariya Hidayat for PhantomJS, a powerful headless WebKit browser.
  • Brad Phelan for Jasminerice, an elegant solution for Jasmine in the Rails 3.1 asset pipeline.
  • Pivotal Labs for their beautiful Jasmine BDD testing framework that makes JavaScript testing fun.
  • Jeremy Ashkenas for CoffeeScript, that little language that compiles into JavaScript and makes me enjoy the front-end.
  • The Guard Team for giving us such a nice piece of software that is so easy to extend, one has to make a plugin for it!
  • All the authors of the numerous Guards available for making the Guard ecosystem so much growing and comprehensive.


(The MIT License)

Copyright (c) 2011-2014 Michael Kessler

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the 'Software'), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.