vim-test by Janko Marohnić


A Vim wrapper for running tests on different granularities.

usage overview

Currently the following testing frameworks are supported:

Language Frameworks Identifiers
Ruby RSpec, Minitest/Rails/M, Cucumber rspec, minitest/rails/m, cucumber
JavaScript Intern, TAP, Karma, Mocha, Jasmine intern, tap, karma, mocha, jasmine
Python Nose, PyTest, Django nose, pytest, djangotest, djangonose
Elixir ExUnit, ESpec exunit, espec
Go Go gotest
Rust Cargo cargotest
Clojure Fireplace.vim fireplacetest
Shell Bats bats
VimScript VSpec, Vader.vim vspec, vader
Lua Busted busted
PHP PHPUnit, Behat, PHPSpec, Codeception phpunit, behat, phpspec, codeception
Perl Prove prove
Java Maven maventest
Crystal Crystal crystalspec


Test.vim consists of a core which provides an abstraction over running any kind of tests from the command-line. Concrete test runners are then simply plugged in, so they all work in the same unified way.


Using vim-plug, add

Plug 'janko-m/vim-test'

to your .vimrc file (see vim-plug documentation for where), and run :PlugInstall.

Add your preferred mappings to your .vimrc file:

nmap <silent> <leader>t :TestNearest<CR>
nmap <silent> <leader>T :TestFile<CR>
nmap <silent> <leader>a :TestSuite<CR>
nmap <silent> <leader>l :TestLast<CR>
nmap <silent> <leader>g :TestVisit<CR>
Command Description
:TestNearest In a test file runs the test nearest to the cursor, otherwise runs the last nearest test. In test frameworks that don't support line numbers it will polyfill this functionality with regexes.
:TestFile In a test file runs all tests in the current file, otherwise runs the last file tests.
:TestSuite Runs the whole test suite (if the current file is a test file, runs that framework's test suite, otherwise determines the test framework from the last run test).
:TestLast Runs the last test.
:TestVisit Visits the test file from which you last run your tests (useful when you're trying to make a test pass, and you dive deep into application code and close your test buffer to make more space, and once you've made it pass you want to go back to the test file to write more tests).


Test.vim can run tests using different execution environments called "strategies". To use a specific strategy, assign it to a variable:

" make test commands execute using dispatch.vim
let test#strategy = "dispatch"
Strategy Identifier Description
Basic (default) basic Runs test commands with :!, which switches your Vim to the terminal.
Make make Runs test commands with :make.
Neovim neovim Runs test commands with :terminal, which spawns a terminal inside your Neovim.
Dispatch dispatch Runs test commands with :Dispatch.
Vimux vimux Runs test commands in a small tmux pane at the bottom of your terminal.
Tslime tslime Runs test commands in a tmux pane you specify.
Neoterm neoterm Runs test commands with :T, see neoterm docs for display customization.
VimShell vimshell Runs test commands in a shell written in VimScript.
Vim Tmux Runner vtr Runs test commands in a small tmux pane.
VimProc vimproc Runs test commands asynchronously.
AsyncRun asyncrun Runs test commands asynchronosuly using new APIs in Vim 8 and NeoVim. terminal Sends test commands to Terminal (useful in MacVim GUI). iterm Sends test commands to iTerm2 >= 2.9 (useful in MacVim GUI).

You can also set up strategies per granularity:

let test#strategy = {
  \ 'nearest': 'neovim',
  \ 'file':    'dispatch',
  \ 'suite':   'basic',

or even per command:

:TestFile -strategy=neovim

Some strategies clear the screen before executing the test command, but you can disable this:

let g:test#preserve_screen = 1

Custom Strategies

Strategy is a function which takes one argument – the shell command for the test being run – and it is expected to run that command in some way. Test.vim comes with many predefined strategies (see above), but if none of them suit your needs, you can define your own custom strategy:

function! EchoStrategy(cmd)
  echo 'It works! Command for running tests: ' . a:cmd

let g:test#custom_strategies = {'echo': function('EchoStrategy')}
let g:test#strategy = 'echo'


You can automatically apply transformations of your test commands by registering a "transformation" function. The following example demonstrates how you could set up a transformation for Vagrant:

function! VagrantTransform(cmd) abort
  let vagrant_project = get(matchlist(s:cat('Vagrantfile'), '\vconfig\.vm.synced_folder ["''].+[''"], ["''](.+)[''"]'), 1)
  return 'vagrant ssh --command '.shellescape('cd '.vagrant_project.'; '.a:cmd)

let g:test#custom_transformations = {'vagrant': function('VagrantTransform')}
let g:test#transformation = 'vagrant'


nearest polyfill

You can execute test.vim commands directly, and pass them CLI options:

:TestNearest --verbose
:TestFile --format documentation
:TestSuite --fail-fast
:TestLast --backtrace

If you want some options to stick around, see Configuring.

Runner commands

Aside from the main commands, you get a corresponding Vim command for each test runner (which also accept options):

:RSpec --tag ~slow
:Mocha --grep 'API'
:ExUnit --trace
:Nose --failed

These commands are useful when using multiple testing frameworks in the same project, or as a wrapper around your executable. To avoid pollution they are not defined by default, instead you can choose the ones you want:

let g:test#runner_commands = ['Minitest', 'Mocha']


CLI options

If you want some CLI options to stick around, you can configure them in your .vimrc:

let test#ruby#minitest#options = '--verbose'

You can also choose a more granular approach:

let test#ruby#rspec#options = {
  \ 'nearest': '--backtrace',
  \ 'file':    '--format documentation',
  \ 'suite':   '--tag ~slow',


You can instruct test.vim to use a custom executable for a test runner.

let test#ruby#rspec#executable = 'foreman run rspec'

File pattern

Test.vim has file pattern it uses to determine whether a file belongs to certain testing framework. You can override that pattern by overriding the file_pattern variable:

let test#ruby#minitest#file_pattern = '_spec\.rb' " the default is '_test\.rb'

Filename modifier

By default test.vim generates file paths relative to the working directory. If you're using a strategy which sends commands to a shell which is cd-ed into another directory, you might want to change the filename modifier to generate absolute paths:

let test#filename_modifier = ':.' " test/models/user_test.rb (default)
let test#filename_modifier = ':p' " /User/janko/Code/my_project/test/models/user_test.rb
let test#filename_modifier = ':~' " ~/Code/my_project/test/models/user_test.rb

Working directory

Test.vim relies on you being cd-ed into the project root. However, sometimes you may want to execute tests from a different directory than Vim's current working directory. You might have a bigger project with many subprojects, or you might be using autochdir. In any case, you can tell test.vim to use a different working directory for running tests:

let test#project_root = "/path/to/your/project"



Since there are multiple Python test runners for the same type of tests, test.vim has no way of detecting which one did you intend to use. By default the first available will be chosen, but you can force a specific one:

let test#python#runner = 'pytest'
" Runners available are 'pytest', 'nose', 'djangotest' and 'djangonose'


Unless binstubs are detected (e.g. bin/rspec), test commands will automatically be prepended with bundle exec if a Gemfile is detected, but you can turn it off:

let test#ruby#bundle_exec = 0


If you wish to extend this plugin with your own test runners, first of all, if the runner is well-known, I would encourage to help me merge it into test.vim.

That being said, if you want to do this for yourself, you need to do 2 things. First, add your runner to the list in your .vimrc:

" First letter of runner's name must be uppercase
let test#runners = {'MyLanguage': ['MyRunner']}

Second, create ~/.vim/autoload/test/mylanguage/myrunner.vim, and define the following methods:

" Returns true if the given file belongs to your test runner
function! test#mylanguage#myrunner#test_file(file)

" Returns test runner's arguments which will run the current file and/or line
function! test#mylanguage#myrunner#build_position(type, position)

" Returns processed args (if you need to do any processing)
function! test#mylanguage#myrunner#build_args(args)

" Returns the executable of your test runner
function! test#mylanguage#myrunner#executable()

See autoload/test for examples.

Running tests

Tests are run using a Ruby test runner, so you'll have to have Ruby installed. Then run

$ gem install vim-flavor

Now you can run tests with

$ vim-flavor test spec/

Or if you're inside of Vim, you can simply run :VSpec provided by test.vim.


This plugin was strongly influenced by Gary Bernhardt's Destroy All Software. I also want to thank rspec.vim, from which I borrowed GUI support for OS X, and Windows support. And also thanks to vroom.vim.


Copyright © Janko Marohnić. Distributed under the same terms as Vim itself. See :help license.