Poltergeist - A PhantomJS driver for Capybara
poltergeist to your Gemfile, and add in your test setup add:
You need PhantomJS 1.4.1+, built against Qt 4.8, on your system.
There are pre-built binaries of PhantomJS for Linux, Mac and Windows. This is the easiest and best way to install it. The binaries including a patched version of Qt 4.8 so you don't need to install that separately.
Note that if you have a 'dynamic' package, it's important to maintain
the relationship between
lib/. This is because the
bin/phantomjs binary looks in
../lib/ for its library files. So the
best thing to do is to link (rather than copy) it into your
ln -s /path/to/phantomjs/bin/phantomjs /usr/local/bin/phantomjs
If you're having trouble with a pre-built binary package, you can compile PhantomJS yourself. PhantomJS must be built against Qt 4.8, and some patches must be applied, so note that you cannot build it against your system install of Qt.
Download the tarball
and run either
deploy/build-linux.sh --qt-4.8 or
cd deploy; ./build-mac.sh.
The script will
download Qt, apply some patches, build it, and then build PhantomJS
against the patched build of Qt. It takes quite a while, around 30
minutes on a modern computer with two hyperthreaded cores. Afterwards,
you should copy (or link) the
bin/phantomjs binary into your
Running on a CI
Currently PhantomJS is not 'truly headless', so to run it on a continuous integration server you will need to install Xvfb.
On any generic server
Install PhantomJS and invoke your tests with
Travis CI has PhantomJS installed already! So all you need to do is add
the following to your
before_script: - "export DISPLAY=:99.0" - "sh -e /etc/init.d/xvfb start"
There are some additional features:
You can grab screenshots of the page at any point by calling
page.driver.render('/path/to/file.png') (this works the same way as the PhantomJS
render feature, so you can specify other extensions like
By default, only the viewport will be rendered (the part of the page that is in view). To render
the entire page, use
page.driver.render('/path/to/file.png', :full => true).
Resizing the window
Sometimes the window size is important to how things are rendered. Poltergeist sets the window
size to 1024x768 by default, but you can set this yourself with
You can customize the way that Capybara sets up Poltegeist via the following code in your test setup:
Capybara.register_driver :poltergeist do |app| Capybara::Poltergeist::Driver.new(app, options) end
options is a hash of options. The following options are supported:
:phantomjs(String) - A custom path to the phantomjs executable
:debug(Boolean) - When true, debug output is logged to
:logger(Object responding to
puts) - When present, debug output is written to this object
:timeout(Numeric) - The number of seconds we'll wait for a response when communicating with PhantomJS.
nilmeans wait forever. Default is 30.
Please file bug reports on Github and include example code to reproduce the problem wherever
possible. (Tests are even better.) Please also provide the output with
:debug turned on, and screenshots if you think it's relevant.
If capybara-webkit works for you, then by all means carry on using it.
However, I have had some trouble with it, and Poltergeist basically started as an experiment to see whether a PhantomJS driver was possible. (It turned out it was, but only thanks to some new features since the 1.3 release.)
In the long term, I think having a PhantomJS driver makes sense, because that allows PhantomJS to concentrate on being an awesome headless browser, while the capybara driver (Poltergeist) is able to be the minimal amount of glue code necessary to drive the browser.
I also find it more pleasant to hack in CoffeeScript than C++, particularly as my C++ experience only goes as far as trying to make PhantomJS/Qt/WebKit work with Poltergeist :)
Contributions are very welcome and I will happily give commit access to anyone who does a few good pull requests.
To get setup, run
bundle install. You can run the full test suite with
rspec spec/ or
I previously set up the repository on Travis CI but unfortunately given they need a custom-built Qt+PhantomJS in order to pass, it can't be used for now. When static Linux PhantomJS builds are working this can be revisited.
While PhantomJS is capable of compiling and running CoffeeScript code
directly, I prefer to compile the code myself and distribute that (it
makes debugging easier). Running
rake autocompile will watch the
.coffee files for changes, and compile them into
There was a bad bug to do with clicking elements in a page where the page is smaller than the window. The incorrect position would be calculated, and so the click would happen in the wrong place. This is fixed. [Issue #8]
Poltergeist didn't work in conjunction with the Thin web server, because that server uses Event Machine, and Poltergeist was assuming that it was the only thing in the process using EventMachine.
To solve this, EventMachine usage has been completely removed, which has the welcome side-effect of being more efficient because we no longer have the overhead of running a mostly-idle event loop.
:timeoutoption to configure the timeout when talking to PhantomJS.
- First version considered 'ready', hopefully fewer problems.
- First version, various problems.
Copyright (c) 2011 Jonathan Leighton
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.