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zombie.js-api(7) -- The Zombie API

The Browser

new zombie.Browser(options?) : Browser

Creates and returns a new browser. A browser maintains state across requests: history, cookies, HTML 5 local and session storage. A browser has a main window, and typically a document loaded into that window.

You can pass options when initializing a new browser, for example:

var Browser = require("zombie")

var browser = new Browser({ debug: true })
browser.runScripts = false

Or on existing browser for the duration of a page load:

Browser.visit("http://localhost:3000/", { debug: true, runScripts: false },
             function (e, browser, status) {

You can also set options globally for all browsers to inherit: = "http://localhost:3000"
Browser.loadCSS = false

Browser Options

You can use the following options:

  • debug -- Have Zombie report what it's doing. Defaults to true if environment variable DEBUG is set.
  • headers -- Additional HTTP headers to be sent with each browser request.
  • loadCSS -- Loads external stylesheets. Defaults to true.
  • maxWait -- Maximum wait time (when calling visit, wait, etc). Defaults to 5 seconds.
  • maxRedirects -- Tells the browser how many redirects to follow before aborting a request. Defaults to 5
  • proxy -- Proxy URL.
  • runScripts -- Run scripts included in or loaded from the page. Defaults to true.
  • userAgent -- The User-Agent string to send to the server.
  • silent -- If true, supress all console.log output from scripts. You can still view it with window.console.output.
  • site -- Base URL for all requests. If set, you can call visit with relative URL.
  • waitFor -- Tells wait function how long to wait (in milliseconds) while timers fire. Defaults to 0.5 seconds.

The proxy URL specifies the host and port of the proxy. It also supports HTTP Basic authentication, for example:

browser.proxy = "http://user:password@proxy:8080"

browser.authenticate(host) : Credentials

Use this to set the authentication credentials for the given host (hostname:port). Returns a credentials object.

Call with no arguments to set the default authentication credentials (apply to any host that doesn't have specific credentials).

For example:

// HTTP Basic takes user and password
browser.authenticate().basic("me", "secret")
// OAuth 2.0 Bearer takes an access token
// Show the authentication credentials in use


Close all windows, dispose of all resources. You want to call this if you're running out of memory.

browser.error : Error

Returns the last error reported while loading this window.

browser.errors : Array

Returns all errors reported while loading this window. : Window

Opens a new browser window.

browser.visit(url, callback)

browser.visit(url, options, callback)

Shortcut for creating new browser and calling browser.visit on it. If the second argument are options, initializes the browser with these options. See Navigation below for more information about the visit method.

browser.window : Window

Returns the main window. A browser always has one window open. : Windows

Returns access to the collection of open windows. You can use this to select specific window, close current window, etc.

Document Content

You can inspect the document content using the DOM API traversal methods or the DOM Selector API.

To find an element with ID "item-23":

var item = document.getElementById("item-23");

For example, to find out the first input field with the name "email":

var field = document.querySelector(":input[name=email]");

To find out all the even rows in a table:

var rows = table.querySelectorAll("tr:even");

CSS selectors support is provied by Sizzle.js, the same engine used by jQuery. You're probably familiar with it, if not, check the list of supported selectors.

browser.body : Element

Returns the body element of the current document.

browser.document : Document

Returns the main window's document. Only valid after opening a document (see browser.visit).

browser.evaluate(expr) : Object

Evaluates a JavaScript expression in the context of the current window and returns the result. For example:


browser.html(selector?, context?) : String

Returns the HTML contents of the selected elements.

With no arguments returns the HTML contents of the document. This is one way to find out what the page looks like after executing a bunch of JavaScript.

With one argument, the first argument is a CSS selector evaluated against the document body. With two arguments, the CSS selector is evaluated against the element given as the context.

For example:


browser.queryAll(selector, context?) : Array

Evaluates the CSS selector against the document (or context node) and return array of nodes. (Unlike document.querySelectorAll that returns a node list).

browser.query(selector, context?) : Element

Evaluates the CSS selector against the document (or context node) and return an element.

browser.text(selector, context?) : String

Returns the text contents of the selected elements.

With one argument, the first argument is a CSS selector evaluated against the document body. With two arguments, the CSS selector is evaluated against the element given as the context.

For example:


browser.xpath(expression, context?) : XPathResult

Evaluates the XPath expression against the document (or context node) and return the XPath result. Shortcut for document.evaluate.


Zombie.js loads pages asynchronously. In addition, a page may require loading additional resources (such as JavaScript files) and executing various event handlers (e.g. jQuery.onready).

For that reason, navigating to a new page doesn't land you immediately on that page: you have to wait for the browser to complete processing of all events. You can do that by calling browser.wait, passing a callback to methods like visit and clickLink, or using promises.


Navigate to the previous page in history.

browser.clickLink(selector, callback)

Clicks on a link. The first argument is the link text or CSS selector.

Zombie.js fires a click event and has a default event handler that will to the link's href value, just like a browser would. However, event handlers may intercept the event and do other things, just like a real browser.

For example:

browser.clickLink("View Cart", function() {
  assert.lengthOf(browser.queryAll("#cart .body"), 3);

Just like wait, this function either takes a callback or returns a promise, and will wait for all events to fire.

browser.history : History

Returns the history of the current window (same as window.history). : Element

Finds and returns a link (A) element. You can use a CSS selector or find a link by its text contents (case sensitive, but ignores leading/trailing spaces).

browser.location : Location

Return the location of the current document (same as window.location).

browser.location = url

Changes document location, loading a new document if necessary (same as setting window.location). This will also work if you just need to change the hash (Zombie.js will fire a hashchange event), for example:

browser.location = "#bang";
browser.wait(function(e, browser) {
  // Fired hashchange event and did something cool.


Reloads the current page.

browser.statusCode : Number

Returns the status code returned for this page request (200, 303, etc).

browser.success : Boolean

Returns true if the status code is 2xx.

browser.load(html, callback)

Loads this HTML, processes events and calls the callback.

Without a callback, returns a promise.

browser.visit(url, callback)

browser.visit(url, options, callback)

Loads document from the specified URL, processes all events in the queue, and finally invokes the callback.

In the second form, sets the options for the duration of the request, and resets before passing control to the callback. For example:

browser.visit("http://localhost:3000", { debug: true },
  function(e, browser) {
    console.log("The page:", browser.html());

If the last argument is a callback, it will be called with either error, or with null and browser object.

Otherwise, returns a promise object you can use to wait for the page to load and all events to fire. For example:

  then(function() {
    console.log("The page:", browser.html());
  fail(function(error) {
    console.log("Not good:", error)

browser.redirected : Boolean

Returns true if the page request followed a redirect.

browser.url : String

Return the URL of the current document (same as document.URL).


Methods for interacting with form controls (e.g. fill, check) take a first argument that tries to identify the form control using a variety of approaches. You can always select the form control using an appropriate CSS selector, or pass the element itself.

Zombie.js can also identify form controls using their name (the value of the name attribute) or using the text of the label associated with that control. In both case, the comparison is case sensitive, but to work flawlessly, ignores leading/trailing whitespaces when looking at labels.

If there are no event handlers, Zombie.js will submit the form just like a browser would, process the response (including any redirects) and transfer control to the callback function when done.

If there are event handlers, they will all be run before transferring control to the callback function. Zombie.js can even support jQuery live event handlers.

browser.attach(selector, filename, callback) : this

Attaches a file to the specified input field. The second argument is the file name (you cannot attach streams).

Returns this so you can chain multiple methods.

browser.check(field, callback) : this

Checks a checkbox. The argument can be the field name, label text or a CSS selector.

Returns this so you can chain multiple methods.

browser.choose(field, callback) : this

Selects a radio box option. The argument can be the field name, label text or a CSS selector.

Returns this so you can chain multiple methods.

browser.field(selector) : Element

Find and return an input field (INPUT, TEXTAREA or SELECT) based on a CSS selector, field name (its name attribute) or the text value of a label associated with that field (case sensitive, but ignores leading/trailing spaces).

browser.fill(field, value, callback) : this

Fill in a field: input field or text area. The first argument can be the field name, label text or a CSS selector. The second argument is the field value.

For example:

browser.fill("Name", "ArmBiter").fill("Password", "Brains...")

browser.button(selector) : Element

Finds a button using CSS selector, button name or button text (BUTTON or INPUT element).

browser.pressButton(selector, callback)

Press a button. Typically this will submit the form, but may also reset the form or simulate a click, depending on the button type.

The first argument is either the button name, text value or CSS selector. Second argument is a callback, invoked after the button is pressed, form submitted and all events allowed to run their course.

For example:

browser.fill("email", "zombie@underworld.dead").
  pressButton("Sign me Up", function() {
    // All signed up, now what?

Returns nothing., value, callback) : this

Selects an option. The first argument can be the field name, label text or a CSS selector. The second value is the option to select, by value or label.

For example:"Currency", "brains")

See also selectOption.

Returns this so you can chain multiple methods.

browser.selectOption(option, callback) : this

Selects the option (an OPTION element).

Returns this so you can chain multiple methods.

browser.uncheck(field, callback) : this

Unchecks a checkbox. The argument can be the field name, label text or a CSS selector.

Returns this so you can chain multiple methods.

browser.unselect(field, value, callback) : this

Unselects an option. The first argument can be the field name, label text or a CSS selector. The second value is the option to unselect, by value or label.

You can use this (or unselectOption) when dealing with multiple selection.

Returns this so you can chain multiple methods.

browser.unselectOption(option, callback) : this

Unselects the option (an OPTION element).

Returns this so you can chain multiple methods.

browser.focused : element

Returns the element in focus.

State Management

The browser maintains state as you navigate from one page to another. Zombie.js supports both cookies and HTML5 Web Storage.

Note that Web storage is specific to a host/port combination. Cookie storage is specific to a domain, typically a host, ignoring the port.

browser.cookies(domain?, path?) : Cookies

Returns all the cookies for this domain/path. Without domain, uses the hostname of the currently loaded page. Without path, uses the pathname of the currently loaded page.

For example:

browser.cookies().set("session", "123");
browser.cookies("", "/path").set("onlyhere", "567");

The Cookies object has the methods all(), clear(), get(name), set(name, value), remove(name) and dump().

The set method accepts a third argument which may include the options expires, maxAge, httpOnly and secure.

browser.fork() : Browser

Return a new browser using a snapshot of this browser's state. This method clones the forked browser's cookies, history and storage. The two browsers are independent, actions you perform in one browser do not affect the other.

Particularly useful for constructing a state (e.g. sign in, add items to a shopping cart) and using that as the base for multiple tests, and for running parallel tests in Vows.


Load cookies from a text string (e.g. previously created using browser.saveCookies.


Load history from a text string (e.g. previously created using browser.saveHistory.


Load local/session stroage from a text string (e.g. previously created using browser.saveStorage.

browser.localStorage(host) : Storage

Returns local Storage based on the document origin (hostname/port).

For example:

browser.localStorage("localhost:3000").setItem("session", "567");

The Storage object has the methods key(index), getItem(name), setItem(name, value), removeItem(name), clear() and dump. It also has the read-only property length.

browser.saveCookies() : String

Save cookies to a text string. You can use this to load them back later on using browser.loadCookies.

browser.saveHistory() : String

Save history to a text string. You can use this to load the data later on using browser.loadHistory.

browser.saveStorage() : String

Save local/session storage to a text string. You can use this to load the data later on using browser.loadStorage.

browser.sessionStorage(host) : Storage

Returns session Storage based on the document origin (hostname/port). See localStorage above.



Called by window.alert with the message. If you just want to know if an alert was shown, you can also use prompted (see below).

browser.onconfirm(question, response)


The first form specifies a canned response to return when window.confirm is called with that question. The second form will call the function with the question and use the respone of the first function to return a value (true or false).

The response to the question can be true or false, so all canned responses are converted to either value. If no response available, returns false.

For example:

browser.onconfirm("Are you sure?", true)

browser.onprompt(message, response)


The first form specifies a canned response to return when window.prompt is called with that message. The second form will call the function with the message and default value and use the response of the first function to return a value or false.

The response to a prompt can be any value (converted to a string), false to indicate the user cancelled the prompt (returning null), or nothing to have the prompt return the default value or an empty string.

For example:

browser.onprompt(function(message) { return Math.random() })

browser.prompted(message) : boolean

Returns true if user was prompted with that message by a previous call to window.alert, window.confirm or window.prompt.


Since events may execute asynchronously (e.g. XHR requests, timers), the browser maintains an event queue. Occasionally you will need to let the browser execute all the queued events before proceeding. This is done by calling wait, or one of the many methods that accept a callback.

In addition the browser is also an EventEmitter. You can register any number of event listeners to any of the emitted events., target, calback?)

Fires a DOM event. You can use this to simulate a DOM event, e.g. clicking a link or clicking the mouse. These events will bubble up and can be cancelled.

The first argument it the event name (e.g. click), the second argument is the target element of the event.

Just like wait, this method either takes a callback or returns a promise (and will wait for events to fire).


browser.wait(duration, callback?)

browser.wait(done, callback?)

Waits for the browser to complete loading resources and processing JavaScript events.

The browser will wait for resources to load (scripts, iframes, etc), XHR requests to complete, DOM events to fire and timers (timeout and interval). But it can't wait forever, especially not for timers that may fire repeatedly (e.g. checking page state, long polling).

There are two mechanisms to determine completion of processing. You can tell the browser to give up after certain time by passing the duration as first argument, or by setting the browser option waitFor. The default value is 0.5 seconds.

You can also tell the browser to wait for something to happen on the page by passing a function as the first argument. That function is called repeatedly with the window object, and should return true (or any value equal to true) when it's time to pass control back to the application.

For example:

// Wait until map is loaded
function mapLoaded(window) {
  return window.document.querySelector("#map");
browser.wait(mapLoaded, function() {
  // Page has a #map element now


Using promises instead of a callback and duration function is tricky: you must call wait with two arguments, the last one being null.

Even with completion function, the browser won't wait forever. It will complete as soon as it determines there are no more events to wait for, or after 5 seconds of waiting (you can change this with maxWait option).

If you call wait with a callback as the last argument, it will be notified once on completion or when the first error occurs. If you call wait without a callback, it returns a promise that you can wait on.

Event: 'done'

function (browser) { }

Emitted whenever the event queue goes back to empty.

Event: 'error'

function (error) { }

Emitted if an error occurred loading a page or submitting a form.

Event: 'loaded'

function (browser) { }

Emitted whenever new page loaded. This event is emitted before DOMContentLoaded.


When trouble strikes, refer to these functions and the troubleshooting guide.


Dump information to the console: Zombie version, current URL, history, cookies, event loop, etc. Useful for debugging and submitting error reports.

browser.lastError : Object

Returns the last error received by this browser in lieu of response.

browser.lastRequest : Object

Returns the last request sent by this browser.

browser.lastResponse : Object

Returns the last response received by this browser.



Call with multiple arguments to spit them out to the console when debugging enabled (same as console.log). Call with function to spit out the result of that function call when debugging enabled.

browser.resources : Object

Returns a list of resources loaded by the browser.


Views the current document in a real Web browser. Uses the default system browser on OS X, BSD and Linux. Probably errors on Windows.


You can use to manage currently open windows. Anything you tell the browser to do happens in the current window, which you can change using select. Use to open a new window.

windows.all(): Array

Returns all open windows.


Closes the specified window. With no arguments, closes the last window. If closing the current window, switches to the previously opened window.

windows.count : number

Number of open windows

windows.current : Window

Returns the current window. All operations on the browser are sent to this window.

windows.get(name_or_index) : Window

Returns specific window by its name or position (e.g. "foo" returns the window named "foo", while 1 returns the second window) : Window

Selects specified window as the current window. You can pass the window name, position, or actual Window object.

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