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Top 10 Ruby Testing Frameworks

July 4, 2023
Ruby Testing Frameworks

Ruby is one of the most popular server-side programming languages. This object-oriented language is primarily used in web development, data science, DevOps and automation, web scraping, and static site creation. Ruby testing frameworks provide a variety of features, such as support for behavior-driven development, mocking and stubbing, and test suite organization, to help developers write practical tests for their Ruby-based applications. Ruby is a programming language that is ideal for web automation. Because of its clean syntax, emphasis on built-in library integrations, and active community, Ruby is an excellent choice.

Another advantage of Ruby is that it allows other programming languages such as Java, Python, and others to automate applications written in other frameworks. As a result, you can use many tools and frameworks to automate any application in your system and test the results in any testing environment. It has become obvious over the past ten years that technology will continue to advance significantly. Given that Ruby has remained widely used and popular for more than 20 years, it makes sense to shed some light on the top Ruby-based frameworks. Choosing the best Ruby automation testing framework is a significant choice because every business must take long-term advantages into account. There are many choices, which can be confusing.

Ruby for Test Automation

Any of the top programming languages are available for automation testing. Depending on the project you’re working on and which language is the best fit, each has benefits and drawbacks.

The short answer is that Ruby is simple to use and learn. With its excellent support libraries for testing frameworks, databases, and other utilities, it is simple to quickly and effectively develop a full project. It has a wonderful community that is knowledgeable and friendly while offering advice.

When you need to troubleshoot or fix problems in your code, it is easier to understand what you’re doing thanks to Ruby’s simple syntax. Additionally, it makes it easier to explain how your code works to others outside of the code itself because you can just say, “This code does this,” and go on to explain without going into detail about how particular methods work internally.

Ruby Testing Frameworks

Ruby testing frameworks are used to automate the testing of software programs to make sure they are functioning properly and fulfilling the needs of their users. Developers can find bugs and errors early in the development process, before they become more challenging and expensive to fix, by creating automated tests.

Developers can take advantage of a variety of tools and features offered by testing frameworks like RSpec, Minitest, Cucumber, Test::Unit, and Capybara to make the testing process faster and more efficient. As part of a continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipeline, they enable developers to define test suites and test cases, write tests in a clear and readable format, and run tests automatically. Testing frameworks are an essential part of any software development process and can assist programmers in producing high-quality applications that satisfy users’ needs. Developers can make sure that their applications are dependable, scalable, and simple to maintain by selecting the appropriate testing framework and creating effective tests.

Below are the types of Ruby Testing Frameworks:

1. Cucumber

Cucumber is a behavior-driven Ruby development and testing framework. Cucumber scenarios are written in Gherkin and saved as .feature files. Each scenario contains a number of steps that are linked to step definitions that represent Ruby blocks. Make sure the Gherkin repository plugin is installed and enabled before working with Cucumber in RubyMine. The ‘cucumber’ or ‘cucumber-rails’ gems are added to the Gemfile and installed to the project’s SDK, depending on the project type. The Bundler topic explains how to install gems with RubyMine.

Following is the step-by-step process of how Cucumber works with Ruby:

Step 1 − Install Ruby

Step 2 − Download and extract Dev kit.

Step 3 − Install Cucumber and other Ruby gem.

Step 4 − Install IDE – KOMODO.

Step 5 − Install Watir − Go to command prompt and run the following command, “gem install watir”

Step 6 − Install rspec − Go to command prompt and run the following command, “gem install rspec”

Step 7 − Create feature file.

Step 8 − Create step definition file.

Step 9 − Create the test file.

Step 10 − Run the feature file.

2. RSpec

RSpec is a computer domain-specific language testing tool written in the programming language Ruby to test Ruby code. It is a behavior-driven development framework which is extensively used in production applications. The example above is written with test-unit, a unit testing framework that’s part of Ruby’s standard library.

def test_making_order

  book = => “RSpec Intro”, :price => 20)

  customer =

  order =, book)


  assert(customer.orders.last == order)

  assert(customer.ordered_books.last == book)




According to RSpec’s philosophy, all examples should be completely independent. This is a great philosophy for most situations, and we recommend that you follow it in almost all cases. But, when you’re trying to write long stories with multiple requests, that complete separation of examples is a real pain. Typically, you have three options:

Create a series of examples that each repeat the behaviour of the previous examples. The disadvantage is that it is horribly inefficient.

Create a single large example that tells the entire story. The disadvantage is that there is only one description and no independent reporting of the story’s progression.

3. Capybara

Capybara is a Ruby library (also known as a gem) that works in conjunction with an underlying web-based driver. It consists of a simple DSL (Domain Specific Language) that describes actions performed by the underlying web driver. For behavior-driven software development, Capybara simulates scenarios for user stories and automates web application testing. It supports Rack::Test and has a straightforward interface that makes running tests easier. Users can manage the asynchronous web with ease thanks to its strong and sophisticated synchronization features. 

  • Capybara currently has four distinct strategies built in:
  • first: Selects the first matching element.
  • one: If more than one element matches, an error is raised.
  • smart: Raises an error if more than one element matches, just like one, if exact is true. It will first look for an exact match if exact is false. If more than one element is discovered, an error is raised. In the absence of an element, a new search is conducted that accepts partial matches. If there are several matches found, an error is raised.
  • prefer_exact: The first exactly matching element is returned if multiple matches are found, some of which are exact and some of which are not.

Most of Capybara’s configuration options are global in their default state, which can be problematic if you want to change a setting for just one session while using multiple sessions. 

4. Spinach

Spinach is a high-level BDD framework that makes use of Cucumber’s expressive Gherkin language to help you define executable specifications for the acceptance criteria for your application or library.

Here are some of its design objectives, which were created as an alternative to Cucumber:

Maintainability of the steps is improved because features map to their own classes and the steps are simply methods of that class. This promotes step summarization.

Reusability of steps: You can always wrap steps in standard Ruby modules if you want to reuse them across features.

Spinach is tested against Ruby MRI 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 as well as **JRuby **.

Spinach supports two kinds of reporters by default: stdout and progress. When no reporter is specified, stdout will be used by default.

Contributing to Spinach is simple. Its codebase is straightforward and well-documented.

  • Project clone.
  • Create your new feature or bug fix.
  • Include specifications for it. This is crucial to ensure that we don’t unintentionally break it in a later version.
  • Don’t tamper with the rakefile, version, or history; commit instead. Although I can ignore a version bump in a commit by itself when I pull, if you want to have your own version, that is fine.
  • Make a pull request to me. Topic branches earn extra points.

5. Turnip

RSpec has a Gherkin extension called Turnip. You can use it to create tests in Gherkin and execute them in your RSpec environment. In RSpec, you can essentially write cucumber features. Turnip can perform end-to-end tests, therefore, test front-end components and functionality. Turnip is used to test server-side behavior and components. By integrating with RSpec turnip has access to the rspec-mocks gem. Turnip Integrates directly into your RSpec test suite which allows declaring example groups and contexts.

Install the gem: gem install turnip

Or add it to your Gemfile and run bundle:

 group :test do

  gem “turnip”


You may want to specify a few actions. Your step files should be named [something]_steps.rb, just like in cucumber. If a file is located under the Turnip step directory, all files with the *steps.rb extension will be automatically required.

Turnip’s spec/ step directory is the default setting. By setting Turnip::Config.step_dirs in your spec_helper, you can modify this. For instance:

# spec/spec_helper.rb

RSpec.configure do |config|

  Turnip::Config.step_dirs = ‘examples’



6. Shoulda

The shoulda gem, as an umbrella gem, does not have any code of its own and instead imports behaviour from two other gems:

  • Shoulda Context
  • Shoulda Matchers

Shoulda is tested and supported against Ruby 3.0+, Rails 6.1+, RSpec 3.x, Minitest 4.x, and Test::Unit 3.x.

For Example:

require “test_helper”

class UserTest < ActiveSupport::TestCase

  context “associations” do

    should have_many(:posts)


  context “validations” do

    should validate_presence_of(:email)

    should allow_value(“”).for(:email)

    should_not allow_value(“not-an-email”).for(:email)


  context “#name” do

    should “consist of first and last name” do

      user = “John”, last_name: “Smith”)

      assert_equal “John Smith”,




Here, the context and should methods come from Shoulda Context; matchers (e.g. have_many, allow_value) come from Shoulda Matchers.

The framework permits grouping tests for analysis. Shoulda Matches is compatible with RSpec and Minitest. The test unit and Minitest share the same relationship with Shoulda Context. 

7. Howitzer

Framework for web application acceptance testing built on Ruby.

 In order to accelerate the development of tests and make supporting them simpler, the framework was created using contemporary patterns, techniques, and tools for automated testing. For acceptance testing, it supports three different BDD tools (RSpec, Turnip, and Cucumber). It supports platforms for OS X, Linux, and Windows and uses Capybara for driver management and configuration. Furthermore, it is capable of running tests against browserless drivers and actual browsers without requiring any changes to the tests, regardless of the technical stack, language, or architecture of a web application.

8. Cutest

A Ruby testing framework called Cutest is primarily concerned with detached tests. Every test file is run by testers in a way that makes it easy to avoid the shared state. When a failure is discovered, it provides a thorough report of what happened and instructions for locating the mistake. There won’t be any sharing of instance variables between tests thanks to the scope command.

The prepare command makes it easier to run blocks prior to each test. Before each test, the setup command runs the setup block and passes the result as a parameter to the test block.  To avoid a shared state, each test file is run in a forked process. When a failure is identified, the remaining portion of the file is skipped and you receive a report describing what went wrong and how to find the error.  A list of files can be sent to by the tool cutest. Use the -r flag to require a file or library before starting the tests, as is necessary when using test helpers: 

$ cutest -r ./test/helper.rb ./test/*_test.rb

To install: $ gem install cutest

9. Padrino

A Ruby framework called Padrino was created using the wonderful Sinatra Web Library. Sinatra is a DSL for quickly and easily building straightforward web applications in Ruby. By expanding on the principles and foundations of Sinatra, this framework seeks to make creating more complex web applications as enjoyable and simple as possible. This framework aims to preserve the core of Sinatra while also producing a standard library of tools, helpers, and components that will enable Sinatra to be used for ever-more complex applications. 

Below is a quick rundown of the features offered by the Padrino structure:


Support in full for a wide range of widely used testing, templating, mocking, and data storage options.


Create Padrino projects, such as applications, models, and controllers.


In contrast to other ruby frameworks, this one is primarily made for mounting multiple apps.

Routing Support for before/after filters, named parameters, and full url named routes.

tag assisters

View aids like tag, content_tag, and input_tag are examples.

Asset Supporters

link_to, image_tag, and javascript_include_tag are examples of view helpers.

Support for form_tag, form_for, field_set_tag, and text_field is provided by form helpers builders.

Text Assistance

Formatting that is helpful includes time_ago_in_words, js_escape_html, and sanitize_html.


Support for sending emails quickly and easily (similar to ActionMailer).


Easy route and fragment caching for quick web request speedup.

Built-in administrative interface (similar to Django)


Make available a single logger that can communicate with your ORM or any other library.

To install the padrino framework: $ gem install padrino

10. Goliath

The non-blocking Ruby web server framework that powers PostRank is available as open source under the name Goliath. It is a compact framework made to achieve the following objectives: performance optimized for bare metal, support for the Rack API and middleware, ease of configuration, fully asynchronous processing, and readable and maintainable code. The Ruby 1.9 runtime, a high-performance HTTP parser, and an EventMachine reactor power the framework. The fact that Goliath can untangle the complex callback-based code into a format we are all familiar with and comfortable with giving it a significant advantage over other asynchronous frameworks. This results in more maintainable and readable code.

Install Goliath: gem install goliath

Goliath can currently run on MRI Ruby, JRuby, and Rubinius, so it is not restricted to a single Ruby runtime. You will observe various performance traits depending on the platform you are using. Since it went into production at PostRank more than a year ago, Goliath has consistently served 500 requests per second for both internal and external applications. Numerous Goliath processes have served hundreds of gigabytes of data without restarting for months at a time. At PostRank, each of our individual Goliath servers is typically deployed behind a reverse proxy in order to scale up, provide failover, and provide redundancy. 

Advantages of Ruby Testing Frameworks

  • Ruby is a simple and easy-to-learn programming language that is suitable for both novice and experienced developers. Ruby’s syntax is simple and straightforward, making it simple to read and write tests.
  • Ruby is a versatile language that can be used for a variety of test automation tasks. It is best suited for web application automation, but it can also be used for other types of software testing.
  • Ruby is well-known for its clean and readable syntax, which makes it simple for developers to understand and maintain test scripts. This readability also promotes better team collaboration because everyone can easily understand what the tests are doing.
  • Ruby has a number of mature testing libraries and frameworks, such as RSpec, Capybara, and Cucumber, that make it simple to write and run automated tests. These libraries include features such as page object models, test runners, and reporting tools that can improve the testing process’s efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Ruby has a large and active developer community that contributes to its testing libraries and frameworks, making it easy to find support and resources for test automation.

Final Thoughts

Ruby is a beautiful, effective, and simple language for creating websites. Although Ruby on Rails is the most well-known and feature-rich Ruby web development framework, there is a tonne of other options. There is a Ruby framework that suits your preference, regardless of whether you prefer a comprehensive, feature-rich framework or something simple and lightweight. You examined some of the top Ruby Testing frameworks in this article. When it comes to Ruby, there are many different frameworks to choose from. There are many high-quality frameworks to choose from, some more well-known than others. 

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