Extensions to Truth

Extension points

Truth is configurable in multiple ways, including:

  • custom failure behaviors
  • custom correspondences
  • custom assertion methods

Custom failure behaviors can be useful, as can the alternative built-in behaviors. For information about both, see FailureStrategy.

Custom correspondences are useful for testing whether a collection contains a value that is “similar to” an expected value. For more information, see Correspondence.

But when people talk about Truth extensions, they’re usually referring to custom assertion methods, implemented on a custom Subject subclass. That’s what we’ll cover in the rest of this page.

Subjects provided in Truth extensions

Some subjects aren’t part of core Truth but can be found in other parts of the project. They include:

  • Truth8 for java8 types such as java.util.Optional
  • ProtoTruth for Message style protocol buffers and lite versions

Other extensions that are not part of the Truth project itself include:

Using subjects from extensions

The steps are nearly the same as for using the core Truth assertions:

1. Add the appropriate dependency to your build file

Each extension is packaged separately so you can include only what you need.

  • Java 8: com.google.truth.extensions:truth-java8-extension:1.1.4
  • Protocol Buffers: com.google.truth.extensions:truth-proto-extension:1.1.4
    • LiteProto: com.google.truth.extensions:truth-liteproto-extension:1.1.4
  • RE2J: com.google.truth.extensions:truth-re2j-extension:1.1.4

2. Add a static import

For example:

import static com.google.common.truth.extensions.proto.ProtoTruth.assertThat;

It’s fine to also statically import Truth.assertThat in the same file, as the methods have different signatures.

3. Write a test assertion using the static import


If you need to set a failure message or use a different FailureStrategy, you’ll instead need to find the extension’s Subject.Factory. For an extension named FooSubject, the factory is usually FooSubject.foos(). In the case of the Protocol Buffers extension, it’s ProtoTruth.protos(). So, to use the expect FailureStrategy and provide an additional message in a check about Protocol Buffers, you would write:

import static com.google.common.truth.extensions.proto.ProtoTruth.protos;
import com.google.common.truth.Expect;
@Rule public final Expect expect = Expect.create();
    .withMessage("fields not copied from input %s", input)

But in most cases you’ll use shortcuts, either assertThat(...) or assertWithMessage(...).about(...).that(...). For more information about the available shortcuts, see this FAQ entry.

Writing your own custom subject

For an example of how to support custom types in Truth, please see the employee example. The rest of this doc will walk through each of the files, step by step.

There are four parts to the example:

  1. Employee.java

    This is the class under test. There’s really nothing exciting about this file. In this case, it’s just a plain old Java object (POJO), implemented using @AutoValue.

  2. EmployeeSubject.java

    This is the custom Truth subject, and the most interesting part of this example. There are several important things to note about this file:

    1. Every custom subject must extend Subject or one of its subclasses. Your class definition will usually look like this:

      public final class EmployeeSubject extends Subject {...}

      The class must be accessible to the tests that will use it. Typically that means making it public.

      We suggest making the class final for simplicity, but it’s fine to make it extensible if you find that useful.

      Tip: What if your Subject class has a type parameter, like ComparableSubject? Follow our instructions for CustomSubjectBuilder instead of step 2 below, and then return to the instructions at step 3.

    2. A subject also needs to define a Subject.Factory, exposed through a static method. The definition is usually boilerplate:

      public static Factory<EmployeeSubject, Employee> employees() {
        return EmployeeSubject::new;

      Like your Subject class itself, this static method must be accessible to the tests that will use it―typically, public.

      We recommend naming this method in the plural form (e.g., EmployeeSubject.employees(), PersonSubject.people(), etc.). We recommend putting this method on your Subject class itself.

      By passing your Subject.Factory to an about() method, users can perform all the operations that they expect of a built-in Subject type. For example, they can set a failure message:

      import static com.google.common.truth.extension.EmployeeSubject.employees;
      assertWithMessage("findClosestMatch should have found user with given username")

      But users won’t need those operations most of the time, so offer them a shortcut:

    3. For users’ convenience, define a static assertThat(Employee) shortcut method:

      public static EmployeeSubject assertThat(@Nullable Employee actual) {
        return assertAbout(employees()).that(actual);

      Like your Subject, your assertThat method must be accessible to the tests that will use it―typically, public.

      We recommend putting this method on your Subject class itself. Or, if your library defines multiple Subject subclasses, you may wish to create a single class (like Truth8) that contains all your assertThat methods so that users can access them all with a single static import.

      Users can statically import your method alongside Truth’s assertThat methods. Static imports with the same name follow the same overload-resolution rules as normal Java overloads, so the imports can coexist in a file unless it makes a call that’s ambiguous.

      (If your users do end up with an ambiguous reference, they can instead use the Subject.Factory (assertAbout(employees()).that(...)) or use the assertThat method without static imports (EmployeeSubject.assertThat(...)).)

    4. Your custom Subject class must have a constructor that accepts a FailureMetadata and a reference to the instance under test. Store a reference to the instance, and pass both to the superclass constructor:

      @Nullable private final Employee actual;
      private EmployeeSubject(FailureMetadata metadata, @Nullable Employee actual) {
        super(metadata, actual);
        this.actual = actual;

      If your Subject is final, the constructor can be private. But even if you want an extensible Subject, there’s no reason for the constructor to be public, only package-private or protected: No one should call the constructor directly except the Subject.Factory and subclasses.

    5. Finally, you define your test assertion API on the custom Subject. Since you’re defining the API, you can write it however you’d like. However, we recommend method names that will make the assertions read like English sentences. For some advice on naming assertion methods, please see this FAQ entry.

      As for the implementation: Most assertion implementations employ one of the two basic approaches. The simpler approach is to delegate to an existing assertion. To do so, use Subject.check(...), which preserves the caller-specified FailureStrategy and other context. For example:

      public void hasName(String name) {

      This gives Truth enough information to construct a failure message like:

      value of    : employee.name()
      expected    : Sundar Pichai
      but was     : Kurt Alfred Kluever
      employee was: Employee{username=kak, name=Kurt Alfred Kluever, isCeo=false}

      But sometimes you can’t delegate to an existing assertion. Or you could, but the failure message would be poor. In such cases, you can take the other approach – manually perform your check and report a failure. For example:

      public void isCeo() {
        if (!actual.isCeo()) {
          failWithActual(simpleFact("expected to be CEO"));

      This lets Truth produce a failure message like:

      expected to be CEO
      but was: Employee{username=kak, name=Kurt Alfred Kluever, isCeo=false}

      This message contains all the relevant information, yet it’s much shorter than the hasName(...) example above. This is possible because isCeo() is testing a boolean property. Boolean properties are good candidates for the manual check-and-fail approach.

      For tips on writing failure messages, see this guide.

      One advanced point: Custom Subject types sometimes declare “chaining” methods that return an instance of another Subject. For example, instead of providing hasName(...), EmployeeSubject might declare a EmployeeSubject.name() method that returns a StringSubject for the value of employee.name(). To create such “chained” subjects, use Subject.check(...), as above, and return the Subject you create:

      public StringSubject name() {
        return check("name()").that(actual.name());

      Now callers can write:

      assertThat(kak).name().matches("Kurt .*Kluever");
  3. EmployeeSubjectTest.java

    This is a test of the subject, which tests that its assertions pass when they should and fail when they should:

    import static com.google.common.truth.ExpectFailure.expectFailureAbout;
    import static com.google.common.truth.extension.EmployeeSubject.assertThat;
    import static com.google.common.truth.extension.EmployeeSubject.employees;
    import com.google.common.truth.ExpectFailure.SimpleSubjectBuilderCallback;
    public final class EmployeeSubjectTest {
      private static final Employee KURT =
          Employee.create("kak", 37802, "Kurt Alfred Kluever", Location.NYC, false);
      public void id() {
        expectFailure(whenTesting -> whenTesting.that(KURT).hasId(12345));
      private static AssertionError expectFailure(
          SimpleSubjectBuilderCallback<EmployeeSubject, Employee> callback) {
        return expectFailureAbout(employees(), callback);

    Testing that assertions pass is easy: Just make assertions with your assertThat method.

    Testing that assertions fail is fairly easy, too, with Truth’s ExpectFailure utility. The example above shows how to define a helper method to make your ExpectFailure calls even shorter.

    If you want to test more thoroughly, expectFailure returns an AssertionError, so you can write:

    import static com.google.common.truth.ExpectFailure.assertThat;
    assertThat(failure).factValue("value of").isEqualTo("employee.username()");

    ExpectFailure also provides an API for users who can’t use lambdas. See its docs for details.

  4. FakeHrDatabaseTest.java

    This is an example of how your unit tests will look using your custom Truth subject. The important thing to note is that you import both Truth.assertThat and EmployeeSubject.assertThat:

    import static com.google.common.truth.Truth.assertThat;
    import static com.google.common.truth.extension.EmployeeSubject.assertThat;

    You can use your subject alongside the core Truth subjects:

    // "normal" Truth
    // uses the custom EmployeeSubject
    db.relocate(KURT.id(), MTV);