Setting up Selenium

erhun edited this page Jul 2, 2014 · 38 revisions

WARNING: This guide is for setting up Selenium version 1, and is somewhat obsolete. We recommend you use Selenium 2 / WebDriver instead, through Capybara if you’re on Rails.


Selenium-RC requires the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) version 1.5.0 or higher

For webrat -v=0.5.1, you should use selenium-client -v=1.2.16. Do not use webrat -v=0.5.0. For webrat -v=0.4.4, you must use selenium-client -v=1.2.14.

Step 1: Install the Selenium gem

sudo gem install Selenium
sudo gem install selenium-client

Step 2: Starting Selenium

The Selenium gem installs a script which allows us to get Selenium-RC running


you can run the jar directly
java -jar selenium-server.jar

Step 3: Run the cucumber example

cucumber examples/selenium/features/

Useful links

Official Selenium-RC site

Selenium gem at rubyforge

Cucumber / Selenium / Webrat

Many apps have features that don’t require javascript to work, and running them all in selenium makes things slow. Since webrat steps support selenium out of the box, you can reuse almost all of your standard step definitions for selenium as well. Here’s a recipe for how you can:

  • Run your non-selenium features with transactional fixtures and standard webrat steps
  • Run your entire suite (html and javascript) features with selenium, without transactional fixtures
  • Reuse all (or almost all) or your step definitions between selenium and non-selenium runners

NOTE – when using this setup, you do not need to start selenium manually. Webrat will spawn a new selenium process and a mongrel process for you.

First, setup a directory structure like the following:

|-- enhanced
|   `-- ajaxy.feature
|-- plain
|   `-- non_ajaxy.feature
|-- step_definitions
|   `-- webrat_steps.rb
`-- support
    |-- enhanced.rb
    |-- env.rb
    `-- plain.rb

Create a cucumber.yml file in the root directory of your project (yes, this is cluttered). In it, create these 2 profiles:

default: -r features/support/env.rb -r features/support/plain.rb -r features/step_definitions features/plain
selenium: -r features/support/env.rb -r features/support/enhanced.rb -r features/step_definitions features/enhanced

In env.rb, turn on all webrat features:

ENV["RAILS_ENV"] = "test"
require File.expand_path(File.dirname(__FILE__) + '/../../config/environment')
require 'cucumber/rails/world'
require 'cucumber/formatter/unicode'
require 'webrat/integrations/rspec-rails'
require 'cucumber/rails/rspec'

In enhanced.rb, set up the selenium-specific files:

Webrat.configure do |config|
  config.mode = :selenium
  # Selenium defaults to using the selenium environment. Use the following to override this.
  # config.application_environment = :test

# this is necessary to have webrat "wait_for" the response body to be available
# when writing steps that match against the response body returned by selenium

Before do
  # truncate your tables here, since you can't use transactional fixtures*

* For truncating your DB take a look at DatabaseCleaner

In plain.rb, set up the standard webrat features:

# truncate your tables here if you are using the same database as selenium, since selenium doesn't use transactional fixtures
Cucumber::Rails.use_transactional_fixtures = true

To run your regular features, you can execute:


To run your selenium features, you can execute:

cucumber -p selenium

Rails 2.2+ and Sessions

When running Selenium with Rails 2.3.2 (and this appears to be true for 2.2 as well) sessions did not work. They were being saved, but then were lost upon reload. Adding the following to the selenium environment file fixed this problem:

config.action_controller.session = { :session_http_only => false }

Setup stories