Using Karma and Grunt while testing AngularJS code with Jasmine

In my previous post, we’ve seen how to write UI test cases for AngularJS with Jasmine library. I have seen many developers learn this art of improving the quality of UI code by writing test cases, but still very few of them know the tools they are using in this process i.e. grunt, karma (Honestly, I was one of them 🙂 ).

So in this post, we are going to see how do we utilise npm package Karma and task runner Grunt in testing AngularJS code with Jasmine library.

In my previous post, we’ve took a reference of a plunk I  have created.
In the same fashion, here we are going to use a GitHub repository – SimplifyingAngularUTC I have created.

Download it in your local machine as a zip file, extract it and open the folder in your command prompt. Also open the folder in your favourite editor (Sublime text, VSCode, VisualStudio or even in notepad – it doesn’t matter).

You need to have Node.js and npm installed on your local machine to run the scripts.

As you might have noticed, the repository is almost same as per the plunk we have seen in the previous post (point 1, 2 & 3 below).

  1. scripts folder contains AngularJS module definition, controllers and services’ code
  2. vendors folder contains dependent angularjs and angular-mock libraries
  3. tests folder contains our test cases code
  4. package.json
  5. Gruntfile.js
  6. karma.config.js

The other json and js files are the new arrivals, which are actually used when we use Node Package Manager. Let’s look at them one by one.


  1. package.json
    • As you can see, this file contains the list of all npm packages are to be installed for the current project.
    • grunt is the JavaScript task runner we are going to use, karma & grunt-karma packages are the dependency used to run Jasmine test cases. Other packages are used to execute the test cases against browsers (remember that we are going to run UI test cases!).
  1. Gruntfile.js
    • This file is used to configure and register the grunt tasks.
    • In the initConfig call, we are telling grunt to load packages from package.json
    • We are also informing the grunt which file to use to configure karma, which in our example, is karma.conf.js
    • In the registerTask call, we have registered karma as the default task. So when we’ll execute just ‘grunt’ command, the test cases will be executed.
  2. karma.conf.js
    • In this config file, we tell the karma which files are going to be used actually to do the testing.
    • As you have seen, angularjs, angular-mocks, our source code of the application and testing related files are mentioned in ‘files‘ parameter as an array.
    • We can also mention which file we want to exclude as ‘exclude‘ parameter.
    • You can even specify on which ‘port‘ you’d like to run the test cases and also against which browser.
    • Note: once you are done installing the packages, you can also generate the karma config file yourself by karma init my.conf.js command. Have a look at the screenshot below. The command will guide you to create it. Easy it is, isn’t it!
    • creating karma config file1

In our plunk example, we were seeing the result in the browser itself. That’s why we had index.html file including angular, mock and jasmine files; and browsing index.html file we are able to see the result (now you’ll relate how karma config is helping us to do the same here).

Now, follow the instructions mentioned in the repository README file and execute the commands in the command prompt.

  1. npm install (installs the npm packages specified in package.json)
  2. npm install -g grunt-cli (installs grunt cli; -g for globally)
  3. npm install -g karma-cli (installs karma cli; -g for globally)

The above commands install…

  1. the packages mentioned in package.json file
  2. grunt-cli and karma-cli packages (to use the command grunt directly from the command prompt)

Once done, execute command ‘grunt‘. You’ll see the result in the command prompt as below. You might need to terminate the process with ctrl+c after they are executed.

As you can see that all the fifteen test cases are executed.

Running grunt command to run test cases

Now, if you want to execute test cases for just a single file, (for example, if you want to do it just for myMathSvcSpec.js file) go to the spec file, add ‘d‘ in front of the ‘describe‘ as per below, save it, run grunt command and you can see that only those test cases are executed which are there in that spec file. The rest are skipped.

Running grunt command to run test cases-skipping other files

If you want to exclude some files while executing the test cases, you can mention in the karma.conf.js file. For example, if you don’t want test cases of myMathSvcSpec.js to be executed along with the others, you can mention it is karma config file as ‘exclude’ property. Have a look at the screenshot below. As you can see, five test cases of myMathSvcSpec are not executed.

Running grunt command to run test cases-skipping specific file


Hope you had a good learning for the topic reading this post.

How do you like it? Any suggestion, question, or anything you would to say about this.

Let me know in the comments section below.


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