June 9, 2011

Python - Headless Selenium WebDriver Tests using PyVirtualDisplay

I need to integrate my functional UI tests (Selenium/WebDriver) with my Jenkins CI system. The problem is that my Jenkins CI server has no display, so I must run my GUI tests in a headless X-server.

A colleague pointed me to PyVirtualDisplay, a Python wrapper for Xvfb and Xephyr.

This makes running headless Python Selenium/WebDriver tests very easy.

Here is some Python code showing WebDriver with a virtual display provided by Xvfb:

    
#!/usr/bin/env python

from pyvirtualdisplay import Display
from selenium import webdriver

display = Display(visible=0, size=(800, 600))
display.start()

# now Firefox will run in a virtual display. 
# you will not see the browser.
browser = webdriver.Firefox()
browser.get('http://www.google.com')
print browser.title
browser.quit()

display.stop()

install PyVirtualDisplay on Ubuntu/Debian:

$ sudo apt-get install xvfb python-pip
$ sudo pip install pyvirtualdisplay
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