Tickets now tracked in Jira


beaker-rspec is a bridge between the puppet acceptance test harness (beaker) and rspec. It also integrates serverspec.

#Upgrading from beaker-rspec 5 to 6

In beaker-rspec 6, we've picked up the newest beaker, 3.y. In this release, we've given up support for Ruby 1.9 and moved to 2.2.5 as our lowest tested version, as well as a number of other changes underneath.

To learn more about those changes, please checkout our how-to upgrade doc. Note that besides the Ruby version & beaker dependency change, nothing else was changed in beaker-rspec itself.

#Typical Workflow

Beaker does setup and provision all nodes from your nodeset on each test run, and cleans up the VMs after use. During development on a module it can be very handy to keep the VMs available for inspection or reuse. Set BEAKER_destroy=no do skip the cleanup and BEAKER_provision=no once the VMs are created.

  1. Run tests with BEAKER_destroy=no, no setting for BEAKER_provision
  • beaker-rspec will use spec/acceptance/nodesets/default.yml node file
  • boxes will be newly provisioned
  • boxes will be preserved post-testing
  • Run tests with BEAKER_destroy=no and BEAKER_provision=no
    • beaker-rspec will use spec/acceptance/nodesets/default.yml node file
    • boxes will be re-used from previous run
    • boxes will be preserved post-testing
  • Nodes become corrupted with too many test runs/bad data and need to be refreshed then set BEAKER_provision=yes
  • Testing is complete and you want to clean up, run once more with BEAKER_destroy unset
    • you can also:

      cd .vagrant/beaker_vagrant_files/default.yml ; vagrant destroy --force

##Supported ENV variables

  • BEAKER_color: set to no to disable color output
  • BEAKER_debug: set to any value to enable beaker debug logging
  • BEAKER_destroy: set to no to keep the VMs after the test run. Set to onpass to keep the VMs around only after a test failure.
  • BEAKER_keyfile: specify alternate SSH key to access the test VMs
  • BEAKER_provision: set to no to skip provisioning boxes before testing, beaker will then assume that boxes are already provisioned and reachable
  • BEAKER_set: set to the name of the node file to be used during testing (exclude .yml file extension, it will be added by beaker-rspec). The file is assumed to be in module's spec/acceptance/nodesets directory.
  • BEAKER_setfile - set to the full path to a node file be used during testing (be sure to include full path and file extensions, beaker-rspec will use this path without editing/altering it in any way)

For details on the specific mappings, the setup code and the beaker docs.

#Building your Module Testing Environment

Using puppetlabs-mysql as an example module.

##Clone the module repository of the module where you want to add tests

git clone
cd puppetlabs-mysql

##Install beaker-rspec

In module's top level directory edit the Gemfile. You should see a :system_tests or :acceptance group there, but if not, add beaker-rspec there:

group :acceptance do
  gem 'beaker-rspec'

Then run

bundle install

##Create node files

These files indicate the nodes (or hosts) that the tests will be run on. By default, any node file called default.yml will be used. You can override this using the BEAKER_set environment variable to indicate an alternate file. Do not provide full path or the '.yml' file extension to BEAKER_set, it is assumed to be located in 'spec/acceptance/nodesets/${NAME}.yml' by beaker-rspec. If you wish to use a completely different file location use BEAKER_setfile and set it to the full path (including file extension) of your hosts file.

Nodes are pulled from Puppet Labs Vagrant Boxes.

Example node files can be found here:

Create the nodesets directory. From module's top level directory:

mkdir -p spec/acceptance/nodesets

Copy any nodesets that you wish to use into the nodesets directory.

##Create the spec_helper_acceptance.rb

In the spec folder, you should see the project's spec_helper_acceptance.rb. This file contains all of the setup logic needed to get your Systems Under Test (SUTs) ready for testing. Note that puppetlabs-mysql's spec_helper_acceptance.rb file can be a little intimidating, so we're going to leave getting familiar with that to a later exercise. For now, create your own helper in the same directory. For example, my_spec_helper_acceptance.rb (creative, no?):

require 'beaker-rspec'

logger.error("LOADED MYYYYYYYYYY Spec Acceptance Helper")

# Install Puppet on all hosts
install_puppet_on(hosts, options)

RSpec.configure do |c|
  module_root = File.expand_path(File.join(File.dirname(__FILE__), '..'))

  c.formatter = :documentation

  c.before :suite do
    # Install module to all hosts
    hosts.each do |host|
      install_dev_puppet_module_on(host, :source => module_root, :module_name => 'mysql',
          :target_module_path => '/etc/puppet/modules')
      # Install dependencies
      on(host, puppet('module', 'install', 'puppetlabs-stdlib'))

      # Add more setup code as needed

NOTE that the install_puppet_on method used above will install the latest Puppet 3.x version. If you'd like to install a more modern version, you can replace that line with this one:

install_puppet_agent_on(hosts, options)

This method will install the latest puppet-agent from the specified puppet collection (defaults to pc1).

Update spec_helper_acceptance.rb to reflect the module under test. You will need to set the correct module name and add any module dependencies. Place the file in the spec directory (in this case puppetlabs-mysql/spec)

##Create spec tests for your module

Spec tests are written in RSpec. You can also use serverspec matchers to test resources.

Example spec file spec/acceptance/mysql_account_delete_spec.rb:

# NOTE: the require must match the name of the helper file created above.
#   If you changed the name there, you'll have to change it here.
#   You can verify this is correct when you see the log statement from the helper.
require 'my_spec_helper_acceptance'

describe 'mysql::server::account_security class' do
  let(:manifest) {
      class { 'mysql::server': remove_default_accounts => true }

  it 'should run without errors' do
    result = apply_manifest(manifest, :catch_failures => true)
    expect(@result.exit_code).to eq 2

  it 'should delete accounts' do
    grants_results = shell("mysql -e 'show grants for root@;'")
    expect(grants_results.exit_code).to eq 1

  it 'should delete databases' do
    show_result = shell("mysql -e 'show databases;'")
    expect(show_result.stdout).not_to match /test/

  it 'should run a second time without changes' do
    result = apply_manifest(manifest, :catch_failures => true)
    expect(@result.exit_code).to eq 0

  describe package('mysql-server') do
    it { be_installed }

##Run your spec tests

From module's top level directory

bundle exec rspec spec/acceptance