Home How do you run a single test/spec file in RSpec?
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How do you run a single test/spec file in RSpec?

Jonathan Tran
Jonathan Tran Published in 2008-09-27 16:11:52Z

I want to be able to run a single spec file's tests — for the one file I'm editing, for example. rake spec executes all the specs. My project is not a Rails project, so rake spec:doc doesn't work.

Don't know if this matters, but here is my directory structure.

Ray Baxter
Ray Baxter Reply to 2012-05-05 04:13:16Z

Or you can skip rake and use the 'rspec' command:

rspec path/to/spec/file.rb

In your case I think as long as your ./spec/db_spec.rb file includes the appropriate helpers, it should work fine.

If you're using an older version of rspec it is:

spec path/to/spec/file.rb
John Bachir
John Bachir Reply to 2012-04-04 21:35:09Z

The raw invocation:

rake spec SPEC=spec/controllers/sessions_controller_spec.rb \
          SPEC_OPTS="-e \"should log in with cookie\""

Now figure out how to embed this into your editor.

Orion Edwards
Orion Edwards Reply to 2008-09-28 20:04:38Z

If you installed rspec as a plugin rather than as a gem, then you won't have the spec executable.

At any rate, All you need to do is run the file using ruby. The rspec code is clever enough to run the tests for you.


ruby myclass_spec.rb
fatgeekuk Reply to 2008-10-03 09:12:30Z

Alternatively, have a look at autotest.

Running autotest in a command window will mean that the spec file will be executed whenever you save it. Also, it will be run whenever the file you are speccing is run.

For instance, if you have a model spec file called person_spec.rb, and a model file that it is speccing called person.rb, then whenever you save either of these files from your editor, the spec file will be executed.

Zeke Reply to 2009-01-11 06:22:07Z


boblin Reply to 2010-08-17 10:10:24Z

from help (spec -h):

-l, --line LINE_NUMBER           Execute example group or example at given line.
                                 (does not work for dynamically generated examples)

Example: spec spec/runner_spec.rb -l 162

Greg Hemphill
Greg Hemphill Reply to 2011-03-01 17:10:31Z

I was having trouble getting any of these examples to work, maybe because the post is old and the commands have changed?

After some poking around I found this works:

rspec spec/models/user_spec.rb

That will run just the single file and provides useful output in the terminal.

joelparkerhenderson Reply to 2011-04-14 03:05:14Z

Ruby 1.9.2 and Rails 3 have an easy way to run one spec file:

  ruby -I spec spec/models/user_spec.rb


  • ruby command tends to be faster than the rake command
  • -I spec means "include the 'spec' directory when looking for files"
  • spec/models/user_spec.rb is the file we want to run.
Michael Durrant
Michael Durrant Reply to 2014-03-17 12:25:39Z

You can also use the actual text of the *e*xample test case with -e !

So for:

it "shows the plane arrival time"

you can use

rspec path/to/spec/file.rb -e 'shows the plane arrival time'
./scripts/spec path/to/spec/file.rb -e 'shows the plane arrival time'

no need for rake here.

juanpaco Reply to 2013-03-31 13:53:06Z

This question is an old one, but it shows up at the top of Google when searching for how to run a single test. I don't know if it's a recent addition, but to run a single test out of a spec you can do the following:

rspec path/to/spec:<line number>

where -line number- is a line number that contains part of your test. For example, if you had a spec like:

2: it "should be awesome" do
3:   foo = 3
4:   foo.should eq(3)
5: end

Let's say it's saved in spec/models/foo_spec.rb. Then you would run:

rspec spec/models/foo_spec.rb:2

and it would just run that one spec. In fact, that number could be anything from 2 to 5.

Hope this helps!

Packer Reply to 2014-12-08 10:43:46Z

Lets say, you're running test for creating todo. You can always run that specific todo spec code using the file crete_spec.rb file as below.



   Creating  rspec spec/features/todos/create_spec.rb
   Editing   rspec spec/features/todos/edit_spec.rb
   Deleting  rspec spec/features/todos/destroy_spec.rb

If you want to run all the specs in one single short.


If you want to run all the specs in a specific controller user this.


  Example:   rspec/spec/features/todos

Hope it gives you more understanding!

Victor BV
Victor BV Reply to 2017-05-15 15:18:41Z

Although many great answers were written to this question, none of them uses the Rspec tags approach.

I use tags to run one or more specs in different files -- only those related to my current development task.

For example, I add the tag "dev" with the value "current":

it "creates an user", dev: :current do
  user = create(:user)
  expect(user.persisted?).to be_truthy

then I run

bundle exec rspec . --tag dev:current

Different tags/values can be set in individual specs or groups.

nicolauria Reply to 2017-11-01 21:44:24Z

To run all of your rspec files: rspec

note: you must be in the root of your project

To run one rspec file: rspec 'path_to/spec.rb'

note: replace 'path_to/spec.rb' with your path. Quotation marks optional.

To run one rspec test from one file: rspec 'path_to/spec.rb:7'

note: :7 is the line number where the test starts

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