Tutorial: Using Docker_Puppeteer_Jest to execute a headless Chrome End-to-End (user/acceptance) testing suites.

The problem:

We know that unit testing is an essential part of software engineering (at least we should all know that). Integration testing assure us that all the pieces work well together properly. At the very top of the pyramid is end-to-end (sometimes called user or acceptance) testing. This is the test set that loads the application, clicks buttons, submits data, reads data. In general, it acts like a user and assures us the applications works in the eyes of the user as it is intended to. Unfortunately in order to emulate the user experience archaic and many time s complicated system were used. These system were expensive to setup, costly to maintain, and fragile to run.

Herein I will show you in less than 6 steps how to use Chrome to emulate a user visiting a number of social media services and provide visual feedback as to what was rendered in the browser.

Pre-flight requirements:

Basic CLI / Terminal abilities


How to do it:

1) Download the image from Docker Hub via the CLI: docker pull davidjeddy/docker_puppeteer_jest

2) Clone the source repository so we can use the example test suites: git clone git@github.com:davidjeddy/docker_puppeteer_jest.git

3) Now lets change into newly created directory: `cd docker_puppeteer_jest`

4) Finally we execute the image: docker run -t -v $(pwd):/app --name dpr --rm davidjeddy/docker_puppeteer_jest. In this example we are mounting the code repository into the container at the /app directory location.

5) If all went well we should see the following in the terminal:

Congratulations, you have just executed your first user acceptance test suite using headless Chrome in a container.

To make it even easier, lets make an alias the execute the custom docker run command. Something like alias 'dta'='docker run -t -v $(pwd):/app --name dpr --rm davidjeddy/docker_puppeteer_jest'. Now type dta and press enter.

Next Steps:

To map your project into the container replace -v $(pwd):/app in the docker run command with -v {Your projects absolute path here}:/app.

Under the hood:

Docker starts a container with Chrome as the browser, Puppeteer starts a headless Chrome session. All of this isolated from the host machine as is the nature of containers. The Jest testing framework is then triggered and the test suites are auto-detected due to there directory location and naming scheme. Jest then executes the tests providing output and screen capture images to ./tests/_ouput/ which is volume mounted to the host machine.



This process can be used with a number of frontend architectures. React, Vue, jQuery, static content, DOM manipulation, and any other material rendered a client browser. The world, as it is said, is your oyster.

I hope you enjoy your acceptance testing using a headless browser and all the assurances that come with it. Hopefully you found this useful to increasie assurance that you changes get to production without negatively affecting the quality of your projects.

Run your End-to-End tests using headless Chrome; Docker_Puppeteer_Jest Docker Image is announced!

About a year ago myself and @ibotpeaces sat down for a couple hours to to put together a docker images with headless Chrome that we could use for End-to-End (user acceptance) testing. At the time the tooling of both Docker and Jest where not at a place at we could get a POC (proof of concept) functional give the constants of the process being a container service, easy integration into existing projects, and using a well adopted JavaScript testing framework.

Google Chrome
Google Chrome






Fast forward to March 2018 and not only has the containerization tooling but advanced significantly but also the headless Chrome control systems. As such I sat down once gain to look into this tool chain. I am happy to announce `Docker Puppeteer Jest‘ docker image. As the name suggests running the image will spin up a headless Chrome instance, controlled by Puppeteer that triggers Jest test suites. Outputting both terminal response and image captures if so instructed.

Checkout the image on the Docker Hub or the repo on GitHub. Let me know what you think or if you find it useful. I’d love to hear from you.


PSA: Do not use Codeception DB and Yii2 modules together…

…specifically the Yii2: ORM and DB module and transactions. The Yii2 $I->seeRecord() & related methods do NOT use the same connection ID as the DB module. So doing actions such as importing fixtures and executing actions via the ActiveRecord abstraction happen on the frameworks connection.

Trying, then, to do actions like $I->seeInDatabase() and related DB modules actions will fail, almost always. Why? The Db module uses a separate connection, as defined in the suite.yml (acceptance/functional/unit) files.

So, from here out I will not be using the two modules together. Either use Yii2+Fixtures or use the DB+dump.sql. Both, together, is problematic at best.

Shameless Self Promotion: Presenting during Tampa Bay PHP’s May meetup!

Using Codeception for Acceptance testing

Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 6:30 PM

Sourcetoad’s new location
2901 W Busch Blvd #1018 Tampa, FL

9 Members Went

David Eddy will present “Using Codeception for Acceptance testing: the crash course.”

Check out this Meetup →


Update: Video is up on youtube at https://youtu.be/QXSP0bEpF4Y .