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README.rst

xvfbwrapper

Python wrapper for running a display inside X virtual framebuffer (Xvfb). This is useful for running acceptance tests (i.e. browser-based tests) on a headless server.

Corey Goldberg - 2012, 2013, 2015


Setup

Install xvfbwrapper from PyPI:

pip install xvfbwrapper

System Requirements

  • Xvfb (sudo apt-get install xvfb, or similar)
  • Python 2.7 or 3.2+ (tested on py27, py32, py33, py34, pypy)

About Xvfb (X Virtual Framebuffer)

In the X Window System, Xvfb or X Virtual FrameBuffer is an X11 server that performs all graphical operations in memory, not showing any screen output. This virtual server does not require the computer it is running on to even have a screen or any input device. Only a network layer is necessary.

Example: Basic Usage

from xvfbwrapper import Xvfb

vdisplay = Xvfb()
vdisplay.start()

# launch stuff inside virtual display here.

vdisplay.stop()

Example: Basic Usage, using a specified display geometry and color depth

from xvfbwrapper import Xvfb

vdisplay = Xvfb(width=1024, height=768, colordepth=16)
vdisplay.start()

# launch stuff inside virtual display here.

vdisplay.stop()

Example: Usage as a Context Manager

from xvfbwrapper import Xvfb

with Xvfb() as xvfb:
    # launch stuff inside virtual display here.
    # It starts/stops in this code block.

Example: Headless Selenium WebDriver Tests

import unittest

from selenium import webdriver
from xvfbwrapper import Xvfb


class TestPages(unittest.TestCase):

    def setUp(self):
        self.xvfb = Xvfb(width=1280, height=720)
        self.addCleanup(self.xvfb.stop)
        self.xvfb.start()
        self.browser = webdriver.Firefox()
        self.addCleanup(self.browser.quit)

    def testUbuntuHomepage(self):
        self.browser.get('http://www.ubuntu.com')
        self.assertIn('Ubuntu', self.browser.title)

    def testGoogleHomepage(self):
        self.browser.get('http://www.google.com')
        self.assertIn('Google', self.browser.title)


if __name__ == '__main__':
    unittest.main(verbosity=2)

This code uses selenium and xvfbwrapper to run a test with Firefox inside a headless display.

  • install selenium bindings: pip install selenium
  • Firefox will launch inside virtual display (headless)
  • browser is not shown while tests are run