FUCK SETI. Run specs with your spare CPU cycles.


  1. Start a listener on every machine in the network. # specjour listen
  2. Start a dispatcher. # specjour
  3. Say farewell to your long coffee breaks.


gem install specjour


Each worker needs an isolated database. Modify the test database name in your config/database.yml to include the following environment variable (Influenced by parallel_tests):

  database: project_name_test<%=ENV['TEST_ENV_NUMBER']%>

Give it a try

Run specjour to start a dispatcher, manager, and multiple workers in the same terminal window.

$ cd myproject
$ specjour

Start a manager

If you wish to share your computing power with the rest of the computers in your network, run specjour listen to start a long running process. The next time you, or any of your co-workers run specjour, they'll find your machine.

$ specjour listen

Distribute the tests

Dispatch the tests among the managers in the network. Specjour checks the 'spec' and 'features' directories for tests to send to the listening managers.

$ specjour


Distribute a subset of tests

The first parameter of the specjour command is a test directory. It defalts to the current directory and searches for 'spec' and 'features' paths therein.

$ specjour spec # all rspec tests
$ specjour spec/models # only model tests
$ specjour features # all features

Custom Hooks

Specjour allows you to hook in to the test process on a per-machine and per-worker level through the before_fork and after_fork configuration blocks. If the default hooks don't work for your project, they can be overridden.

# .specjour/hooks.rb

# Modify the way you use bundler
Specjour::Configuration.before_fork = lambda do
  system('bundle install --without production')

# Modify your database setup
Specjour::Configuration.after_fork = lambda do
  # custom database setup here

A preparation hook is run when specjour prepare is invoked. This hook allows you to run arbitrary code on all of the listening workers. By default, it recreates the database on all workers.

# .specjour/hooks.rb

# Modify preparation
Specjour::Configuration.prepare = lambda do
  # custom preparation code

Customize what gets rsync'd

The standard rsync configuration file may be too broad for your project. If you find you're rsyncing gigs of extraneous data from your public directory, add an exclusion to your project's rsyncd.conf file.

$ vi workbeast/.specjour/rsyncd.conf

Listen for multiple projects

By default, a manager will listen to the project in the current directory. If you want to run tests for multiple projects, use the --projects flag.

$ specjour listen --projects bizconf workbeast # run tests for the bizconf and workbeast projects

Give your project an alias

By default, the dispatcher looks for managers matching the project's directory name. If you have multiple teams working on different branches of the same project you may want to isolate each specjour cluster. Give your project an alias and only listen for that alias.

~/bizconf $ specjour listen --projects bizconf_08
~/bizconf $ specjour --alias bizconf_08

~/bizconf $ specjour listen --projects bizconf_09
~/bizconf $ specjour --alias bizconf_09

Working with git

Commit the .specjour directory but ignore the performance file. The performance file constantly changes, there's no need to commit it. Specjour uses it in an attempt to optimize the run order; ensuring each machine gets at least one long-running test.

$ cat .gitignore


  • RSpec 2
  • Cucumber 0.9+
  • Rails 3


Hacking on Specjour

If you want to hack on specjour, here is how to test your changes:

source .dev
rake # run the test suite sanely
specjour # run the test suite with specjour

Then if all is good, go to another app and test your changes on your test suite:

gem build specjour.gemspec
cd /path/to/your/project
gem install -l /path/to/specjour/latest.gem


  • shayarnett - Cucumber support, pairing and other various patches
  • voxdolo - Endless support, alpha testing, various patches
  • l4rk and leshill - Removed Jeweler, added support for RSpec 2 and Cucumber 0.9+
  • testjour - Ripped off your name
  • parallel_tests - Inspiration

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • $ source .dev to ensure you're using the local specjour binary, not the rubygems version
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.

Copyright (c) 2010 Sandro Turriate. See MIT_LICENSE for details.