Running cucumber features with sunspot_rails

We wanted to integrate the sunspot_rails gem into our cucumber features. I found a ticket where mat adviced to call Sunspot::Rails::Server.start / stop in one of the available cucumber hooks.

Code found in features/support/env.rb is run when Cucumber begins and exits so this seemed the right place to start Solr:
at_exit do

Also, make sure you’ve added a cucumber environment to the config/sunspot.yml file; we copied the test-environment for that:

test: &TEST
    hostname: localhost
    port: 8981
    log_level: WARNING
  <<: *TEST

Running cucumber will let all scenarios fail unfortunately and we got a ‘Connection refused – connect(2) (RSolr::RequestError)‘ in our console.

The reason for this is simple (after I stepped into the sunspot_rails gem to be honest): the method will eventually launch a Java Servlet Container (Jetty) with the Solr WAR and uses the port defined in your sunspot.yml.
Now, starting up a server could take some time, so if cucumber’s features are run before the Solr server is up and running, the ‘Connection refused’ sounds trivial then.
First I added a sleep after starting up the server:

and this will work for most cases, but I thought it would be better to let cucumber wait just long enough until the server is up and running. When the server is up, you can open up your browser and enter http://localhost:8981/solr to administering Solr. This we can use to find out if we’ve waited long enough and start our features. I’ve put this into a seperate class named CukeSunspot and created this file in the features/support directory:

require "net/http"
class CukeSunspot
  def initialize
    @server =
  def start
    @started =
  def port
  def uri
  def up
    while starting
      puts "Sunspot server is starting..."
    puts "Sunspot server took #{'%.2f' % ( - @started)} sec. to get up and running. Let's cuke!"
  def starting
      request = Net::HTTP.get_response(URI.parse(uri))
    rescue Errno::ECONNREFUSED

Now we can the alternative start method and remove the explicit sleep statement in our global before hook. features/support/env.rb:
at_exit do

And voila, if you run cucumber, you scenario’s should run successfully. On my machine:

Sunspot server is starting...
Sunspot server is starting...
Sunspot server took 3.74 sec. to get up and running. Let's cuke!

    9 thoughts on “Running cucumber features with sunspot_rails”

    1. I’m sorry but I don’t see how you call your custom class. The last code at the bottom is calling the Sunspot class, not the CukeSunspot one so I don’t think your class will be used. Or did I miss something?

    2. I am using your this from a long time. Now i want to use parallel_tests for running cucumber. The problem being, for running multiple firefox windows it appears to me that i should run two sunspot instances for two separate processes. Is it possible to run two sunspot instances at the same time in the test environment?

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