Acceptance testing with Cucumber using a git-based wiki to store feature stories
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Gitnesse is an acceptance testing tool, enabling a project to store Cucumber feature stories in a git-based wiki, test them against the code, and then update the wiki with the latest test results.

Because the features are in a wiki, non-programmers can see them more easily, and edit them using the wiki.

Gitnesse provides an awesome bi-directional testing flow between developers and non-developers on a team.

Conceptually influenced by Fitnesse. Thanks, Uncle Bob!

Table Of Contents


You can add Gitnesse to your project's Gemfile:

gem 'gitnesse'

Or install it manually (recommended):

gem install gitnesse

Now add a gitnesse.rb file to your project. This will be used to configure Gitnesse's behaviour.

An example config file:

# ~/dev/awesome_rails_app/config/
Gitnesse::Config.config do |c|
  c.repository_url = ""
  c.annotate_results = true
  c.identifier = "Uncle Bob's Laptop"

A full description of each config option can be found in the Config section.


Gitnesse has a few dependencies it needs to function properly:

  1. Git must be installed
  2. Cucumber must be installed and globally accessible (gem install cucumber)


Gitnesse loads config values from a gitnesse.rb file in your project. The available configuration options are:

  • repository_url - the Git URL to the remote git-based wiki you'd like to use with Gitnesse. We recommend using the SSH url (e.g
  • features_dir - the local directory Cucumber features are store in. This defaults to features.
  • branch - The git branch of the remote wiki to use. Defaults to master.
  • annotate_results - Boolean, determines if Gitnesse will annotate Cucumber results to wiki pages when gitnesse run is called. Defaults to false.
  • identifier - If annotate_results is true, an identifier to use to indicate who ran the results. e.g. Uncle Bob's Laptop.


Gitnesse comes with a few commands:

gitnesse pull
gitnesse push
gitnesse run
gitnesse info
gitnesse help
gitnesse cleanup

All of these commands are also available as Rake tasks, if you've added Gitnesse to your Gemfile:

rake gitnesse:pull
rake gitnesse:push
rake gitnesse:run
rake gitnesse:info
rake gitnesse:cleanup

If you're using Gitnesse with a Rails app, these rake tasks will be hooked up automatically. If you're not using Rails, but still want the rake tasks, add this line to your Rakefile:

require 'gitnesse/tasks'


gitnesse pull pulls features from the remote git wiki, and updates/replaces the relevant local features. It also creates new local features if they don't already exist.


gitnesse push pushes local features to the remote git wiki, updating/replacing/creating as necessary. It also adds index pages, so for example if your features folder looked like this:

├── purchasing
│   ├── purchasing.feature
└── subscribing
    ├── subscriping_logged_in.feature
    ├── subscribing_logged_out.feature
    └── subscribing_fail.feature

Gitnesse would create these wiki pages:
features >
features > purchasing >
features >
features > subscribing >
features > subscribing >
features > subscribing >


gitnesse run pulls remote wiki features to local, similarly to gitnesse pull, but then it runs Cucumber on the updated feature. If the annotate_results settings is enabled, it will push annotated Cucumber results for each feature scenario to the remote wiki.


gitnesse info prints the current Gitnesse configuration info. Useful for debugging purposes and sanity checking.


gitnesse cleanup cleans up the folders Gitnesse creates in ~/.gitnesse to store local copies of remote wikis. It prompts for confirmatino before deleting anything.


To store local copies of your remote wikis, Gitnesse creates a hidden folder in your home folder called ~/.gitnesse. The wikis are stored in the project folder, so for example if you have a project called 'awesome_rails_app', it's wiki would appear in ~/.gitnesse/awesome_rails_app.


First of all, thanks! We appreciate any help you can give Gitnesse.

The main way you can contribute is with some code! Here's how:

  1. Fork Gitnesse
  2. Create a topic branch: git checkout -b my_awesome_feature
  3. Push to your branch - git push origin my_awesome_feature
  4. Create a Pull Request from your branch
  5. That's it!

We use RSpec for testing. Please include tests with your pull request. A simple bundle exec rake will run the suite. Also, please try to TomDoc your methods, it makes it easier to see what the code does and makes it easier for future contributors to get started.

(c) 2012-2013 The Hybrid Group