To run my Selenium/Cucumber java project, I need to pass some VM arguments, variables, properties path etc... now easiest way is to pass it in Eclipse run configuration under "VM arguments" tab. I need to give path of Log4j2.xml, sqlJdbc driver, any UserID etc.

Now, if i put all this in a properties file and then run the "TestRunner', then how can i make sure properties are loaded before the Features run. I get NullPointerException.

Can i put this in a static block? THis way will it get initialized before any TestNG feature runs?

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@CucumberOptions(glue = { "stepDefinitions" }, features = {
        "src/test/resources/features/CreateUserProfile.feature" }, plugin = { "pretty",
                "json:test-output/JsonReport.json", "html:test-output/HTMLReport.html",
                "com.aventstack.extentreports.cucumber.adapter.ExtentCucumberAdapter:", })

public class TestRunner {
    public TestNGCucumberRunner testNGCucumberRunner;

    @BeforeClass(alwaysRun = true)
    public void setUpClass() {
        if (testNGCucumberRunner == null) {
            testNGCucumberRunner = new TestNGCucumberRunner(this.getClass());

    @Test(groups = "cucumber scenarios", description = "Runs Cucumber Scenarios", dataProvider = "scenarios")
    public void scenario(PickleWrapper pickleEvent, FeatureWrapper cucumberFeature) throws Throwable {

    public Object[][] scenarios() {
        if (testNGCucumberRunner == null) {
            testNGCucumberRunner = new TestNGCucumberRunner(this.getClass());
        return testNGCucumberRunner.provideScenarios();

    @AfterClass(alwaysRun = true)
    public void tearDownClass() {


    static {
        SimpleDateFormat dateFormat = new SimpleDateFormat("yyyy-MM-dd");
        System.setProperty("current.date", dateFormat.format(new Date()));
        String propertyFilePath = "C:\\EclipseWorkspace\\Automation\\src\\main\\resources\\config.properties";
        BufferedReader reader;
        try {
            reader = new BufferedReader(new FileReader(propertyFilePath));
            Properties properties = new Properties();
            try {
            } catch (IOException e) {
        } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {
            throw new RuntimeException("Config.properties not found at " + propertyFilePath);




I get this error ...i have loaded the properties file in the TestRunner.java file, also loaded in the BaseTest.java class where driver is initialized. Still i get this error. Please help. I don't want to use eclipse VM arguments and want my properties to be loaded from the script only.

java.lang.NullPointerException: Cannot invoke "String.equalsIgnoreCase(String)" because the return value of "java.lang.System.getProperty(String)" is null
  • What results are you getting from the code you posted? Jan 30, 2023 at 10:31

2 Answers 2


Solution :

  • Snippet to load config.properties
Properties prop=new Properties();

FileInputStream ips = new FileInputStream(“home/username/ProjectName/src/config.properties”);

  • Ensure .properties are getting loaded before features run:
    • Basically you can have multiple implementations to achieve this
    • On successful driver object creation, you can create and load the prop object
    • Good solution to use try..catch blocks for all the initialisation

Here's an example solution in Java:

1 First, create a properties file, e.g. config.properties, with your configuration data.


2 Next, create a class that will load the properties file and store the values in variables:

import java.io.FileInputStream;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.util.Properties;

public class ConfigProperties {
    private static String url;
    private static String username;
    private static String password;
    static {
        Properties prop = new Properties();
        try (InputStream input = new FileInputStream("config.properties")) {
            url = prop.getProperty("url");
            username = prop.getProperty("username");
            password = prop.getProperty("password");
        } catch (IOException ex) {
    public static String getUrl() {
        return url;
    public static String getUsername() {
        return username;
    public static String getPassword() {
        return password;

3 Finally, in your Cucumber test runner class, you can access the properties as follows:

import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import cucumber.api.CucumberOptions;
import cucumber.api.junit.Cucumber;

@CucumberOptions(features = "src/test/resources/features", glue = { "steps" }, tags = { "@smoke" })
public class CucumberTestRunner {
    public static String URL = ConfigProperties.getUrl();
    public static String USERNAME = ConfigProperties.getUsername();
    public static String PASSWORD = ConfigProperties.getPassword();

This way, you can easily access the properties from your Cucumber test cases without having to hard-code the values.

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