Running headless end-to-end test with nightmare.js on opeNode

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In this tutorial, we will illustrate how we can do headless testing using nightmare.js on opeNode. Nightmare is a high-level browser automation library.

First we need to add nightmare to the project:

npm install nightmare

Then let's create a server which will have 2 routes, / giving a basic homepage and /test which will execute our test:

const http = require("http");
const { exec } = require('child_process');

const server = http.createServer(function (req, res) {
  if (req.url == '/test') {
    runTest('nightmare', alertFinished, res);
  } else {

server.listen(80, (err) => {
  if ( ! err) {
      console.log(`server is listening on 80`)

function runTest(subject, callback, res) {
  console.log(`Starting my ${subject} test.`);
  const cmd = `xvfb-run --server-args="-screen 0 1024x768x24" node test.js`;

	exec(cmd, (err, stdout, stderr) => {
		if (err) {
			// node couldn't execute the command
			res.end('not ok...');

		// the *entire* stdout and stderr (buffered)
		console.log(`stdout: ${stdout}`);
		console.log(`stderr: ${stderr}`);
    callback(res, "my test");

function alertFinished(res, title){
  res.end("OK" + title);
  res.end("Great, finished.");

The runTest contains all the magic to execute the nightmare test. We will get back to it later.

First, let's make a very basic test which will contact a webpage page and output its page title:

const Nightmare = require('nightmare')
const nightmare = Nightmare({ show: true })

    return document.title;
    console.log('test done');

We can run this test by running:

node test.js

However, nightmare.js by default opens a gui-based browser and assume there is X server running. In a server without graphical server this cannot work. We can still make it work by using Xvfb, which is a virtual display server.

To do so, we will add a build script in order to install xvfb:
chmod 777 /tmp

apt-get update &&\
    apt-get install -y libgtk2.0-0 libgconf-2-4 \
    libasound2 libxtst6 libxss1 libnss3 xvfb &

and activate it via:

openode set-config BUILD_SCRIPT_PATH

And that's it, when we hit /test, it will run:

xvfb-run --server-args="-screen 0 1024x768x24" node test.js

which will run the nightmare.js test over the xvfb display server.

Added on Sun May 20 2018 16:09:01 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)