Guard::Test automatically run your tests (much like autotest)
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Guard::Test Build Status

Test::Unit guard allows to automatically & intelligently launch tests when files are modified or created.

If you have any questions about Guard or Guard::Test, please join us on our Google group or on #guard (


  • Compatible with test-unit 2.
  • Tested on Ruby 1.8.7, 1.9.2, REE, Rubinius and JRuby.


Please be sure to have Guard installed before continue.

If you're using Bundler, add it to your Gemfile:

group :tools do
  gem 'guard-test'

Note for Rails users: you should add it inside a :tools group (or at least not the :development nor :test group) to avoid the loading of the gem on Rails boot.

and run:

$ bundle install

or manually install the gem:

$ gem install guard-test

Add Guard definition to your Guardfile by running this command:

$ guard init test

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails lazy loads gems as needed in its test suite. As a result Guard::Test may not be able to run all tests until the gem dependencies are resolved.

To solve the issue either add the missing dependencies or remove the tests.


Specify ruby-prof as application's dependency in Gemfile to run benchmarks.

Rails automatically generates a performance test stub in the test/performance directory which can trigger this error. Either add ruby-prof to your Gemfile (inside the test group):

group :test do
   gem 'ruby-prof'

Or remove the test if it isn't necessary.


Please read the Guard usage doc.


Guard::Test can be adapted to any kind of projects.

See the template Guardfile for some examples.

Please read the Guard documentation for more info about the Guardfile DSL.


Deprecation notice: The :runner option is deprecated. If you had set it to "fastfail", it is now the default in test-unit 2, but if you want the opposite, you can pass the :cli => '--no-show-detail-immediately' option instead.

Available options

  • bundler (Boolean) - Whether or not to use bundle exec to run tests. Default to true if a you have a Gemfile in the current directory.
  • rubygems (Boolean) - Whether or not to require rubygems (if bundler isn't used) when running the tests. Default to false.
  • rvm (Array<String>) - Directly run your specs against multiple Rubies. Default to nil.
  • drb (Boolean) - Run your tests with spork-testunit. Default to false.
  • zeus (Boolean) - Run your tests with zeus. Default to false.
  • include (Array<String>) - Pass arbitrary include paths to the command that runs the tests. Default to ['test'].
  • cli (String) - Pass arbitrary CLI arguments to the command that runs the tests. Default to nil.
  • all_on_start (Boolean) - Run all tests on Guard startup. Default to true.
  • all_after_pass (Boolean) - Run all tests after the current run tests pass. Default to true.
  • keep_failed (Boolean) - Re-run failing tests until they pass. Default to true.
  • test_paths (Array<String>) - Array of paths that where are located the test files. Default to ['test'].

drb option

When true, notifications are disabled. This might be fixed in future releases.

zeus option

When true, the include option is disregarded, as it does not work with zeus' test runner.

The zeus server process (zeus start) must already be running in another terminal.

test_paths option

By default, guard-test will only look for test files within test/ in your project root. You can add any paths using the :test_paths option:

guard :test, :test_paths => ['test', 'vendor/plugins/recaptcha/test', 'any/path/test'] do
  # ...


Pull requests are very welcome! Please try to follow these simple "rules", though:

  • Please create a topic branch for every separate change you make;
  • Make sure your patches are well tested;
  • Update the README (if applicable);
  • Update the CHANGELOG and add yourself to the list of contributors (see at the bottom of the CHANGELOG for examples);
  • Please do not change the version number.

For questions please join us on our Google group or on #guard (


Rémy Coutable



Many thanks to Thibaud Guillaume-Gentil for creating the excellent Guard gem.