Jasmine is a behavior-driven development framework for testing JavaScript code. It does not depend on any other JavaScript frameworks. It does not require a DOM. And it has a clean, obvious syntax so that you can easily write tests.

It is very easy to integrate Jasmine into Rails, since the team provides the jasmine gem. The jasmine gem also supports assets pipeline, just prepend assets/ to file path. For example, app/assets/javascripts/application.js.coffee can be referred as assets/application.js in jasmine.yml src_files.

However, spec_files does not support assets pipeline, so the files in spec/javascripts cannot be written in CoffeeScript. But if spec/javascripts is appended to assets pipeline paths, the spec files can be added to src_files in jasmine.yml.

This post explains how to apply such trick, and how to integrate jasmine gem with guard-jasmine and travis.

I also created a demo repository, see its commits for integration steps.

Jasmine Integration

Jasmine 1.3.1 removes the ability to load jasmine_config.rb before executing specs. Although it is possible to load the file by adding a rake dependency, but the trick does not work for rake jasmine:ci. So please use Jasmine 1.3.0 until a new version is released.

  • First add jasmine in Gemfile

    group :development, :test do
      gem "jasmine", "1.3.0"

    and run bundle install.

  • Then generate config files:

    rails g jasmine:install
  • Append spec/javascripts to assets paths by creating file spec/javascripts/support/jasmine_config.rb and add following line to the file:

    Rails.application.assets.append_path File.expand_path('../..', __FILE__)
  • Edit spec/javascripts/support/jasmine.yml. Append assets/specs.js to src_files. Also set spec_files and helpers to [], otherwise the JavaScript files may be included twice.

      - assets/application.js
      - assets/specs.js
      - stylesheets/**/*.css
    helpers: []
    spec_files: []
  • Create the file spec/javascripts/specs.js. Usually, it just needs include all the js files in directory spec/javascripts.

    // Ensure helpers are loaded first. Remove the following line if
    // helpers directory is not created yet.
    //= require_tree ./helpers
    //= require_tree ./
  • Create a spec file to test the integration, e.g., spec/javascripts/foobar_spec.js.coffee

    # spec/javascripts/foobar_spec.js.coffee
    describe "foobar", ->
      it 'works', -> expect(1 + 1).toEqual(2);
  • Start jasmine server by rake jasmine and visit the test page http://localhost:8888.


The defult config of guard-jasmine is intended to be used with jasminerice. But it also allows starting jasmine gem server as well.

  • Add guard and guard-jasmine in Gemfile.

    group :development do
      gem 'guard'
      gem 'guard-jasmine'
  • bundle install

  • Add following jasmine guard config in Guardfile

    require 'guard/jasmine'
    port = ::Guard::Jasmine.find_free_server_port
    guard :jasmine, :server => :jasmine_gem, :port => port, :jasmine_url => "http://localhost:#{port}/" do
      watch(%r{spec/javascripts/support/.+\.(?:rb|yml)$}) { 'spec/javascripts' }
      watch(%r{spec/javascripts/helpers/.+\.rb$}) { 'spec/javascripts' }
      watch(%r{spec/javascripts/spec\.(?:js\.coffee|js|coffee)$}) { 'spec/javascripts' }
      watch(%r{app/assets/javascripts/(.+?)\.(js\.coffee|js|coffee)(?:\.\w+)*$}) { |m| "spec/javascripts/#{ m[1] }_spec.#{ m[2] }" }

Now guard-jasmine will start the server provided by jasmine-gem and visit the test page using phantomjs.


The jasmine gem has another task rake jasmine:ci for continuous integration environments. To run the test on server without GUI, xvfb can be used.

See the following .travis.yml, in before_install, xvfb is started and DISPLAY is set so GUI applications know where to render their window.

language: ruby
script: bundle exec rake jasmine:ci
  - "/sbin/start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile /tmp/custom_xvfb_99.pid --make-pidfile --background --exec /usr/bin/Xvfb -- :99 -ac -screen 0 1280x1024x16"
  - "export DISPLAY=:99.0"
  - "export JASMINE_BROWSER=firefox"