prove [options] [files or directories]
-v, --verbose Print all test lines.
-l, --lib Add 'lib' to the path for your tests (-Ilib).
-b, --blib Add 'blib/lib' and 'blib/arch' to the path for
-s, --shuffle Run the tests in random order.
-c, --color Colored test output (default).
--nocolor Do not color test output.
--count Show the X/Y test count when not verbose
--nocount Disable the X/Y test count.
-D --dry Dry run. Show test that would have run.
--ext Set the extension for tests (default '.t')
-f, --failures Show failed tests.
-o, --comments Show comments.
--ignore-exit Ignore exit status from test scripts.
-m, --merge Merge test scripts' STDERR with their STDOUT.
-r, --recurse Recursively descend into directories.
--reverse Run the tests in reverse order.
-q, --quiet Suppress some test output while running tests.
-Q, --QUIET Only print summary results.
-p, --parse Show full list of TAP parse errors, if any.
--directives Only show results with TODO or SKIP directives.
--timer Print elapsed time after each test.
--trap Trap Ctrl-C and print summary on interrupt.
--normalize Normalize TAP output in verbose output
-T Enable tainting checks.
-t Enable tainting warnings.
-W Enable fatal warnings.
-w Enable warnings.
-h, --help Display this help
-?, Display this help
-H, --man Longer manpage for prove
--norc Don't process default .proverc
Options that take arguments:
-I Library paths to include.
-P Load plugin (searches App::Prove::Plugin::*.)
-M Load a module.
-e, --exec Interpreter to run the tests ('' for compiled
--harness Define test harness to use. See TAP::Harness.
--formatter Result formatter to use. See FORMATTERS.
--source Load and/or configure a SourceHandler. See
-a, --archive out.tgz Store the resulting TAP in an archive file.
-j, --jobs N Run N test jobs in parallel (try 9.)
Additional option files may be specified with the "--rc" option.
Default option file processing is disabled by the "--norc" option.
Under Windows and VMS the option file is named _proverc rather than
.proverc and is sought only in the current directory.
Reading from "STDIN"
If you have a list of tests (or URLs, or anything else you want to
test) in a file, you can add them to your tests by using a '-':
prove - < my_list_of_things_to_test.txt
See the "README" in the "examples" directory of this distribution.
Default Test Directory
If no files or directories are supplied, "prove" looks for all files
matching the pattern "t/*.t".
Colored Test Output
Colored test output is the default, but if output is not to a terminal,
color is disabled. You can override this by adding the "--color"
Color support requires Term::ANSIColor on Unix-like platforms and
Win32::Console windows. If the necessary module is not installed
colored output will not be available.
If the tests fail "prove" will exit with non-zero status.
Arguments to Tests
It is possible to supply arguments to tests. To do so separate them
from prove's own arguments with the arisdottle, '::'. For example
prove -v t/mytest.t :: --url http://example.com
would run t/mytest.t with the options '--url http://example.com'. When
running multiple tests they will each receive the same arguments.
Normally you can just pass a list of Perl tests and the harness will
know how to execute them. However, if your tests are not written in
Perl or if you want all tests invoked exactly the same way, use the
"-e", or "--exec" switch:
prove --exec '/usr/bin/ruby -w' t/
prove --exec '/usr/bin/perl -Tw -mstrict -Ilib' t/
prove --exec '/path/to/my/customer/exec'
If you need to make sure your diagnostics are displayed in the correct
order relative to test results you can use the "--merge" option to
merge the test scripts' STDERR into their STDOUT.
run and display the test summary even if the run is interrupted
You can ask "prove" to remember the state of previous test runs and
select and/or order the tests to be run based on that saved state.
The "--state" switch requires an argument which must be a comma
separated list of one or more of the following options.
Run the same tests as the last time the state was saved. This makes
it possible, for example, to recreate the ordering of a shuffled
# Run all tests in random order
$ prove -b --state=save --shuffle
# Run them again in the same order
$ prove -b --state=last
Run only the tests that failed on the last run.
# Run all tests
$ prove -b --state=save
# Run failures
$ prove -b --state=failed
If you also specify the "save" option newly passing tests will be
excluded from subsequent runs.
# Repeat until no more failures
$ prove -b --state=failed,save
Run only the passed tests from last time. Useful to make sure that
no new problems have been introduced.
Run all tests in normal order. Multple options may be specified, so
to run all tests with the failures from last time first:
$ prove -b --state=failed,all,save
Run the tests that most recently failed first. The last failure
time of each test is stored. The "hot" option causes tests to be
run in most-recent- failure order.
$ prove -b --state=hot,save
Tests that have never failed will not be selected. To run all tests
with the most recently failed first use
conjunction with the "-j" parallel testing switch to ensure that
your slowest tests start running first.
$ prove -b --state=slow -j9
Run test tests in fastest to slowest order.
Run the tests in newest to oldest order based on the modification
times of the test scripts.
Run the tests in oldest to newest order.
Run those test scripts that have been modified since the last test
Save the state on exit. The state is stored in a file called .prove
(_prove on Windows and VMS) in the current directory.
The "--state" switch may be used more than once.
$ prove -b --state=hot --state=all,save
prove introduces a separation between "options passed to the perl which
runs prove" and "options passed to the perl which runs tests"; this
distinction is by design. Thus the perl which is running a test starts
with the default @INC. Additional library directories can be added via
the "PERL5LIB" environment variable, via -Ifoo in "PERL5OPT" or via the
"-Ilib" option to prove.
Normally when a Perl program is run in taint mode the contents of the
"PERL5LIB" environment variable do not appear in @INC.
Because "PERL5LIB" is often used during testing to add build
directories to @INC prove passes the names of any directories found in
"PERL5LIB" as -I switches. The net effect of this is that "PERL5LIB" is
honoured even when prove is run in taint mode.
You can load a custom TAP::Parser::Formatter:
prove --formatter MyFormatter
You can load custom TAP::Parser::SourceHandlers, to change the way the
parser interprets particular sources of TAP.
prove --source MyHandler --source YetAnother t
separated by a "=", as in the "pset=" examples above (escape "=" with a
All "--sources" are combined into a hash, and passed to "new" in
TAP::Harness's "sources" parameter.
See TAP::Parser::IteratorFactory for more details on how configuration
is passed to SourceHandlers.
Plugins can be loaded using the "-Pplugin" syntax, eg:
This will search for a module named "App::Prove::Plugin::MyPlugin", or
failing that, "MyPlugin". If the plugin can't be found, "prove" will
complain & exit.
You can pass arguments to your plugin by appending "=arg1,arg2,etc" to
the plugin name:
Please check individual plugin documentation for more details.
For an up-to-date list of plugins available, please check CPAN:
Please see "PLUGINS" in App::Prove.
perl v5.18.2 2018-06-13 PROVE(1)
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