Arguments reference

Arguments can be passed on the command line, or declared inside a specification, using the args(name=value) syntax:

class MySpec extends Specification { def is = args(xonly=true) ^ s2"""
  Clever spec title
  And some intro text
  brilliant expectation $success                                   """

They can also be passed as system properties: (-Dname=value also works but you might have collisions with other properties).

This reference guide for arguments is divided in several sections:


Name Default value Description
stats.outdir target/specs2-reports/stats output directory for run statistics (see Selection)
junit.outdir target/test-reports/ output directory for JUnit XML files (see JUnit XML output)
filesrunner.basepath src/test/scala source directory for test files (see RunInShell)
filesrunner.path **/*.scala glob pattern for the file paths (see RunInShell)
filesrunner.pattern .*Spec regular expression for the specification class/object name (see RunInShell)
html.outdir target/specs2-reports output directory for html files (see HtmlOutput)


Name Default value Description
ex .* regular expression specifying the examples to execute. Use ex .*brilliant.* on the command line
include "" execute only the fragments tagged with any of the comma-separated list of tags: t1,t2,...
exclude "" do not execute the fragments tagged with any of the comma-separated list of tags: t1,t2,...
was "" select only some previously executed examples based on their status
selector "" implementation of the org.specs2.specification.process.Selector trait


Name Default value Description
plan false only report the text of the specification without executing anything
skipAll false skip all the examples
stopOnFail false skip all examples after the first failure or error
stopOnSkip false skip all examples after the first skipped result
sequential false don’t execute examples concurrently
asap false execute all the examples before reporting them
isolated false execute each example in its own specification to get “fresh” local variables
threadsNb Runtime.getRuntime.availableProcessors number of threads to use for concurrent execution
executor "" implementation of the org.specs2.specification.process.Executor trait


Name Default value Description
neverstore false never store statistics if true
resetstore false delete previous store statistics if true


See the Console output page for a more precise description of this options.

Name Default value Description
all false execute and report linked specifications
xonly false only report failures and errors
showonly "" only report some examples based on their status
failtrace false show a stack trace for failures
fullstacktrace false show a full stack trace
tracefilter "" comma-separated include patterns separated by / with exclude patterns
smartdiffs "" define the parameters for the SmartDiffs instance for differences
diffsclass "" use a specific instance of the Diffs trait
nocolor false do not use colors
colors "" use different colors
colorsclass "" use a specific instance of the Colors trait
showtimes false show execution times for examples
notifier "" name of a class extending the org.specs2.reporter.Notifier trait
printer "" name of a class extending the org.specs2.reporter.Printer trait
reporter "" name of a class extending the org.specs2.reporter.Reporter trait

For the HTML output the following options can be used:

Name Default value Description
all false execute and report linked specifications
html.outdir target/specs2-reports/ output directory for the html files
html.template target/specs2-reports/templates/specs2.html copied from the resources/templates directory
html.variables Map[String, String]() passed to the template during the Pandoc evaluation
html.nostats false if true no stats are displayed true add a search box to the generated files
html.toc true add a table of contents to the generated files
html.toc.entrymaxsize 18 maximum number of characters for an entry in the table of contents
html.warn.missingrefs true report “see” references which do not correspond to any generated file

Arguments API

From inside a specification, the args method provides the most frequent arguments as args(argumentName = argumentValue). In the least frequent cases you will have to write:

// for selection arguments = "example \\d*")

// for reporting arguments
args.execute(threadsNb = 4)

// for storing arguments = true)

// for reporting arguments = true)

There are also a few shortcuts:

Name Equivalent
include(tags: String) args(include=tags)
exclude(tags: String) args(exclude=tags)
only(examples: String) args(ex=examples)
was(status: String) args(was=status)
plan args(plan=true)
skipAll args(skipAll=true)
stopOnFail args(stopOnFail=true)
stopOnSkip args(stopOnSkip=true)
sequential args(sequential=true)
isolated args(isolated=true)
xonly args(xonly=true)
showOnly(status: String) args(showOnly=status)
diffs(show, separators, triggerSize, shortenSize, diffRatio, full), separators, triggerSize, shortenSize, diffRatio, full))