End-to-End testing with Puppeteer and Jest

Technology May 14. 2019

Jest and Puppeteer are very popular Javascript frameworks used for End-to-End testing. What is it and what are the other known types of testing?

Testing is crucial part of every software development process. It can drastically reduce the cost of your project and can increase productivity of your team. There are basically three main types of tests:

  • Unit testing – With unit tests we are testing small isolated pieces of our code.
  • Integration testing - In this type of testing we combine and test individual units and test them as a group.
  • End-to-End (E2E) testing - Is defined as the testing of complete functionality of some application.

Throughout this tutorial we will be focusing on E2E testing as the title suggests. We will be writing our tests with two powerful tools, which are Jest and Pupeeteer:

  • Jest: Is fully featured testing framework, which is developed by Facebook. It needs very little configuration and works basically out of the box.
  • Puppeteer: A Node.js library created by Google, which provides a convenient API to control Headless Chrome.

What you will learn?

1. How to integrate. Puppeteer with Jest

2. Testing forms

3. Testing frontend in general

4. Taking screenshot

5. Emulating mobile device

6. Intercepting requests

7. How to target newly opened page in the headless browser

8. And how to debug your tests

Project Setup

First you will need to download or clone project which I prepared GitHub Starter Project. If you don't prefere to code along, you can download already finished project GitHub Final Project.

After downloading Starter Project:

1.) cd into the repository

cd /E2E_Testing_with_Puppeteer_Starter

2.) install dependencies

npm install

3.) run the project

npm run dev-server

Great now our application is running on http://localhost:8080. After visiting it you should see something like this:

testing puppeteer jest


Next thing to do is to install all the necessary tools.

npm install puppeteer jest jest-puppeteer

Also we will need to additionally install jest-cli globally in order to be able to run only single test separately from others.

npm install -g jest-cli

First look at Puppeteer

Let's run Puppeteer for the first time on it's own, so you will actually see how it works alone without Jest in the first place. In the root of the project you will find puppeteer_firts_try.js file which contains some basic instruction for Puppeteer.

Run it with:

node puppeteer_firts_try.js

In puppeteer_firts_try.js:

const puppeteer = require('puppeteer');
(async function main(){
  try {
    const browser = await puppeteer.launch({ headless: false });
    const page = await browser.newPage();
    await page.goto('http://localhost:8080', {waitUntil: 'domcontentloaded'});
    await new Promise(resolve => setTimeout(resolve, 5000));
    console.log('done'); await browser.close();
  catch (e) {
    console.log('Err', e);

As you can probably already see Puppeteer relies heavily on promises, so we will always use it with async/await. With puppeteer.launch() on line 5 we are launching new Chromium instance, in options we specify headless: false, which means that browser won't run in the headless mode (basically without graphical user interface). On the next line we open new page and then on the line 7 we navigate to http://localhost:8080waitUntil: 'domcontentloaded' option on line 7 specify that our code will wait till DOM content is loaded. Line 9 just makes app to stop for 5 seconds, so you can observe it. And on line 11 we close the browser.

Integrating Puppeteer with Jest

Now we will integrate Puppeteer with Jest. But why is this necessary in the first place? We do this, because Puppeteer on itself isn't testing framework, it is tool which allow us to control Headless Chrome. So in order to make our work easier, we combine it with Jest, which provides great testing utilities.


Jest Configuration

Create jest.config.js file in the root of the project and paste this code in:

module.exports = {
    preset: "jest-puppeteer",
    globals: {
      URL: "http://localhost:8080"
    testMatch: [
    verbose: true

On line 2 we specify jest-puppeteer preset, which will allow us to use Jest with Puppeteer. In globals we declare variables, which will be available in our whole test suite. And in testMatch we are only saying in which folder and for which files Jest should be looking for.


Configuration for for jest-puppeteer preset

Create jest-puppeteer.config.js file in the root of the project and use this code:

module.exports = {
    launch: {
        headless: process.env.HEADLESS !== 'false',
        slowMo: process.env.SLOWMO ? process.env.SLOWMO : 0,
        devtools: true

In launch object we can specify options for Chromium instance, which will be launched before our tests run and which will be accessible to all our test files. So here you can specify all the options, which you would normally pass to puppeteer.launch(). On line 3 we are specifying if Puppeteer should lunch Browser in headless mode or not. And on line 4 we are sazing to Puppeteer to run in slowMo, which slows Puppeteer down by milliseconds that we specify. So we will be able to observe what it actually does. Both these options are great for debugging.

Writing our tests

Testing Frontend

With everything set up we can finally start writing our tests. Let's start with something simple. In src/test/ you will find file named frontend.test.js into which you need to write this code:

const timeout = process.env.SLOWMO ? 30000 : 10000;

beforeAll(async () => {
    await page.goto(URL, {waitUntil: 'domcontentloaded'});

describe('Test header and title of the page', () => {
    test('Title of the page', async () => {
        const title = await page.title();
        expect(title).toBe('E2E Puppeteer Testing');
    }, timeout);

Now you can run:

npm run test

And you should see something like this:

touch4it testovanie


Let's analyze this code line by line. On first line we are setting timeout variable, which we are later using to specify timeout for our tests (note that we specify this timeout in milliseconds). So as you can see if we are running Puppeteer in slowMo we increase our timeout from 10000 ms to 30000 ms. This ensure that our tests won't timeout. On line 3 we use beforeAll, this function will run some code before all tests in our file are executed. We pass to this function an async callback in which we navigate to URL which we specified earlier as global variable. But from where we took pagevariable? page is actually exposed to each test file in our test suite thanks to jest-puppeteer preset. On line 7 we are using describe which allow us to group tests together. And then we write our actual test. This test is rather simple on line 9 we get page title and then we use Jest built in assertion library expect to test if we got correct title.

Now let's add another test to this file. Paste this code right under the first test in our describe block:

test('Header of the page', async () => {
        const h1Handle = await page.$('.learn_header');
        const html = await page.evaluate(h1Handle => h1Handle.innerHTML, h1Handle);

        expect(html).toBe("What will you learn");
    }, timeout);

On line 2 we are using page.$() which allow us to select HTML element by normal CSS selector. And it returns ElementHandle which we can later use to get innerHTML of this element. On line 3 we then use page.evaluate() ,which evaluates a function in the page context, and that way we basically get access to innerHTML of our ElementHandle.

Form Tests

With some basic tests already written we will now try to test one simple form which I have prepared for us.

touch4it testing form


Rename form.test.js.example in src/test to form.test.js and paste this code in to describe block which is alredy there:

test('Submit form with valid data', async () => {
        await page.click('[href="/login"]');
        await page.waitForSelector('form');
        await page.type('#name', 'Rick');

        await page.type('#password','szechuanSauce');
        await page.type('#repeat_password','szechuanSauce');

        await page.click('[type="submit"]');
        await page.waitForSelector('.success');
        const html = await page.$eval('.success', el => el.innerHTML);

        expect(html).toBe('Successfully signed up!');
    }, timeout);


So first thing we do in this snippet is that we click on Login link in navigation. We use page.click() for this, which takes as an argument a CSS selector. Since we navigated to different URL we use page.waitForSelector() to wait till our form will be rendered by DOM, so we can start to do something with it. Then we use page.type() method to fill out our form, this method takes two argument a CSS selector and a text, which we want to type. We then proceed by submitting our form, waiting for success message to appear and getting its innerHTML with page.$eval().

If you now run npm run test you should have three passing tets.

Taking Screenshots on Desktop and Mobile

With our form and frontend tested, we can turn our attention to screenshot taking and emulation of mobile devices in Puppeteer.

Rename screenshots.test.js.example in src/test to screenshots.test.js and paste this code in to describe block which is alredy coded there:

    test('Take screenshot of home page', async () => {
        await page.setViewport({ width: 1920, height: 1080 });
        await page.screenshot({
            path: './src/test/screenshots/home.jpg',
            fullpage: true,
            type: 'jpeg'
    }, timeout);

In this block of code we first set viewport of the page with page.setViewport() and then we take a screenshot with page.screenshot() to which we provide some options in order to specify where to store our image, and in what format to store it.


After running npm run test you should be able to find an image called home.jpg in test/screenshots folder. Now let's take screenshot while emulating mobile device. First add this line of code at the top of the file:

const devices = require('puppeteer/DeviceDescriptors');

And then add this test into our describe block:

test('Emulate Mobile Device And take screenshot', async () => {
    await page.goto(`${URL}/login`, {waitUntil: 'domcontentloaded'})
    const iPhonex = devices['iPhone X'];
    await page.emulate(iPhonex);
    await page.setViewport({ width: 375, height: 812, isMobile: true});
    await page.screenshot({
        path: './src/test/screenshots/home-mobile.jpg',
        fullpage: true,
        type: 'jpeg'
}, timeout);

This code is similar to the previous one. The difference is that now we are requiring devices from puppeteer/DeviceDescriptors. Then we access iPhone X on line 3 from devices object. On the next line we emulate this device with page.emulate(). And then we simply take screenshot as in the previous code snippet.

Request Interception and Targeting Newly Opened Page

So now we will look into some more advanced features as is request interception. And I will also cover how to target newly opened opened page in headless browser.

Rename general.test.js.example in src/test to general.test.js and copy paste there this code snippet:

   test('Intercept Request', async () => {
        await page.setRequestInterception(true);
        page.on('request', interceptedRequest => {
            if (interceptedRequest.url().endsWith('.png')) {
            } else {
        await page.reload({waitUntil: 'networkidle0'});
        // await jestPuppeteer.debug();
        await page.setRequestInterception(false);
    }, timeout);


Here on the first line we set page.setRequestInterception() to true, which enables us to intercept outgoing requests. On lines 3-9 we are telling Puppeteer to abort every request, which ends with '.png'. So thanks to this our page won't be able to load the image, which is currently on the homepage, well at least after we reload page, because the image was loaded before we set request interception. Then on line 10 we will reload our page with page.reload(), so we will be able to see that image is not displayed. But how actually when Puppeteer tests are so quick ? That's what commented code on next line is for, but I will come back to this in debugging section. And on line 12 we set page.setRequestInterception() to false, which is very IMPORTANT! Because if you don't set it to false request interception will be set to true for all other tests, which come after this one and that can cause you lot of problems.

Now let's add our last test, with which I will show you how you can target newly opened page with Puppeteer in headless browser. Add this test to our describe block:

   test('Target newly opened page', async () => {
        const newPagePromise = new Promise(resolve => browser.once('targetcreated', target => resolve(target.page())));
        await page.click('.repo_link');

        const newPage = await newPagePromise;
        const title = await newPage.title();
        await newPage.close();

        expect(title).toBe('GitHub - Zovi343/E2E_Testing_with_Puppeteer_Final');
    }, timeout);


On line 2 we are creating new Promise in which we are listening with browser.on('targetcreated') if new target (page) was created. Again we are able to access browser, because it is exposed to us thanks to jest-puppeteer preset. Then we click on the link on the homepage, which opens a new tab and points us to GitHub Starter Project. On line 7 we await Promise, which we created on line 2 and this Promise returns newly opened page. So in the end we are able to get title of this newly opened page and make our assertions.

Debugging your test

Many times you find yourself with lot of failing tests and it can be really hard to find out what is going on only from the terminal. That's why I will show you some ways of debugging your tests.

Headless a SlowMo argumenty

So for debugging you want to launch Puppeteer in headless mode and also in slow motion, so you will be able to actually see what is going on. Since we set these two options in jest-puppeteer.config.js all we need to do now is to set two environment variables when running our tests from the terminal.


HEADLESS="false" SLOWMO=100 npm run test

Running single Test Seperately

Sometimes you need to run one test separately from the others in order to find bugs. To do this we will use jest-cli, which we installed at the beginning. Now let's come back to the request interception test, because we weren't really able to observe it.


HEADLESS="false" SLOWMO=100 jest -t 'Intercept Request'

But that was still pretty fast, wasn't it? Let's fix this with jestPuppeteer.debug().


jestPuppeteer.debug() suspends test execution and gives you time to see what is going on in the browser. In order to continue execution you just need to press Enter. So now you can just uncomment line 11 from code for request interception and run the previous command. And you will be clearly able to see that image on the homepage is not displayed, because request for it was intercepted.

Bonus Puppeteer Recorder

At the end I would like to suggest you one Chrome extension, which may come really handy when you are writing tests with puppeteer. It is Puppeteer Recorder, which allows you to record your browser interactions and generate a Puppeteer script.


In this article we explored two very popular frameworks Jest and Puppeteer. And we learned that when we combine these two tools together we get very powerfull setup for our testing environment. We covered a lot, you learned how to integrate Puppeteer with Jest, how to write different test cases, how to debug your tests and more.

jakub tester touch4it
Jakub Tester
Got a project?
Let's talk

Do you want to be our client?

Fill in this form, or, if you prefer, send us an email. Don’t worry, we’ll send you an NDA and your idea will be safe.