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How to run Robot Framework test from command line?

juperala profile image Juho Perälä ・3 min read

Yesterday a colleague learning test automation forgot the syntax for running Robot Framework test cases from command-line. Although full command-line syntax is described on the Robot Framework User Guide it is rather long and tedious document to dive into.

This post aims to provide quick introduction for executing single, set or all Robot Framework test cases in a project.

Basic syntax

The basic syntax for executing Robot Framework tests from command line is:

    # basic syntax
    robot [options] robot_files

    # example with options
    robot -v URL:http://example.com example.robot

For full list of command-line options see robot --help or robot -h option.

Execute all test cases in folder(s)

To run all robot tests in the folder (including subfolders) use .

    # execute all tests in all robot files in current folder and subfolders
    robot .

Execute all test cases in single file

To run all robot tests in single robot file:

    # execute all tests in single robot file in current folder
    robot example.robot

    # execute all tests in single robot file in subfolder
    robot path/to/example.robot

Execute test cases by test name

To run test cases with specific test name use --test or -t option:

    # execute test cases with name "Example" in any file.
    robot --test Example .

    # execute test cases with name "Example" in specific file.
    robot --test Example example.robot

Also partial test names and patterns can be used with --test option, see Using partial names and filter patterns.

Execute test cases by tags

Test cases and suites annotated with tags (using [Tags] or Force Tags syntax) can be executed by selecting tags to be included or excluded.

Example test suite:

    *** Settings *** 
    Force Tags  suite

    *** Test Cases ***
    Test One
        [Tags]  one
        No operation

    Test Two
        [Tags]  two
        No operation

Also partial tag names and patterns can be used with --include and --exclude option, see Using partial names and filter patterns.

Include test cases by tag

To run test cases with specific tag name included use --include or -i option:

    # execute test cases with tag "one" in any file.
    robot --include one .    

    # execute test cases with tags  "one" and "two" in any file.
    robot --include oneANDtwo .    

    # execute test cases with tag "one" or "two" in any file.
    robot --include oneORtwo .    

    # execute test cases with tag "one" but without tag "two" in any file.
    robot --include oneNOTtwo .    

Exclude test cases by tag

To run test cases with specific tag name excluded use --exclude or -e option:

    # execute test cases without tag "two" in any file.
    robot --exclude two .

Execute test cases by suite name

In Robot Framework test folders and .robot files are considered as test suites.

Example suite structure:

  - +-+- tests
  -   +-+- feature1
  -   | +--- positive.robot
  -   | +--- negative.robot
  -   +-+- feature2
  -     +--- positive.robot
  -     +--- negative.robot

To run test cases in specific test suiteuse --suite or -s option:

    # execute test cases from suites named "positive" in any file.
    robot --suite positive .

    # execute test cases from suite "feature1\positive" in any file.
    robot --suite feature1.positive .

Also partial suite names and patterns can be used with --suite option, see Using partial names and filter patterns.

Execute failed tests

There is also possibility to rerun all failed test cases and test suites.

Execute only failed test cases

To rerun failed test cases use --rerunfailed or -R option:

    # execute test cases failed in previous run (saved in output.xml)
    robot --rerunfailed output.xml .    

Execute failed test suites

To rerun test suites with failed test cases use --rerunfailedsuites or -S option:

    # execute test cases with failed test cases in previous run (saved in output.xml)
    robot --rerunfailedsuites output.xml .    

Using partial names and filter patterns

The presented --test, --suite, --include and --exclude options also support using partial names and filter patterns to match multiple names and tags:

    # execute test cases containing name "Example" in any file.
    robot --test *Example* .

    # execute test cases "Example One" and "Example Two" in any file.
    robot --test "Example [One|Two]" .

    # execute test cases with tags starting with "One" in any file.
    robot --include One* .

    # execute test cases without tags ending with "Two" in any file.
    robot --exclude *Two .

    # execute test cases from suites starting with "positive" in any file.
    robot --suite positive* .

For full list of supported filter patterns see User Guide section Simple Patterns

Combining filters

The presented --test, --suite, --include and --exclude options can be used also in combination:

    # execute test cases containing name "Example" and having tag "One" in any file.
    robot --include One --test *Example* .

    # execute test cases from suite "FeatureA" exluding tests with tag "Smoke" in any file.
    robot --suite FeatureA --exclude Smoke .

    # execute test cases with tag "Pending" from specific file.
    robot --exclude Pending example.robot

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