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Run your tests at the speed of thought
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leighmcculloch and janko Fix options being appended in delve runner (#386)
# What
Insert a `--` in the dlv test command between the package name and where
test options are supplied.

# Why
The `--` is necessary to tell the dlv test command where options for go
test can be supplied vs where the package list start and ends.

When I originally developed the delve runner I had included a `--` and
then removed it thinking it was unnecessary just before I opened the PR
(#385). The test scenarios I'd coded didn't pickup on the options now
being ignored.
Latest commit 4729346 Aug 16, 2019


A Vim wrapper for running tests on different granularities.

usage overview


  • Zero dependencies
  • Zero configuration required (it Does the Right Thing™, see Philosophy)
  • Wide range of test runners which are automagically detected
  • Polyfills for nearest tests (by constructing regexes)
  • Wide range of execution environments ("strategies")
  • Fully customized CLI options configuration
  • Extendable with new runners and strategies

Test.vim consists of a core which provides an abstraction over running any kind of tests from the command-line. Concrete test runners are then simply plugged in, so they all work in the same unified way. Currently the following test runners are supported:

Language Test Runners Identifiers
C# .NET xunit, dotnettest
Clojure Fireplace.vim fireplacetest
Crystal Crystal crystalspec
Elixir ESpec, ExUnit espec, exunit
Elm elm-test elmtest
Erlang CommonTest commontest
Go Ginkgo, Go, Rich-Go, Delve ginkgo, gotest, richgo, delve
Java Maven, Gradle maventest, gradletest
JavaScript Ava, Cucumber.js, Intern, Jasmine, Jest, ReactScripts, Karma, Lab, Mocha, TAP, WebdriverIO ava, cucumberjs, intern, jasmine, jest, reactscripts, karma, lab, mocha, tap, webdriverio
Lua Busted busted
PHP Behat, Codeception, Kahlan, Peridot, PHPUnit, PHPSpec, Dusk behat, codeception, dusk, kahlan, peridot, phpunit, phpspec
Perl Prove prove
Python Django, Nose, Nose2, PyTest, PyUnit djangotest, djangonose nose, nose2, pytest, pyunit
Racket RackUnit rackunit
Ruby Cucumber, M, Minitest, Rails, RSpec cucumber, m, minitest, rails, rspec
Rust Cargo cargotest
Scala SBT sbttest
Shell Bats bats
Swift Swift Package Manager swiftpm
VimScript Vader.vim, VSpec, Themis vader, vspec, themis


Using vim-plug, add

Plug 'janko/vim-test'

to your .vimrc file (see vim-plug documentation for where), and run :PlugInstall.

Add your preferred mappings to your .vimrc file:

" these "Ctrl mappings" work well when Caps Lock is mapped to Ctrl
nmap <silent> t<C-n> :TestNearest<CR>
nmap <silent> t<C-f> :TestFile<CR>
nmap <silent> t<C-s> :TestSuite<CR>
nmap <silent> t<C-l> :TestLast<CR>
nmap <silent> t<C-g> :TestVisit<CR>
Command Description
:TestNearest In a test file runs the test nearest to the cursor, otherwise runs the last nearest test. In test frameworks that don't support line numbers it will polyfill this functionality with regexes.
:TestFile In a test file runs all tests in the current file, otherwise runs the last file tests.
:TestSuite Runs the whole test suite (if the current file is a test file, runs that framework's test suite, otherwise determines the test framework from the last run test).
:TestLast Runs the last test.
:TestVisit Visits the test file from which you last run your tests (useful when you're trying to make a test pass, and you dive deep into application code and close your test buffer to make more space, and once you've made it pass you want to go back to the test file to write more tests).


Test.vim can run tests using different execution environments called "strategies". To use a specific strategy, assign it to a variable:

" make test commands execute using dispatch.vim
let test#strategy = "dispatch"
Strategy Identifier Description
Basic (default) basic Runs test commands with :! on Vim, and with :terminal on Neovim.
Make make make_bang Runs test commands with :make or :make!.
Neovim neovim Runs test commands with :terminal in a split window.
Vim8 Terminal vimterminal Runs test commands with term_start() in a split window.
Dispatch dispatch dispatch_background Runs test commands with :Dispatch or :Dispatch!.
Vimux vimux Runs test commands in a small tmux pane at the bottom of your terminal.
Tslime tslime Runs test commands in a tmux pane you specify.
Neoterm neoterm Runs test commands with :T, see neoterm docs for display customization.
Neomake neomake Runs test commands asynchronously with :NeomakeProject.
MakeGreen makegreen Runs test commands with :MakeGreen.
VimShell vimshell Runs test commands in a shell written in VimScript.
Vim Tmux Runner vtr Runs test commands in a small tmux pane.
VimProc vimproc Runs test commands asynchronously.
AsyncRun asyncrun Runs test commands asynchronosuly using new APIs in Vim 8 and NeoVim. terminal Sends test commands to Terminal (useful in MacVim GUI). iterm Sends test commands to iTerm2 >= 2.9 (useful in MacVim GUI).
Kitty kitty Sends test commands to Kitty terminal.

You can also set up strategies per granularity:

let test#strategy = {
  \ 'nearest': 'neovim',
  \ 'file':    'dispatch',
  \ 'suite':   'basic',

or even per command:

:TestFile -strategy=neovim

Some strategies clear the screen before executing the test command, but you can disable this:

let g:test#preserve_screen = 1

The Vimux strategy will not clear the screen by default, but you can enable it by explicitly setting test#preserve_screen to 0.

On Neovim the "basic" and "neovim" strategies will run test commands using Neovim's terminal, and leave you in insert mode, so that you can just press "Enter" to close the terminal session and go back to editing. If you want to scroll through the test command output, you'll have to first switch to normal mode. The built-in mapping for exiting terminal insert mode is CTRL-\ CTRL-n, which is difficult to press, so I recommend mapping it to CTRL-o:

if has('nvim')
  tmap <C-o> <C-\><C-n>

Kitty strategy setup

Before you can run tests in a kitty terminal window using the kitty strategy, please make sure:

  • you start kitty setting up remote control and specifying a socket for kitty to listen to, like this:

    $ kitty -o allow_remote_control=yes --listen-on unix:/tmp/mykitty
  • you export an environment variable $KITTY_LISTEN_ON with the same socket, like:

    $ export KITTY_LISTEN_ON=/tmp/mykitty

Quickfix Strategies

If you want your test results to appear in the quickfix window, use one of the following strategies:

  • Make
  • Neomake
  • MakeGreen
  • Dispatch.vim

Regardless of which you pick, it's recommended you have Dispatch.vim installed as the strategies will automatically use it to determine the correct compiler, ensuring the test output is correctly parsed for the quickfix window.

As Dispatch.vim just determines the compiler, you need to make sure the Vim distribution or a plugin has a corresponding compiler for your test runner, or you may need to write a compiler plugin.

If the test command prefix doesn't match the compiler's makeprg then use the g:dispatch_compiler variable. For example if your test command was ./vendor/bin/phpunit but you wanted to use the phpunit2 compiler:

let g:dispatch_compilers = {}
let g:dispatch_compilers['./vendor/bin/'] = ''
let g:dispatch_compilers['phpunit'] = 'phpunit2'

Custom Strategies

Strategy is a function which takes one argument – the shell command for the test being run – and it is expected to run that command in some way. Test.vim comes with many predefined strategies (see above), but if none of them suit your needs, you can define your own custom strategy:

function! EchoStrategy(cmd)
  echo 'It works! Command for running tests: ' . a:cmd

let g:test#custom_strategies = {'echo': function('EchoStrategy')}
let g:test#strategy = 'echo'


You can automatically apply transformations of your test commands by registering a "transformation" function. The following example demonstrates how you could set up a transformation for Vagrant:

function! VagrantTransform(cmd) abort
  let vagrant_project = get(matchlist(s:cat('Vagrantfile'), '\vconfig\.vm.synced_folder ["''].+[''"], ["''](.+)[''"]'), 1)
  return 'vagrant ssh --command '.shellescape('cd '.vagrant_project.'; '.a:cmd)

let g:test#custom_transformations = {'vagrant': function('VagrantTransform')}
let g:test#transformation = 'vagrant'


nearest polyfill

You can execute test.vim commands directly, and pass them CLI options:

:TestNearest --verbose
:TestFile --format documentation
:TestSuite --fail-fast
:TestLast --backtrace

If you want some options to stick around, see Configuring.

Runner commands

Aside from the main commands, you get a corresponding Vim command for each test runner (which also accept options):

:RSpec --tag ~slow
:Mocha --grep 'API'
:ExUnit --trace
:Nose --failed

These commands are useful when using multiple testing frameworks in the same project, or as a wrapper around your executable. To avoid pollution they are not defined by default, instead you can choose the ones you want:

let g:test#runner_commands = ['Minitest', 'Mocha']


CLI options

If you want some CLI options to stick around, you can configure them in your .vimrc:

let test#ruby#minitest#options = '--verbose'

You can also choose a more granular approach:

let test#ruby#rspec#options = {
  \ 'nearest': '--backtrace',
  \ 'file':    '--format documentation',
  \ 'suite':   '--tag ~slow',

You can also specify a global approach along with the granular options for the specified test runner:

let test#ruby#rspec#options = {
  \ 'all':   '--backtrace',
  \ 'suite': '--tag ~slow',

Vim8 / Neovim terminal position

Both the neovim and Vim8 Terminal strategy will open a split window on the bottom by default, but you can configure a different position:

" for neovim
let test#neovim#term_position = "topleft"
" or for Vim8
let test#vim#term_position = "belowright"

For full list of variants, see :help opening-window.


You can instruct test.vim to use a custom executable for a test runner.

let test#ruby#rspec#executable = 'foreman run rspec'

File pattern

Test.vim has file pattern it uses to determine whether a file belongs to certain testing framework. You can override that pattern by overriding the file_pattern variable:

let test#ruby#minitest#file_pattern = '_spec\.rb' " the default is '_test\.rb'

Filename modifier

By default test.vim generates file paths relative to the working directory. If you're using a strategy which sends commands to a shell which is cd-ed into another directory, you might want to change the filename modifier to generate absolute paths:

let test#filename_modifier = ':.' " test/models/user_test.rb (default)
let test#filename_modifier = ':p' " /User/janko/Code/my_project/test/models/user_test.rb
let test#filename_modifier = ':~' " ~/Code/my_project/test/models/user_test.rb

Working directory

Test.vim relies on you being cd-ed into the project root. However, sometimes you may want to execute tests from a different directory than Vim's current working directory. You might have a bigger project with many subprojects, or you might be using autochdir. In any case, you can tell test.vim to use a different working directory for running tests:

let test#project_root = "/path/to/your/project"



Since there are multiple Python test runners for the same type of tests, test.vim has no way of detecting which one did you intend to use. By default the first available will be chosen, but you can force a specific one:

let test#python#runner = 'pytest'
" Runners available are 'pytest', 'nose', 'nose2', 'djangotest', 'djangonose' and Python's built-in 'unittest'

The pytest runner optionally supports pipenv. If you have a Pipfile, it will use pipenv run pytest instead of just pytest. It also supports poetry and will use poetry run pytest if it detects a poetry.lock.


For the same reason as Python, runner detection works the same for Java. To force a specific runner:

let test#java#runner = 'gradletest'


For the same reason as Python, runner detection works the same for Go. To force a specific runner:

let test#go#runner = 'ginkgo'
" Runners available are 'gotest', 'ginkgo', 'richgo', 'delve'

You can also configure the delve runner with a different key mapping alongside another:

nmap <silent> t<C-n> :TestNearest<CR>
function! DebugNearest()
  let g:test#go#runner = 'delve'
  unlet g:test#go#runner
nmap <silent> t<C-d> :call DebugNearest()<CR>

If delve is selected and vim-delve is in use, breakpoints and tracepoints that have been marked with vim-delve will be included.


Unless binstubs are detected (e.g. bin/rspec), test commands will automatically be prepended with bundle exec if a Gemfile is detected, but you can turn it off:

let test#ruby#bundle_exec = 0

If binstubs are detected, but you don't want to use them, you can turn them off:

let test#ruby#use_binstubs = 0

If your binstubs are not instrumented with spring, you can turn on using the spring bin (bin/spring) directly using:

let test#ruby#use_spring_binstub = 1


Test runner detection for JavaScript works by checking which runner is listed in the package.json dependencies. If you have globally installed the runner make sure it's also listed in the dependencies.


In addition to running tests manually, you can also configure autocommands which run tests automatically when files are saved.

The following setup will automatically run tests when a test file or its alternate application file is saved:

augroup test
  autocmd BufWrite * if test#exists() |
    \   TestFile |
    \ endif
augroup END

Projectionist integration

If projectionist.vim is present, you can run a test command from an application file, and test.vim will automatically try to run the command on the "alternate" test file.

You can disable this integration by doing

let g:test#no_alternate = 1


If you wish to extend this plugin with your own test runners, first of all, if the runner is well-known, I would encourage to help me merge it into test.vim.

That being said, if you want to do this for yourself, you need to do 2 things. First, add your runner to the list in your .vimrc:

" First letter of runner's name must be uppercase
let test#custom_runners = {'MyLanguage': ['MyRunner']}

Second, create ~/.vim/autoload/test/mylanguage/myrunner.vim, and define the following methods:

" Returns true if the given file belongs to your test runner
function! test#mylanguage#myrunner#test_file(file)

" Returns test runner's arguments which will run the current file and/or line
function! test#mylanguage#myrunner#build_position(type, position)

" Returns processed args (if you need to do any processing)
function! test#mylanguage#myrunner#build_args(args)

" Returns the executable of your test runner
function! test#mylanguage#myrunner#executable()

See autoload/test for examples.

Choosing which runners to load

All runners are loaded by default. To select which runners to load, set this option:

let test#enabled_runners = ["mylanguage#myrunner", "ruby#rspec"]

All other runners will not be loaded.

Note that for your own custom runners, you still need to set test#custom_runners.

Running tests

Tests are run using a Ruby test runner, so you'll have to have Ruby installed. Then run

$ gem install vim-flavor

Now you can run tests with

$ vim-flavor test spec/

Or if you're inside of Vim, you can simply run :VSpec provided by test.vim.


This plugin was strongly influenced by Gary Bernhardt's Destroy All Software. I also want to thank rspec.vim, from which I borrowed GUI support for OS X, and Windows support. And also thanks to vroom.vim.


Copyright © Janko Marohnić. Distributed under the same terms as Vim itself. See :help license.

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