Culerity integrates Cucumber and Celerity in order to test your application's full stack.

Culerity lets you:

  • run Celerity from within Cucumber which allows you to test the full stack of your Rails (or other web) application from Database to in browser JavaScript
  • run your application in any Ruby (like MRI 1.8.6) while Celerity runs in JRuby so you can still use gems/plugins that would not work with JRuby
  • reuse existing Webrat-Style step definitions

Getting Started

The following guide is written for a Rails application (tested with 2.3.5) but Culerity should work with any other Web Framework that is supported by Cucumber.

First download JRuby and unpack it to some location, for example $HOME/jruby. Make sure that the jruby executable is in your path. You can do this by either setting your PATH accordingly...

export PATH=$HOME/jruby/bin:$PATH

... or by creating a symlink from your bin directory:

ln -s $HOME/jruby/bin/jruby /usr/bin/jruby

You will need the celerity gem installed into JRuby:

jruby -S gem install celerity

Now install the Culerity gem:

gem install culerity --source

Assuming you have a Rails application set up already you can run the RSpec, Cucumber and Culerity generators:

script/generate rspec
script/generate cucumber
script/generate culerity

This creates the features folder and a file culerity_steps.rb into your application. This file contains step definitions for basic interactions like clicking links or filling out forms. Now is a good time to get rid of any webrat specific files generated by cucumber (i.e. features/step_definitions/webrat_steps.rb).

After you have written a first feature you can run it just like you would run a standard cucumber feature. The only difference is that you have to start a web server (e.g. mongrel) with the test environment enabled beforehand.

rake culerity:rails:start
cucumber features/my_feature.feature

The Rails instance uses a special environment culerity.

When you have finished running culerity/cucumber you can turn off the Rails instance:

NOTE: The default port for this server is 3001. You can change this in features/step_definitions/common_celerity.rb

rake culerity:rails:stop


If you are using RVM there's an integration guide for culerity on their website.

How does it work

While Celerity is based on Java and requires JRuby to run, with Culerity you can still run your tests in your own Ruby Environment. When you run your features a separate JRuby process for Celerity is spawned and all Celerity Commands are redirected to this other process.


I get a broken pipe error:

  • make sure JRuby is installed and in your path: running jruby -v should not produce an error

I get Connection Refused errors

  • make sure you have started a server in the test environment that runs on port 3001

My application can't find the data I create in my steps

  • make sure you have disabled transactional fixtures in your env.rb

My database is not cleared automatically between scenarios

  • Rails can't clean the database because you had to disable transactional fixtures - which only work if your test process is the same as your web server process. Hence you have to clean your database manually. A quick way would be:

    Before do [User, .... all your models].each do |model| model.delete_all end end


Written 2009 by Alexander Lang, contact alex[at] or, released under the MIT license