January 6, 2013

Python Testing - PhantomJS with Selenium WebDriver

PhantomJS is a headless WebKit with JavaScript API. It can be used for headless website testing.

PhantomJS has a lot of different uses. The interesting bit for me is to use PhantomJS as a lighter-weight replacement for a browser when running web acceptance tests. This enables faster testing, without a display or the overhead of full-browser startup/shutdown.

I write my web automation using Selenium WebDriver, in Python.

In future versions of PhantomJS, the GhostDriver component will be included.

GhostDriver is a pure JavaScript implementation of the WebDriver Wire Protocol for PhantomJS. It's a Remote WebDriver that uses PhantomJS as back-end.

So, Ghostdriver is the bridge we need to use Selenium WebDriver with Phantom.JS.

Since it is not available in the current PhantomJS release, you can try it yourself by compiling a special version of PhantomJS:

It wes pretty trvial to setup on Ubuntu (12.04):

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential chrpath git-core libssl-dev libfontconfig1-dev
$ git clone git://github.com/ariya/phantomjs.git
$ cd phantomjs
$ git checkout 1.8
$ ./build.sh
$ git remote add detro https://github.com/detro/phantomjs.git
$ git fetch detro && git checkout -b detro-ghostdriver-dev remotes/detro/ghostdriver-dev
$ ./build.sh

Then grab the `phantomjs` binary it produced (look inside `phantomjs/bin`). This is a self-contained executable, it can be moved to a different directory or another machine. Make sure it is located somewhere on your PATH, or declare it's location when creating your PhantomJS driver like the example below.

for these examples, `phantomjs` binary is located in same directory as test script.

Example: Python Using PhantomJS and Selenium WebDriver.

#!/usr/bin/env python

driver = webdriver.PhantomJS('./phantomjs')
# do webdriver stuff here

Example: Python Unit Test Using PhantomJS and Selenium WebDriver.

#!/usr/bin/env python

import unittest
from selenium import webdriver

class TestUbuntuHomepage(unittest.TestCase):
    def setUp(self):
        self.driver = webdriver.PhantomJS('./phantomjs')
    def testTitle(self):
        self.assertIn('Ubuntu', self.driver.title)
    def tearDown(self):

if __name__ == '__main__':



Ariya Hidayat said...

Actually the latest PhantomJS 1.8 already integrates WebDriver support. See http://phantomjs.org/release-1.8.html for details.

Ariya said...

(Not sure if my comment was gone or not)

Actually the latest PhantomJS 1.8 (including the binary package) has included Ghost Driver already, check its release notes.

Unknown said...

If you add this to sst, would it mean that when running headless, you wouldn't need to install xvfb (and all that brings with it?)