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rspec-autotest provides integration between autotest and RSpec; Autotest is not included in this gem and can be installed via the autotest-standalone or zentest gems.


RSpec Autotest ships with a specialized subclass of Autotest. To use it, just add a .rspec file to your project's root directory, and run the autotest command as normal:

$ autotest


The autotest command generates a shell command that runs your specs. If you are using Bundler, and you want the shell command to include bundle exec, require the Autotest bundler plugin in a .autotest file in the project's root directory or your home directory:

# in .autotest
require "autotest/bundler"


To use RSpec and Rails with autotest, bring in the autotest-rails gem:

# Gemfile
gem 'autotest-rails', :group => [:development, :test]

autotest will now autodetect RSpec and Rails after you run the rails generate rspec:install command.


Autotest style autotest/rspec_rspec2 doesn't seem to exist. Aborting.

This happens if you're using rspec-3.x + rspec-autotest-1.x and you still have rspec-core-2.x installed. You have two options to resolve this issue:

  1. Uninstall rspec-core-2.x (or remove it from the current gemset if you use a tool that supports gemsets).
  2. Pass a --style flag to the autotest executable, which should resolve the version of rspec correctly to 3.x:
autotest --style rspec

Invalid Option: --tty

The --tty option was added in rspec-core-2.2.1, and is used internally by RSpec. If you see an error citing it as an invalid option, you'll probably see there are two or more versions of rspec-core in the backtrace: one < 2.2.1 and one >= 2.2.1.

This usually happens because you have a newer rspec-core installed, and an older rspec-core specified in a Bundler Gemfile. If this is the case, you can:

  1. specify the newer version in the Gemfile (recommended)
  2. prefix the autotest command with bundle exec


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'rspec-autotest'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install rspec-autotest


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request