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Jest 28: Shedding weight and improving compatibility 🫶

· 8 min read

Jest 28 is finally here, and it comes with some long requested features such as support for sharding a test run across multiple machines, package exports and the ability to customize the behavior of fake timers. These are just some personal highlights, and we'll be highlighting more in this blog post.

Additionally, as announced in the Jest 27 blog post last year, we have removed some packages that no longer are used by default from the default installation. As a result the installation size has dropped by about 1/3.

Breaking changes

The list of breaking changes is long (and can be seen fully in the changelog), but for migration purposes, we've also written a guide you can follow. Hopefully this makes the upgrade experience as frictionless as possible!

Main breaking changes likely to impact your migration are dropped support for Node 10 and 15 (but not Node 12, which will be EOL in a few days) and some renamed configuration options.

Please note that both of the removed modules (jest-environment-jsdom and jest-jasmine2) are still actively maintained and tested in the same way, so the only breaking change here is that you'll need to explicitly install them.

The guide should hopefully make migration trivial, but note that if you use any of the packages Jest consists of directly (such as jest-worker or pretty-format), instead of just running jest, then you need to go through the changelog to view any breaking changes.


Now let's talk about the new features in Jest 28, which is way more exciting! And there's quite a few of them, so buckle up.

Sharding of test run

Jest now includes a new --shard CLI option, contributed by Mario Nebl. It allows you to run parts of your test across different machine, and has been one of Jest's oldest feature requests.

Jest's own test suite on CI went from about 10 minutes to 3 on Ubuntu, and on Windows from 20 minutes to 7.

package.json exports

Jest shipped minimal support of exports in 27.3. However, it only supported the "main" entry point (.), and only if no main field was present in package.json. With Jest 28 we're excited to finally be shipping full support!

Related, in Jest 27, we provided either require or import condition. In Jest 28, jest-environment-node will now automatically provide node and node-addons conditions, while jest-environment-jsdom will provide the browser condition.

This has been one of the biggest compatibility issues of Jest, and hopefully this is now resolved once and for all.

Fake timers

Jest 26 introduced the concept of "modern" fake timers, which uses @sinonjs/fake-timers under the hood, and Jest 27 made it the default. In Jest 28, we are now exposing more of the underlying implementation through both configuration and runtime APIs. Huge thanks to Tom Mrazauskas who contributed this feature!

This allows you to not mock out process.nextTick which improves compatibility with fake Promises, or to enable advanceTimers which automatically advance timers.

Please see the fakeTimers configuration for details.

GitHub Actions Reporter

Jest now ships with a reporter to be used on GitHub Actions, which will use annotations to print test errors inline.

GitHub Actions test error screenshot

You can activate this reporter by passing github-actions in the reporters configuration option.

Huge thanks to Bernie Reiter and other contributors for sticking by us and finally landing this feature.

Inline testEnvironmentOptions

You can now pass testEnvironmentOptions inline in a file, similar to how you can set test environment. This is useful if you want to e.g. change the URL in a single file.

* @jest-environment jsdom
* @jest-environment-options {"url": ""}

test('use jsdom and set the URL in this test file', () => {

All Node.js globals

If you are using the new fetch implementation in Node v18, you might have noticed that this function is not available in Jest. It has been a long-standing issue that we have to manually copy over any globals into the test globals. With Jest 28, this is no longer an issue as we now inspect the global environment Jest itself is running in, and copy over any globals that are missing in the test environment.

ECMAScript Modules

Not much has changed in Jest's support for native ESM since Jest 27 came out. We continue to be blocked by stabilization in Node, and are hopeful this situation will improve sooner rather than later!

However, we have been able to add a couple of new features in Jest 28.

data: URLs

Tommaso Bossi has contributed support for data URLs, meaning you can now inline define some JavaScript to run without using eval.


While you have been able to access jest via import {jest} from '@jest/globals' in Jest, we've received feedback that this is less ergonomical than the (seemingly, but not really) global jest variable available in CJS. So Jest 28 ships with import.meta.jest to allow easier access.


That's quite a lot of features, and are my personal highlights. However, we still have many more which I'll quickly go through:

Asynchronous resolvers

Ian VanSchooten has contributed support for asynchronous resolvers, which enables tools like Vite to have better integrations with Jest.

Asynchronous setup files

If you have some async work you want to do when using setupFiles, you can now export an async function, which Jest will call and await before loading any tests.

Note that this feature is only available for CJS. For ESM, we recommend using top-level await instead.

Using globalThis

Internally, Jest has been using global to refer to the global environment. However, since this only exists in Node, and not browsers (window), this led to incompatibility when attempting to use Jest's modules in another environment.

Jest 28 uses globalThis instead, which works in all environments.


While, as mentioned, Jest no longer ships jest-environment-jsdom in the default installation, it is still actively maintained. As part of that, Jest 28 has upgraded from jsdom@16 to jsdom@19.


If you use Jest with TypeScript, either in your tests or when writing plugins such as custom runners, Jest 28 comes with extensive improvements to our types. Here's a non-exhaustive list of the changes in Jest 28.


When using expect's own types (either directly, or via import {expect} from '@jest/globals'), it's now finally possible to add custom matchers. See our example for how to do this.

Custom plugins

If you write a custom runner, test reporter, resolver or something else, we now export more types that should help you type these more correctly. This is a moving target, so if you are the author of something pluggable in Jest and the types aren't as useful as they could be, please file an issue!


jest-runner-tsd is a custom runner for running type tests. This is what Jest uses itself to test our types, and we hope it can also be used by others! As its name implies, it is based on tsd, although it under the hood uses the fork tsd-lite.

All of these improvements and fixes has been contributed by Tom Mrazauskas. Thank you so much, Tom! 👏

Lastly, the minimum support version of TypeScript is now 4.3.


The last thing we want to highlight in this blog post, is a very cool new Jest runner, created by Nicolò Ribaudo, called jest-light-runner. This takes almost all of the DX Jest is known for, and speeds it way up by being a smaller abstraction on top of Node. Babel's tests became almost twice as fast after migrating. While there are caveats, the existence of this runner should make it even easier for people who have smaller Node modules to test to choose Jest. Thanks, Nicolò!


While Jest 28 came almost a year after Jest 27, Jest 29 will be coming sooner, probably in just a few months. The current plan then is to just have one breaking change (except dropping Node versions), and that is to default snapshotFormat to {escapeString: false, printBasicPrototype: false}. This makes snapshots both more readable and more copy-pasteable.

This will of course be possible to override if you don't want to change, but you can also use those options today if you don't want to wait!


Jest 28 contains contributions from more than 60 people, of which more than two thirds are first time contributors. Thank you so much to all contributors, old and new. Without you the project wouldn't be nearly as good as it is! I'd particularly like to thank Tom Mrazauskas and Feng Yu for all their contributions, from code, to issue triaging to debugging, that made Jest 28 what it is. Thank you! 🙏

Thanks for reading, and happy Jesting! 🃏