The best things in life are free, and for Software Testers this is particular true thanks to Selenium. Being a portable testing framework for web applications, Selenium allows us to interact with web elements either without coding skills at all (Recording Tool) or with an easy to learn test domain-specific language (Webdriver). It is perfect for automating the boring stuff!
I’ll show how easy is to get started in Automation Testing using basically only Selenium and Python.
This tutorial assumes that the user is running a similar working environment with the following software:
- Debian based Linux distribution, like Ubuntu
- Python 2.7.x
- Python Pip
- Firefox 54
Don’t get discouraged if you have an operative system different than Linux. Python and other tools can be installed in other Operative Systems. One of the greatest advantages of these type of software is that they are multi-platform!
Creating an isolated Python environment with Virtualenv
Virtualenv is a tool that allows to create an environment that has it’s own isolated installation of Python and libraries. This is useful if we want to avoid having compatibility issues between projects that require different version of a particular library or simply because we don’t want to mess our global installation.
To install Virtualenv, open a new terminal and type the following command:
pip install virtualenv
Then we create a new folder for your Virtual Environment:
To start using your new virtual environment enter (within your project folder):
To exit from the your virtual environment, simply type:
Installing Selenium with pip
Once our Virtual Environment is up and running, we can proceed to install Selenium via pip:
pip install selenium
In order to run our tests in Firefox, first we must install the Geckodriver. To check the latest version available visit:
Download the version corresponding to your Operative System and Architecture using wget, example:
Then we uncompress the file:
tar -xvzf geckodriver*
Also we make the file executable:
chmod +x geckodriver
Finally we move the Geckodriver to /usr/local/bin/ so it is accesible for Selenium to use:
sudo mv geckodriver /usr/local/bin/
Running a quick test
Now we are ready to test our environment, let’s write a small script that opens a new browser and navigates to Google:
from selenium import webdriver
browser = webdriver.Firefox()
Feel free to use your favorite code editor, since is a simple script you can even use nano. Once you’re done writing your script, save your changes and go back to Terminal and run your script:
If all went well a new firefox window should open and the browser should display google’s homepage. Congratulations! You wrote your first Selenium Script! Stay tune for more tutorials.