Selenium NodeJS Example

This article explores using Selenium in node environment to automate testing. This covers running selenium inside local machine to utilize chrome browser

1. Introduction

Selenium is used to automate browsers. Selenium WebDriver has found its place in test automation for web applications. It is used to create robust, browser-based regression automation suites and tests. It can be used for end to end testing of an application.


Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript run-time environment that executes JavaScript code outside of a browser. Typically, JavaScript is used primarily for client-side scripting and run client-side by a JavaScript engine in the user’s web browser. Node.js lets developers use JavaScript to write command line tools and for server-side scripting—running scripts server-side to produce dynamic web page content before the page is sent to the user’s web browser. Consequently, Node.js represents a “JavaScript everywhere” paradigm, unifying web application development around a single programming language, rather than different languages for server side and client side scripts.

2. Deep Dive into Selenium

In this section, We will take a look at simple test application for testing google search and image search. The first subsection will explore the resources needed and the steps needed for the node application. The subsequent subsection will discuss the actual code and its execution.

2.1 Project Setup

The first step is creating a package.json under a source folder. To create a node application, We need to have node installed and configured in our environment. Node.js is available for various operating systems and also available with all popular package managers. After installation, verify the success of installation with the following command

node -v  
npm -version

This returns the appropriate version in the machine. As per Long term Stable versions, ideal would be v8.11.1 for node and v5.6.0 for npm.

Run the following command to initialize a package.json file. Proceed with the defaults, providing application name as appropriate

npm init

This should leave us with a package.json file similar to the one displayed below. The generated file will not have the dependencies section which can be either manually copied from the file or follow the next set of steps to install them.


  "name": "seleniumnode",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "A test project for selenium",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "jest"
  "keywords": [
  "author": "Rajagopal",
  "license": "ISC",
  "dependencies": {
    "fs": "0.0.1-security",
    "jest": "23.6.0",
    "selenium-webdriver": "4.0.0-alpha.1"
npm install jest --save
npm install selenium-webdriver --save
npm install fs --save

This installs the required dependencies and saves them under dependency section in package.json file. In any node project, the first step is always to run npm install. This ensures that all dependencies defined are downloaded and available for use. This is pre-build step in comparison to other languages. This creates a folder node_modules which contains the needed dependencies.

  • Dependencies section contain the various dependencies for our project
  • Under Scripts section, we have included the test to execute jest. Jest is a test runner with assertion and mocking capabilities. It runs tests in parallel and has been growing in strength since its release.
  • Jest picks up tests located under __tests__ folder or any file with the name .test included in it. Our test file is going to include .test so that jest picks up the file for execution.
  • We can run our test by executing the command npm test. This will ensure that jest kicks in and executes our test file under the context of jest.
  • We use fs module to write to the underlying filesystem. We will cover the need of fs module in the subsequent section

2.2 Test Suite and Execution

This section concerns with the actual selenium code to test the site. Our aim is to open google and search for selenium. Once the results load, We click on image search to load the image results. We break this up as three tests

  • Load and check if title is google.
  • Search for Selenium and check if results page is loaded.
  • Click on Image search in the results page.

Let us deep dive into the code below.


const fs = require('fs');
describe('test', () => {
    const {
    } = require('selenium-webdriver');
    var driver;

    beforeEach(() => {
        driver = new Builder()

    afterEach(() => {

    it('should open google search', async () => {
        await driver.get('');
            .then(title => {

    it('should open google search and view search results', async () => {
        await driver.get('');
        var element = await driver.findElement(By.css('input[title=Search]'));
        await element.sendKeys("selenium", Key.RETURN);
        await driver.wait(until.titleContains("selenium"), 4000);
            .then(title => {
                expect(title).toEqual('selenium - Google Search');

    it('should open google search and do image search', async () => {
        await driver.get('');
        var element = await driver.findElement(By.css('input[title=Search]'));
        await element.sendKeys("selenium", Key.RETURN);
        await driver.wait(until.titleContains("selenium"), 4000);
        var imageSearch = driver.findElement(By.xpath("//a[contains(text(), 'Images')]"));
        let image = await driver.takeScreenshot();
        fs.writeFileSync('out.png', image, 'base64');


  • The first step in testing is to build the appropriate web driver. Here, We have specified chrome as the browser for which the web driver is initialized. This is configured via @beforeEach annotation to ensure that driver is initialized is before each test run.
  • @afterEach annotation is used to clean up the resources and we leverage it to close the web browser.
  • Our code is laced with async and await keywords. await is used to wait for an asynchronous operation to complete. Since await involves a asynchronous operation, async needs to be added to the method to indicate that it is a asynchronous method.
  • In the first test, We navigate to site using driver.get. We wait for the site to load and then resolve the promise to verify the page title is Google.
  • Each test builds upon the subsequent test. In the second test, We try to find a element by a css locator (By.css). We locate the search text box and input search keyword as selenium. We also send the return key to execute user action of pressing ENTER.
  • We specify driver timeout of 4 seconds until the page loads with a title containing Selenium. This ensures also our site performs reasonably under normal conditions.
  • After the page loads, verify the title to be search string.
  • In the third test, We use a xpath selector to select the image search with the keyword By.xpath. Once the element is located, we click the image search button to perform the image search.
  • We use the screenshot capability of the web driver to take screenshot of the page and save it to the underlying filesystem under the name out.png with the help of fs module. The screenshot looks similar to the one provided below.
Selenium NodeJS - Selenium Screenshot
Selenium Screenshot

3. Download the Source Code

You can download the full source code of this example here: Selenium NodeJS Example

Rajagopal ParthaSarathi

Rajagopal works in software industry solving enterprise-scale problems for customers across geographies specializing in distributed platforms. He holds a masters in computer science with focus on cloud computing from Illinois Institute of Technology. His current interests include data science and distributed computing.
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5 years ago

Thanks for the article; Kindly share when would a NodeJS be an ideal /close-to-ideal choice in a selenium project ?

4 years ago

I tried to download the code and run it and got the error message as describe is not defined , can you share the solution

3 years ago
Reply to  jitendra


I am facing the same issue. Did you find any solution to that. Please provide if u do


1 year ago
Reply to  jitendra

You need to run npm install before execute the code.

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