Lojic Technologies

Setup shoulda and rcov for Rails 2.2.2

with 4 comments

I had a few mis-configuration issues when setting up shoulda and rcov for a new Rails 2.2.2 project, so I thought I’d jot down a few notes (mini tutorial, quickstart) to help save others from burning time on what should be a simple task.

shoulda is a library build on Test::Unit that provides helpers, macros and assertions to make testing easier.

rcov is a code coverage tool for Ruby.

1. Install rcov

sudo gem install rcov

2. Install shoulda

sudo gem install thoughtbot-shoulda --source=http://gems.github.com

3. Create your Rails project

rails myapp

4. Modify myapp/Rakefile

require(File.join(File.dirname(__FILE__), 'config', 'boot'))
require 'rake'
require 'rake/testtask'
require 'rake/rdoctask'
require 'tasks/rails'
require 'shoulda/tasks'
namespace :test do
  desc 'Measures test coverage'
  task :coverage do
    rm_f "coverage"
    rm_f "coverage.data"
    rcov = "rcov -Itest --rails --aggregate coverage.data -T -x " rubygems/*,/Library/Ruby/Site/*,gems/*,rcov*""
    system("#{rcov} --no-html test/unit/*_test.rb test/unit/helpers/*_test.rb")
    system("#{rcov} --no-html test/functional/*_test.rb")
    system("#{rcov} --html test/integration/*_test.rb")
    system("open coverage/index.html") if PLATFORM['darwin']

5. Modify myapp/test/test_helper.rb

# Add the following line
require 'shoulda/rails'   # require 'shoulda' also worked

After you’ve written some shoulda tests, you should be able to use the following rake commands:

rake test
rake test:units
rake shoulda:list    # display specs from shoulda tests
rake test:coverage   # run rcov and display code coverage

Written by Brian Adkins

February 26, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Posted in programming

Tagged with , , , , ,

4 Responses

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  1. Are you sure everything is OK with the line that starts with “rcov = ” in your Rakefile? There seems to be a problem with the quotes (e.g., two ” marks at the end)?

    Thanks, Ken


    April 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm

  2. Ken, it looks like the backslashes to escape the two inner ” didn’t make the copy/paste from the file to the WordPress editor – thanks. I’ll insert them manually.

    Brian Adkins

    April 1, 2009 at 8:31 pm

  3. Thanks Brian for the quick tip .. It really helps.

    One more adjustment to add, specially when u have models in namespaces which will result in test files in sub-directories under the test different paths (Unit and Functional).

    I made these changes to paths in the task:


    instead of


    This began when I’ve noticed that RCov shows that some models and controllers are not well covered though I was sure they are properly covered. Then I discovered that all of these files are classes in namespaces with their test files in sub folders under the test/unit and test/functional.

    This is also a problem with the “shoulda:list” task, as it skips such classes saying that they don’t map to a class.


    December 12, 2009 at 9:16 am

  4. Brian,

    I know this post was 1 1/2 years ago, but it’s just what I needed. Thanks for the post. I’d like to ask for some tips on using rcov effectively. I’ll try to remember when I see you.


    Michael Stalker

    August 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm

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