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Spin speeds up your Rails testing workflow by preloading your Rails environment.
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Combined (spin) with (rails-dev-boost) for (nearly) instant test starts. Also added (growl) for notifications.

This setup works great for me with unit and functional tests (Test::Unit / MinitTest).

Compare the execution times of a simple functional test (rails 3.1 and ruby 1.9.3):

#Test Time:
1.270169 seconds

# Total execution time with instantspin
2.755599 seconds

# Total execution time with plain spin
14.565113 seconds

# Total execution time (ruby -Itest ...)
20.771 seconds



group :development, :test do
  gem 'rails-dev-boost', :git => 'git://', :require => 'rails_development_boost'

group :development do
  gem "instantspin", :git => "git://"

Add config for rails-dev-boost but only if run via spin

if $instantspin
  config.cache_classes = false
  config.soft_reload = true
  config.cache_classes = true

Ensure that ActiveRecord has an active connection

ActiveRecord::Base.connection.reconnect!() if $instantspin



There are two components to Spin, a server and client. The server has to be running for anything interesting to happen. You can start the Spin server from your Rails.root with the following command:

bundle exec instantspin serve

As soon as the server is running it will be ready to accept from clients. You can use the following command to specify a file for the server to load:

bundle exec instantspin push test/unit/product_test.rb

Or push multiple files to be loaded at once:

bundle exec instantspin push test/unit/product_test.rb test/unit/shop_test.rb test/unit/cart_test.rb

If you experience issues with test_helper.rb not being available you may need to add your test directory to the load path using the -I option:

bundle exec instantspin serve -Itest

Send a SIGQUIT to spin serve (Ctrl+\) if you want to re-run the last files that were ran via spin push [files].

With Kicker

As mentioned, this tool works best with an autotest(ish) workflow. I haven't actually used with with autotest itself, but it works great with kicker. Here's the suggested workflow for a Rails app:

  1. Start up the spin server

    bundle exec instantspin serve
  2. Start up kicker using the custom binary option (and any other options you want)

    kicker -r rails -b 'spin push'
  3. Faster testing workflow!


Easy solution for really fast test startup times!!!


I take pull requests, and it's commit bit, and there are no tests.

Related Projects

If Spin isn't scratching your itch then one of these projects might:

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