mocha requires make cant find a make exe that works on windows

mocha requires make cant find a make exe that works on windows  using -'windows,node.js,mocha'

Mocha (test framework for Node.js) uses make.

For the life of me I can't find a compatible make.exe for Windows.

Everything works fine on my Mac.

I've tried using VS's nmake.exe and a make.exe I found that was ported from Unix. But they are all incompatible.

It can't just be me

Here's the makefile:

    @./node_modules/.bin/mocha -u tdd -R spec

.PHONY: test

make barfs on the . in PHONY, and even if I remove it, it never runs the mocha command (or at least there's no output).

Running ./node_modules/.bin/mocha -u -tdd -R spec directly gives me my test report:

first suite -
  ? ten should always be equal to 9+1
  ? zero is less all positive numbers
  ? There is no i in team

 ? 3 tests complete (8ms)

EDIT 3/25/12

In the end, the easiest way to deal with this is to use Cygwin and ensure that the developer packages for Cygwin are installed. In PowerShell I did Set-Alias make "c:\dev\utils\cygwin\bin\make.exe" and now make test works on standard Mocha Makefiles.


asked Sep 29, 2015 by deven.bendale
0 votes

4 Answers

0 votes

Heh I feel you ;) I'm part of a team busy building a new startup using node. Two of our dev's are on on OSX, one is on Linux. I am on Windows.

I downloaded and use GNU's "Make for Windows" and can now quite happily make our installation & test suites.

Also, I STRONGLY encourage you to use PowerShell - it has a bunch of commands aliased to UNIX-friendly commands (e.g. Get-ChildItem -> ls). This allows several of our scripts to work on UNIX or Windows without change.

So, to your issue:

Try replacing your makefile above with the following:

# Detect if we're running Windows
ifdef SystemRoot
    # If so, set the file & folder deletion commands:
    FixPath = $(subst /,\,$1)
    # Otherwise, assume we're running *N*X:
    FixPath = $1

NODE_MODULES := ./node_modules/.bin/

    $(call FixPath, NODE_MODULES)mocha -u tdd -R spec

.PHONY: test

Note: with Makefiles, tasks within targets must be indented with tab characters, not spaces! Go figure!!

I stole the FixPath routine from this post (thanks Paul :)). It replaces a string's / with \ if run on Windows.

One of the problems with make on Windows is that it shells out to NT's command shell (via CreateProcess) in order to execute each task. This means that any *N*X-isms that Powershell would otherwise handle (e.g. ls, cat, etc.) won't work when executing makefiles. Thus, its advisable to replace inline commands with overridable aliases that you can set to one command for NT and another for *N*X.

Perhaps I'll get around to forking Gnu Make and seeing if I can get it to shell out to Powershell when executing commands instead of the NT command line. That would also eliminate the need for FixPaths above ;)

Ping me if you get stuck ;)

answered Sep 29, 2015 by dhananjayksharma
0 votes

You can use commander to implement your own version in node.js! I use that for my projects, despite that I'm on mac. It'll work anywhere, where node is installed.

The following script assumes that your cli scripts lie in /path/to/your/app/cli.

node cli/test.js -u # runs unit tests in /path/to/your/app/tests/unit

node cli/test.js -f # runs functional tests in /path/to/your/app/tests/functional


 * CLI for execution of the mocha test suite.
 * test.js --help for instructions.

var program = require('commander');

    .option('-u, --unit', 'Run unit tests.')
    .option('-f, --functional', 'Run functional tests.')
    .on('--help', function(){
        console.log('Executes the mocha testsuite.');

if(!program.unit && !program.functional) {
    console.log('Specify if you want to run unit tests (-u) or functional tests (-f).');
    console.log('Run help (-h) for detailed instructions.');

if(program.unit) {
     require('child_process').exec(__dirname + '/../node_modules/.bin/mocha -u tdd -R spec --recursive -c ' + __dirname + '/../tests/unit', standardOutput);

 if(program.functional) {
require('child_process').exec(__dirname + '/../node_modules/.bin/mocha -u bdd -R spec --recursive -c ' + __dirname + '/../tests/functional', standardOutput);

 * Standard output.
 * @method standardOutput
 * @param {Object} error
 * @param {String} stdout the cli standard output
 * @param {String} stderr output of errors
function standardOutput(error, stdout, stderr) {
answered Sep 29, 2015 by deepak07.s
0 votes

For those that don't want to use make, you can also install mocha globally so that it works in the regular windows command line:

npm install -g mocha

Then run your tests with mocha path\to\test.js

answered Sep 29, 2015 by android_master
0 votes

If you are using cygwin's make (cygwin/bin/make.exe), be aware that it expects tab separators in makefiles. If your editor converts tabs to spaces, you'll end up getting errors like

makefile:23: * missing separator. Stop.

I've read that GNU's Make for Windows, mentioned above, is ok with spaces or tabs, but I haven't tried it yet.

See How To Use Mocha for Node Testing in Windows for more specifics.

answered Sep 29, 2015 by akasati02