Shoulda Matchers Gem Version Build Status Downloads

Shoulda Matchers provides RSpec- and Minitest-compatible one-liners that test common Rails functionality. These tests would otherwise be much longer, more complex, and error-prone.

View the official documentation for the latest version (3.0.0).

ActiveModel matchers

ActiveRecord matchers

ActionController matchers

  • filter_param tests parameter filtering configuration.
  • permit tests that an action places a restriction on the params hash.
  • redirect_to tests that an action redirects to a certain location.
  • render_template tests that an action renders a template.
  • render_with_layout tests that an action is rendered with a certain layout.
  • rescue_from tests usage of the rescue_from macro.
  • respond_with tests that an action responds with a certain status code.
  • route tests your routes.
  • set_session makes assertions on the session hash.
  • set_flash makes assertions on the flash hash.
  • use_after_action tests that an after_action callback is defined in your controller. (Aliased as #use_after_filter.)
  • use_around_action tests that an around_action callback is defined in your controller. (Aliased as #use_around_filter.)
  • use_before_action tests that a before_action callback is defined in your controller. (Aliased as #use_before_filter.)

Independent matchers

  • delegate_method tests that an object forwards messages to other, internal objects by way of delegation.



Include shoulda-matchers in your Gemfile:

group :test do
  gem 'shoulda-matchers', '~> 3.0'

Then, configure the gem to integrate with RSpec.

Now you can use matchers in your tests. For instance a model test might look like this:

describe Person do
  it { should validate_presence_of(:name) }

Note that in this README and throughout the documentation we're using the should form of RSpec's one-liner syntax over The should form works regardless of how you've configured RSpec -- meaning you can still use it even when using the expect syntax. But if you prefer to use, you can do that too:

describe Person do
  it { validate_presence_of(:name) }


Shoulda Matchers was originally a component of Shoulda, a gem that also provides should and context syntax via shoulda-context. For this reason you'll want to include this gem in your Gemfile instead:

group :test do
  gem 'shoulda', '~> 3.5'

Then, configure the gem to integrate with Minitest.

Now you can use matchers in your tests. For instance a model test might look like this:

class PersonTest < ActiveSupport::TestCase
  should validate_presence_of(:name)


Before you can use Shoulda Matchers, you'll need to tell it a couple of things:

  • Which test framework you're using
  • Which portion of the matchers you want to use

You can supply this information by using a configuration block. Place the following in your test or spec helper:

Shoulda::Matchers.configure do |config|
  config.integrate do |with|
    # Choose a test framework:
    with.test_framework :rspec
    with.test_framework :minitest
    with.test_framework :minitest_4
    with.test_framework :test_unit

    # Choose one or more libraries:
    with.library :active_record
    with.library :active_model
    with.library :action_controller
    # Or, choose the following (which implies all of the above):
    with.library :rails

Generating documentation

YARD is used to generate documentation, which can be viewed online. You can preview changes you make to the documentation locally by running

yard doc

from this directory. Then, open doc/index.html in your browser.

If you want to be able to regenerate the docs as you work without having to run yard doc over and over again, keep this command running in a separate terminal session:

rake docs:autogenerate


Shoulda Matchers is open source, and we are grateful for everyone who's contributed so far.

If you'd like to contribute, please take a look at the instructions for installing dependencies and crafting a good pull request.


Shoulda Matchers is tested and supported against Rails 4.x, RSpec 3.x, Minitest 5, and Ruby 2.x.


Shoulda Matchers follows Semantic Versioning 2.0 as defined at


Shoulda Matchers is copyright © 2006-2015 thoughtbot, inc. It is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the MIT-LICENSE file.

About thoughtbot


Shoulda Matchers is maintained and funded by thoughtbot, inc. The names and logos for thoughtbot are trademarks of thoughtbot, inc.

We are passionate about open source software. See our other projects. We are available for hire.