Skip to main content
Version: 5.4

Conditional tests with Gradle

Kotest supports two ways to filter tests from the command line using Gradle. The first is the standard --tests flag that gradle supports, and the second is a kotest specific system property.

Gradle Test Filtering

When running Kotest via the JUnit Platform runner through gradle, Kotest supports the standard gradle syntax for test filtering. You can enable filtering either in the build script or via the --tests command-line option.

For example, in the build script:

tasks.test {
filter {
//include all tests from package

Or via the command line:

gradle test --tests 'com.sksamuel.somepackage*'

gradle test --tests '*IntegrationTest'

See full Gradle documentation here.


Because gradle's test support is class.method based, we cannot filter tests down to the individual test level, only the class level.

Kotest Specific Test Filtering

To avoid the limitations with Gradle's --tests support, Kotest offers its own flags which are provided via system properties or environment variables. These flags support wildcards via * and match either tests or specs:

System property (JVM)Environment variable (JVM or Native)Scope
kotest.filter.specskotest_filter_specsSpec (class) names
kotest.filter.testskotest_filter_testsTest names

System properties are only supported when targeting Kotlin/JVM. Environment variables are only supported when targeting Kotlin/JVM and Kotlin/Native.

This example would execute all tests in the com.somepackage (and nested) packages by setting the kotest.filter.specs system property:

gradle test -Dkotest.filter.specs='com.somepackage.*'

This example would do the same, but uses the environment variable and so works for both Kotlin/JVM and Kotlin/Native:

kotest_filter_specs='com.somepackage.*' gradle test


Regardless of whether you use a system property or an environment variable, it's best to enclose the value in single quotes rather than double quotes to avoid your shell performing globbing on any * characters.

This example would execute only tests that contain Foo in the com.somepackage (and nested) packages:

gradle test -Dkotest.filter.specs='com.somepackage.*' -Dkotest.filter.tests='*Foo*'

This example would execute only tests that start with Foo in any package:

gradle test -Dkotest.filter.tests='Foo*'