Using Grunt with Travis-CI

If you are using Grunt to run your tests and Travis-CI for your continuous integration, you will need to command Travis-CI to install the grunt-cli before running your test script(s). grunt-cli is meant to be a global package, so adding it to your dependencies or devDependencies is not ideal.

You’ll need the following your package.json…

  • Test script command

  • Grunt and any plugins as dependencies

Like so:

  "name": "projectname",
  "version": "0.0.1",
  "description": "Project description goes here.",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "grunt test"
  "devDependencies": {
    "grunt": "~0.4.1",
    "grunt-contrib-jshint": "~0.6.0",
    "grunt-contrib-nodeunit": "~0.2.0"

As an example, the following might be part of your test task in gruntfile.js:

module.exports = function(grunt) {
    nodeunit: {
      all: ['test/**/*.js']
    jshint: {
      all: ['src/**/*.js']

  grunt.registerTask('test', ['jshint', 'nodeunit']);

Finally, in order to run Grunt on Travis-CI, make sure your .travis.yml file looks similar to this:

language: node_js
  - "0.10"
  - npm install grunt-cli -g

Note the last line in particular. This will cause Travis-CI to install grunt-cli as a global package before running the grunt test task. You will need to keep that line present in your .travis.yml file, since Travis-CI preserves no state between builds. This method is used by the Grunt project itself.

Originally published on my old blog on September 13, 2014.