IntelliJ IDEA 2017.2 Help

Executing Tests on DRb Server

This feature is supported in the Ultimate edition only.

The following is only valid when Ruby Plugin is installed and enabled!

In this section:


Running test suits sometimes involves overheads, because every time a test suit is executed, the whole environment (for example, the entire environment for applications) should be reloaded. You can avoid it using the Spork DRb server, which loads the environment only once.

With the Spork DRb server running in the background, you have a choice to execute any testing script using the Spork DRb server, or locally.


  • Prior to launching Spork DRb server, make sure spork gem, and the corresponding testing gems (rspec-rails, cucumber, cucumber-rails, etc.) are used in your application.
  • spork gem is added to the Gemfile.

Before you start working with, make sure that plugin is installed and enabled. The plugin is not bundled with IntelliJ IDEA.

To launch Spork DRb server

  1. On the main menu, choose Tools | Run Spork DRb server....
  2. In the Spork DRb Launch Options dialog box, select the desired testing framework, and click Run.

    If you are going to use spork for the first time in your project, launch the action with the Perform bootstrap check box selected. Thus Spork will patch the testing scripts.

The Spork DRb server starts in a separate tab of the Run tool window.

To run a test script using the Spork DRb server

  1. Make sure that Spork DRb server is launched using IntelliJ IDEA and is running in the background.
  2. Run a test script, or one of its examples. Note that the option Spork DRb is automatically selected in the corresponding run configuration. If you want to run this test locally, you have to select the option None.

To debug tests, when using Spork DRb, follow these general steps

  1. Make sure the breakpoints are set in the test script you want to debug.
  2. On the main toolbar, click the run/debug configuration selector, and choose Edit Configurations.
  3. In the Run/Debug Configurations dialog box, create run/debug configuration for Spork DRb server. Refer to the section Creating and Editing Run/Debug Configurations for detailed description of the procedure.
  4. Launch Spork DRb in the debug mode. To do that, with the Spork DRb run/debug configuration selected, click debug, or press Shift+F9.
  5. With the Spork DRb server running in the debug mode, run the desired test script.

Managing Spork DRb server

Refer to the description of the Run tool window. In particular, use the following buttons:

  • stop.gif - stop the Spork DRb server without closing its tab in the Run tool window.
  • close.png - close the Spork DRb server tab.
  • rerun.png - rerun Spork DRb server in the same tab.

Tips and tricks

  • IntelliJ IDEA creates a temporary run/debug configuration for Spork DRb server. Later you can change this run/debug configuration as required, save it as permanent, and use it to launch the server.
  • If you are using TeamCity, avoid overhead by adding the following statement into Spork.preload:
    require 'teamcity/spec/runner/formatter/teamcity/formatter'
  • Spork DRb server doesn't work with Ruby 2.0.
  • If both Zeus and Spork DRb servers are running simultaneously, it is Zeus that gets priority.
Last modified: 29 November 2017

See Also