1.6.8 • Public • Published

aqa ci codecov npm

Dependency-less Test Runner for Node.js

aqa is a light-weight and a quick alternative to ava, with a similar API.


npm i aqa -D


  • Dependency-free: No dependencies, leverages many of Node.js modern built-in modules.
  • Fast: Runs tests in parallel by default.
  • Watch mode: Automatically re-run tests when files change.
  • Simple: No configuration needed, just run your tests!
  • Powerful: Supports many asserts, async/await, Sourcemaps
  • Coverage: Code coverage support via your favorite coverage tool.
  • TypeScript: First-class TypeScript support, with type definitions for all assertions.
  • CI integration: Easily run tests in CI pipelines.
  • Reporting: Generate JUnit and TAP reports.


Simple single-file usage


const test = require('aqa')
const myLib = require('./my-lib')

test('Test our library', t => {, 1), 2);
  t.not(myLib.add(2, 2), 3);

test('Test something async', async t => {
  let result = await myLib.asyncAdd(1, 1);, 2);

node your.tests.js


To run multiple tests and integrate CI testing with your package, you need to change your package.json's test in the scripts section to "aqa":

"scripts": {
  "test": "aqa"

Then, to run all your tests: npm run test

All files anywhere in your package's directory (and subdirectories, excluding node_modules and directories that start with a single _ ) that match the following patterns will be run:


If your test files are named differently, for instance *.unit-test.js, you can write your test script like this:

"scripts": {
  "test": "aqa *.unit-test.js"

Watch mode

To automatically run tests whenever you modify your files, aqa has a watch mode. If you desire this functionality, add a new script to your package.json:

"scripts": {
  "test": "aqa",
  "test:watch": "aqa --watch"

To start the watch script, run npm run test:watch.

Like with the test script, you can watch files other than *.test.js:

"test:watch": "aqa *.foo.js --watch"


aqa can be easily integrated with coverage tools such as nyc and c8.

To enable coverage with c8, add the following to your package.json:

"scripts": {
  // Other scripts
  "test:coverage": "c8 npm test"

Or to run tests with nyc:

"scripts": {
  // Other scripts
  "test:coverage": "nyc aqa"

Running test:coverage will produce something like this:

File          | % Stmts | % Branch | % Funcs | % Lines | Uncovered Line #s
All files     |    99.2 |    96.63 |   98.57 |    99.2 | 
 my-lib.js    |   97.74 |    95.18 |   98.55 |   97.74 | 20-21,190-191,231-232
 test.js      |     100 |      100 |     100 |     100 | 

To add special reporters such as LCOV and HTML, check the README pages of the code coverage package.

Note: c8 is recommended, because it uses Node's built-in V8 coverage tools and it is many times faster than nyc.



The callback parameter for test() wraps many assertion methods (in this case t):

test('Test name', t => {    
  // Your assertions

These assertion methods are currently supported:, expected, message?)

Asserts that actual is equal to expected.

t.not(actual, notEpected, message?)

Asserts that actual is not equal to notEpected.

t.near(actual, expected, delta, message?)

Asserts that actual is equal to expected within the precision of delta.

t.notNear(actual, expected, delta, message?)

Asserts that actual is not equal to expected within the precision of delta.

t.deepEqual(actual, expected, message?)

Asserts that actual is deeply equal to expected. test.ignore can be used to skip certain properties, i.e.:

let actual = { a: 3, b: 'ok', c: 7 }
t.deepEqual(actual, {
  a: 3,
  b: 'ok',
  c: test.ignore

Differences are reported with a minus - for actual values and plus + for expected values.

You may also use test.ignoreExtra() to only assert the given properties in the expected object:

let actual = { a: 3, b: 'ok', c: 7 }
t.deepEqual(actual, test.ignoreExtra({
  b: 'ok',

t.notDeepEqual(actual, expected, message?)

Asserts that actual is not deeply equal to expected.

t.true(value, message?)

Asserts that value is true.

t.false(value, message?)

Asserts that value is false.

t.throws(fn, opts?, message?)

Asserts that fn throws an exception.

function uhOh() {
  throw new Error("Uh oh.");

t.throws(_ => {

You can also check for specific types of exception. If the exception does not match it, the test will fail:

t.throws(_ => {
}, { instanceOf: TypeError })

t.throwsAsync(fn, opts?, message?)

The asynchronous version of t.throws(). Note the addition of async/await.

test('Async test', async t => {
  await t.throwsAsync(async _ => {
    await uhOhAsync();

You can also check for specific types of exception. If the exception does not match it, the test will fail:

await t.throws(async _ => {
  await uhOhAsync();
}, { instanceOf: TypeError })

t.notThrows(fn, message?)

Asserts that fn does not throw an exception.

t.notThrowsAsync(fn, message?)

Asserts that async function or Promise fn does not throw an exception.

Utility methods

t.log(message, ...arguments?)

Similar to console.log, but helps you easily find for which test method you've logged information.


Suppresses any calls to console.log, console.warn, console.error, etc. for the current testcase. Note that logging is enabled again automatically after the testcase has completed.


(Available in 1.6.8+) aqa supports mocking with the t.mock() method. This method lets you mock a method on an object or library. Mocked methods are restored automatically after each test.

const test = require('aqa')
const Http = require('SomeHttpLibrary')

test('Mocking', async t => {
  let mockedGet = t.mock(Http, 'get', async _ => {
    return { statusCode: 200, body: 'Hello World!' }

  let result = await Http.get(''), 200), 'Hello World!'), 1)

In the example above, we mock the get method on the Http object. The mocked method returns a promise that resolves to a response object. We then assert that the response object has the expected properties. Finally, we assert that the mocked method was called once.

By mocking the get method here, any other code that imports SomeHttpLibrary and calls Http.get will also use the mocked method. This is useful for testing code that uses external libraries.

t.mock() returns a Mock object with the following properties:


Restores the mocked method back to its original implementation. If you don't call this method, the mocked method will be restored automatically after each test.


An array of all calls to the mocked method. Each call is an array of arguments passed to the mocked method.


(Available in 1.6.0+) The following hooks are available:

const test = require('aqa')

test.before(t => {    
  // Your set-up and assertions
  // This is only ran once per test file

test.after(t => {    
  // Your tear-down and assertions
  // This is only ran once per test file

test.beforeEach(t => {    
  // Your set-up and assertions
  // This is ran before each test

test.afterEach(t => {    
  // Your tear-down and assertions
  // This is ran after each test

Skipping tests

(Available in 1.6.7+) You can skip all tests in a file by calling test.skipFile():

const test = require('aqa')

test.skipFile('Reason for skipping this file here');


(Available in 1.3.7+) To write aqa test files TypeScript, you will need to enable source maps in your tsconfig.json.

"compilerOptions": {
  // Can be any other path, but .js files will need to be emitted
  "outDir": "./dist",   
  "sourceMap": true,
  "module": "commonjs",
  // other compiler options

For an optimal development flow, run the following tasks (add them to package.json scripts first):

  • tsc --watch
  • aqa --watch

Now let's create a file named your.tests.ts:

import test = require('aqa')
import myLib from './my-lib'

test('Should fail', t => {, 1), 3)

This will fail with something like the following output:

FAILED:  "Should fail"
D:\DEV\YourProject\tests\your.tests.ts:6:10 [SourceMap]

Note the source-mapped location. This will allow you to Ctrl+Click on the location in your IDE to easily jump to the original test file.

Source maps

Source maps are a way to map the original source code to the generated code. This is useful for debugging and development. Languages or tools that compile to JavaScript, like TypeScript, CoffeeScript, ClojureScript, BabelJS, etc., can generate source maps. We've only covered TypeScript here, but if you're using another language that has a compiler that generates source maps, it should work with aqa.


(Available in 1.6.1+) aqa supports reporting test results to a file. The current supported reporters are junit and tap. To enable it, add the following to your package.json:

  "aqa": {
    "reporter": "junit"


The junit reporter will generate a JUnit XML file for each test file in the .aqa-output/reports folder. You can then use this file in your CI/CD pipeline to generate reports.

See Config for more information.


The tap reporter will output the test results in the TAP version 13 format to the console / stdout. Currently, this report is simplified and does not include stack traces.

CLI parameters

aqa can be run from the terminal like npx aqa tests/test-*.js with the following supported parameters:


Runs aqa in watch mode. See watch mode for more information.


Adds verbose logging. Example: aqa --verbose


Disables concurrency. This will run all tests sequentially. Example: aqa --no-concurrency


aqa will try to check the package.json from where it was ran from for a section named "aqa".

  "aqa": {
    "verbose": true,
    "concurrency": true,
    "reporter": "", 
    "reporterOptions": {
      "outputDir": "test-results/" 

Supported config:

  • verbose - If true, enables verbose output. (default = false)
    • Can also be set via the AQA_VERBOSE environment variable.
  • concurrency - If false, disables concurrency. (default = true)
    • Can also be set via the AQA_CONCURRENCY environment variable.
  • reporter - The reporter to use, can be junit or tap. Default = "" (no reporter)
    • Can also be set via the AQA_REPORTER environment variable.
  • reporterOptions - Options for the reporter.
    • outputDir - The output directory for the reporter. Default = ".aqa-output/reports"
      • Can also be set via the AQA_REPORTER_OUTPUT_DIR environment variable.

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