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Plugin to integrate Cucumber and Cuke4Duke into XSBT

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An sbt 0.11.x plugin for running Cucumber features.

IMPORTANT: The current release is a major update that switches from running the ruby version of cucumber (using JRuby) to running cucumber-jvm. This provides a significant improvement in speed and reliability. It also significantly changes the configuration options for the plugin. If you are using an older version of this plugin, please read below and update your project configurations to match the new options.

Provides the ability to run Cucumber-jvm within the SBT environment. Originally based on the cuke4duke-sbt-plugin by rubbish and my original implementation for SBT 0.7.x. Specifics for this release:

  • Works with xsbt 0.11.3 (probably works with other 0.11.x versions, but I haven't tested this)
  • Works with cucumber-jvm (1.0.9 for scala 2.9 and 1.0.10 for scala 2.10)
  • Allows projects compiled and running against Scala 2.9.1, 2.9.2 and 2.10.0-M4


Install the plugin (see later). By default features files go in a 'src/test/features' directory. Step definitions go in 'src/test/scala'. Finally from the sbt console call the task:


The cucumber task can be parameterised with tags or feature names to provide fine grained control of which features get executed. E.g.

cucumber @demo,~@in-progress

would run features tagged as @demo and not those tagged as @in-progress. Also:

cucumber "User admin"

would run features with a name matched to "User admin". Multiple arguments can be supplied and honour the following rules:

  • arguments starting with @ or ~ will be passed to cucumber using the --tags flag
  • arguments starting with anything else will be passed to cucumber using the --name flag

Writing Features

Features are written in text format and are placed in .feature files inside the 'src/test/features' directory. For more info on writing features please see the Cucumber website. For example:

Feature: Cucumber
  In order to implement BDD in my Scala project
  As a developer
  I want to be able to run Cucumber from with SBT

  Scenario: Execute feature with console output
    Given A SBT project
    When I run the cucumber goal
    Then Cucumber is executed against my features and step definitions

The location of the features can be changed by overriding a plugin setting (see below).

Writing Step Defitions

Step definitions can be written in Scala, using the Scala DSL. More information on this api can be obtained from the the Cucumber website. For example:

import cucumber.runtime.{EN, ScalaDsl}
import org.scalatest.matchers.ShouldMatchers

class CucumberSteps extends ScalaDsl with EN with ShouldMatchers {

  private var givenCalled = false
  private var whenCalled = false

  Given("""^A SBT project$""") {
    givenCalled = true

  When("""^I run the cucumber goal$""") {
    whenCalled = true

  Then("""^Cucumber is executed against my features and step definitions$""") {
    givenCalled should be (true)
    whenCalled should be (true)

Project Setup

To install the cucumber plugin, add entries to the build plugins file (project/plugins/build.sbt) as follows:

resolvers += "Templemore Repository" at ""

addSbtPlugin("templemore" % "xsbt-cucumber-plugin" % "0.5.0")

Basic Configuration

To add the cucumber plugin settings to a basic project, just add the following to the build.sbt file:

seq(cucumberSettings : _*)

The testProjects/testProject in the plugin source repository shows this configuration.

Full Configuration

To add the cucumber plugin settings to a full configuration (often a multi-module) project, the best way is to implement a project/Build.scala file:

import sbt._
import Keys._
import templemore.xsbt.cucumber.CucumberPlugin

object TestProjectBuild extends Build {
    import Dependencies._
    import BuildSettings._

    lazy val myProject = Project ("my-project", file ("."),
                                  settings = Defaults.defaultSettings ++ CucumberPlugin.cucumberSettings)

The testProjects/multiModuleTestProject in the plugin source repository shows this setup in a multi-module project.


The plugin supports a number of customisations and settings. The following settings can be modified to change the behaviour of the plugin:

Cucumber Settings

  • cucumberFeaturesDir - The location of the cucumber features directory within the projects. Defaults to a of ./src/test/features
  • cucumberStepsBasePackage - The base package from which to search for files containing Steps. Defaults to an empty String (search all packages)
  • cucumberExtraOptions - Additional commandline options to pass to the cucumber command. Defaults to an empty List[String]

Note: The cucumberStepsBasePackage should be set in configurations to avoid scanning the entire classpath for files containing Steps

Output Settings

  • cucumberPrettyReport - Outputs a pretty printed text file of the executed features instead of writing them to the console. The console display is default to just displaying progress dots. This solves the problem of interleaving of parallel test output when running in a multi-module project. Defaults to the Boolean value false
  • cucumberHtmlReport - Outputs an html report of the executed features to a report directory. Defaults to the Boolean value false
  • cucumberJunitReport - Outputs a Junit format XML report file of the executed features. Defaults to the Boolean value false
  • cucumberJsonReport - Outputs a JSON format report file of the executed features. Defaults to the Boolean value false

If none of the above are set to true then the default output is pretty printed features to the console. It is possible to support multiple outputs in a single run by setting more than one of the above settings to true. For multi-module projects it is recommended to set cucumberPrettyReport to true so that you don't end up with interleaved console output caused by cucumber being run concurrently for each project.

  • cucumberPrettyReportFile - The location of the pretty printed text report file. Defaults to a of ./target/scala-{scalaVersion}/cucumber.txt
  • cucumberHtmlReportDir - The directory for the html report. Defaults to a of ./target/scala-{scalaVersion}/cucumber/
  • cucumberJunitReportFile - The location of the Junit XML report file. Defaults fo a of ./target/scala-{scalaVersion}/cucumber.xml
  • cucumberJsonReportFile - The location of the JSON format report file. Defaults fo a of ./target/scala-{scalaVersion}/cucumber.json

JVM Settings

  • cucumberMaxMemory - The maximum JVM memory to allocate to the JRuby process. Defaults to the string "256M"
  • cucumberMaxPermGen - The maximum PermGen space for the JRuby process. Defaults to the string "64M"

Lifecycle Settings

  • cucumberBefore - A function of type () => Unit that will be run BEFORE cucumber is executed. Defaults to a no-op function
  • cucumberAfter - A function of type () => Unit that will be run AFTER cucumber is executed. Defaults to a no-op function


This plugin will continue to track releases of both SBT (0.10 and onwards) and Cucumber-jvm. Requests for features can be posted to the issues list or emailed to the author.

Release History


Moved from ruby implementation of Cucumber to Cucumber-jvm. This changes many of the plugin settings and options. In particular, output options are significantly improved.


Updated to build versions for xsbt 0.11.0, 0.11.1 and 0.11.2


Updated to support xsbt 0.11.0 & scala 2.9.1


Bug fix to correct --names parameter which should in fact be --name. Thanks to for the patch.


Updated to be compatible with SBT 0.10.1 release. This release contains no code changes, it is just a recompilation with the build properties updated.


Initial release. Complete rewrite of the plugin to support SBT 0.10.

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