Guard::RSpec automatically run your specs (much like autotest)
Pull request Compare This branch is 1 commit ahead, 572 commits behind guard:master.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.

Better readme!

Guard::RSpec travis-ci

RSpec guard allows to automatically & intelligently launch specs when files are modified.

  • Compatible with RSpec 1.x & RSpec 2.x (>= 2.4 needed for the notification feature)
  • Tested on Ruby 1.8.7, 1.9.2, JRuby & Rubinius.


Please be sure to have Guard installed before continue.

Install the gem:

$ gem install guard-rspec

Add it to your Gemfile (inside development group):

gem 'guard-rspec'

Add guard definition to your Guardfile by running this command:

$ guard init rspec


Please read Guard usage doc


RSpec guard can be really adapted to all kind of projects.

Standard RubyGem project

guard 'rspec' do
  watch(%r{^lib/(.+)\.rb})     { |m| "spec/lib/#{m[1]}_spec.rb" }
  watch('spec/spec_helper.rb') { "spec" }

Typical Rails app

guard 'rspec' do
  watch('spec/spec_helper.rb')                       { "spec" }
  watch('config/routes.rb')                          { "spec/routing" }
  watch('app/controllers/application_controller.rb') { "spec/controllers" }
  watch(%r{^app/(.+)\.rb})                           { |m| "spec/#{m[1]}_spec.rb" }
  watch(%r{^lib/(.+)\.rb})                           { |m| "spec/lib/#{m[1]}_spec.rb" }
  watch(%r{^app/controllers/(.+)_(controller)\.rb})  { |m| ["spec/routing/#{m[1]}_routing_spec.rb", "spec/#{m[2]}s/#{m[1]}_#{m[2]}_spec.rb", "spec/acceptance/#{m[1]}_spec.rb"] }

Please read Guard doc for more information about the Guardfile DSL.


By default, Guard::RSpec automatically detect your RSpec version (with the spec_helper.rb syntax or with Bundler) but you can force the version with the :version option:

guard 'rspec', :version => 2 do
  # ...

You can pass any of the standard RSpec CLI options using the :cli option:

guard 'rspec', :cli => "--color --format nested --fail-fast --drb" do
  # ...

Former :color, :drb, :fail_fast and :formatter options are thus deprecated and have no effect anymore.

List of available options:

:version => 1               # force use RSpec version 1, default: 2
:cli => "-c -f doc"         # pass arbitrary RSpec CLI arguments, default: "-f progress"
:bundler => false           # don't use "bundle exec" to run the RSpec command, default: true
:rvm => ['1.8.7', '1.9.2']  # directly run your specs on multiple Rubies, default: nil
:notification => false      # don't display Growl (or Libnotify) notification after the specs are done running, default: true
:all_after_pass => false    # don't run all specs after changed specs pass, default: true
:all_on_start => false      # don't run all the specs at startup, default: true
:keep_failed => false       # keep failed specs until them pass, default: true


The notification feature is only available for RSpec < 2, and RSpec >= 2.4 (due to the multiple-formatters feature that was present in RSpec 1, was removed in RSpec 2 and reintroduced in RSpec 2.4). So if you are using a version between 2 and 2.4, you should disable the notification with :notification => false. Otherwise, nothing will be displayed in the terminal when your specs will run.

The best solution is still to update RSpec to the latest version!


The :formatter option has been removed since CLI arguments can be passed through the :cli option. If you want to use the former Instafail formatter, you need to use rspec-instafail gem instead:

# in your Gemfile
gem 'rspec-instafail'

# in your Guardfile
guard 'rspec', :cli => '-r rspec/instafail -f RSpec::Instafail' do
  # ...

Default formatter is the progress formatter (same as RSpec default).

Running a subset of all specs

The :all_on_start and :all_after_pass options cause all specs to be run. If there are some specs you want to skip, you can tag them with RSpec metadata (such as :slow => true) and skip them with the cli --tag option (i.e. --tag ~slow).


Pull requests are very welcome! Make sure your patches are well tested. Please create a topic branch for every separate change you make.


Please run rake spec:prepare_fixtures once before launching specs.


Thibaud Guillaume-Gentil