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Gwen 3

What's New

Add Gwen to your JS project

You can now add Gwen to projects using npm and have all your executable Gherkin living next to your code and integrated into your development and testing process.

Thanks to Ruby Juric for building gwen-web-npm.

Init project command

A new gwen init command initialises Gwen in your project directory by creating the following:

  • Project, browser, and environment level settings files
  • Feature and meta subdirectories
  • Sample feature and meta files
  • Docker files
  • Jenkins pipeline file

You also get automatic gwen udpates by default.

HOCON and JSON settings

Two new settings formats are now supported in addition to properties:

  • HOCON (Human-Optimized Config Object Notation)
    • A superset of JSON
  • JSON
    • Pure JSON format

Better defaults for better Gherkin

The gwen.feature.mode setting now defaults to declarative instead of imperative to keep DSL steps confined to meta and out of feature specifications.

The gwen.behavior.rules setting now defaults to strict instead of lenient to enforce correct behavioural semantics and proper Given-When-Then order.

Pretty logging

Gwen now logs pretty execution results to the console.

Pretty console loggingPretty console logging

New CLI option for verbose logging

Use the new -v|--verbose CLI option for verbose logging instead (equivalent to Gwen 2 logging).

Configurable CLI options

CLI options are now configurable enabling you to customize your own Gwen launch profile.

Selenium 4

The embedded web engine now uses Selenium 4

New DSLs have been added to support:

Support for W3C compliant capabilities has been added, since v3.20.0:

What's dropped

  • Gwen workspaces have been dropped in favor of Gwen projects
  • Applitools integration has been removed
  • Interpolation by concatenation deprecated in favor of substitution (dropped in v3.14.0)

Migration Guide


See what's new in Gwen 3.

This guide will help you to migrate an existing Gwen project over to Gwen 3. If you want to start a new project from scratch, go straight to the getting started guide instead.

1. Setup

Choose your current Gwen 2 setup

If you are using Gwen as a standalone application on your machine, nothing has changed in terms of setup and installation. You can continue updating Gwen in the same manner you have been with prior versions. The setup instructions on our getting started page contain all the details you need know in that regard. You will however need to make some settings changes as described next.

2. Settings

The following settings changes have been made to Gwen 3. Scan all your .properties files and update accordingly.

New names

The following settings have been renamed.

Gwen 2 nameGwen 3 name

Removed alias

The following settings alias has been removed.

RemovedAlways use this name

New defaults

The following settings have new defaults. If you want to continue using prior defaults for these, explicity set them in your current properties file.

SettingGwen 2 defaultGwen 3 default

New setttings impacting prior behaviour

The following new settings have configured defaults that change prior behaviour. If you want to revert to the prior behaviour, you will need to explicitly set these in your settings file accordingly.

New SettingSincePrior defaultNew default

New formats

Two new settings formats have been introduced:

  • HOCON (Human-Optimized Config Object Notation)
    • The is now the recommended and default settings format
    • A superset of JSON
    • Maintained in *.conf files
  • JSON
    • Pure JSON format
    • Maintained in *.json files

The legacy Java style properties format is still supported and you can continue using properties files if you wish.

  • Properties
    • Flat name = value pairs
    • Maintained in *.properties files

Migrate your settings (optional)

Choose one of three options:

Repeat the following to convert every .properties file you have:

  • Create a new file in the same location and with the same name but with a .conf extension
  • Convert each setting to its HOCON equivalent and save it to your new .conf file
    • See example below
  • Discard your .properties file when done (or rename with the .properties.bak extension)

Properties file:

# RP client settings
rp.endpoint = http://localhost:8080
rp.uuid = 28b262e7-8a9d-4928-b2a3-649562d5c63d
rp.project = default_personal
rp.launch = Gwen

# Gwen core settings
gwen.behavior.rules = strict = false

# Gwen RP settings
gwen.rp.heartbeat.timeoutSecs = 5
gwen.rp.send.failed.errorBlocks = leaf
gwen.rp.send.failed.stepDefs = none
gwen.rp.send.stepDefs = inlined
gwen.rp.testCaseId.keys = auto

# Chrome settings = --ignore-certificate-errors = --window-size=1920,1080

# Gwen web settings
gwen.web.sendKeys.clearFirst = false
gwen.web.sendKeys.clickFirst = false
gwen.web.wait.seconds = 9

Equivalent HOCON file: gwen.conf

// RP client settings
rp {
endpoint = "http://<host>:<port>"
uuid = "28b262e7-8a9d-4928-b2a3-649562d5c63d"
project = "default_personal"
launch = "Gwen"

// Gwen settings
gwen {

// General settings
behavior {
rules = "strict"
report {
overwrite = false

// Gwen RP settings
rp {
heartbeat {
timeoutSecs = 5
send {
failed {
errorBlocks = "leaf"
stepDefs = "none"
stepDefs = "inlined"
testCaseId {
keys = "auto"

// Gwen web settings
web {

// General web settings
sendKeys {
clearFirst = false
clickFirst = false
wait {
seconds = 9

// Chrome settings
chrome {
args = [


3. CLI

New -c|--conf option

The -p|--properties CLI option has been deprecated and replaced with the -c|--conf option which now accepts .conf, .json, and .properties files. The former will still work for .properties files until the next major release (and will be removed then). You should use the new launch option going forward.

Default -r|--report option

The output directory for all Gwen reports now has a default value configured in the new default CLI setting. So you no longer need to explicitly specify the -r|--report CLI option every time you launch Gwen and want reports to be generated. You can however continue to explicitly pass it through and override the default if you want to. Alternatively, change the default.

HTML reports by default

HTML reports will now be generated by default when you launch Gwen since the report output directory now has a configured default. They will also be generated by default for dry runs when you specify the -n|--dry-run switch.

If you don't want any reports generated, invoke Gwen with the -f|--format CLI option passing in none.

4. String interpolation

Interpolation by concatenation has been deprecated in favor of substitution. You should convert all usages of conatenation to their substitution equivalents. Concatenation has been dropped since v3.14.0.

5. Log4j

Gwen uses log4j2 as of v3.1.0 for Gwen 3 (and v2.54.0 for Gwen 2). If you are using custom files with Gwen, you will need to convert them over to version 2 equivalents.