Programming language: Go
License: MIT License
Tags: Testing     Testing Frameworks    
Latest version: v1.16.4

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Ginkgo: A Go BDD Testing Framework


Jump to the docs | δΈ­ζ–‡ζ–‡ζ‘£ to learn more. To start rolling your Ginkgo tests now keep reading!

If you have a question, comment, bug report, feature request, etc. please open a GitHub issue, or visit the Ginkgo Slack channel.

Ginkgo 2.0 beta is available!

An effort is underway to develop and deliver Ginkgo 2.0. The work is happening in the ver2 branch and a changelog and migration guide is being maintained on that branch here. Issue #711 is the central place for discussion.

As described in the changelog and proposal, Ginkgo 2.0 will clean up the Ginkgo codebase, deprecate and remove some v1 functionality, and add several new much-requested features. To help users get ready for the migration, Ginkgo v1 has started emitting deprecation warnings for features that will no longer be supported with links to documentation for how to migrate away from these features. If you have concerns or comments please chime in on #711.

Please start exploring and using the V2 release! To get started follow the Using the Beta directions in the migration guide.


Ginkgo builds on Go's testing package, allowing expressive Behavior-Driven Development ("BDD") style tests. It is typically (and optionally) paired with the Gomega matcher library.

Describe("the strings package", func() {
  Context("strings.Contains()", func() {
    When("the string contains the substring in the middle", func() {
      It("returns `true`", func() {
        Expect(strings.Contains("Ginkgo is awesome", "is")).To(BeTrue())

Feature List

  • Ginkgo uses Go's testing package and can live alongside your existing testing tests. It's easy to bootstrap and start writing your first tests

  • Ginkgo allows you to write tests in Go using expressive Behavior-Driven Development ("BDD") style:

  • A comprehensive test runner that lets you:

    • Mark specs as pending
    • Focus individual specs, and groups of specs, either programmatically or on the command line
    • Run your tests in random order, and then reuse random seeds to replicate the same order.
    • Break up your test suite into parallel processes for straightforward test parallelization
  • ginkgo: a command line interface with plenty of handy command line arguments for running your tests and generating test files. Here are a few choice examples:

    • ginkgo -nodes=N runs your tests in N parallel processes and print out coherent output in realtime
    • ginkgo -cover runs your tests using Go's code coverage tool
    • ginkgo convert converts an XUnit-style testing package to a Ginkgo-style package
    • ginkgo -focus="REGEXP" and ginkgo -skip="REGEXP" allow you to specify a subset of tests to run via regular expression
    • ginkgo -r runs all tests suites under the current directory
    • ginkgo -v prints out identifying information for each tests just before it runs

    And much more: run ginkgo help for details!

    The ginkgo CLI is convenient, but purely optional -- Ginkgo works just fine with go test

  • ginkgo watch watches packages and their dependencies for changes, then reruns tests. Run tests immediately as you develop!

  • Built-in support for testing asynchronicity

  • Built-in support for benchmarking your code. Control the number of benchmark samples as you gather runtimes and other, arbitrary, bits of numerical information about your code.

  • Completions for Sublime Text: just use Package Control to install Ginkgo Completions.

  • Completions for VSCode: just use VSCode's extension installer to install vscode-ginkgo.

  • Ginkgo tools for VSCode: just use VSCode's extension installer to install ginkgoTestExplorer.

  • Straightforward support for third-party testing libraries such as Gomock and Testify. Check out the docs for details.

  • A modular architecture that lets you easily:

Gomega: Ginkgo's Preferred Matcher Library

Ginkgo is best paired with Gomega. Learn more about Gomega here

Agouti: A Go Acceptance Testing Framework

Agouti allows you run WebDriver integration tests. Learn more about Agouti here

Getting Started

You'll need the Go command-line tools. Follow the installation instructions if you don't have it installed.

Global installation

To install the Ginkgo command line interface:

go get -u github.com/onsi/ginkgo/ginkgo

Note that this will install it to $GOBIN, which will need to be in the $PATH (or equivalent). Run go help install for more information.

Go module "tools package":

Create (or update) a file called tools/tools.go with the following contents:

// +build tools

package tools

import (
    _ "github.com/onsi/ginkgo/ginkgo"

// This file imports packages that are used when running go generate, or used
// during the development process but not otherwise depended on by built code.

The Ginkgo command can then be run via go run github.com/onsi/ginkgo/ginkgo. This approach allows the version of Ginkgo to be maintained under source control for reproducible results, and is well suited to automated test pipelines.


cd path/to/package/you/want/to/test

ginkgo bootstrap # set up a new ginkgo suite
ginkgo generate  # will create a sample test file.  edit this file and add your tests then...

go test # to run your tests

ginkgo  # also runs your tests

I'm new to Go: What are my testing options?

Of course, I heartily recommend Ginkgo and Gomega. Both packages are seeing heavy, daily, production use on a number of projects and boast a mature and comprehensive feature-set.

With that said, it's great to know what your options are :)

What Go gives you out of the box

Testing is a first class citizen in Go, however Go's built-in testing primitives are somewhat limited: The testing package provides basic XUnit style tests and no assertion library.

Matcher libraries for Go's XUnit style tests

A number of matcher libraries have been written to augment Go's built-in XUnit style tests. Here are two that have gained traction:

You can also use Ginkgo's matcher library Gomega in XUnit style tests

BDD style testing frameworks

There are a handful of BDD-style testing frameworks written for Go. Here are a few:

Finally, @shageman has put together a comprehensive comparison of Go testing libraries.

Go explore!


Ginkgo is MIT-Licensed



*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the ginkgo README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.