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Using Karma with Rails and Jenkins: Part 1

In a recent project, I experimented with AngularJS on Rails, and managed to get Karma to work nicely with Jenkins on CloudBees. This post documents the steps I took. (Part 2 will cover e2e tests, if I get that sorted out.)

An example project is available on GitHub.


First, install karma locally with

$> npm install karma

Then install angular and jquery at the following locations:

  • vendor/assets/javascripts/jquery-1.10.1.min.js
  • vendor/assets/javascripts/angular/angular.min.js

Note that these are necessary even if you are using a CDN for these libraries. This ensures that your unit tests pass even without network access.

Next, setup the spec directories,

$> mkdir -p spec/javascripts/lib/angular
$> mkdir -p spec/javascripts/unit

If you expect to use mocks in your unit tests, install angular-mocks.js at spec/javascripts/lib/angular/angular-mocks.js.

Finally, create a karma configuration file with the following gist

I am not perfectly satisfied with this solution, since it requires the developer to manually synchronize karma.conf.js with application.js. Please let me know in the comments if you figure out a better way.


Save your tests in spec/javascripts/unit. For example,

/* spec/javascripts/unit/setup_spec.js */
;(function() {
  'use strict';

  describe('setup', function() {
    it('expects setup to be OK', function() {


Run tests using

$> karma start config/karma.conf.js

Continuous Integration

To use Karma with Jenkins, update karma.conf.js to include

junitReporter = {
  outputFile: 'spec/reports/karma-unit.xml',
  suite: 'unit'

Write a script for jenkins at script/ci:

Lastly, configure Jenkins to execute script/ci and access the XML report at spec/reports/karma-unit.xml.

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