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The Capybara visual debugger

Gem Version

An addon for Ruby Capybara system tests that adds the great DX of tools like



  • View the list of steps in a test, with live updates as the test runs
  • Pause the test at each step and interact with the page
  • View API requests and console logs between steps
  • Auto-restart the test when the source code is modified
  • Records a video of the test so you can preview the finished test at that point in time (experimental)
  • View and run ANY test suite from the UI (coming soon)
  • Record browser interactions to save as ruby code (coming later)

Framework support

🚨 Cyperful is in BETA and you will likely encounter issues/bugs! We currently only support: Rails 7.1, Ruby 3.2.1, Minitest/RSpec, capybara, and selenium with Chrome.

Try it out, then please open a Github issue if you'd like to see support for any other specific frameworks/setups.


First, install the gem (with require=false):

group :test do
  gem "cyperful", require: false

Follow the instructions for your test framework:


In your rails_helper.rb file, add the following:


require "cyperful/rspec" if CYPERFUL

RSpec.configure do |config|
  # make sure we setup the browser-driver BEFORE Cyperful's setup
  config.prepend_before(:example, type: :system) do
    # Cyperful only supports Selenium + Chrome
    driven_by :selenium, using: :chrome, screen_size: [1400, 1400]

  # ...


In your application_system_test_case.rb file, add the following:


require "cyperful/minitest" if CYPERFUL

class ApplicationSystemTestCase < ActionDispatch::SystemTestCase
  include Cyperful::Minitest::SystemTestHelper if CYPERFUL

  # Cyperful only supports Selenium + Chrome
  driven_by :selenium, using: :chrome, screen_size: [1400, 1400]

  # ...


Run a test with CYPERFUL env var, e.g.:

CYPERFUL=1 rails test test/system/my_test.rb:123

🚨 IMPORTANT NOTE: Cyperful currently works best when you run a single test at a time i.e. your test file contains only 1 test OR you specify a single test with <filename>:<line_number>. A better DX for running multiple sequential tests is coming soon.


Config options:

  • reload_test_files (default: true) - Reset the test when the test's source code is modified.
  • auto_run_on_reload (default: true) - Automatically start the test when the source code is modified. Only applies if reload_test_files is true.
  • history_recording (default: true) - Record a video of the test while it is running for debugging.

You can set these options on the Cyperful.config object after requiring the gem, e.g.:

Cyperful.config.history_recording = false


# in a terminal, run the frontend dev server.
# this will watch for changes and rebuild the frontend
cd cyperful
pnpm run dev

# in another terminal, run any test.
# prepend `CYPERFUL_DEV=1` to tell cyperful to look at the
# dev server instead of the prebuilt frontend assets.
cd my_test_app
CYPERFUL_DEV=1 CYPERFUL=1 rails test test/system/my_test.rb