Improved support for MbUnit, xUnit and Gallio

The main focus of the TestDriven.Net 2.18 release has been to improve support for test runner plug-ins in general (not just NUnit). If you’re using xUnit, MbUnit or Gallio – I recommend you upgrade to this version.

Automatic support for 64-bit machines

The registry layout on 64-bit machines is plain weird and full of pitfalls for the unwary. The registry layout is different depending on whether you’re installing under HKLM or HKCU. Under ‘HKLM’ the ‘SOFTWARE’ key is split and test runner plug-ins needed to be registered twice in order to work in both 32 and 64-bit processes. There is no such split under ‘HKCU’ and plug-ins installed there only needed to be registered once.

This created the unfortunate situation where plug-ins installed for ‘all users’ wouldn’t work when running in a 64-bit process, but plug-ins installed ‘just for me’ would work fine. Rather than expect plug-in developers to deal with this weirdness, I’ve made some changes to automatically support plug-ins that aren’t 64-bit aware.

If you have an assembly that needs to work on 32 and 64-bit machines, you may find the following snippet useful:

    public static RegistryKey OpenSoftwareKey(bool hklm, string name)
        string fullName = @"SOFTWARE";
        if (hklm)
            if (Marshal.SizeOf(typeof(IntPtr)) == 8)
                fullName += @"\Wow6432Node";
            return Registry.LocalMachine.OpenSubKey(fullName + @"\" + name);
        return Registry.CurrentUser.OpenSubKey(fullName + @"\" + name);

The following ad-hoc test will display TestDriven.Net’s install directory (assuming TestDriven.Net is installed ‘for all users’):

    void test()
        using(var key = OpenSoftwareKey(true, @"MutantDesign\TestDriven.NET"))

Better support for ah-hoc tests

In previous versions of TestDriven.Net, a test runner plug-in was required to explicitly signal when none of its tests were found for execution. This would give other test runners (such as the ad-hoc test runner) a chance to handle the test. Unfortunately most test runners have been signaling a successful test run when tests were found but none were targeted.

I’ve changed it so the ad-hoc test runner will automatically get a chance to execute if no tests were executed and the test runner plug-in indicated a successful test run. The upshot of this is that you can now have ad-hoc side-by-side with MbUnit or xUnit tests.

If you’re using xUnit, try doing ‘Run Test(s)’ on each of the following methods:

    public void TestMe()
        Console.WriteLine("Console output isn't displayed when using xUnit");
        Assert.True(false, "Comment out [Fact] and run as ad-hoc test! ;)");
    void hello()
        Trace.WriteLine("Hello, World!");
    void dump()
        Trace.WriteLine(AppDomain.CurrentDomain, "_verbose");

(ad-hoc tests should work side-by-side with all other test framework methods as well)

Improved performance when executing with Gallio / MbUnit v3

Gallio is a test runner that supports many different test types (MbUnit, xUnit, NUnit, MSTest and more). It has its own plug-in architecture and it doesn’t use the default TestDriven.Net app domain test isolation. This makes Gallio very flexible, but it also meant it wasn’t appropriate to setup and tear down the Gallio engine for each test run.

I’ve made some changes to allow Gallio to stay resident in the test process. This has significantly improved performance (especially for short test runs). If you’re using Gallio/MbUnit v3, try upgrading to Gallio v3.0.5 build 546 and see how much of a different it makes.


There have been lots of other changes which you can find in the release notes. If you notice any new issues, please don’t hesitate to let me know!


  • Hi Jamie,

    In previous versions nested fixtures were not supported correctly. Is that changed maybe in this new version or is there a chance to get it changed?


  • Hi Vladan, Which unit testing framework are you using? It is the test runner plug-in that decides which tests to execute when a particular class is targeted.

  • Nested test fixtures work with Gallio v3.0.5. I use them in many places.

    If they don't, please file a bug!

  • Hey guys!

    Sorry for not responding earlier, I kind of forgot to recheck this post for additional comments :(

    Anyway, thank you both...Unfortunately Gallio in version 3.0.4,5,6 crashes my Visual Studio so I have no luck :(



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