Headless Travis CI status

Headless is the Ruby interface for Xvfb. It allows you to create a headless display straight from Ruby code, hiding some low-level action. It can also capture images and video from the virtual framebuffer.

I created it so I can run Selenium tests in Cucumber without any shell scripting. Even more, you can go headless only when you run tests against Selenium. Other possible uses include pdf generation with wkhtmltopdf, or screenshotting.

Documentation is available at rdoc.info

Changelog

Note: Headless will NOT hide most applications on OS X. Here is a detailed explanation

Installation

On Debian/Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install xvfb
gem install headless

Usage

Block mode:

require 'rubygems'
require 'headless'
require 'selenium-webdriver'

Headless.ly do
  driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for :firefox
  driver.navigate.to 'http://google.com'
  puts driver.title 
end

Object mode:

require 'rubygems'
require 'headless'
require 'selenium-webdriver'

headless = Headless.new
headless.start

driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for :firefox
driver.navigate.to 'http://google.com'
puts driver.title

headless.destroy

Cucumber

Running cucumber headless is now as simple as adding a before and after hook in features/support/env.rb:

# change the condition to fit your setup
if Capybara.current_driver == :selenium
  require 'headless'

  headless = Headless.new
  headless.start
end

Running tests in parallel

If you have multiple threads running acceptance tests in parallel, you want to spawn Headless before forking, and then reuse that instance with destroy_at_exit: false. You can even spawn a Headless instance in one ruby script, and then reuse the same instance in other scripts by specifying the same display number and reuse: true.

# spawn_headless.rb
Headless.new(display: 100, destroy_at_exit: false).start

# test_suite_that_could_be_ran_multiple_times.rb
Headless.new(display: 100, reuse: true, destroy_at_exit: false).start

# reap_headless.rb 
headless = Headless.new(display: 100, reuse: true)
headless.destroy

Cucumber with wkhtmltopdf

Note: this is true for other programs which may use headless at the same time as cucumber is running

When wkhtmltopdf is using Headless, and cucumber is invoking a block of code which uses a headless session, make sure to override the default display of cucumber to retain browser focus. Assuming wkhtmltopdf is using the default display of 99, make sure to set the display to a value != 99 in features/support/env.rb file. This may be the cause of Connection refused - connect(2) (Errno::ECONNREFUSED).

headless = Headless.new(:display => '100')
headless.start

Capturing video

Video is captured using ffmpeg. You can install it on Debian/Ubuntu via sudo apt-get install ffmpeg or on OS X via brew install ffmpeg. You can capture video continuously or capture scenarios separately. Here is typical use case:

require 'headless'

headless = Headless.new
headless.start

Before do
  headless.video.start_capture
end

After do |scenario|
  if scenario.failed?
    headless.video.stop_and_save("/tmp/#{BUILD_ID}/#{scenario.name.split.join("_")}.mov")
  else
    headless.video.stop_and_discard
  end
end

Taking screenshots

Images are captured using import utility which is part of imagemagick library. You can install it on Ubuntu via sudo apt-get install imagemagick. You can call headless.take_screenshot at any time. You have to supply full path to target file. File format is determined by supplied file extension.

Contributors


© 2011 Leonid Shevtsov, released under the MIT license

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