dotnet test

This article applies to: ✔️ .NET Core 2.1 SDK and later versions


dotnet test - .NET test driver used to execute unit tests.


dotnet test [<PROJECT> | <SOLUTION> | <DIRECTORY> | <DLL>]
    [-a|--test-adapter-path <PATH_TO_ADAPTER>] [--blame]
    [-c|--configuration <CONFIGURATION>]
    [-d|--diag <PATH_TO_DIAGNOSTICS_FILE>] [-f|--framework <FRAMEWORK>]
    [--filter <EXPRESSION>] [--interactive]
    [-l|--logger <LOGGER_URI/FRIENDLY_NAME>] [--no-build]
    [--nologo] [--no-restore] [-o|--output <OUTPUT_DIRECTORY>]
    [-r|--results-directory <PATH>] [--runtime <RUNTIME_IDENTIFIER>]
    [-s|--settings <SETTINGS_FILE>] [-t|--list-tests]
    [-v|--verbosity <LEVEL>] [[--] <RunSettings arguments>]

dotnet test -h|--help


The dotnet test command is used to execute unit tests in a given solution. The dotnet test command builds the solution and runs a test host application for each test project in the solution. The test host executes tests in the given project using a test framework, for example: MSTest, NUnit, or xUnit, and reports the success or failure of each test. If all tests are successful, the test runner returns 0 as an exit code; otherwise if any test fails, it returns 1.

For multi-targeted projects, tests are run for each targeted framework. The test host and the unit test framework are packaged as NuGet packages and are restored as ordinary dependencies for the project.

Test projects specify the test runner using an ordinary <PackageReference> element, as seen in the following sample project file:

<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">


    <PackageReference Include="Microsoft.NET.Test.Sdk" Version="16.5.0" />
    <PackageReference Include="xunit" Version="2.4.1" />
    <PackageReference Include="xunit.runner.visualstudio" Version="2.4.1" />


Where Microsoft.NET.Test.Sdk is the test host, xunit is the test framework. And xunit.runner.visualstudio is a test adapter, which allows the xUnit framework to work with the test host.

Implicit restore

You don't have to run dotnet restore because it's run implicitly by all commands that require a restore to occur, such as dotnet new, dotnet build, dotnet run, dotnet test, dotnet publish, and dotnet pack. To disable implicit restore, use the --no-restore option.

The dotnet restore command is still useful in certain scenarios where explicitly restoring makes sense, such as continuous integration builds in Azure DevOps Services or in build systems that need to explicitly control when the restore occurs.

For information about how to manage NuGet feeds, see the dotnet restore documentation.



    • Path to the test project.
    • Path to the solution.
    • Path to a directory that contains a project or a solution.
    • Path to a test project .dll file.

    If not specified, it searches for a project or a solution in the current directory.


  • -a|--test-adapter-path <PATH_TO_ADAPTER>

    Path to a directory to be searched for additional test adapters. Only .dll files with suffix .TestAdapter.dll are inspected. If not specified, the directory of the test .dll is searched.

  • --blame

    Runs the tests in blame mode. This option is helpful in isolating problematic tests that cause the test host to crash. When a crash is detected, it creates a sequence file in TestResults/<Guid>/<Guid>_Sequence.xml that captures the order of tests that were run before the crash.

  • -c|--configuration <CONFIGURATION>

    Defines the build configuration. The default value is Debug, but your project's configuration could override this default SDK setting.


    Enables data collector for the test run. For more information, see Monitor and analyze test run.

    To collect code coverage on any platform that is supported by .NET Core, install Coverlet and use the --collect:"XPlat Code Coverage" option.

    On Windows, you can collect code coverage by using the --collect "Code Coverage" option. This option generates a .coverage file, which can be opened in Visual Studio 2019 Enterprise. For more information, see Use code coverage and Customize code coverage analysis.


    Enables diagnostic mode for the test platform and writes diagnostic messages to the specified file and to files next to it. The process that is logging the messages determines which files are created, such as *.host_<date>.txt for test host log, and *.datacollector_<date>.txt for data collector log.

  • -f|--framework <FRAMEWORK>

    Forces the use of dotnet or .NET Framework test host for the test binaries. This option only determines which type of host to use. The actual framework version to be used is determined by the runtimeconfig.json of the test project. When not specified, the TargetFramework assembly attribute is used to determine the type of host. When that attribute is stripped from the .dll, the .NET Framework host is used.

  • --filter <EXPRESSION>

    Filters out tests in the current project using the given expression. For more information, see the Filter option details section. For more information and examples on how to use selective unit test filtering, see Running selective unit tests.

  • -h|--help

    Prints out a short help for the command.

  • --interactive

    Allows the command to stop and wait for user input or action. For example, to complete authentication. Available since .NET Core 3.0 SDK.

  • -l|--logger <LOGGER_URI/FRIENDLY_NAME>

    Specifies a logger for test results. Unlike MSBuild, dotnet test doesn't accept abbreviations: instead of -l "console;v=d" use -l "console;verbosity=detailed".

  • --no-build

    Doesn't build the test project before running it. It also implicitly sets the - --no-restore flag.

  • --nologo

    Run tests without displaying the Microsoft TestPlatform banner. Available since .NET Core 3.0 SDK.

  • --no-restore

    Doesn't execute an implicit restore when running the command.

  • -o|--output <OUTPUT_DIRECTORY>

    Directory in which to find the binaries to run. If not specified, the default path is ./bin/<configuration>/<framework>/. For projects with multiple target frameworks (via the TargetFrameworks property), you also need to define --framework when you specify this option. dotnet test always runs tests from the output directory. You can use AppDomain.BaseDirectory to consume test assets in the output directory.

  • -r|--results-directory <PATH>

    The directory where the test results are going to be placed. If the specified directory doesn't exist, it's created. The default is TestResults in the directory that contains the project file.

  • --runtime <RUNTIME_IDENTIFIER>

    The target runtime to test for.

  • -s|--settings <SETTINGS_FILE>

    The .runsettings file to use for running the tests. The TargetPlatform element (x86|x64) has no effect for dotnet test. To run tests that target x86, install the x86 version of .NET Core. The bitness of the dotnet.exe that is on the path is what will be used for running tests. For more information, see the following resources:

  • -t|--list-tests

    List all of the discovered tests in the current project.

  • -v|--verbosity <LEVEL>

    Sets the verbosity level of the command. Allowed values are q[uiet], m[inimal], n[ormal], d[etailed], and diag[nostic]. The default is minimal. For more information, see LoggerVerbosity.

  • RunSettings arguments

Inline RunSettings are passed as the last arguments on the command line after "-- " (note the space after --). Inline RunSettings are specified as [name]=[value] pairs. A space is used to separate multiple [name]=[value] pairs.

Example: dotnet test -- MSTest.DeploymentEnabled=false MSTest.MapInconclusiveToFailed=True

For more information, see Passing RunSettings arguments through command line.


  • Run the tests in the project in the current directory:

    dotnet test
  • Run the tests in the test1 project:

    dotnet test ~/projects/test1/test1.csproj
  • Run the tests in the project in the current directory, and generate a test results file in the trx format:

    dotnet test --logger trx
  • Run the tests in the project in the current directory, and generate a code coverage file (after installing Coverlet):

    dotnet test --collect:"XPlat Code Coverage"
  • Run the tests in the project in the current directory, and generate a code coverage file (Windows only):

    dotnet test --collect "Code Coverage"
  • Run the tests in the project in the current directory, and log with detailed verbosity to the console:

    dotnet test --logger "console;verbosity=detailed"
    • Run the tests in the project in the current directory, and report tests that were in progress when the test host crashed:
    dotnet test --blame

Filter option details

--filter <EXPRESSION>

<Expression> has the format <property><operator><value>[|&<Expression>].

<property> is an attribute of the Test Case. The following are the properties supported by popular unit test frameworks:

Test Framework Supported properties
  • FullyQualifiedName
  • Name
  • ClassName
  • Priority
  • TestCategory
  • FullyQualifiedName
  • DisplayName
  • Traits
  • FullyQualifiedName
  • Name
  • TestCategory
  • Priority

The <operator> describes the relationship between the property and the value:

Operator Function
= Exact match
!= Not exact match
~ Contains
!~ Not contains

<value> is a string. All the lookups are case insensitive.

An expression without an <operator> is automatically considered as a contains on FullyQualifiedName property (for example, dotnet test --filter xyz is same as dotnet test --filter FullyQualifiedName~xyz).

Expressions can be joined with conditional operators:

Operator Function
| OR      

You can enclose expressions in parenthesis when using conditional operators (for example, (Name~TestMethod1) | (Name~TestMethod2)).

For more information and examples on how to use selective unit test filtering, see Running selective unit tests.

See also