A Ruby-based framework for acceptance testing of web applications.

The framework was built with modern patterns, techniques, and tools in automated testing in order to speed up tests development and simplify supporting.

Key Benefits

  • Independent of a web application technical stack, language and architecture.
  • Fast installation and configuration of the complete testing infrastructure (takes less than 5 minutes).
  • Elegant, intuitive and powerful Ruby language underneath.
  • Possibility to choose your favorite BDD tool (Cucumber, RSpec or Turnip).
  • Integration with SauceLabs, Testingbot, BrowserStack, CrossBrowserTesting, LambdaTest cloud services.
  • Integration with MailGun, Gmail, Mailtrap email services.
  • Easy tests support based on the best patterns, techniques, principles.
  • Ability to execute tests against to both browserless driver and actual browsers with no changes in your tests.


Refer to the GETTING STARTED document to start working with Howitzer.

You can also find the Rdoc documentation on Rubygems.


  • Supported OS: Mac OS X, Linux, Windows
  • Ruby 2.6.8+
  • DevKit (For Windows only)
  • ChromeDriver (For chrome selenium browser, 2.29+ for headless mode)
  • GeckoDriver (For firefox selenium browser)
  • SafariDriver (For safari selenium browser)
  • Chrome v.59+ (For headless chrome support)
  • Firefox v.56+ (For headless firefox support) ## Setup To install, type
gem install howitzer


Browse to a desired directory where a new project will be created.

To generate the project with Cucumber, type:

howitzer new <PROJECT NAME> --cucumber

With Rspec:

howitzer new <PROJECT NAME> --rspec

With Turnip:

howitzer new <PROJECT NAME> --turnip


Learn and specify correct default settings in the config/default.yml file. For more details, please refer to the original sexy_settings gem.

Test Implementation Workflow

  • Prepare BDD feature with scenarios
  • Mark feature/scenarios with priority tags.
  • Implement prerequisites generation (optional):
    • implement factories
    • implement models
  • Implement appropriate pages in the web/pages folder. For details, refer to Page Object Pattern.
  • Implement emails in emails folder (optional).
  • Implement scenarios:
    • For Cucumber:
    • Read and learn Cucumber Best Practices
    • Implement step definitions in the features/step_definitions folder.
    • For Rspec: Use DSL provided by Capybara to create descriptive acceptance tests.
    • For Turnip: Implement step definitions in the spec/steps folder.
  • Debug features against to desired drivers.
  • Enjoy it!

Rake Tasks

Rake was originally created to handle software build processes, but the combination of convenience and flexibility that it provides has made it the standard method of job automation for Ruby projects.

You can get a list of all available tasks by typing the following command:

rake -T

Upgrading Howitzer

Before attempting to upgrade an existing project, you should be sure you have a good reason to upgrade. You need to balance several factors: the need for new features, the increasing difficulty of finding support for old code, and your available time and skills, to name a few.

From version v1.1.0 howitzer provides howitzer update command. After updating the Howitzer version in the Gemfile, run following commands:

bundle update howitzer
bundle exec howitzer update

This will help you with the creation of new files and changes of old files in an interactive session.

Don't forget to review the difference, to see if there were any unexpected changes and merge them. It is easy if your project is under revision control systems like Git.

Additional Information


Please see

howitzer was originally designed by Roman Parashchenko and is now maintained by StrongQA team. You can find list of contributors here open source community.


howitzer is Copyright © 2012-2021 Roman Parashchenko and StrongQA LLC. It is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the LICENSE file.

About StrongQA


howitzer is maintained and funded by StrongQA, LLC. The names and logos for StrongQA are trademarks of StrongQA, LLC.

We love open source software! See our other projects or hire us to consult and develop testing solutions.